Skip to content

How to add an estimated reading time in AstroPaper

Posted on:July 21, 2023 at 10:11 AM

As the Astro docs say, we can use remark plugin to add a reading time property in our frontmatter. However, for some reason, we can’t add this feature by following what stated in Astro docs. Therefore, to achieve this, we have to tweak a little bit. This post will demonstrate how we can do that.

Table of contents

Open Table of contents

Add reading time in PostDetails

Step (1) Install required dependencies.

npm install reading-time mdast-util-to-string

Step (2) Create remark-reading-time.mjs file under utils directory

import getReadingTime from "reading-time";
import { toString } from "mdast-util-to-string";

export function remarkReadingTime() {
  return function (tree, { data }) {
    const textOnPage = toString(tree);
    const readingTime = getReadingTime(textOnPage);
    data.astro.frontmatter.readingTime = readingTime.text;

Step (3) Add the plugin to astro.config.mjs

import { remarkReadingTime } from "./src/utils/remark-reading-time.mjs"; // make sure your relative path is correct

export default defineConfig({
  integrations: [
    // other integrations
  markdown: {
    remarkPlugins: [
      remarkReadingTime, // 👈🏻 our plugin
          test: "Table of contents",
    // other config
  // other config

Step (4) Add readingTime to blog schema (src/content/_schemas.ts)

import { z } from "astro:content";

export const blogSchema = z
    author: z.string().optional(),
    title: z.string(),
    postSlug: z.string().optional(),
    featured: z.boolean().optional(),
    draft: z.boolean().optional(),
    tags: z.array(z.string()).default(["others"]),
    ogImage: z.string().optional(),
    description: z.string(),
    canonicalURL: z.string().optional(),
    readingTime: z.string().optional(), // 👈🏻 readingTime frontmatter

export type BlogFrontmatter = z.infer<typeof blogSchema>;

Step (5) Create a new file called getPostsWithRT.ts under src/utils directory.

import type { BlogFrontmatter } from "@content/_schemas";
import type { MarkdownInstance } from "astro";
import slugify from "./slugify";
import type { CollectionEntry } from "astro:content";

export const getReadingTime = async () => {
  // Get all posts using glob. This is to get the updated frontmatter
  const globPosts = import.meta.glob<MarkdownInstance<BlogFrontmatter>>(

  // Then, set those frontmatter value in a JS Map with key value pair
  const mapFrontmatter = new Map();
  const globPostsValues = Object.values(globPosts);
  await Promise.all( globPost => {
      const { frontmatter } = await globPost();
      mapFrontmatter.set(slugify(frontmatter), frontmatter.readingTime);

  return mapFrontmatter;

const getPostsWithRT = async (posts: CollectionEntry<"blog">[]) => {
  const mapFrontmatter = await getReadingTime();
  return => { = mapFrontmatter.get(slugify(;
    return post;

export default getPostsWithRT;

Step (6) Refactor getStaticPaths of /src/pages/posts/[slug].astro as the following

// other imports
import getPostsWithRT from "@utils/getPostsWithRT";

export interface Props {
  post: CollectionEntry<"blog">;

export async function getStaticPaths() {
  const posts = await getCollection("blog", ({ data }) => !data.draft);

  const postsWithRT = await getPostsWithRT(posts); // replace reading time logic with this func

  const postResult = => ({ // make sure to replace posts with postsWithRT
    params: { slug: slugify( },
    props: { post },

// other codes

Step (7) Refactor PostDetails.astro like this. Now you can access and display readingTime in PostDetails.astro

// imports

export interface Props {
  post: CollectionEntry<"blog">;

const { post } = Astro.props;

const { title, author, description, ogImage, pubDatetime, tags, readingTime } =; // we can now directly access readingTime from frontmatter

// other codes

Access reading time outside of PostDetails (optional)

By following the previous steps, you can now access readingTime frontmatter property in you post details page. Sometimes, this is exactly what you want. If so, you can skip to the next section. However, if you want to display “estimated reading time” in index, posts, and technically everywhere, you need to do the following extra steps.

Step (1) Update utils/getSortedPosts.ts as the following

import type { CollectionEntry } from "astro:content";
import getPostsWithRT from "./getPostsWithRT";

const getSortedPosts = async (posts: CollectionEntry<"blog">[]) => {
  // make sure that this func is async
  const postsWithRT = await getPostsWithRT(posts); // add reading time
  return postsWithRT
    .filter(({ data }) => !data.draft)
      (a, b) =>
        Math.floor(new Date( / 1000) -
        Math.floor(new Date( / 1000)

export default getSortedPosts;

Step (2) Make sure to refactor every file which uses getSortedPosts function. You can simply add await keyword in front of getSortedPosts function.

Files that use getSortedPosts function are as follow

All you have to do is like this

const sortedPosts = getSortedPosts(posts); // old code ❌
const sortedPosts = await getSortedPosts(posts); // new code ✅

Now you can access readingTime in other places besides PostDetails

Displaying reading time (optional)

Since you can now access readingTime in your post details (or everywhere if you do the above section), it’s up to you to display readingTime wherever you want.

But in this section, I’m gonna show you how I would display readingTime in my components. This is optional. You can ignore this section if you want.

Step (1) Update Datetime component to display readingTime

import { LOCALE } from "@config";

export interface Props {
  datetime: string | Date;
  size?: "sm" | "lg";
  className?: string;
  readingTime?: string; // new type

export default function Datetime({
  size = "sm",
  readingTime, // new prop
}: Props) {
  return (
    // other codes
    <span className={`italic ${size === "sm" ? "text-sm" : "text-base"}`}>
      <FormattedDatetime datetime={datetime} />
      <span> ({readingTime})</span> {/* display reading time */}
    // other codes

Step (2) Then, pass readingTime props from its parent component.

file: Card.tsx

export default function Card({ href, frontmatter, secHeading = true }: Props) {
  const { title, pubDatetime, description, readingTime } = frontmatter;
  return (
    <Datetime datetime={pubDatetime} readingTime={readingTime} />

file: PostDetails.tsx

// Other Codes
<main id="main-content">
  <h1 class="post-title">{title}</h1>
  {/* Other Codes */}
// Other Codes


By following the provided steps and tweaks, you can now incorporate this useful feature into your content. I hope this post helps you adding readingTime in your blog. AstroPaper might include reading time by default in future releases. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Kyay Zuu for Reading 🙏🏻