No Time to Read? No Problem.

Finishing a book is hard. We’re busy, we’re distracted and we’ve convinced ourselves that we’ve got NO time for books.

But here’s the thing — reading doesn’t always have to take up that much time. Here are some iconic reads you can breeze through in 2–3 hours!

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Penguin Books, 2006

A family gets poisoned and everyone dies. Well, except for a gently insane girl, her agoraphobic sister and their petrified uncle. Who committed the murder? And what happens when a mysterious cousin comes into town?

Widely regarded as a masterpiece, and with an unforgettable ending, this book will be hard to put down. Luckily, it can be finished in a couple of hours.

Get the book here: Physical Copy, eBook

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Crown/Archetype, 2016

This is a book for anyone who has been ostracised for their life choices. Yeong-hye is tortured by images of blood and brutality, so she goes vegetarian. But this simple act of rebellion subjects her to scandal, abuse and estrangement even from those closest to her.

An intense and emotional read you can complete in a single sitting. But be warned, it will haunt you for days!

Get the book here: Physical Copy, eBook

The All of It by Jeannette Haien

HarperCollins, 2009

Short, simple and powerful. This is a story about a priest contemplating what a woman had confessed to him on her husband’s deathbed. Her tale of suffering but also shocking sin is something he cannot ignore. How he resolves his moral dilemma is truly gripping!

Get the book here: eBook

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

Faber & Faber, 2008

Books are so powerful, they can even transform the Queen of England! Yup, in this cheeky and charming story, the Queen develops an obsession for reading — gaining a new perspective on the world, and shocking her advisors with bold new decisions.

Get the book here: Physical Copy, eBook, Audiobook

See? Not all powerful novels are 500 pages long. Here’s a little challenge for you, set aside some time this weekend, and finish one of these books! ;O

P.S. For those of us more interested in non-fiction books, our business library has a ton of abstract titles you can read in 15 minutes or less!


All books featured are available via the NLB Mobile app or at our public libraries.


Text by
National Reading Movement
National Library Board


Medium Account for Public Libraries Singapore — book lists…

Public Libraries Singapore

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Medium Account for Public Libraries Singapore — book lists and book reviews, discovering programmes at the libraries and promoting a bookish lifestyle.

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