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28 Best Books to Start Reading Habit

Best Books to Start Reading Habit

Reading is THE best habit you can pick up, and I am totally (definitely) not biased about that (at all). Now, I may be a lifelong reader, but I definitely think reading is right up there as one of the best habits you can develop, if there’s ever a list of best habits.  

Starting a reading habit can be intimidating though, especially if you’re new to it or haven’t read in a while. But trust me, there’s definitely a book out there that can completely capture your heart and once you find that book, you would have become a reader without even knowing it. 

So for anyone looking to get into reading (or get back into reading) I’ve handpicked a list of 28 easy-to-read books from a variety of genres I thought were perfect for you to fall in love with reading. 

I’ve also noted down the tropes to show you the different themes and plotlines in the book and the content warnings will guide you through any sensitive content that you might want to avoid. Now, let me take you on a journey to fascinating worlds full of adorable characters and heart-pounding stories that can (hopefully🤞) kickstart your reading habit!

How I rated these books

I’m a mood reader so whatever I felt at the end of the book makes it into my rating. I took a few more things into account when compiling this list:

  • Whether the books are fast-paced
  • Whether the language is easy to read and follow
  • The intensity of emotion and action in the book
  • What other readers say about the book

Best Books to Start Reading Habit List

Best Books to Start Reading Habit Reviews

I challenge myself to switch up genres often when it comes to books because different genres have just so much to offer. For example, romcoms give you all the warm feels and thrillers get you tangled in threatening secrets and sinister forces, all the while memoirs give you a peek into someone else’s life. So I’ve included a few genres I always enjoy in my list of best books to start a reading habit, and I hope you’ll find something to love about them too. 

Best Fantasy Books about Myths, Legends, and Magical Worlds

Fantasy books can transport you into magical worlds and enchanting places where magic happens and legends come true. I love this genre because I fell in love with reading because of these books (plus Famous Five books!) and I’m sure you’ll find a book that can charm you and make you want to read more. 

1. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

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Synopsis:

After earning a placement at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry Potter’s life changes completely when he realizes that he harbors a special history and powers, even for a wizard.

If you haven’t read this one yet, you’ve probably watched it and might’ve even heard people say “the book’s better”. Now, this is a little subjective, but I can’t deny that it’s definitely what I think too. 

The first book in the Harry Potter series can instantly transport you into the magic of childhood while getting you seriously attached to most of the characters in the book. This is THE book series that got me hooked on reading and like most fans of the series, I pretty much grew up with Harry Potter, so of course I’d recommend it to anyone who’d want to start reading. It’s a must-read for all those who want to be captured by a whirlwind of magical fantasy and feel-good friendships, alongside fast-paced adventure and mystery.

  • Best for: Fans of easy-to-read fantasies, fans of magical worldbuilding 
  • Not for: Readers who are looking for a complex fantasy 

2. The Song of Achilles

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Synopsis:

Achilles and Patroclus form an unbreakable bond against the gods’ wrath. They practice meticulously in warfare and medicine, but when Helen of Sparta is kidnapped and all the Greek heroes are summoned to lay siege to Troy, fate has dangerous plans in store.

The Song of Achilles is full of drama and zero dull moments with amazing characters and beautiful writing that you can’t help but keep reading. I knew it would become one of my all-time favorites as soon as I read the first chapter, and sure enough, it’s still my top pick for Greek mythology retellings after so many years. 

The rest of the action-packed story flowed super fast, making it an easy read for beginners, while the steamy romance between Achilles and Patroclus gave a young adult (YA) spin to the classic tale. So if you think you’re someone who’ll enjoy epic retellings of myths and legends, this book is a fantastic read and will NOT let you down!

  • Best for: Fans of easy-to-read fantasies, fans of Greek mythology  
  • Not for: Readers who are looking for a complex fantasy

3. Six of Crows

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Synopsis:

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is hired to rescue Bo Yul-Bayur, the scientist who invented Juda Parem – an addictive drug with special powers. But it doesn’t take Kaz long to realize that many are on the hunt for the missing scientist.

When I decided to read Six of Crows, I was not prepared for the mind-blowing adventure, twists and turns, and serious world-building that followed. It’s about six misfits who try to pull off an intense heist in the face of ruthless scheming and betrayal, so if you’re looking for that perfect combination of fantasy and action-packed drama along with tight-knit found-family vibes, this is an awesome choice for you.

  • Best for: Fans of easy-to-read fantasies
  • Not for: Readers who are uncomfortable with mature themes such as trafficking and violence

4. The Five People You Meet In Heaven

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Synopsis:

Eddie, who’s lived an uninspired life, dies on his 83rd birthday trying to save a little girl. Although he assumes his meaningless life is finally over, he meets someone in the afterlife trying to convince him that his life (and death) was not in vain.

I read this book tearing up at every other chapter, but I finished it smiling and content because it was an incredibly beautiful and moving read about the impact our words and actions can make on other people’s lives. Eddie’s story is definitely one you could start your reading journey with because it’s short and fast-paced without being rushed. It’ll also open your eyes to the beauty of books because you will be left in thought about the meaning of life and death, so if you want a thoughtful first read to kickstart your reading habit, this is the book to pick up. 

  • Best for: Fans of emotionally-charged, thought-provoking stories with a touch of fantasy
  • Not for: Readers who are uncomfortable with depictions of death and the afterlife

5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

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Synopsis:

A chance to visit the eccentric Mr. Willy Wonka’s magical chocolate factory is a distant dream for Charlie Bucket but when he wins a Golden Ticket to enter the factory, it’s everything he’s dreamt of and nothing like he’s ever imagined.

I cannot count the number of times I’ve read the story of Charlie and Mr. Wonka, and I think that in itself is a testament to the timelessness of this book. It lures you in, has you wanting more of Mr. Wonka’s crazy shenanigans, and keeps you dreaming of a magical world filled with warm chocolate and fun adventure. This is one perfect book to start your reading journey because the magic stays alive until the very end – and long after you’ve said goodbye to Charlie and Mr. Wonka.

  • Best for: Fans of magical worlds
  • Not for: Readers who are looking for a mature fantasy 

6. The Raven Boys

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Synopsis:

Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die – a warning that becomes even more complicated when she sees the spirit of Gansey (a rich Raven boy) as it could only mean that he’s either her true love or she kills him. As her life becomes mixed up in the strange world of the Raven Boys, she’s left questioning everything she has believed in.

Now, let me introduce you to my favorite fantasy subgenre – urban fantasy, where supernatural elements co-exist with us in the real world. Good urban fantasies take you into cities and small towns swarming with ghosts, fairies, vampires and more, making you believe in the hidden magic (or danger! 🤯) of the everyday. That’s exactly what The Raven Boys does – it’s a YA novel where opposites attract, friendships form, love blossoms, sinister forces approach, and magic is harnessed to save the day. It’s fast-paced, action-packed, and full of angsty love to keep you turning the pages.

  • Best for: Fans of urban fantasies, fans of YA romances  
  • Not for: Readers who are looking for complex worldbuilding  

7. The Lightning Thief

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Synopsis:

When Percy’s highschool teacher turns into a monster and tries to kill him, his mother decides to tell him the truth about his father and sends him off to Camp Half Blood. There, he learns that his father is Poseidon but before he can come to terms, he has to embark on a quest to prevent a war between the gods.

There’s something so endearing and heart-warming about the Percy Jackson series and its first book, The Lightning Thief, is even more so because it has found family, friendship, and mythology all combined in one story. I loved how teenage trials of growing up were set against the backdrop of gods, war, and mature themes like familial relationships. I can’t recommend the adventures of Percy and his demi-god friends enough for anyone starting their reading journey, because the chaos and the hilarity in the story make for a refreshing break from your everyday.

  • Best for: Fans of Greek mythology and readers who are looking for an easy read
  • Not for: Readers who are looking for complex worldbuilding

Best Contemporary Romances To Make You Fall In Live [With Reading]

My one true love is the romance genre thanks to the warm, fuzzy feelings, the angst and the yearning, and dreamy happy endings that love stories are guaranteed to give us. Once you start reading a really good romance, it’s super difficult to stop until you’ve reached the happily-ever-after so I 100% recommend this genre to anyone who’s looking to start a reading habit. Who knows, you might fall in love in more ways than one💌!

8. The Fault in Our Stars

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Synopsis:

Hazel and Augustus meet at a cancer-support group, and their fates seem to be suddenly re-written as they find love and solace in each other. But the looming threat of fate is unstoppable, and they have more than one twist of life coming their way.

I’m at a loss when talking about The Fault in Our Stars because Green managed to write an epic love story between two teenagers who’ve been dealt a cruel hand. Stories that combine all the good elements of a romance novel, love, loss, tragedy, and fate, so beautifully are not easy to come by, and this book does it perfectly. It’s fast-moving, full of angst, and although at times heartbreaking, still an ultimately hopeful story about finding love in a hopeless place. Pick up this book to experience all of that in one go!

  • Best for: Fans of teenage romance
  • Not for: Readers who don’t want to read about a tragic loss

9. Me Before You

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Synopsis:

Louisa Clark, an ordinary girl, takes a job working for Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will is devastated that his adventurous past life is no more, but can Louisa’s sunshine-like presence in his life change the way he thinks?

Me Before You takes you on an emotional rollercoaster that’ll make you want to step inside the story and console the main characters. My heart broke for them because Lou and Will are these adorable, quirky people who deserve whatever they want in life. They do get it, but not in the way you’d expect it to happen. 

This is a book about friendship, love, patience, ambitions, loss and many, many more things, but it’s bizarrely light and easy to read. So if you’re in the mood for a soulful read that’s easy to breeze through, this is the contemporary romance novel you should check out.

  • Best for: Anyone who likes to read a good emotional love story
  • Not for: Readers sensitive to depression, suicidal thoughts, and self-harm

10. People We Meet on Vacation

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Synopsis:

Poppy and Alex become best friends after a fateful car ride home from college ages ago. Since then, they’ve been spending an annual week-long vacation together until an ill-fated incident ruined their relationship. As they try to mend things with just one more get-away, do they have a chance of going back to what they were before?

People We Meet on Vacation was everything I wanted it to be and more – a dreamy, feel-good love story that made me wish it was my reality. The plot, the humor, and the banter flowing throughout the novel are so on point that I read it in under 24 hours. If you’re looking for a romcom where two best friends fall in love, this book is a perfect pick with its holiday feels and a swoon-worthy love story to start your reading journey. 

  • Best for: Anyone who likes to read a wholesome opposites-attract love story
  • Not for: Readers sensitive to sexual content, death, grief, anxiety, and bullying

11. The Unhoneymooners

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Synopsis:

When a series of unfortunate events ends up with Olive having to pretend to be married to her enemy Ethan and go on a fake honeymoon in Hawaii, she thinks she’s stuck in the worst situation of her life. The thing is, Olive isn’t feeling as bad about this situation as she should be.

As an avid reader of rom-coms, I’ve always enjoyed Christina Lauren’s books, and The Unhoneymooners is one of my favorites. It’s an absolutely endearing and a downright hilarious enemies-to-lovers story, so it’s fun and super easy to breeze through. If you want a feel-good summer read with holiday vibes, The Unhoneymooners is an awesome choice. 

  • Best for: Anyone who likes to read a lighthearted and witty romance with fake dating
  • Not for: Readers looking for a lot of erotic content 

Historical Fiction Novels That Will Leave You Yearning for More

Historical fiction novels can take you back in time, bringing the past to life in ways that we never even imagine. I’m a history buff so I love reading these books, but if you’d like to give historical fiction a chance, it just might transport you into a bygone world that gives life to the history we’ve learned, with moving stories and enchanting characters.

12. To Kill A Mockingbird

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Synopsis:

Scout and Jem grow up in a small town in Alabama, where everyday is an adventure. But a surprise turn of events put them in the path of danger and public scrutiny. Can they handle this twist of life and stay safe in a town full of prejudice?

I loved how this book made me feel involved in Scout and Jem’s adventures, bringing the 1930s South to life with its touching story of friendship, strength, and enduring hope. It also tackles serious themes of racial prejudice and justice, which got me really thinking about how there’s a lot to learn from historical fiction because they take us to a world before we were born. If you want to read a book that touches your heart and leaves a lot to think about, To Kill a Mockingbird might be the book for you.

  • Best for: Fans who enjoy powerful storytelling set against a rich cultural backdrop
  • Not for: Readers seeking light-hearted or humor-filled narratives

13. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

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Synopsis:

When Evelyn Hugo, a famous Hollywood star, is ready to share her life’s secrets, journalist Monique Grant gets the chance to write her biography, even though she’s unsure why she was picked. As Monique digs into Evelyn’s story, we’re about to discover the hidden mysteries of Evelyn’s glamorous life.

Reading The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is like stepping into old Hollywood glamor, where you are hooked by Evelyn’s fascinating life and her seven marriages. You will quickly get attached to her story rich with characters and relationships, and so for those craving a mix of Hollywood allure, emotional depth, and a dash of mystery, this book is a must-read.

  • Best for: Those who want to read a glamorous Hollywood story with mystery and romance
  • Not for: Readers seeking a light and breezy read

14. All the Light We Cannot See

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Synopsis:

Just when Marie-Laure and Werner think they’ve faced the hardest parts of World War II, their fate is put to the test again, putting them in even more danger. With these new threats looming around the corner, will they live to see another day?

In All the Light We Cannot See, you get to know a story of friendship and love, as told through the eyes of Marie-Laure and Werner during World War II. Their strength and the bond had me near tears throughout the book so I say this to anyone I recommend this book to – it’s one of the most beautifully-crafted pieces of writing I’ve ever come across as Doerr truly has a soulful and profound way with words. If you want to ease yourself into reading this book,  you could also watch the new Netflix adaptation before (or after!) you begin reading.

  • Best for: Fans of rich historical fiction with intricate storytelling
  • Not for: Readers looking for a light or breezy read

15. A Thousand Splendid Suns

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Synopsis:

In war-torn Afghanistan, Mariam and Laila’s lives intertwine. A powerful tale of love, sacrifice, and female strength unfolds as domestic abuse takes place in the shadows of war but little do they know that an unexpected twist awaits, challenging their bond in ways they never imagined.

Mariam and Laila’s stories drew me into the intricate layers of their friendship, love, and the incredible strength they showed in tough times. This book is about sisterhood rich with understanding and sacrifice, set against the backdrop of political turmoil and war. I recommend A Thousand Splendid Suns to anyone interested in seeing how war affects the everyday lives of women, and I’m pretty sure it will stay with you long after you finish reading it.

  • Best for: Readers who enjoy emotionally-charged and powerful storytelling
  • Not for: Anyone seeking light-hearted or humor-filled stories

Heart Wrenching Stories of Pets and Their Humans

I promise you a roller coaster of feelings with these books because they can really tug at your heartstrings as they talk about the strong bonds between pets and their owners. From happy times to sad goodbyes, these stories show the love between pets and their people so if you’re a pet owner or you simply enjoy heartwarming stories about cute balls of fur, these books are absolute must-reads! 

16. The Art of Racing in the Rain

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Synopsis:

Enzo the dog has learnt that life, like racing, isn’t simply about going fast by listening to his master, Denny, a race car driver. On the eve of his death, Enzo, who knows he’s different from other dogs, recalls all that he and his family have been through.

I absolutely adored Enzo’s story in The Art of Racing in the Rain! Stein brings Enzo’s voice to life using simple and witty language to tell us the story of Denny’s life of mystery and sacrifice. Enzo also shows us how deep the connection between pets and their owners goes, so if you’d like to read a book about an animal-human bond, this book is the perfect emotional adventure for you. Keep a box of tissues handy because there will be a lot of tears, mostly caused by Enzo’s heartwarming POV.  

  • Best for: Fans who love to read about the bonds between pets and their owners
  • Not for: Readers who are looking for a light-hearted read

17. Marley & Me

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Synopsis:

John and Jenny’s life was peaceful until Marley, a cute puppy, turned into a wild, uncontrollable dog. Despite the chaos, Marley’s love taught them valuable lessons about life’s unpredictability because a mysterious secret was unleashed ready to reshape their world.

Marley and Me is all about the special connection between people and their dogs, and it’s filled with funny moments, touching anecdotes, and lots of feelings. Now, I’m one of those people who cry without fail for stories about animals, but Marley’s story moved me beyond words. He’s the sweetest little goofball, and I couldn’t put the book down before finishing it. If you’re an animal lover looking for a rollercoaster story about raising a pet, definitely give this book a read.

  • Best for: Dog lovers who appreciate stories that blend humor, emotion, and valuable life lessons
  • Not for: Readers who are not fans of stories centered around animals

18. A Dog’s Purpose

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Synopsis:

Ethan’s life changes when he meets Bailey, a special dog with a purpose that spans many lifetimes. However, Ethan is in for a surprise as he unravels a mysterious secret about Bailey’s purpose, set to change everything in their extraordinary friendship.

I absolutely loved A Dog’s Purpose because it’s a beautiful exploration of the special bond we share with our four-legged friends. If you’re like me and enjoy stories that deepen your love for these furry companions while also sharing profound insights about life, I have no doubt you’ll love this heartwarming adventure of a book. It’s definitely one of those stories that echoes long in your heart after you finish it.

  • Best for: Dog enthusiasts who enjoy heartwarming stories
  • Not for: Those not a fan of stories centered around animals

Classics To Get You Hooked on to the Habit of Reading

I know, I know – classics have a bad reputation because we’re immediately reminded of literature classes with required reading that no one reads willingly. But despite my reluctance to read assigned reading, I went through a classics phase and discovered that some stories are timeless and still relevant centuries later because, as it turns out, the human condition doesn’t really change all that much. 

Have you folks seen that TikTok trend where the birthday cake says, “I’ve no money and no prospects. I’m already a burden to my parents. And I’m frightened”? Well, that’s inspired by an all-time famous classic, Pride and Prejudice, so dip your toes into the classics genre, and prepare to be pleasantly surprised at how much you relate to those characters and stories!

19. Pride & Prejudice

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Synopsis:

Vivacious and opinionated heroine Elizabeth Bennet clashes with the proud Mr. Darcy, a brooding newcomer to the English countryside. Although their initial dislike of each other eventually turns to reluctant respect, will their stubborn pride prevent them from learning more about each other?

Ms. Austen practically invented the opposites-attract and enemies-to-lovers tropes with Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy. I was swooning over their encounters because their intense dislike for each other is only matched by their need to always rile each other up (like oh my god, just kiss already!). So if you’re looking for a slow burning love story filled with deep angst and heart throbbing moments, this is the book for you to dip into classics.

  • Best for: Fans of slow burn romances
  • Not for: Readers who want an easy read

20. Jane Eyre

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Synopsis:

Orphaned Jane Eyre grows up lonely and when an opportunity for independence presents itself, she jumps at the chance. She accepts employment as a governess in the household of enigmatic Mr. Rochester, but when she learns of a carefully-concealed, dangerous secret, she has to make a choice about the direction of her life.

I still remember the shivers I first got when I read about the secret Mr. Rochester was hiding in his house. I also remember how much I empathized with Jane Eyre (one of my favorite heroines, ever) as she was forced to choose between desire, independence, and conscience. So if you want to root for a strong, independant heroine facing challenges one after the other in a gothic love story, here’s your sign to start reading Jane Eyre.

  • Best for: Fans of dark and gothic love stories 
  • Not for: Readers who are looking for a lighthearted read

Non-Fiction Books To Help You Reflect on Life

Non-fiction books really give me food for thought on so many different topics. These books help me understand the bigger picture and self-help books especially have even been able to guide me on how to change my life for the better. If you’re looking to start a reading habit, and want to discover a different purpose to reading other than entertainment, I suggest you start with some of these non-fiction books. 

21. I’m Glad My Mom Died

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Synopsis:

Jennette McCurdy, a former child actor, shares her struggles with eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother. After her mother dies of cancer, will Jennette find the happiness and freedom she always wanted?

I found myself engrossed in the gritty and fast-moving memoir as Jennette describes different events of her life chronologically in a detailed and engaging way. The simple and direct writing style also matched the book so well, making the content feel raw, transparent, and honest, just like she’s talking to you in person. 

While you get to know Jenette better, it’s also a great portrayal of how everyone fights their own silent battles in life, and the exploitation of child actors so I’d recommend this to everyone looking for an insider look into Hollywood and the sacrifices that go into building a career. 

  • Best for: Anyone who likes to read a gripping celebrity memoir
  • Not for: Readers sensitive to child or emotional abuse, terminal illness, death, and alcoholism

22. Atomic Habits

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Synopsis:

James Clear, a leading expert on habit formation, explains how to strategically improve your daily life, with proven, practical tips for forming good habits, breaking bad ones, and mastering tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable outcomes.

Atomic Habits is an easy-to-understand guide to developing good habits and correcting bad ones. What I like most about this book is the bite-sized chapters, which make the content accessible and engaging with their actionable tips to build habits.

I learned a lot about how to set goals and plan to accomplish them in specific, manageable steps through this book. Let’s put this into perspective with building the habit of reading; it’s a good idea to start with an easily achievable step like reading for 10 minutes everyday at a set time. Clear shows us how these little steps can add up over time to make a huge difference, so pick up this book to help you build a good habit (like reading!).

  • Best for: Anyone who likes to read about habit forming and self-help strategies to achieve life goals
  • Not for: Readers who are looking for memoir-style non-fiction 

23. Outliers

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Synopsis:

Outliers is an intellectual journey about the world’s best, the brightest, the most famous, and the most successful. Gladwell questions what makes high-achievers different in order to explain the secrets behind these outliers.

Outliers talks about extraordinary people who’ve achieved success beyond comparison and examines how they got to that point. I loved that each of the biographies of success were told twice; once in a way that conformed to our pre-existing prejudices and another in a way which challenged these thoughts. Ultimately, it’s a fresh outlook on how success happens, and I’d really recommend it to those who want to understand how to achieve success. 

  • Best for: Readers who like to be challenged by new ideas 
  • Not for: Readers who are looking for a step-by-step guide on success

Chilling Science Fiction and Dystopian Reads

You are now entering uncharted territory! Choosing a book from this section is like taking a thrilling ride into the unknown, because these books open doors to mysterious worlds full of science and technological advancement amid disruption and injustice. Check these out if you want to start your reading habit with chilling stories of danger and reckless adventure. 

24. Hunger Games

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Synopsis:

In a world where staying alive means giving up a lot, Katniss Everdeen faces a tough competition where she becomes a symbol of rebellion. Secrets unfold and ideas are challenged throughout the Hunger Games series, changing the fate of Panem, the dystopian state rife with injustice and cruelty.

I was hooked on Katniss’s fight to survive in a tough competition from the get go, and when she became a symbol of rebellion, I was so excited (and also scared) for her. You can’t help but cross your fingers and read through the book because the story unfolds with secrets, sacrifices, and the fate of Panem teetering on the edge of rebellion. If you like stories that make you think about how societies work, this book (and the entire series, honestly) is a really intriguing and exciting read. 

  • Best for: Readers who enjoy stories of rebellion and system change
  • Not for: Those wanting a lighthearted read

25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

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Synopsis:

Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect explore the space embarking on strange adventures. Just when they think they’ve seen it all, something even stranger happens. Will they be able to endure it and stay safe in the outer space of the galaxy?

In The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you’ll join Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect to explore space in a funny and quirky adventure filled with surprises. This book took me on a journey through the galaxy to show me all sorts of strange and cool things, leaving me with a lot to think about as well. If you are into quirky humor and are a nut about outer space, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a great book to help you get into reading.

  • Best for: Readers who appreciate comedic and whimsical stories
  • Not for: Those seeking serious or deeply emotional storytelling

26. Animal Farm

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Synopsis:

On a farm, animals rebel, led by pigs seeking a better life. But as the pigs gain more power, things take a sinister turn, and the farm becomes engulfed in a dangerous mystery. Can the animals figure out what happened to their own rebellion?

In Animal Farm, you will step onto a farm where animals rebel against their human owner. With the book documenting the struggles and secrets of a revolution, it is ultimately a thought-provoking story that had me reflecting on our lived realities. If you like stories that make you think about how societies work, Animal Farm is a thought-provoking, easy-to-read book that packs a lot of meaning into an ‘animal farm.’ 

  • Best for: Readers who enjoy stories with hidden meanings
  • Not for: Those looking for a light-hearted or funny read

Thrillers That Have You Looking Over Your Shoulder

Thrillers always pack a punch, combining suspense, mystery, and unexpected twists to keep you on the edge. In fact, I always find myself reading a good thriller in one sitting because they are super intriguing and keep me guessing what happens next. If you love that feeling of suspense that makes you doubt everything and have you glued to the book, these thrillers might as well be tailor-made for you. 

27. Gone Girl

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Synopsis:

On his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne’s world unravels when his wife Amy disappears. Although he denies any wrongdoing, the police target him as their main suspect, especially as strange incidents and mysterious calls reveal the hidden complexities of Nick’s marriage and amplifies the question: What happened to Nick’s beautiful wife?

I’ve read Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn so many times because it’s just that good. The story pulls you in with its suspense and twists, making you crave more of that suspenseful drama. It’s a great book to start your reading journey because the twists and turns keep you addicted until the very end (and have you questioning what you actually know about the people closest to you in life).  

  • Best for: People who like intense and mysterious stories
  • Not for: Those who don’t enjoy dark or complicated stories

28. The Girl on the Train

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Synopsis:

Rachel is the ‘Girl on the Train’, observing the lives of a couple she’s named ‘Jason and Jess’, who live in one of the houses that her train passes through everyday. But when the girl from the couple mysteriously disappears one day, Rachel is suddenly, inexplicably involved. Will she finally be forced to reconcile with her frightening past in her quest to find the girl?

When I started reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, I didn’t know the story would be so exciting with lots of surprises and clever writing. With Rachel at the center of a mysterious web of lies, I was second guessing the truth behind the incidents at every turn of page. It was filled with bone-chilling events that shocked the hell out of me so if you’re in the mood for a thriller that will have you questioning reality, this is a great read for you to pick up. 

  • Best for: Those who enjoy thrilling and mysterious tales that keep you guessing
  • Not for: Readers who prefer lighthearted or straightforward stories

And that wraps up my list of best books to start a reading habit. I’ve handpicked easy-to-read books with engaging plots you can dive in and lovable characters you can root for so fingers crossed you’ll find a good book to kick off your reading habit! 

It’s a good idea to try different genres to find the type of books that work for you – so go through my list and then consider reading more books from a genre (or genres!) that appeals to you. The trick to starting a reading habit is finding what you like, so good luck and happy exploring!  

How to Start a Book Reading Habit

The best way to start or get back to reading is to find a book you genuinely enjoy. Here are a few tips on finding a good book and making it a habit to read everyday. 

  • Find your book – I recommend picking something simple with short chapters that you can breeze through. It’s also a good idea to choose a book about a topic you’re passionate about so you’re naturally interested in seeing the book to the end. You can also consider a genre you like; this could be anything from a coming-of-age story, a classic work of literature, or a fantasy novel with unforgettable world-building. 
  • Re-read an old favorite – In case you can’t find a new book immediately, you can try re-reading something you’ve read before (maybe for school, maybe a book you read out of boredom, maybe something you tried to get into but abandoned halfway). It’s always nice to revisit a book that belonged to your past and see it in a new light.
  • Read everyday – Reading every day keeps the story and characters fresh in your mind, so try to set aside at least half an hour of your time (if that sounds like a lot, try 10 minutes everyday) to read and keep the story and your interest going.
  • Get comfy – Once you find a book to get started, simply cozy up in a comfortable chair (or a park bench if you’re the outdoorsy type) with your favorite mug of tea/coffee/hot chocolate, and you’re good to go. 
  • Take your time – Dedicate a small but consistent amount of time each day for reading. Building a reading habit is a journey, not a sprint, so whether it’s 10 minutes or an hour, choose a duration that feels comfortable for you. 

I’m pretty sure your journey into the world of books will be as life-changing as it was for me, so try one book and if that isn’t the right fit, go for another genre. I believe there’s a reader in all of us; it just takes the right book to break them out. It won’t be too long until you discover your own niche of books to read and once you do, you might just find yourself reading everyday and actually enjoying getting lost in a book.

What to Read First

If you feel like fantasy is your genre to get started with reading, my top (and highly biased) recommendation is to start with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It’s exciting and enchanting, hooking you in just right to keep you reading. 

If you want to read a romance, I suggest picking up a lighthearted romcom like People We Meet on Vacation for all the smile-inducing moments and fuzzy feels. 

If you’re leaning toward non-fiction, Atomic Habits is a good choice to get going because it has simple, digestible chapters and there’s a high chance you might come away with a solid plan to form a couple of new good habits. If you’d like, you can check out my full review on Atomic Habits too!

FAQs

1. Is 21 too late to start reading books?

It’s never too late to start reading. I’ve been an avid reader since I was a kid, but I have friends who only started reading later in life or even got back to it after a long break, and they love it just as much as I do now.

2. Is reading a good habit to start?

Absolutely! Reading is one of the best habits you could ever develop. Not only does it help you learn new things and improve your language skills, but it also boosts your memory and brain function. Plus, it’s an awesome way to relax when you’re feeling stressed.

3. What happens to your brain when you read a lot of books?

Reading is like a brain workout! It’s not just about cramming facts; it actually rewires your brain. You become a champ at imagining stuff, remembering details, and solving tricky problems. So it’s not just making you smarter, it’s making your brain work faster. 

4. How should a beginner start reading?

My best advice is to start small. Even just reading one book per month or ten minutes per day is a great place to get started. Also, make sure to pick a book on a subject that you love, and stick to the habit. As you continue to read, you’ll become a fast reader and would naturally start enjoying books. 

5. How long should a beginner read a day?

There are no hard and fast rules for this, so it’s totally up to you. But a good idea is to read around 25 pages every day – that’s almost 10,000 pages in a year! If that 25 pages sounds like a lot, you can also read for 10-20 minutes each day and stop, which is a great way to ease into the habit of reading.

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