Increasing Reading word count

How many words in a book? I read a lot of French and Spanish and would love to include that in my statistics. Do I do a rough count of words per page and then multiply the lot? Some of the books are already back at the library, so it’ll have to be rule of thumb approach, I suppose. Any ideas?

I generally do the same thing: count the number of words on a page, subtract a few or half pages and so on and then multiply them. I suppose the exact number doesn’t matter too much. Although if someone has a better idea…?

*for half pages

My rules of thumb which seem to work for the kind of books I read are:

10 000 words = short story, 5 000 - 10 000 words = chapter of a novel, 100 000 - 120 000 words = whole novel. 1 page = 250 words. 1 chapter is about 20 minutes of audio.

If you read romantic novels they tend to be really short, Jules Verne novels have a lot of very short chapters. Tolkien has really long chapters and a lot of them.

When I read a book I bump up the words read manually every time I finish a chapter or when I can remember.

BTW I read some language teacher somewhere recommending you read a million words fairly casually to build up your passive vocabulary. That sounds about right to me. It works out at about 10 novels or about 30 000 distinct words, including all the frequently used words. I would suggest that you aim to have read that much by the end of intermediate 2. Unless you really hate reading, in which case you will need to listen to lots of audio instead. Any word you don’t encounter in the course of those million words you don’t really need to know until you hit advanced 1 and start to learn specialist technical vocabulary for your specialist subject areas.

Hope this helps!

Interesting! I have only tried to come up with a word count for one book, and 250 is the number that I also came up with for number of words per page. (The book, by the way, was Les vacances du Petit Nicolas.)

Ooh…well I came to my words per page figure from “the Hobbit” in Russian. You would have thought that French has more short words, wouldn’t you?

Thank you all for these tips. I shall work with 250 words per page (also Spanish fluctuates widely) and also bump up the statistics more regularly. I love it when the bar moves to the right!

Well, Le Petit Nicolas is a children’s book. Maybe that kept the count down. I’ll have to try another book…O.K. I just counted words on two pages in an adult book (Ces enfants de ma vie-Gabrielle Roy) and found 350 words per page. In both books I counted words joined with apostrophes as one word. I wonder how Lingq does it…I haven’t checked.

If you love reading you will very soon go way over your LingQ reading targets whether you assume 250 or 350 words per page :wink: