Let’s face it, we’re all busy people. Some of us, though we would LOVE to, just don’t have the time to dive into huge novels like A Game of Thrones or the Harry Potter series…but that doesn’t mean you have to shy away from reading entirely!
Even the busiest people have a little time here and there to spare…and in those moments, if you want to get lost in a book, there are stories you can read that will take little to no time to finish…and I’m not just talking about children’s books.
These are books with substance…books with a plot and moving storylines. They may be short, but their messages pack a punch; and honestly, having read them all, a good chunk of these are on my list of books that have changed my life.
It’s a new year, people…you CAN make an effort to read more and you CAN make time in your schedule to get lost in literature…starting with this list of short and powerful quick-read books.
*Quick disclaimer…I know everyone reads at different speeds, so some may finish a book on this list quicker than someone else. Personally, as someone with an average reading speed, I was able to finish all of these books in one sitting, so let’s say 2 to 4 hours, depending on how dedicated you are! 😉
16 Books You Can Read in 2 Hours or Less
The Little Prince
The story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behavior and emotions along the way.
A Monster Calls
A monster teaches a little boy about love, acceptance, and the things we can’t control or change. This is a tear-jerker for sure. Do yourself a favor and read the book before seeing the movie that just hit theaters.
Letters to a Young Poet
A young poet writes to Rainer Maria Rilke asking his advice on some poems. The ten letters that make up this collection are brilliantly crafted and contain some of the most beautiful prose I’ve read in a long time.
A candid and horrific account of his survival in the Nazi concentration camps, Elie Wiesel’s Night is a masterpiece in Holocaust literature.
The Old Man and the Sea
A story of an old Cuban fisherman and his struggle with the giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream. A powerful book about personal triumph and courage.
Of Mice and Men
A story about friendship, jealousy, and understanding, Of Mice and Men is a compelling story of two outsider striving to find their place in an unforgiving and cruel world.
Big Fish is the story of a man’s life, told as a series of legends and myths. Through these hilarious and tender tales, we begin to understand the great feats and failings of a man facing his own death.
This book is exactly what it says, nine short stories written by J.D. Salinger. These stories will stick with you and remind you what an amazing writer Salinger was in his day.
The Phantom Tollbooth
When a mysterious tollbooth shows up in Milo’s room, he embarks on a series of adventures that teach him just how exciting and amazing life really is.
Lady into Fox
When newlywed Sylvia Tebrick suddenly turns into a fox, it’s up to her human husband Richard to protect her from the dangers of the outside world. This is a little gem of a book with a sweet message about love and acceptance.
Love Letters of Great Men
Inspired by Sex in the City, Love Letters of Great Men contains just that. Read some of history’s most romantic letters from Beethoven, Mark Twain, Charles Darwin and much more.
This little gem of a book holds more than 70 30-second ghost stories written by some of the biggest names in literature today, including Lemony Snicket, Margaret Atwood, Michael Connelly, Gregory Maguire, Joyce Carol Oates, James Patterson, R.L. Stine, and many more.
Bill Bryson’s African Diary
Fans of Bill Bryson are sure to enjoy this little easy read. This diary recounts Bryson’s trip to Africa at the invitation of CARE International. In his own wry style, he comments on some of Africa’s greatest attractions and the struggles plaguing the country to this day.
A collection of poetic essays that are philosophical, spiritual, and inspirational, this book covers such topics as love, marriage, children, work, friendship, beauty, religion, death and much more. Though it’s technically a short read, you might want to take your time with this one…there’s a lot to take in.
The Last Lecture
This is an account of Professor Randy Pausch’s last lecture at Carnegie Mellon University before leaving to take care of his health. A brilliant education on achieving your childhood dreams, The Last Lecture is both inspiring and brilliantly sad.
This is a love story for the ages! Evocative and deeply humane, The Alchemist is a testament to the power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.
Looking for a new book to read? Check in every Friday for a “Bee Happy” post, where I share reviews of books I’ve read or other book-themed lists.