At 25,000 words a minute, the world’s fastest speed-reader could, in theory, read the entire Harry Potter series (all seven books!) in just 44 minutes.
That’s six minutes short of the average 50 minutes Northern customers spend on their daily commute (25 mins each way.)
And while the average read rate is a far more relaxed 250 words per minute, people who travel to work by rail could still devour 37,500 words a week during the three days most commuters now travel to their place of work – enabling them to polish off a literary classic a week.
The train operator has made the comparison ahead of Harry Potter Book Day tomorrow (Thursday 12 October) – an event organised by the publisher Bloomsbury for fans around the globe to celebrate the iconic series with events, parties and other festivities.
Mark Powles, commercial and customer director at Northern, said:
“For many people, the commute is the only time of day they truly get to themselves – and for those that let the train take the strain, they can really switch off.
“The majority of people that commute with us travel 25 minutes in each direction, that’s 50 minutes a day they could spend with their head in a good book – and if you’ve already read all the Harry Potter books, there are plenty of other classics you could enjoy on your commute.”
Ten examples of classic books they could consume in a three-day commute include:
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (23,760 words)
A Taste of Honey by Shelagh Delaney (24,000 words)
Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote (26,433 words)
The Mousetrap by Agatha Christie (27,000 words)
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (28,668 words)
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (28,944 words)
Animal Farm by George Orwell (29,966 words)
Of Mice & Men by John Steinbeck (30,000 words)
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (32,149 words)
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (36,000 words)
“Literary enlightenment aside, people that take the train to work also save an average of 48 minutes per day compared to making the same journey by car.
“Everyone can compare the cost, travel time and CO₂e impact of their journey against the equivalent trip by road on the Savings Calculator on our website.”
Northern is the second largest train operator in the UK, with 2,500 services a day to more than 500 stations across the North of England.