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Things To Read If You Hate To Read

Updated on January 27, 2016

Only Losers Read

If you're the type of person who'd rather read SparkNotes than the actual novels they're based on, I give you no judgment. In fact, what good can come from reading? It only improves your vocabulary, increases your ability to communicate competently, and provokes you to question the meaning of your entire existence.

No big deal.

I'm lying, obviously.

Get off the computer and pick up a book, you social media addict.

Now I'm not suggesting you struggle through War and Peace or Gone With The Wind. (Seriously, I could use both as freaking door stops. Get to the point, guys.) But it is possible to be a non-reader and to enjoy reading. You just need to find the stuff that is short, sweet, and to the point. After all, “easy read” doesn't mean “pointless fluff” and “short” doesn't mean without substance.

So here here are some things to read when you really don't like to read all that much.

Markheim, Robert Louis Stevenson.

This is a short story—like barely 10 pages—so you have no excuse to not finish it. It's got death, violence, and juicy ethical dilemmas, and who wouldn't want to get in on that? In fact, by the end you'll realize you've read a moral tale worthy of Hans Christian Anderson, and just think: this is the guy who wrote about pirates. Succinct, elegantly written, and engrossing, Markheim is one you'll enjoy even if you're not that interested in, well, words.

Death Note, Tsugumi Ohba.

Look, I never just said this list would just contain “novels.” And manga are totally books...sorta. Kinda. But you should read this one anyway. Because pictures! This is not only great to look at, but it's a ton of fun to read, and the format might be easier for non-readers to get into. Unusually thought provoking for a story supposedly targeted towards young boys, Death Note gives you super quirky characters, delightful plot twists, and cat and mouse chases worthy of Sherlock Holmes.

Murder On The Orient Express, Agatha Christie.

This is for the more ambitious non-reader due to it's length. It may be longer, but it involves everything you love: murder, mystery, and page-turning suspense. Plus, it gives you plenty of moral dilemmas to chew on, including provocative ideas of justice, revenge, and the fine line between the two. And look! This guy is lying in his own blood. You know that peaks your interest.

The Story of An Hour, Kate Chopin

This is barely three pages long, so you should be able to gobble it up in like 10 minutes. Tops. Chopin is probably best known for her sexual awakening novel, entitled The Awakening (oh the bleeds through the pages), but if you ask me, her talent lies in short stories. Check this one out. It'll have you thinking that perhaps marriage isn't all it's cracked up to least in some cases.

The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Because Leonardo is a sexy, sexy man, so why not read the book he brought to life? (Okay, never actually saw it, but doesn't change the fact that he's FINE). This is a little bitty novel, but man, does it pack a punch. Fitzgerald's decadent prose and thoroughly unlikeable characters are sure to please non-readers of all ages. It explores the concept of the “American dream” while giving you lots of darkness, death, and existentialism. Rock on, am I right?

The Pit and the Pendulum, Edgar Allan Poe

I absolutely refuse to put The Tell-Tale Heart on here, because that's the Poe story everyone recommends and knows about. #hipster That one is good and all, but The Pit and the Pendulum is just as brilliant, lending whole new meaning to psychological horror. If you've ever had the urge to feel trapped, tiny, and victimized, then this is the perfect story for you. Plus, who hasn't entertained the notion of being sliced in two? I know that's how I spend my Friday nights. (Look, there was a lot of booze and peer pressure. It was a one time thing, okay?!)

The Kreutzer Sonata, Leo Tolstoy

Totally wanted to put “The Death of Ivan Illych” on here, but I already included that in a previous post ("Things To Read Before You Croak"). So here's another Tolstoy tale, because we all deserve to snobbily tells our friends we've read Tolstoy. It's a novella, but the plot is kinda like Hitchcock's Stranger on a Train without both passengers being a murderer. Just one of them is. And he feels the need to tell the other one all about it. Interested? You should be.

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