Reading is an essential pastime. It helps you escape into wondrous worlds of fiction or teaches you something new about a subject you might be passionate about.
But when reading loses its luster, what are you supposed to do?
Sometimes, it’s challenging to find a break to sit down and read. Other times, you may be unable to concentrate on a book or fully comprehend the words on a page.
With an increasing number of women struggling with ADHD, it’s also likely that they are discovering new diagnoses that could explain why books seem to be much harder to focus on nowadays. If a short book is interesting enough, you may be able to knock it out in a single sitting.
Here are five short books that will help reignite that fire you used to have for reading. Try them out — you might just be inspired to pick up the habit again.
1. Assembly by Natasha Brown
Natasha Brown’s debut novel Assembly will have you on the edge of your seat, cheering on the protagonist as she fights through a difficult diagnosis and grapples with the ups and downs of life.
The book is undeniably a critique of privilege and race through the ideas of a Black British woman who strives to find her purpose and the meaning of all she’s done.
Reflecting on what matters most is a great way to discover your life’s purpose, and this book is an excellent example of living for yourself and feeling free. At only 112 pages, you’re sure to breeze through this read.
Purchase a copy of Assembly here.
2. We All Want Impossible Things by Catherine Newman
One way to rekindle your love for humanity is to read this book. A fictional narrative, We All Want Impossible Things details what happens when one half of a best friend duo is diagnosed with terminal cancer and how life changes to show you the joy in the littlest things.
Though the subject material is bittersweet, this 224-page novel can challenge you to look for the silver lining on every cloud and show how much your loved ones mean to you. You may even see yourself in Ash, who changes routines to care for Edi.
What’s more impressive is that this book is Catherine Newman’s debut novel — and it’s not one you’ll want to miss.
Purchase a copy of We All Want Impossible Things here.
3. Disconnected: How to Stay Human in an Online World by Emma Gannon
Have you felt off lately? It could be because the world is so reliant on technology and online spaces that you haven’t had much contact with reality.
In Disconnected: How to Stay Human in an Online World, Gannon challenges you to reconnect with real life and put down your screens.
In this 128-page book, you’ll quickly find tips to disconnect from technology and get back to the roots of your humanity. Do something outdoors or spend time with loved ones to remind yourself of who you are. Then, you can take this book with you on your travels. Every adventure will emphasise your humanity and how best to spend your time in this world.
Purchase a copy of Disconnected: How to Stay Human in an Online World here.
4. To Make Monsters Out of Girls by Amanda Lovelace
If reading prose isn’t your thing, this poetry collection might be more compelling.
To Make Monsters Out of Girls is a collection that won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Poetry in 2016 and details what it’s like to live after an abusive relationship. Its vivid language paints uncomfortable and hopeful images — and you might want to get the second book in the series as soon as you finish this one.
This inspiring book can show there’s a future for you, even if you feel like you’ve been branded a ‘monster’ by the person you loved most.
Poetry might be the genre to kick you back into reading and at 168 pages, this book might be just the one to get you started.
Purchase a copy of To Make Monsters Out of Girls here.
5. Heartburn by Nora Ephron
Heartburn is a bittersweet autobiographical novel that seems like it might be serious at first, with the story revolving around a pregnant woman finding out about her husband’s other lover. However, it’s full of humour and fun recipes.
If you want something to entertain you and remind you of the humanity in every situation, Ephron’s book will help you learn to laugh along with your misfortune. Humour helps adults ease stress and improves their mental states in difficult situations. This book is the perfect reminder to laugh your way through life and not take yourself too seriously.
At 192 pages, it’s sure to be a page turner you can flick through with ease.
Purchase a copy of Heartburn here.
Find a book that speaks to you
It’s important to choose an achievable goal when trying to start a new habit.
Reading a 1000-page novel might seem like a good idea, but you won’t feel encouraged to finish it if you aren’t used to reading or if you find yourself in a reading rut.
These shorter books can help you build up to the desired result while inspiring you to think differently or make changes in your life.
Start small with an achievable goal and you’ll motivate yourself to go beyond 300 pages with your next book.
Next time you want a short read, look for novellas that will encourage you to finish the book and put you a step closer to your reading goal.