Recently I’ve been going through a phase of life that has been keeping me very busy and leaving me with less time to read than usual. When I do have some spare time, I find myself leaning towards shorter books. A shorter length means I can read it in less time and also retain the story better in my mind.
So today I want to share ten books that are great for reading when you find yourself in this position. The copies I read of each of these are about 250 pages or less. I recall reading some of these in several small chunks and others in one or two dedicated reading sessions.
Ready to see the books?
Happiness is a Collage is a collection of short stories that explore a variety of themes through the lens of Indian culture, including self, love, marriage, family, and more. There are many common themes amongst these stories but each is different and distinct. This could be read all together or one story at a time depending on just how short on reading time you are.
The Giver takes place in a utopian society in which there is no poverty, sickness, or crime and everyone is happy, and follows 12-year-old Jonas who is chosen to be the community’s Receiver of Memories. As Jonas learns his new trade, he discovers how this world came to be the way it is and begins to question whether it should be. If you like this short book, there are three other books in this series, Gathering Blue, Messenger, and Son, that expand on the world in which this story takes place.
Zaria Fierce and the Secret of the Gloomwood Forest is the first book in a middle grade fantasy series that takes the title character on an adventure through magical lands in Norway with her friends. Rooted in mythology and folklore, this fascinating world is filled with trolls, elves, and many other creatures, with plenty of delightful secrets to uncover. While this is the shortest installment so far, the rest of the books aren’t particularly long either, and are loaded with fun!
We Were Liars is a young adult contemporary story about a group of friends and recalls what happened to them one fateful summer. The writing is choppy and erratic, but oddly beautiful. It takes some getting used to, but it creates an atmosphere that puts the reader in the main character’s mindset. The writing style won’t be for everyone, so you may want to preview this before committing.
In Those Who Lie, Emily wakes up in the hospital only to find out her husband had died and it’s her fault. She doesn’t recall much from the moments before the car accident that killed him, except that they had an argument, the reasons for which she has also forgotten. This plot driven psychological thriller has twists and turns all over the place and cliffhangers at the end of every chapter, making for the kind of book you can devour in one sitting.
A vivid story of loss versus hope and pain versus healing, Swimming Through Clouds follows teenage Talia who transfers to a new high school in her senior with one goal: to blend in. But popular boy Lagan notices her and tries to befriend her. Through the sweetness of their budding relationship, the reader learns the true painful story that is Talia’s life. This isn’t exactly a light book so it may lend itself to one that’s read in several short chunks instead of all at once.
Allegedly is an intense and emotional book about 16 year old Mary who allegedly killed a baby several years ago and now needs to set the story straight. Dealing with a lot of tough subjects from injustice to abuse and so much more, this is not always easy to read but it does have some important messages. I personally didn’t love the choice of ending but even with that, I think this is well worth a read.
A Wrinkle in Time is a classic science fiction/fantasy about Meg Murry, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin as they happen upon an extraordinary adventure. A story that has enough layers to work for both children and adults, this is a fun adventure story through space and time that also explores more complex themes of love and belief.
In classic dystopian Fahrenheit 451, Guy Montag is a fireman. But in his world, where television rules and literature is on the brink of extinction, firemen start fires rather than put them out. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. This short novel is full of allegory, metaphors, and themes that are still surprisingly relevant today.
The Other Girl follows Officer Miranda Rader of the Harmony, Louisiana PD. She is known for her honesty, integrity, and steady hand in a crisis—but that wasn’t always so. Miranda and her partner are called to investigate the murder of one of the town’s most beloved college professors and she finds a piece of evidence that links back to a terrible night fifteen years ago and a past that she’d buried. This crime novel is a suspenseful and intriguing page turner that you won’t want to put down.
There you have ten short books to enjoy for when you’re short on reading time! I’d love to hear from you if any of these books are on your TBR or if you’ve already read them – and if so, what did you think of them?