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9 Books You Can Read In A Day: Literary Escapes for Time-Bound Readers

Updated: Jun 28

In the vast world of literature, the pursuit of profound meaning often intertwines with the unstoppable passing of time. While some stories captivate us for days, weeks, or even months, there are equally compelling narratives that can be enjoyed within the confines of a single day.


Here are carefully selected books you can read in a day that will transfix you from start to finish in just one sitting:

Classic books you can read in a day on a white pillow

Some Books You Can Read in a Day


1. A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

It’s a fierce book about writing and having a room of one’s own to do that.


Woolf argues that a woman must have both intellectual and financial freedom to write fiction. This thought-provoking journey through history and imagination inspires both women and men to carve out their own space for self-expression.


A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

Buy the book: Amazon


Hear us talk about two of Virginia Woolf's Orlando & To The Lighthouse:




2. Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

A bold and haunting novel about love, desire, morality, and self-discovery, set in 1950s Paris. Follow David, a man in his twenties, as he grapples with his desires and societal expectations. This emotionally charged narrative challenges readers to reflect on the intricacies of identity and human connection.

Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin book cover

Buy the book: Amazon


3. Closely Watched Trains by Bohumil Hrabal

This short, post-war, dream-like story follows the neurotic character Milos, who works at a train station. Through surreal events, Bohumil Hrabal captures the essence of life in a disrupted society, offering readers a unique perspective on the human experience.


Closely Watched Trains by Bohumil Hrabal book cover

Buy the book: Amazon


My review of Bohumil Hrabal's Too Loud A Solitude:




4. Territory of Light by Yukio Tsushima

An intimate portrayal of a woman dealing with the breakdown of her marriage, and motherhood, and finding herself in the chaos of life. Set against the backdrop of Tokyo’s dazzling cityscape, this novel explores modern relationships and personal struggles.

Territory of Light by Yukio Tsushima

Buy the book: Amazon


5. Dream Story by Arthur Schnitzler

This mesmerizing novella, which inspired Stanley Kubrick’s "Eyes Wide Shut," explores hidden fantasies and desires within a seemingly perfect marriage. Schnitzler’s narrative takes unexpected turns, inviting readers to question the boundaries of passion and societal norms.

Dream Story by Arthur Schnitzler

Buy the book: Amazon


Ayesha talking about some of the best books read in 2023 featuring Dream Story:


6. After Dark by Haruki Murakami

Enter Murakami’s enchanting world of magical realism in a tale that unfolds over a single night. Meet intriguing characters and experience mysterious events that blur the line between reality and dreams, perfect for a one-sitting literary escape.


After Dark by Haruki Murakami

Buy the book: Amazon


We're completely (and eternally) smitten by Murakami's world:



Norwegian Wood is one of Ayesha's most favorite books to read:



Here are some of mine... top 3 Haruki Murakami books to read:



If you love Murakami, you'll also enjoy these that are very Murakami-esque:


7. Animal Farm by George Orwell

“All animals are equal, but some…more equal than others.” – George Orwell

A classic political parable where animals revolt against human tyranny on Manor Farm. This seemingly simple story carries profound messages about corruption, power, and the dangers of unchecked authority, making it a timeless read that resonates with all ages.


Animal Farm by George Orwell

Buy the book: Amazon


8. The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Based on a true event, this book chronicles the survival and tribulations of a shipwrecked sailor lost at sea. It’s a tale of resilience and courage, highlighting the human spirit’s strength in the face of nature’s unforgiving forces.


The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor by Gabriel Garcia Marquez


9. In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki

“Were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.”

An essay on the Japanese aesthetic, celebrating the beauty found in shadows. Tanizaki reflects on light, architecture, and cultural values, elements often overlooked but essential to the allure of everyday life and art.

In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki

Buy the book: Amazon 

 

Looking for a unique perspective on how to improve your reading? These articles might help.

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