Blogger Confession: counting how many pages I have left of a book

I have a confession to make.

Just one, today. It’s one of my most closely-guarded reading secrets. Well, okay, maybe not, since I’m writing a blog post on it. But it’s not a confession that I’ve seen often, so I’d like to know if anyone else is infected…erm, AFFECTED by it. Please tell me I’m not the only one!

Okay, so the confession is this: for most of the books I read, I flip to the end and see how many pages I have left.


It’s not even just for books that I dislike.

It’s books I really LIKE as well. Not all of them – with some books, I don’t ever want to finish. But I guess this stems from not having ample time, as well as a huge TBR. When you’re constantly trying to read, read, read, it can be tempting to just want to rush through each book and start the next one. But there are a few reasons why this doesn’t work.


1) You don’t enjoy it as much

If you’re constantly counting down the pages – 200 to go, 100 to go – then you’re not really enjoying the story as much as you could.


2) You miss things

If you’re powering through a book to get to the end, you’ll probably miss vital things, or not understand it as well as you could, or FORGET THE MAIN CHARACTER’S NAME. That has happened to me waaaay too many times.


3) Reading becomes a chore.

And it SHOULDN’T be like that. Research conducted by the Loony Teen Institute says that this is how some people fall into reading slumps – they’re trying to get through so many books that they fail to enjoy the books they’re reading.

I mean, I’m not going to stop counting down pages for some of the books I read. It’s the way I cope if I’m not too interested. Plus, it helps me figure out how long it will take me to finish a book, so I can schedule reading around other things.

But I think if we’re doing that all the time, counting down to the finish and planning how long it’ll take us, we aren’t as involved in the world of the book as we might otherwise be. And honestly I think that’s quite sad. I wish I could go back to when I was a little kid, and could read for hours upon hours. Since I can’t, I try to read in short snippets, as often as possible.

My favourite books are the ones that make me forget how many pages are left, forget how long I’ve been reading, or the fact that I should be in bed. And that makes all the mediocre books worthwhile.


Do you count how many pages are left in the books you’re reading?

46 thoughts on “Blogger Confession: counting how many pages I have left of a book

  1. You’re not alone. I’m like that too, but in a different way. I have to put my bookmark at the end of the chapters and then I’ll countdown to the end of my chapter. Otherwise I don’t know. It’s just harder for me to sit down and read if I don’t have my bookmark in when I start.

    • Oh, that’s an interesting way to do it! I hadn’t thought of that. When I used to have a booklight, I’d place it further down the book, then have to move it when I got up to that place! Haha. It definitely sounds like it would help you get to the next chapter πŸ™‚

  2. Same :/ It’s even for books I like, and anticipate the end. But I know it especially when it’s a chore, and the book isn’t so good. It distracts me, and every time I check I also feel like getting up and getting a snack.

  3. Yes. OH yes, I completely agree. And I often speed read on top of that. So counting pages, speed reading, and silently trying to go faster-faster because there are too many books that need reading. BUT to be honest! I usually do this for books I know I’m not keen on. Because I hate DNF’ing. So if I know it’s going to be a 2 or 3 star book I just power through it. But I get confused and it’s hard to review exactly why I didn’t like it.
    This post though: YES.

    • Speed-reading, yes. It can be dangerous when you forget what you’re reading halfway through. I do that with books I have to read for English! And there ARE so many books that need to be read! I don’t DNF, so if I don’t like a book I do try to get through it as quickly as possible.

  4. I do this too, and like you with both books I like and ones I don’t. Sometimes it is to see if I should finish the book or put it down and go to sleep. Sometimes it is to gauge if I am enjoying it or not, when I like a book I read much faster. Then it is almost depressing, like ‘Oh no, I only have 100 pages left of this series I am totally loving!’ If I’m not enjoying the book it is to see if it is worth my time to continue.

  5. *Cough*… yes. But not as much as I used to.

    However… I must admit… I do something far worse.

    Sometimes… I read the last page of a book to figure out how it ends.

    I know! So bad! I just get so anxious! I GOTTA KNOW!!! You know?

    • Interesting because I do it MORE than I used to. READING THE LAST PAGE, THOUGH. THAT’S JUST A BOOK CRIME. Although awkward if the last page doesn’t reveal anything πŸ™‚ I can safely say I’ve never read the last page of a book. Well, before the other pages, at least πŸ˜›

  6. Yep. I do this all the time. I probably shouldn’t… but see, even if I’m really enjoying the book, I’ll still check to see how many pages I have left. I can;t help it! I think it’s somewhat become a habit, too, because I do it so often. On the other hand, sometimes I do it to books I love. I want to see how many pages I have left — not because I want it to be over, but because I don’t want it to be over!

    • I can’t help it either! We need a support group or something. It’s weird since I’m by NO means a maths person, but I like setting goals, I guess. Nice to know I’m not the only one who does it for books I both like and dislike πŸ™‚

  7. I don’t think I’ve ever done this. But I am always aware of how much there is to go. Like % or proportion (eg I have a third left). Sometimes my way is misleading – you get to a spot and think you have 10% to go but no… it’s just a chapter of another book by the same author put in there just to tease you! I was reading the Fiery Heart by Richelle Mead and put it down thinking I had another two chapters.. but I only had two pages left and the rest was the first chapter of Vampire Academy. I felt SO LET DOWN! 😦
    I love powering though to the end of books. It makes everything so exciting! But I too forget names of characters… it’s why I take so many notes whilst reading. Otherwise it’s been a few days later and I’ve been trying to write a review and I can’t remember a single character’s name! Which is especially bad when you’re reviewing a library book and have already returned it.

    I don’t think your method of counting pages is bad. If it’s how you enjoy reading then keep doing it! πŸ˜€ .

    • Oh yes, that happens to me all the time! Although it usually doesn’t come as a surprise, because I do check beforehand to see if there are any awesome interviews/interesting segments at the back of the book. But if I’m really into it I will sometimes not realise and then I’m like…what? IT’S FINISHED? Oh, I could never take notes while reading. I’d go insane. I have to do that enough for English, haha. So I just rely on Goodreads reviews to remind me the names of characters (tricky when I’m one of the first ones reviewing it, though, haha).

  8. I only do the counting down the pages thing when I’m reading ebooks…when there’s a thing at the bottom of each page giving how many pages there are to go.
    And I only check when I’m either board or busy.
    When I’m reading actual books I go by the thickness of the pages left, but that’s more with worry that the book is about to end, and I don’t want it to, as opposed to checking to see how much longer I need to be sitting there reading for.

    • I don’t read ebooks, unfortunately, so that doesn’t happen with me. Maybe I should start reading them? Thickness is a good thing to rely on for books, I’ve found. It’s lovely when it’s really big print so you feel like you’ve read HEAPS of pages, when really it’s just…big print, haha.

  9. I usually only do this when I am not so keen on a book. Simply because I’m just like: UGH WHEN WILL THIS PAIN AND TORTURE ENDDDDDDDD?

    But with books I love, like you said, I don’t want them to ever end, and I’d rather not be counting down the pages til my lovely story is finished.

    HOWEVER, whenever I update my reading progress on Goodreads, it tells me how far I am into the book, and thus the general idea of how many pages there are left *internal screaming* This is kind of annoying, but I still update on Goodreads because I like having my Goodreads up to date. It’s an addiction.

    I’m kind of glad I am not uber keen on knowing how many pages are left (although I do do this when it’s late at night and I really want to finish a book – I’ll see how many pages there are, and by that I can determine if I can indeed finish a book that night – but that’s kinda different), because of all the things you said here. I hate missing things or forgetting things, and I would never want reading to become a chore D:

    • YES. Although I haven’t read a book I’ve HATED for so long. It’s quite excellent, really. Maybe I’m a softie πŸ™‚

      I don’t update my Goodreads that often, really. Only when I’ve finished the book, or if I’m at a part that I need to TELL THE WORLD ABOUT because they just…they need to know, okay?

      I don’t count how many pages are left that often during the book. Only if I’m not really liking it. Or just once to see how many pages are in the book πŸ™‚ but yeah, reading is pretty much my favourite thing to do, so I definitely do NOT want to do anything that would make me dislike it!

  10. I don’t count how man pages until the end of the book, but I do count until the end of the chapter. I don’t know why. I always do it for books I love and there’s no real logic or reason. It’s more of a habit than anything else! I don’t feel like it ruins my reading experience or anything; I actually feel like it amps me up a bit more!

    • Another person has said this in the comments. I don’t count to the end of chapters, I guess because I usually don’t stop reading at the end of a chapter. I stop all sorts of weird places, since my reading periods are usually quite short πŸ™‚

  11. I do this a lot even if I really like the book. Sometimes I count pages to estimate how much time it will take me to finish a certain part because I often squeeze my reading time in between activities like cross country practice, violin lessons, volunteering at the library, and soon, school and homework. I’ll also count the pages until the end of a book that is very suspenseful because I can’t wait to see how the story ends.

    • The busy thing is definitely huge. I read in roll call, before I get out of bed, while eating breakfast, all sorts of things. I don’t read many suspenseful books, actually, but I can imagine that would be an interesting way to read them πŸ™‚

  12. I do this sometimes, but not because I want to get to the end of the book, but because I want to know how much time I have left with it in order to savor it. I remember readin this 1000 page monstrosity by Brandon Sanderson, and I was loving it so much, and when I checked how much more I had to go and saw that I had 75% left, I was relieved and sad at the same time. Relieved because I had 75% left to go, and sad because that’s 25% less. HAHAHA!

    Faye at The Social Potato

    • ONE THOUSAND PAGES. Girl, that is dedication. Right there. I think even if John Green wrote a 1000 page book I’d be doubtful.

      Okay, no, you’re right, I would devour it. I would definitely NOT count how many pages I had left on that one. On another note, John Green should write a 1000 page book πŸ™‚

  13. Usually when I’m at that point I just stop reading and it becomes a DNF. you’re right – reading does become a chore at that point. There’s so many amazing books out there worth reading; there’s no need to waste time on one you’re not interested in.

  14. I don’t think I’m quite as…obsessed…with this as you are, haha. But I definitely do check, with almost every book I read! It’s mostly just curiosity. I like to know how many pages are left in a book so that I can guesstimate how long it will take me to read it. But I’m not like OH MY GOD HOW MANY PAGES ARE LEFT? It’s more just like…a way to assess my reading progress. I’m not constantly checking, usually I only check once when I first start the book (or maybe twice if I forget haha).

  15. Yes – I do this too…although I never really thought about it until now. I like to know how far I have to go until the end, and it can act like a way of estimating approximately how long it will take until I get there. In any case, it can be a great source of motivation to reach the finish line! I find it a bit harder with ebooks since there isn’t really that ‘physical’ representation of how much there is left, but with the % icon it kind of serves the same purpose I guess *shrugs*

    • Yes, that’s what I do! A little bit of guesstimation and heyyy, I’ll finish this in two hours, how about that! Unless it’s really good and I read it quicker πŸ™‚ I don’t read ebooks so I don’t have that problem. Although I think I would have fun making the font massive πŸ˜›

  16. You’re not alone! I am the same when it comes to books, even when I like them. Oh, yes. So on the rare circumstances that I don’t speed read and constantly check how much longer I have left, it’s when I know for certain that it is the perfect book. It’s MUCH harder with ebooks because there’s the % finished section, and this teeny weeny scrollbar that tells how far into the chapter I am. (And I just want it to go aaaall the way to the very bottom fast)!

    • *tackle hugs you* We’re alllll in this together! I usually speed read. I don’t know any other way, to be honest. My eyes have a life of their own. People keep talking about ebooks and the % thing, which I think I would HATE if I ever read ebooks. Physical books for me πŸ™‚

  17. My gosh i was actually thinking on doing a post like this! While I was on my hiatus, it just felt so good to just read books at a slow pace and actually chose books that I wanted to realllly read. And I didn’t count how many pages were left to the end of the book. Before that, I was always highly conscious of how many pages I had left–mainly for those books that I wasn’t enjoying because I kept thinking: is it over yet?

    Lovely post, Em! <33

    • Great minds think alike, after all πŸ™‚ I think I may need a blog hiatus in a few months. Just to do what you did and read slowwwly. Although since I’m posting one less review a week, that has helped – I don’t have to review every single book I read.

  18. Research conducted by the Looney Teen Institute? OMG, I burst into laughter. You’re just too funny for words sometimes Em. I’m a page counter too, I always put it down to mixing paperback and Kindle reads, but when it gets late at night and you feel like putting down your book, I end up reading through when there’s so few pages left. It’s terrible. I end up awake most of the night then.

    We need a page counters support group.
    My name is Kelly, and I’m a page counter.
    Brilliant post Em ❀

    • HAHA, I think you’re the only person who mentioned that. A stroke of genius on my behalf πŸ˜› no really, half of these posts I just make stuff up and hope I’m not the only one LOL. I’m one of those rare breed who don’t read past their bedtime. I know. It’s weird. But I do like my sleep.

      YES. A support group sounds awesome πŸ˜›

  19. Ehehe, I totally count the pages I have left… but you’re right, it doesn’t really work. I don’t enjoy the book as much when I’m constantly calculating how much of the book I have left to read. That’s probably a sign that I should read some other, more interesting book, right?

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  21. I do the same thing, but I think it is a residual habit from so many years of required reading for school! My favorite thing is when I get that rare book that makes the page numbers fade away. Though I will admit that I love finishing books!

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  23. Though I have lost this habit just recently, I tended to count the pages left, too. This was something I developed when I started to take my book blog really really seriously and felt I had to read multiple books a week as quickly as i could. This resulted in me losing interest in reading, not quite enjoying any book I read even if it was fairly great and so counting the pages left. The TBR pile was also intimidating. I didn’t use to have one before I started book blogging and suddenly there it was with over 300 books. It only resolved a few weeks ago when I went on a holiday and took a major slow-down in terms of reading. It wasn’t intentional, if you hadn’t penned this post I wouldn’t even have noticed, but it happened and I’m happy, because I enjoy reading a lot more. πŸ™‚

  24. I do this too and I also find that it makes it harder for me to enjoy reading, so I try to stop myself when I catch myself doing it. Reading on a schedule definitely makes it more likely I’ll be counting pages!

  25. Sometimes I’ll count how many pages I have until the end of a chapter. I mean, I’ll do it once or twice per book, at least. It started as a way for me to determine if I could make it to the end of a chapter or if I needed to find a good stopping place because I was reading at night and became tired/had to get off the bus soon/my lunch break was ending. And then it became a habit I cannot break. It’s not like I always count to the end of chapters…just when I feel distracted.

  26. I totally count the pages. I know that it’s really bad but it motivates me to finish the book. Not necessarily faster, just reading when I might’ve picked up my phone or turned on TV instead. I do this even more when I’m reading an ebook! I always glance to see what percentage I’m at. :3

  27. Oopsies.. guilty as charge! I totally do it all the time.. I’d say by reasons differ though! Like if i’m really enjoying the book i’ll be sad that I only have 50 pages left, or if everything in the story is all wrapped up and there’s still 100pages to go and I know craps going to hit the fan!

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