23 Amazing Classic Books That Are So Short You Have No Excuse Not To Read Them

As Books Editors, we set aside more designated reading time than most people do. Still, even we are daunted by copies of The Goldfinch looming on our desks.

Incidentally, some of my favorite books of all time are on this list–Chopin’s The Awakening, James’ Turn of the Screw, Wharton’s Ethan Frome. It’s probably because when books are shorter like this, they read more like short stories, and that appeals to me? I dunno, but check it out!

There were days when she was very happy without knowing why. She was happy to be alive and breathing, when her whole being seemed to be one with the sunlight, the color, the odors, the luxuriant warmth of some perfect Southern day. She liked then to wander alone into strange and unfamiliar places. She discovered many a sunny, sleepy corner, fashioned to dream in. And she found it good to dream and to be alone and unmolested.

There were days when she was unhappy, she did not know why—when it did not seem worth while to be glad or sorry, to be alive or dead; when life appeared to her like a grotesque pandemonium and humanity like worms struggling blindly toward inevitable annihilation.

—  Kate Chopin, The Awakening