A new calculator from Omni Calculator shows you how many books you could read in one year if you checked them instead of checking social media.
Enter how often you check social media (or any time-wasting sites that you’re willing to give up), and how long you spend there each time you visit. Omni Calculator will turn that into a count of books, based on a typical page count and reading speed.
You can fiddle with all these variables for a personalised estimate, and you can test your reading speed on the website Reading Length.
If you’re trying to read more books, it’s helpful to know how long a book will take you — not how many days, but how much actual reading time.
This is a pretty fair comparison — most times that you could read Facebook for a few minutes, you could also read an ebook. I’m not saying that you should never use social media, which is a legitimate way to stay in touch with friends. But if you feel as though you spend too much time on social media, this calculator shows you just how much deeper reading you could accomplish.
(While Omni Calculator also says how much jogging or TV-watching you could do in this time, those are meaningless comparisons. We’re talking about spending a few minutes on your phone while in line or on the toilet. It’s only fair to compare one phone activity to another phone activity.)
I straight up lied to this site and pretended I only check social media every two hours, for five minutes at a time. I even told it that I read big books. And Omni Calculator still told me that if I opened Kindle instead of Twitter or Instagram, in one year I could read 32 more goddamn books. It would feel ridiculous not to replace some of my social media time with book reading.
You can take specific strategies to make the switch: On your phone, put your ebook app on your home screen, and hide social media apps in a folder or delete them altogether. Only let yourself access Twitter and Facebook through your mobile browser. Keep a free Project Gutenberg book open in a tab where you’d usually leave a news feed. Email yourself articles to read. Use the Freedom app to block time-wasting sites and apps at certain times of day. (You could keep social media on in the mornings, but force yourself to read books instead during the afternoon.)