17+ Short Books You Can Read In One Day

…even if you’re reading this at any other time of the year when you just managed to scrape out a whole day (or two) to read, then it wouldn’t hurt to keep this list in mind…

Girl surrounded by books and reading

Happy National Book Lovers’ Day might have come and gone, but isn’t everyday National Book Lovers’ Day?

With that in mind, here is a list of 17 books (and then some), each of which, depending on your reading speed, you can whip through all in one day!


1. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury


Fahrenheit 451 book cover

Image Via Image via Amazon


Interesting how this list is alphabetical by title, and this book – one about burning books – happens to be the first one to pop up! However, the main character does devote his life to preserving all the lit from being burned.

So, if you want to read about true bravery (i.e., bravery in the name of literature), then this may be the best pick on the list for you!




2. The Giver – Lois Lowry


The Giver book cover

Image Via Amazon


This one is what you would read in case you have a flair for modern-classic dystopia and need to add some color to a dreary world…


3. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald


The Great Gatsby book cover

Image Via Amazon


This “Roaring 20s” classic would be a perfect reminder of how far someone would go for their love, only be careful about who is worthy of that devotion…


4. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy book cover

Image Via Amazon


This would be perfect for going on an intergalactic journey that is both humorous and ultimately meaningless…


5. The House on Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros


The House on Mango Street book cover

Image Via Amazon


The vignettes that compose this literary work are so short, you would be able to get it all done in as little as a few hours!


6. If I Stay or Where She Went – Gayle Forman


If I Stay + Where She Went book pack

Image Via Amazon


Either book of this semi-supernatural duology about love, loss, and second chances would be ideal to devote to a single day, considering that each one takes place roughly within a single day!


7. Lord of the Flies – William Golding


Lord of the Flies book cover

Image Via Amazon


This one is for in case you need a refresher on how not to run a democracy…


8. The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka


The Metamorphosis book cover

Image Via Amazon


This surreal work is for in case you wind up in the bizarre situation of being turned into a bug…



9. Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf


Mrs. Dalloway book cover

Image Via Amazon


This modernist classic takes place within one day and follows not just the titular Mrs. Dalloway but also the people around her in post-WWI England as she preps for a party and, much like us, questions all of the life choices she made up to that point…


10. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck


Of Mice and Men book cover

Image Via Amazon


Like Steinbeck’s extremely short novel The Pearl , this classic you had to read in school is easy to whip through… just be warned about the ending.


11. The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton


The Outsiders book cover

Image Via Amazon


If you want to read the novel that jump-started the YA genre that makes you want to read Gone with the Wind and to “Stay Gold,” then this book is for you!


12. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky


The Perks of Being a Wallflower book cover

Image Via Amazon


This epistolary novel – addressed to practically no one – is for you if you ever felt like a misfit but still managed to get by with a group of friends that made you feel seen for who you are…


13. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde


The Picture of Dorian Gray book cover

Image Via Amazon


This Wilde, as well as indeed wild, classic serves as a warning to not sell your soul – or make any deal with the devil, for that matter – unless you want your portrait to record your every sin…



14. Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut


Slaughterhouse-Five book cover

Image Via Amazon


This one may be a bit long at first glance, but given the very bizarre subject matter – yes, more bizarre than The Metamorphosis – then you’ll get through it no problem. Who could argue against a “lit sci-fi” novel containing aliens, WWII, and time travel?!


15. Speak – Laurie Halse Anderson


Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson book cover

Image Via Amazon


This one is perfect if want to remind yourself of the times when art (or any other outlet) helped you express yourself as well as gave you a voice and the courage to speak out…


16. The Sun Is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon


The Sun Is Also a Star book cover

Image Via Amazon


Just like If I Stay and Mrs. Dalloway, this one also spans over a day, with the exception of the last couple chapters which span over ten years, and will make you believe in the power of love and fate – as well as dark matter!!


17. Any Roald Dahl Book!


Roald Dahl and his novel characters

Image Via Metro


If you want to get back in touch with your inner child, then go for Roald Dahl!

Also, if you have a flair for short books to read on a regular basis, no matter the genre, then you could never go wrong with any installment in Henry Winkler’s middle-grade Hank Zipzer series, or any Teen Fiction book by Susane Colasanti!



Featured Image via Unsplash