Idea Overview:
A common reason people say they don’t read more is they don’t have enough time. I think it’s more complex than that. It’s not just about how much time someone has, but how much time they perceive they have, and how they want to spend it. A relatively simple way of dealing with this could be to make people more aware of how much time it actually takes to read a specific book, chapter by chapter. If you know that a chapter is only going to take six minutes to read, then it seems like something anyone can make time for. You could collect the necessary data from a specific book from the e-book version, or work it out based on chapter word count and average reading speed. The average reading speed could then be printed at the beginning of each chapter. Quite possibly, seeing the average reading speed would make the reader competitive, and want to see if they can beat that time (and so, read more). If people are only reading one or two chapters per day, they may lose interest in the book because they’ve lost the rhythm for it, and can’t remember what happened. How to deal with this would depend on the type of book you were reading. For a classic novel you may have an index at the back of the book, with a one or two line summary of each chapter to jog the person’s memory of what happened last. Whereas in a contemporary book, it would give it a more fun feel if it was written by the author i.e ‘this is what I, the author, think was the most important thing to take away from this chapter.’ This kind of idea would work especially when in books that are likely to be book club picks. It could also work well as an app.

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  1. Simon Krystman - January 2, 2020 at 8:52 am

    Books on Audible have chapter reading times and this works really well. I think reading times set expectations and encourage you to set aside time.