If there's one skill everyone can benefit from, it's being able to read productively — to glean lots of text-based information in a speedy manner. Believe it or not, you can easily maximize your reading productivity — even if speed reading is a myth — by using the right tools and strategies.
Take Readism, for example. This handy Chrome extension tells you how long it will take the average person to read articles and books on the web. Once you've installed it, a simple click of the mouse reveals a time estimate in the lower right corner of the page you're browsing. Ta-Nehisi Coates' "The Case for Reparations" is an 88-minute read, according to the extension.
You can also use the Readism website to see how long it will take you to read the books on your TBR. When you set up your profile, you'll be given a few paragraphs to read, followed by a short reading comprehension quiz. At the time of this writing, the Chrome extension doesn't connect with your Readism profile, so Internet article estimates will still reflect the average reader's pace.
To stay in the know and be a part of the conversation, you've got to read the books everyone is talking about. I've listed Readism's reading times for 10 popular books below to help you keep up with your book club.
1. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen will take 11 hours and 31 minutes to read.
This bestselling debut novel about political turmoil in South Vietnam and the U.S. won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
2. Voyage of the Sable Venus and Other Poems by Robin Coste Lewis will take 4 hours and 48 minutes to read.
Robin Coste Lewis won the 2015 National Book Award for Poetry with this poetry collection, in which the title poem charts representations of black women in art through the ages.
3. The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney will take 11 hours and 2 minutes to read.
This much-talked-about debut earned author Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney a seven-figure advance, so, you know, it's probably worth the reading time.
4. Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth by Warsan Shire will take 1 hour and 1 minute to read.
Ever since Beyoncé dropped Lemonade, Warsan Shire is the only poet anyone can talk about. Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth is her first chapbook.
5. In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez will take 10 hours and 10 minutes to read.
This pick for The Big Read centers on four Dominican sisters who plan to overthrow El Jefe.
6. The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie will take 9 hours and 7 minutes to read.
You might have heard your friends talking about this squirrel-emblazoned book, a romantic comedy with a quirk-filled cast in the vein of The Rosie Project.
7. The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson will take 5 hours and 46 minutes to read.
The May 2016 pick for Emma Watson's book club, The Argonauts, is Maggie Nelson's memoir about life with her gender-fluid artist lover, Harry Dodge.
8. Heartless by Marissa Meyer will take 12 hours and 29 minutes to read.
Marissa Meyer takes on Alice in Wonderland in her newest novel, Heartless, which tells the story of the Queen of Hearts, before she went a bit mad.
9. The Vegetarian by Han Kang will take 5 hours and 46 minutes to read.
This chilling novel about a woman who gives up meat to stave off bad dreams was called "f-blanking weird and kind of amazing" by Book Riot's Andi Miller.
10. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas will take 11 hours and 31 minutes to read.
This highly anticipated continuation of Sarah J. Maas' Throne of Glass series hits stores in September 2016, so be sure you carve out the hours you'll need to read it.
Image: Jazmin Quaynor/Unsplash