10 Easy Books for People Who Don’t Like Reading

If you don’t like reading books, you’re in the right place.

Reading books is not for everyone. Reading can be boring, time-consuming, and require more focus than you have to give. YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are more interesting!

However, if there is some sliver of hope that you may enjoy reading, it’s worth finding out as soon as you can. For people who get the bug, reading can be the elixir that makes life worth living.

If you’re still in the “reading is not for me” part of life, you may have not encountered the right books. The truth is that in school, we’re forced to read and write essays about things we don’t want to read. That process can make reading seem like a chore that’s to be avoided at all costs.

The good news is that once you leave school, you can read whatever tickles your heart, and with the millions of books out there, there are certainly at least a few that can do that. The challenge is finding those books, and that’s what this article is here to help you do.

Below, I’ve curated a list of 10 books for people who don’t enjoy reading. My recommendation is to browse the list and choose one or two of the books that seem most interesting. Give them a try, and if they work, find more like them. If not, try other books to see if something ignites the flame.

Okay, enough babbling: here’s the list of 10 books that even people who hate reading may enjoy.

1. Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! by Richard Feynman and Ralph Leighton

“There were a lot of fools at that conference—pompous fools—and pompous fools drive me up the wall. Ordinary fools are all right; you can talk to them, and try to help them out.”

Why it’s Great for Non-Readers: Richard Feynman is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who writes like a man who is seeing the world for the first time. Through a series of entertaining, easy-to-read tales, Feynman shares what he learned through engaging with the world with an insatiable curiosity, a humble disposition, and a commitment to enjoying his time on this spinning rock.

2. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

“Every now and then when your life gets complicated and the weasels start closing in, the only cure is to load up on heinous chemicals and then drive like a bastard from Hollywood to Las Vegas … with the music at top volume and at least a pint of ether.”

Why it’s Great for Non-Readers: Hunter S. Thompson’s raw, debaucherous writing and adventures may not be safe for your grandma’s ears, but they are entertaining. In this wild tale, which later became a movie, Thompson describes what happens as he goes on a bender when he is supposed to be doing serious journalism in Las Vegas.

3. Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan

“Being out in big surf is dreamlike. Terror and ecstasy ebb and flow around the edges of things, each threatening to overwhelm the dreamer. An unearthly beauty saturates an enormous arena of moving water, latent violence, too-real explosions, and sky. Scenes feel mythic even as they unfold. I always feel a ferocious ambivalence: I want to be nowhere else; I want to be anywhere else.”

Why it’s Great for Non-Readers: Surfing is cool, fun, and easy on the eyes. And there is no better book about the surfing life than William Finnegan’s Barbarian Days. In this wonderfully written memoir, Finnegan takes you to known and unknown surf breaks around the world as he tries to find out who he is and what he wants during the first 50 years of his life. His story is a reminder that the answers are all around us, and Finnegan happened to find a few of them in the water.

4. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

“Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.”

Why it’s Great for Non-Readers: This simple but wise tale follows the hopes and dreams of an Andalusian shepherd boy who is trying to find his way in the world. You can read the entire book in one sitting, and you’ll walk away feeling more inspired about what’s next and with a little wisdom about how you may get there.

5. 11/22/63 by Stephen King

“Life turns on a dime. Sometimes towards us, but more often it spins away, flirting and flashing as it goes: so long, honey, it was good while it lasted, wasn’t it?”

Why it’s Great for Non-Readers: If you want to immerse yourself in a fascinating tale involving time travel, the JFK presidency, and philosophical questions about the long-term consequences of actions, 11/23/63 by Stephen King is a great place to start. It’s a long read, so I recommend getting the audiobook on Audible and seeing if you can stop yourself from listening to the whole thing in just a few days.

6. Green Hills of Africa by Ernest Hemingway

“We have very primative emotions. It’s impossible not to be competitive. Spoils everything, though.”

Why it’s Great for Non-Readers: Green Hills of Africa is one of Hemingway’s early works, and it’s great if you don’t enjoy reading. Hemingway takes you on a hunting trip in East Africa, helping you understand the terrain and what a life of hunting big game actually looks and feels like.

7. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

“Science may provide the most useful way to organize empirical, reproducible data, but its power to do so is predicated on its inability to grasp the most central aspects of human life: hope, fear, love, hate, beauty, envy, honor, weakness, striving, suffering, virtue.”

Why it’s Great for Non-Readers: This is a terrific read that is both joyful and tragic. In it, neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi is diagnosed with terminal cancer at a young age and reckons with the big questions of existence during what should have been the peak of his career. Not only is this a gripping, easy-to-read story, but it will also change you for the better.

8. Post Office by Charles Bukowski

“Food is good for the nerves and the spirit. Courage comes from the belly – all else is desperation.”

Why it’s Great for Non-Readers: If traditional, polished writing puts you to bed, give Bukowski a try. Bukowski is a drunkard who wrote so honestly about his ordinary and savage life that he eventually became known as one of the best writers of his time. In Post Office, he takes you on a semi-autobiographical, fictional journey that explores the many adventures of his daily life over 10+ years as a Post Office worker.

9. Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan

“Do what I sometimes do when I get scared: imagine you’re someone else, someone who’s far braver and smarter.”

Why it’s Great for Non-Readers: This is a big book, so big that it may scare you. But don’t be put off by its size; it’s a page-turner that goes by quicker than you want. In the story, Mark Sullivan tells the story of Pino, a forgotten Italian World War 2 hero who goes to great lengths to save lives and thwart the efforts of the Nazis. The story is absolutely unbelievable.

10. Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed

“Most things will be okay eventually, but not everything will be. Sometimes you’ll put up a good fight and lose. Sometimes you’ll hold on really hard and realize there is no choice but to let go. Acceptance is a small, quiet room.”

Why it’s Great for Non-Readers: This beautiful collection of essays discusses everything from what to do when a lover cheats on you, to how to navigate the death of a parent, to making it through life when you don’t know if you’ll be able to pay the bills. If you’re averse to traditional self-help, this book is a good one for dipping your toes into the murky waters of how to think about the problems that many of us face in adulthood.

P.S. If you start to enjoy reading and want to find more good books, check out 28 Books That Will Expand Your Mind, and The 40 Best Self-Help Books of All Time.