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10 Incredible Books You Can Read in a Day

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This guide will provide a list of wonderful books that are short enough to be easily read in a single day.

This guide will provide a list of wonderful books that are short enough to be easily read in a single day.

Best Books You Can Finish in 1 Day

Do you want to read but don’t have the time or patience to sit down and read a 1,000-page novel? If you have a busy life, then sitting down to read a book might seem difficult. Sometimes we just don’t want to pick up a long book and want something quick, yet entertaining to read.

In this article, I am listing 10 incredible books that you can read in a day. They are worth reading not just because they are short, but also because of their quality and impact. These books have been highly popular and influential since their publication. If you don’t have too much time to commit, here are some of the best books that you can read in a day.

1. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline is a children’s novella that is equally enjoyed by adults, and it has some important life lessons for both. Coraline is an intelligent and inquisitive little girl who wishes her parents paid her more attention. She has recently moved into a new home and, one afternoon while she was bored, she sets off to explore the home.

So begins an adventure in which Coraline unlocks a door, goes down a secret passage, and finds herself in an alternate world that is strangely familiar, and scarily unfamiliar. She must conquer fears, discover the truth, and solve problems to find and rescue her parents, herself, and others. The story is creepy, yet sweet and entertaining.


2. Animal Farm by George Orwell

George Orwell’s allegorical novella about the Russian Revolution and the Stalinism that came after is worth a read, especially in comparison to today’s society. The story is about the animals on a farm who rebel against their human farmer to create their own unique and more just society, which goes terribly wrong.

The novella metaphorically tells the story of Stalin’s rise to power and the Soviet Union’s gradual shift towards fear and dictatorship. It uses animals as the primary vehicle for its message. Animal Farm was written in 1945, but it will always be relevant as an allegory to our times. If you’re looking for a quick, thought-provoking read, this little book is for you.

3. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

Set against gleaming Manhattan skyscrapers and the Tiffany & Co. storefront, the novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s follows a young and naive narrator as he befriends a wealthy and engaging New York socialite, Holly Golightly.

Holly Golightly has left small-town Texas and is charming her way into the swankiest parties in town. The novella is best known as the inspiration for the iconic Audrey Hepburn film of the same name. This classic was written in 1958, and it remains one of the best novellas to date. If you haven’t read Breakfast at Tiffany’s, it’s time.

4. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

The Metamorphosis is not only one of the best novellas, it’s one of the best books ever written. The novella tells the story of a travelling salesman, Gregor Samsa, who one day wakes up to find himself transformed into a huge insect. The story follows his efforts to deal with this sudden change and his family’s reaction to the change.

But it’s not just a story about a man turning into an insect. It’s a tragic story about how a family deals with the main breadwinner becoming unable to work and eventually being regarded as a burden. On a wider scope, it is a commentary on the way society reacts to someone who is disabled or terminally ill. The Metamorphosis is a must-read for anyone who enjoys literature, and most definitely for anyone who enjoys literature on the shorter side.

Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.

— Ernest Hemingway, "The Old Man and the Sea"

5. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway published many classic novels, but none as taut, lean, and impactful as The Old Man and the Sea, the 1952 text for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. The Nobel Committee also cited it as contributing to its awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954.

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This classic novel about one man vs. the world is brief and emotive. The story follows an old, experienced fisherman, Santiago, who is going through bad luck, as he hasn’t caught a fish in 84 days. On the 85th day of his unlucky streak, Santiago ventures far into the sea and battles an epic marlin and some seedy sharks with their eyes on his catch.

It is said that The Old Man and the Sea was inspired by Hemingway’s time in Cuba, where he spent a good chunk of his life.

This 120-page novella offers glimpses of Hemingway's greatness. The story is full of imagery and imparts the wisdom of a rich life. This short novel is fierce, full of vibrant energy and determination, and a testament to the victory of willpower over despair.

6. Love Story by Erich Segal

Love Story is the tale of two college students whose love enables them to overcome the adversities they encounter in life. The story is quite simple: A rich boy, Oliver Barrett IV, falls in love with a poor girl, Jennifer Cavilleri. The poor girl opens the eyes of the rich boy to the nuances and beauty of life. But instead of happily ever after, there's a sad ending.

Now it may seem like a usual love story, but it is the emotions in the book which make it worth reading. The story is beautiful, funny, emotional, a bit sad, and tragic. Be prepared to have your heart broken as Segal takes you on a journey of love and how it impacts lives, and how, no matter how short-lived, its memory lives on forever.

7. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie is the queen of mystery novels. Most of her novels are on the short side, and they all deserve a read. But the one I am including in this list is her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, which also introduces the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. Poirot solves the murder, Christie begins her legendary writing career, and the mystery genre is never the same again.

When wealthy heiress Emily Inglethorp is murdered, Poirot steps out of retirement to find the killer. Suspects are many, including the victim’s much younger husband, her two resentful stepsons, her longtime hired companion, a young family friend working as a nurse, and a London specialist on poisons who just happens to be visiting the nearby village.

This book has every ingredient of a successful murder mystery. There are intriguing characters, a page-turning plot, and plenty of clues and twists which will keep you guessing right until the very end.


8. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the first book in the highly popular comic science fiction series by British writer Douglas Adams. The novel follows the misadventures of an ordinary Englishman, Arthur Dent, who is unfortunately the last surviving man following the demolition of Earth by a Vogon constructor fleet to make way for a hyperspace bypass.

Arthur is rescued by Ford Prefect, a human-like alien who is writing the electronic travel guide The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Arthur and Ford hitchhike onto a passing Vogon spacecraft and what follows is a complete laughter and fun riot.

And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.

— Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "The Little Prince"

9. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language and one of the most re-readable books of all time. It is a children’s book but appeals to audiences of all ages. The narrator is a downed pilot in the Sahara Desert, frantically trying to repair his wrecked plane. His efforts are complicated by a little prince, who asks him to draw a sheep. And so begins their conversation, which stretches the narrator’s imagination in all sorts of surprising, childlike directions.

This book is so profound that every time you read it, it will mean something different and you will infer a new insight. The book celebrates the sweet innocence of childhood. There's a mundaneness about being an adult that this book beautifully pinpoints. A must-read.

10. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse

Siddhartha is about one man's search for enlightenment. First written in German and then translated to English, the book narrates the life story of a man named Siddhartha who existed at the same time as Gautam Buddha. This is a narrative of how he looks for enlightenment and knowledge, and finds it in every single aspect of his life.

Though it’s a classic and has spirituality as its central theme, it’s a breezy read. I highly recommend this book to those interested in Eastern philosophy and Buddhism and those who are looking to understand life’s deeper questions.

© 2020 Shaloo Walia


Shaloo Walia (author) from India on November 15, 2020:


Shaloo Walia (author) from India on November 15, 2020:

Thank you.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on November 15, 2020:

Thanks :)

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on November 15, 2020:

Thanks :)

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on November 15, 2020:

These books are quite short...So I guess, you will be able to make it.

Shaloo Walia (author) from India on November 15, 2020:

I am sure you would love Coraline and Animal farm.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on November 03, 2020:

These books are some of my favourites. I do read them again when I can't find something interesting.

Lynne Samuel from Malaysia on November 02, 2020:

Agatha Christie and Earnest Hemingway, two favorites, I read several of their works. Thank you for this list, I always could use books recommendation.

Ann Carr from SW England on November 02, 2020:

A concise and useful list. I've read several of them. Your enthusiasm is catching!


manatita44 from london on November 02, 2020:

Siddhartha is one of those I remember here, but you have done an excellent job in bringing them alive. Kudos to you, Shaloo. I know of practically all of them. Om Shanti!

Kalpana Iyer from India on November 02, 2020:

Thank you for sharing the list! I will look into buying a few of them. I am not a fast reader mostly because if I like a line, I would slow down and keep reading it. So you can imagine, I have never completed a book in a day :) I am willing to take it up as a challenge though.

BRENDA ARLEDGE from Washington Court House on November 02, 2020:

This article is very interesting and reading books in a day is just my style.

The animal farm sounds really cute. I believe I would enjoy it.


I need books I can read in a day. I tend to use my kindle app on my smartphone right now.

Thanks for the share.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on November 02, 2020:

I've actually read six of these. Siddhartha will always be one of my favorite books. Thanks for the suggestions. I think I'll try the four I haven't read yet.

Lorna Lamon on November 02, 2020:

I've just finished reading 'The Little Prince' and every time I read it I always find something new to ponder. A great list Shaloo - some real classics. Thank you for sharing.

Lora Hollings on November 02, 2020:

I read all of these books except for two on this list, Shaloo. I'm determined to read those two after reading your wonderful summaries of these books. I certainly agree with the books that you've chosen here as books that you can read in a day and are very powerful in their meanings. I love The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Animal Farm with it's thought provoking message, and The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka. A great selection!

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