I am an avid reader. If there’s one thing I can do all day, every single day, it is devour books one after another. Sadly, these days, I neither have the time nor energy to enjoy my favorite hobby. If you’re like me who simply can’t afford to read long novels anymore, or if you are someone who have shorter attention span, or if you are just starting to discover this pastime, the best way to go is to pick up shorter books that you can finish in a day or two.
Forget about Ulysses or Les Miserables. We will get to that sooner or later. Here are some great books that you can start with.
Book snobs would roll their eyes if they knew you’d never read any of the popular classic fiction. It’s about time that you change that. Contrary to popular belief, not all classic literature are unreadable. If you were to read only one of the best classics, pick The Great Gatsby. To me, it’s indeed one of the best, and I agree with all the reasons on this Buzzfeed article. Another great, short novel of all time is 1984. This is probably the most popular dystopian novel, and you will be surprised how something that was written almost seven decades ago can still be relatable in today’s political atmosphere.
If you want books that entertain you the way chick flicks do, go to the Young Adult section. Most of the YA books that I’ve come across are short enough to finish in one sitting. Just like Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist which is as good as the movie. Aside from it having just the right amount of cheesiness, the music is also remarkable. If you want to explore this genre yet you are never a fan of the usual meet-cute scenes, maybe Looking for Alaska is your cup of tea. For a YA, it is just as entertaining but with a little hint of darkness.
I love non-fiction books that have a central theme. One of my most-loved is Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck & Other Stories. The book is composed of short stories about being a woman – the good and the bad. The stories are hilarious that you will be prompted to turn the pages even on a bus ride or while waiting in lines. Another short but sweet book that I would strongly recommend is How to Be a Feminist. This is originally a TED talk given by Americanah author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Okay, self-help sounds shady, and to be honest, after finishing other self-help books, I feel like I wasted so much time. But two of my favorite self-help or self-improvement (as I like to call them) books are Thrive and Bad Magic. If you are feeling a bit down and needing a bit of a nudge to get back on track, read Thrive. If you are undertaking an important and creative personal project, grab Big Magic and be inspired bigtime. It’s as inspiring as her more famous book, Eat, Pray; it’s saying a lot.
Picking up a book and enjoying it genuinely takes so much effort and self-restraint (from checking Facebook or Instagram). No one has time for bulky books. Luckily, there are still tons of books that you can read and immensely enjoy even within a short amount of time.