Last updated on April 26, 2022

“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” – J.K. Rowling

For some of us, this quote is a reminder of the books we spent so much time reading and re-reading. For others, it is a promise that there’s definitely a book out there that will blow your mind!

To find the kind of books that can help you forget the rest of the world, you’ll have to build the habit of active reading. The best books to read for beginners are quick, simple English novels, entertaining easy reads with small-medium sized chapters.

Not all of us can pick up a highly recommended book and enjoy it as intended. If you get distracted easily, or find it difficult to sit down long enough to finish a book, that’s pretty normal.

Don’t be discouraged if you didn’t breeze through that 800 page novel recommended by the internet or a friend. The best books to read for beginners are often overlooked as recommendations.

Moreover, reading styles differ from person to person. So, here is a quality list of the best books to start reading habit.

Benefits of Reading

Books have been mankind’s greatest source of knowledge and entertainment for the better part of 2000 years now. Reading many books has always been synonymous with being intelligent, but does science back this up?

Reading books help you keep your brain busy being imaginative, calculative, and interpretive. Some of the benefits of reading include relieving stress significantly, better your interpretation powers, gives a boost to your creative side, improves your sleep, and more. Let’s have a deeper look at the importance of developing a healthy reading habit.

Here are some ways regular reading can benefit you

Brain Gym

Reading engages several areas of your brain and strengthens the connections between them. It is also associated with improved memory and concentration.
Participants in a 2013 study were reading the novel “Pompeii” for 9 days and researchers used MRI scans to track their brain activity. The scans revealed that the connections between different areas of the brain were significantly improved.

Emotional Intelligence

People who read more, are usually more capable of understanding the emotions of other people. Reading habits help offer insight into different mindsets and emotions that we might never experience ourselves.
According to research, people who read a lot, in the long run, develop an understanding of the “Theory of mind”. This theory helps you better perceive the way other people think, and allows you to navigate your social life more precisely.

Better Communication

Reading more helps you expand your vocabulary and the way you use it. You may have noticed that even though you know some words, you never actually use them.
Many words can mean the same thing, but change the tone of your sentences to provide more context. Example – “The glass broke” vs “The glass shattered” can tell you the severity of the damage and the way it broke. With good reading habits, you’ll find yourself fluently using words that fit better.

Fight Cognitive Decline as You Grow Older

Reading helps you keep your mind engaged and maintain your mental faculties. Research has found that reading and other mentally stimulating activities like sudoku and math problems can help battle dementia.

Control Stress and Promote Better Sleep

Reading can be as helpful in reducing stress levels as yoga or a good hearty laugh. 30 minutes of reading was observed to reduce blood pressure, stress and heart rates.
If you include reading as part of your sleep routine, you can fall asleep faster and sleep deeper. Try to avoid screens for your reading and if you have trouble sleeping, avoid reading in your bedroom.

Books for Adults

These English books for beginners are fast-paced, easy reads that are taut with emotion and action.

Best books to read for beginners

1. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

Follow the journey of Santiago, a young shepherd boy from Andalusia, Spain. He chases a recurring dream that tells him to travel far in order to find his treasure and “personal legend”.

The winding road the story takes you on will have you both rooting and deterring the protagonist through his journey. At the same time, it keeps you wondering, “what would I do” at every decision point. The Alchemist is one of many books written by Coelho, and his works are considered among the best books to start reading habit.

Best books to read for beginners

2. A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khalid Hosseini

The twists and turns of life can ruin the best-laid plans, but you still have to persevere. This is a book you’ll struggle to put down, even when things take dark turns and you can’t imagine a happy ending.

The writing in A Thousand Splendid Suns is nicely paced and makes you feel a range of emotions that are positive, negative and neutral. Khalid Hosseini is popular for his solid storytelling style. Hence, A Thousand Splendid Suns will leave you rooting for the characters and give you insights into a different world right here on earth.

3. Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

In her diary, a young Anne Frank describes the trials faced by her and her family as they try to escape the fascist regime of Nazi Germany. The diary spans two years of her life at “The secret annexe” from age 13 until 15 when they were discovered.

The diary is famed for its authenticity and the innocent perspective of a young Jewish girl who just wanted to live a normal life. If you are looking to expand your worldview and see the world from a different set of eyes, this is a great start.

4. Chicken Soup for the Soul books – Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen

These are an anthology collection of short stories that are bundled together and released in regular volumes. The stories are impactful and perfect for daily light reading. That’s what makes them some of the best books to read for beginners.

Chicken soup for the soul books will help you develop a regular craving for a good read, and brings out lovely stories from ordinary, everyday lives. The reading is light, which is what makes it one of the best book recommendations for beginners.

5. The Outsiders Book – S.E. Hinton

Written by a 16-year-old S. E. Hinton, The Outsiders Book is one of those simple English novels that describe the rivalry of two neighbourhood gangs. The Greasers (working class) and Socs (upper class) clash with increasing intensity until both sides have had enough.

The protagonist of the story in The Outsiders Book is Curtis Ponyboy who is one of the greasers alongside his two elder brothers. The outsider’s book offers insight into a world of dysfunctional families and how things can get suddenly out of hand.

6. The House on Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros

The story of Esperanza Cordero, a 12-year-old girl growing up in Chicago is one of heartbreak and redemption. The book begins with her moving into a new neighbourhood, where she would go from being a little girl to a woman.

The House on Mango Street deals with complex subjects like domestic violence, sexism, racism and sexual harassment faced by girls like Esperanza on a day to day basis. Moreover, The House on Mango Street is one of the best easy reads for beginners, especially among young adults.

Find a home for your books. Get yourself a creative bookshelf!

Beginner Books
for Children - Starting
the Habit Early

“A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” – C.S. Lewis
The line between books for children and adults can be very fine. Harry Potter and Alice in Wonderland were written for children, but the stories are so rich, they are enjoyed by adults all over the world too. How to develop reading habit among children?
Illustrated and interactive English books for beginners are a great way to instil an active reading habit in children. It allows them to enjoy a good story without thinking of it as a chore.

1. Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

Charlotte’s Web is a classic published in 1952 details the adventures of a farm pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. It is one of the best selling children’s books of all time and made reading appealing to many children.

Charlotte’s Web is a story of an unlikely friendship that teaches children the importance of companionship and creativity in the face of difficulties. The book ranks high among the best books to read for beginners because of its simplicity.

2. Harry Potter Illustrated Books – J.K. Rowling

What started off as a book for children, evolved into a story that captured hearts all over the world. With the Harry Potter illustrated books, the world of witchcraft and wizardry becomes accessible even to little children.

The magical realm of the Harry Potter series makes children gradually develop good reading habits down the line! It’s so much easier to understand magic potions, flying keys and fierce three-headed dogs named fluffy when you can see them. Harry Potter illustrated books offers a sense of wonder and how to imagine a fantasy world in their minds.

3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Jeff Kinney

This comic book series has been a big hit among young readers since it started in 2007. The protagonist is Greg Heffley, a scrawny kid who wants to be popular at school, but just can’t seem to get it right.

This cartoon novel is styled as a journal that Greg is writing for the day he becomes “Rich and Famous”. The book is designed to look like a school notebook with handwriting and illustrations, as though a student wrote it. The relatability of the character and the simplicity of the storytelling is what makes this series one of the best book recommendations for beginners.

4. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carrol

From bizarre creatures with ridiculous names to strange food that changes everything, the book gives every reader a rich palette to colour their imagination with.

In the strange place called wonderland, the reader is taken down the rabbit hole with Alice. The book is one unpredictable adventure after another and gives children a thorough exercise in mental imagery. This is why it has always been one of the best books to read for beginners.

Best Classic Books to
Read for Beginners

“All books are divisible into two classes: the books of the hours, and the books of all Time.” – John Ruskin

Some books transcend time and stay relevant no matter how the world changes. The best classic books have something new to teach us every time we read or reread them. These books are often written in a tone and style that you aren’t used to. You will often find that the characters speak in ways that seem strange and foreign. So, here are some of the best book recommendations for beginners that will help you with your quest on how to develop reading habit.

1. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Set during an era of racism, this novel offers a perspective into what it was like to fight against social prejudice. The story is narrated by the daughter of Atticus Finch, who is one of literature’s greatest moral heroes.

Arguably one of the best books to read for beginners, this novel highlights the depth and dangers of racism, this classic is a must-read for everyone. While the subject sounds bleak, it is still somehow peppered with warmth and humour. The book is considered to be one of the more simple English novels based on the writing style. It was written based on events that occurred in the author’s hometown when she was 10 years old.

2. Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

Since it was published in 1951, The Catcher in the Rye book has been an anthem among young adults. The novel follows the story of Holden Caulfield, a teen from California struggling with depression.

The Catcher in the Rye book is set in post world war 2 and covers a range of complex issues as Caulfield struggles to find his place in the world. His difficulty maintaining relationships with his family and others make him relatable to those feeling alienated by society. Fun Fact – There was a rush in Hollywood to turn the Catcher in the Rye book into a movie, but J.D. Salinger was adamant never to let it happen. It is probably one of the best classic books that never made it to the big screen.

3. Animal Farm – George Orwell

This critically acclaimed novel was a famous take on communism and its dark underbelly. Written from the perspective of animals on a farm who overthrew the farmers, it tells us how revolutions can turn ugly.

The quote “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” sums up the book better than any other description could. Animal farm was Orwell’s subtle and humorous way of highlighting the issues of authoritarian societies Another groundbreaking work by Orwell, although much darker, is 1984. It takes us through the perils of a surveillance state, where the government has more power over people than it should. People often draw parallels between George Orwell’s “1984” and Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World”. There is a stark contrast that is worth looking into between the way both these authors have imagined a dystopian future. Although they deal with complex subjects, the stories are written simply, which is why they are some of the best books to read for beginners.

4. The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

Known for sword fighting, subterfuge and drama, this epic classic is a great read for readers both young and old. The tale follows the story of Edmond Dantes in 19th century France at the end of Napoleon’s era.

At just 19 years old, Dantes is forced on a dangerous adventure to free himself from the clutches of the evil people conspiring against him before taking his revenge. Alexandre Dumas is also known for his famous book, “The Three Musketeers”, which is also one of the best books to read for beginners.

Tips to Make It
Easy to Start Reading

Reading is a simple, relaxing way to pass the time but it is still a habit that needs to be built. Many people struggle to focus on a book because it takes more patience than a TV show, movie or video game.

Moreover, reading is not at all overwhelming as most believe it to be. Also, there are ample benefits of reading that you can unlock. A lot of people have questions about how to develop reading habit. To which we say, here are some thoughtful tips that can actually build good reading habits.

If you want to read more, but aren’t able to get through to that sweet spot, here are a few things you can try.

  • Start with Simple Short Stories

Simple Short Stories like chicken soup for the soul are a great, non-committal way to get into reading. Depending on the story, you’ll spend up to half an hour to finish it, sometimes more.

Being able to finish what you are reading gives your reading habits a great boost. There’s something intimidating about a half-finished book that makes it difficult to keep reading. With short stories, you don’t have to worry about it. Hence, starting with easy reads stands as one of the most helpful reading tips.

  • Choose a Theme that Interests You

This could be anything from a region to an era or even the social setting of the story. The best books to read for beginners allow you to draw parallels and connections from things you know and feel.

  • Build a Reading Nook

Make a space where you can read comfortably, with the right kind of lighting and freedom from interruptions. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, it just has to be somewhere you like reading. But if it’s your study where you read books, make sure to use a chair and table with ergonomic designs.

A nice bookshelf arrangement, a mug of tea or coffee and a nice comfy place to sit or lie down help you ease into books. The right kind of book will have you hunched over on the floor as you zip through pages, but always start comfortably. Thus, creating a nook is one of the reading tips that is really helpful for new readers. A bookshelf arrangement not only eases someone into books but can minimise your time and energy to look for the correct book on your shelf. You can also enhance the bookshelf by getting some bookshelf decors. You can take a look at small study room design to get cues and decorate your study! Some people have trouble sleeping if they read in bed, if you aren’t one of them, make sure you get a bed with a nice headboard. Without a headboard, you will end up straining your neck and back unnecessarily. At Wakefit, we provide headboard options on all our beds to make staying in bed more comfortable. With our range of beds, you can find the perfect headboard to rest on while you read. We also create elegant bookshelf decor for you to put up your favourite books. Better yet, look at some thoughtful decor ideas for a small living room and see how your shelf can be a perfect fit! Choose from a variety of styles made with solid or engineered wood to suit your bookshelf arrangement. Moreover, the Wakefit prose corner bookshelf is a cheap and slick way to enhance your reading area. It provides enough space for a starter reading space and you can spruce it up with your hand-picked bookshelf decor.

  • Set a Time for Reading

Whether you like reading in the daytime or after the sun sets, choose half an hour a day to do it.

If you’re riveted to the book and need more time, you can take it, but try to consistently read at the same time every day. This is one of the reading tips that helps you stick to the routine and thus develop reading habits.
Many people enjoy some light reading before bed since there are no interruptions and the only thing left to do for the day is sleep. If you prefer reading in natural light, free up some time during the day and get cosy with what you want to read. Some
good books for light reading are Malibu Rising, The Midnight Library & The Wedding Date.

  • Set Reading Goals

Start small, with 10 simple short stories a month, or a single English books for beginners and work your way up from there. As you maintain the habit, you will read faster and be able to spend long hours reaping the benefits of reading.
If you’re looking to read a long book, a good way to go about it is to set goals for how many chapters you should read in a week. This is on of the reading tips that is especially helpful when you’re reading books that slow down in the middle as the plot develops.

Your peaceful reading corner needs a thoughtful bookshelf. See what we got!

Frequently Asked Questions on the Best Books to Read for Beginners

There’s no single list that can fully answer this question. If you like futuristic stories, Isaac Asimov’s short story collections are a good place to start. If you want something that represents the average modern person, try out the Chicken Soup for the Soul books.

Here is a list of the best books to start healthy reading habits:

  • Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
  • Harry Potter Series – J.K. Rowling
  • The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khalid Hosseini
  • The House on Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros
  • To Kill a Mocking Bird – Harper Lee
  • Animal Farm – George Orwell

You have to find a connection you enjoy in order to find a book interesting. Look through the synopsis and try to find a theme or setting that appeals to you.

As a new reader, you can start with simple short stories first. And to maintain the habit consistently, make sure to keep a reading time. Also, set reading goals. Follow these reading tips to develop healthy reading habits.

  • Choose your books carefully. To start with, make sure they are short and fast-paced.
  • Make sure you finish what you start. Not finishing a book can discourage you from reading more regularly.
  • Set a time for reading a few times a week. Choose a time where you will have no disturbances and make yourself comfortable for a good reading session.
  • If you cannot read long novels, try short stories or comic books. Over time, it will become easier to spend more time reading.

Indian books reflect a lot about our social aspects and teaching us ample! Here are the top 10 books by Indian Authors in 2021:

  • The Bombay Prince by Sujata Massey
  • A Map of Longings by Manan Kapoor
  • Right Between The Ears by Sandeep Dayal
  • The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi
  • The Crossing by Manjeet Mann
  • Wereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri.
  • Jungle Nama by Amitav Ghosh.
  • The Ocean’s Own by Nandini Sengupta
  • The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri
  • The Last Queen by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Reading before bed is a great habit. It help keep your mind busy and calculative thereby tiring you even more. Thereby, you drift to sleep quickly. This way, the right books help improve your sleep as well. Here are the best books to start reading habits before bed.

  • Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau
  • Vessel by Cai Chongda
  • The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller
  • The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi
  • One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Reading before sleep helps relieve stress to a great extent. It keep your mind interpreting storylines. Also, when done regularly, you experience a boost in your creativity. Here are some more reasons to develop a healthy reading habit!

  • Reading is a stress buster
  • Develops brain power
  • Unlocks creativity
  • Improved sleep
  • Calming and distracting
  • The best way to relax before falling asleep
  • Expands imagination

Experts suggest some books on sleep that cover the science of rest. You tend to understand the importance of sleep and yes, drift off quicker.

  • The Happy Place by Heather Turgeon
  • The Nocturnal Journal by Lee Crutchley
  • The Sleep Solution by Dr. Chris Winter
  • Snooze: The Lost Art of Sleep by Michale McGirr
  • Sleep Soundly Every Night, Feel Fantastic Every Day by Dr. Robert Rosenberg

Fantasy is proven to be the best genre before bed. Fantasy fiction is designed for escapism. These books, stories and characters are known to distract us and force us to think about the story rather than our own lives.

An engaging plot can allow us to immerse ourselves into a whole other world which replaces our own internal restlessness and monologues. Hence it is recommended to read fantasy fiction before bed!

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