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60 Highly Readable Books to Jumpstart Your Reading Habit

These easy, readable books will help beginner adult readers who want to read more books start a reading habit and fall in love with reading.

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Want to read more books? Maybe you’re trying to start a reading habit and are looking for great books to read for beginners. This list of easy reading, unputdownable books are some of the best books for adults to read to make reading a habit and a hobby.

Starting to read again can feel daunting if you haven’t read a book in a while. It’s hard to know what books are worth reading, how to find the time, and whether you’ll be able to stick with it.

Many people fear that if they don’t find the best books to start a reading habit right away, they’ll get bored and quit.

Maybe you’ve already tried and quit. 

Maybe you were hoping for an easy book to get back into reading and you picked up a well-known classic or a book you knew was popular–but it just didn’t work for you. 

And so you quit.

A pile of books with an ampersand paperweight. Beginner readers might feel intimidated by many book options.

I get it. It can be discouraging to find that a wildly popular book doesn’t work for you–because if it worked for so many others, shouldn’t you love it, too?

If this sounds like you, check out my tips to read more books and love it, as well as mistakes to avoid if you want to start reading.

A reading challenge is also a good way to get motivated to read more; find your reading challenge style and get started!

The Key to Reading More: Find the Right Books to Read

One of the most important steps in starting to read again is to find the right books

Finding good books to read for adults doesn’t mean following a list of books that some authority says “everyone must read” or forcing yourself to slog through only the “most important books to read.”

Those lists don’t always include the most readable books, or the best books for beginners. Many of these books are great, to be sure, but they just aren’t the best place to start. Because let’s face it: reading can be a little like running. 

You’ve been doing it your whole life, but it still takes practice to get in a groove of doing it regularly. So thinking of yourself as a beginner is okay, and will help lead you to the best books for you to start a reading habit.

Books and magnifying glass. Examine your interest to find the right books to start a reading habit.

Starting with an open, beginner mindset will help you find the books that will get you into reading–because you read for you and no one else.

To get you started, I’ve put together a list of compulsively readable books for adults to help you fall in love with reading and start making reading a habit in your life. 

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Great Books to Read for Adults Who Want to Start a Reading Habit

Below you’ll find easy-to-read books for adults from the following genres or types of books: contemporary fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, light or humorous fiction, mysteries and thrillers, dystopias, alternate realities, classics, nonfiction and memoirs, and romance.

These are some of my favorite recommendations of books for beginner adult readers who want to enjoy reading again. No matter what interests you, there should be at least one book here to get you started and help you fall in love with reading.

Contemporary Fiction Books

There are so many great books to read, and it can be tough to know where to start if you’re trying to get into reading again.

These contemporary fiction books are some of my favorites, and I think they might be the perfect choices to get you started.

Contemporary Fiction typed on a typewriter. This genre is a great choice for new readers.

These modern fiction books are accessible, thought-provoking, and unputdownable, so new adult readers will be able to get lost in them for hours at a time.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein, a great book about a dog

The Art of Racing in the Rain

Author: Garth Stein
Publish Date: 2008
Genres: Contemporary Fiction

A must-read for animal lovers, you will fall in love with Enzo (an aging dog who wishes he had thumbs) and won’t be able to resist the story of his and his best friend’s relationship.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Language of Flowers

Author: Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Publish Date: 2008
Genres: Contemporary Fiction

I couldn’t put down this book about a young woman who has aged out of foster care and discovered her unique talent of matching people with exactly the right flowers.

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel, a contemporary fiction book that will help you start a reading habit.

This Is How It Always Is

Author: Laurie Frankel
Publish Date: 2018
Genres: Contemporary Fiction

A truly contemporary family novel that follows young Claude (who wants to be Poppy) and the family that does their best to support that decision in a world that doesn’t make it easy.

Maame by Jessica George


Author: Jessica George
Publish Date: 2023
Genres: Contemporary Fiction

A young woman in London who spent years caring for her ill father asserts her independence from her Ghanaian family and seeks her own identity, even when she’s sidelined by tragedy and grief.

The Antidote for Everything by Kimmery Martin

The Antidote for Everything

Author: Kimmery Martin
Publish Date: 2020
Genres: Contemporary Fiction

Two doctors push back when their clinic bans transgender patients. A novel about serious topics that also includes a delightful friendship, funny quips, and intelligent medical writing. Smart but light writing at its best. 

Wahala by Nikki May


Author: Nikki May
Narrator: Natalie Simpson
Publish Date: 2022
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary Fiction

A new addition to a close group of Anglo-Nigerian friends creates chaos in their friendships and relationships. I couldn’t stop listening as the subtle manipulation escalated.

If contemporary fiction is your favorite genre, these posts have even more must-read novels for adult readers.

Literary Fiction Books

Literary fiction books are a great choice if you love character-driven novels.

Literary fiction sometimes has a reputation of being difficult or high-brow, but these choices are good for even new or lapsed readers.

Literary fiction written on paper and letter blocks.

These novels are character-driven but still have a great story and can be enjoyed by even new or lapsed readers.

They’re perfect for anyone who wants to get lost in a thoughtful, complex, and immersive story.

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, a highly readable contemporary literary fiction novel that will help you start reading as a hobby.

An American Marriage

Author: Tayari Jones
Publish Date: 2018
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction

A gripping novel about a couple struggling to hold a marriage together when he is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Multiple themes here, including racial injustice and the wreckage it leaves in its wake.