Reading Books
Credit: Getty Images

It’s been well-documented that we, as a collective whole of humanity, are spending a lot of time on social media.

According to one study by influencer marketing agency Mediakix, users of Facebook, Instagram and Facebook Messenger are spending 50 minutes each day, on average, across these platforms. It further calculated that users spend an average of 40 minutes each day on YouTube, 25 minutes a day on Snapchat, and one minute a day on Twitter. In total, that adds up to users spending five years and four months of their lives watching other people live theirs on social media.

Just think of all the things you could do if you decided to put your phone down.

According to Charles Chu, a contributor at Better Humans, you could read a lot, and we mean a lot, of books.

In a post shared to Quartz Chu revealed that he reads 200 books a year simply by budgeting his time well and limiting his use of social media.

Chu shared his math by stating that the average American reads 200–400 words per minute, and assumed that if you’re reading this you read 400 wpm.

Since the typical non-fiction books have around 50,000 words, Chu multiplied that by 200 (the number of books he wants you to read) to get 10 million words. He then divided that by 400 words per minute and again by 60 minutes to find that it will take 417 hours to read 200 books.

Chu then worked on the assumption that people spend 608 hours on social media and an additional 1642 hours watching television each year. This means we collectively watch TV and scroll social media for 2250 hours a year, which according to Chu could instead equate to reading more than 1,000 books in a single year.

“Here’s the simple truth behind reading a lot of books: It’s not that hard. We have all the time we need,” Chu wrote, suggesting you try and find a quiet place free of distractions to read each day. “All it takes to start reading a lot more is to take ‘empty time’ spent Twitter-stalking celebrities or watching Desperate Housewives and convert some of it to reading time.”