— Book Bites

9 books under 100 pages for a quick afternoon read

Let’s face it: As a society, our attention spans aren’t what they used to be. Sure, we enjoy the occasional 3-hour movie or long read. But some days, we can barely sit through a video that’s more than 60 seconds or catch up on a lengthy Twitter thread. Sometimes, short and sweet is the way to go — like books under 100 pages.

Fortunately, there are plenty of books to accommodate shorter attention spans. If you’re in the mood to read from cover to cover in just a few hours (or less), pick up one of these books under 100 pages for your next afternoon off.

1. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Orchises Press

Remember in Riverdale when Jughead asked Betty if she’d “gone all Yellow Wallpaper” on him? That’s a reference to Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s classic work of feminist literature. It tells the story of a woman who descends into madness in an old mansion, living under her husband’s strict rules. Eventually, she locks herself in her bedroom and obsesses over the yellow wallpaper. All in just 6,000 words. 16 pages.

2. Poke the Box by Seth Godin

Portfolio

Seth Godin is the master of the manifesto. His books and speeches always find new ways to inspire, and Poke the Box is no exception. The next time you need a little pep talk, crack this Godin gem. It’ll remind you of your own significance, and encourage you to stop waiting and to start doing. 96 pages.

3. If You’re Not Yet Like Me by Edan Lepucki

Nouvella

This novella about a relationship is far from “chick lit” or a “rom com.” If You’re Not Yet Like Me is short and bittersweet. It’s clever, complex, and comedic. You’ll want to read it again and again — which is totally doable, given its brevity. 55 pages.

4. The Art of War by Sun Tzu

Filiquarian Publishing

Okay, so chances are you’re probably not headed into battle anytime soon. But there’s still a lot to learn from this classic, like how to motivate, win over your opponents, and prevail in tough situations. If The Art of War is good enough for Tony Soprano, it’s good enough for us. 72 pages.

5. Lifeboat No. 8 by Elizabeth Kaye

Byliner Inc.

Calling all Titanic lovers: This one’s for you. Elizabeth Kaye’s e-book tells a little-known story behind one of the early lifeboats to depart from the sinking ship. Who were the first to make it off? Find out in Lifeboat No. 8: An Untold Tale of Love, Loss, and Surviving the Titanic. 70 pages.

6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Penguin Books

The heartbreaking story of Lennie and George is a classic. Maybe you read it in school, discovered it as an adult, saw the play, or simply know the tale. However familiar you are with Of Mice and Men, all it takes is an afternoon to read it again. This one comes just over 100 pages (it’s 107), but when the story is this good, what’s an extra seven pages?

7. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Vintage

This petite, pocket-sized book doesn’t take up much space on the bookshelf, but it holds a big place in our hearts. In her short essay, adapted from her popular TEDx talk of the same name, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie asks: What does feminism mean today? Everybody should read her simple, thoughtful assessment. 49 pages.

8. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Harcourt, Inc.

The Little Prince is one of the most re-readable books of all time. It appeals to audiences of all ages,and means something different to us every time we read it. It’s a precious, emotional, and magical celebration of the sweet innocence of childhood, and we couldn’t love it more. 83 pages.

9. Very Good Lives by J.K. Rowling

Little, Brown and Company

When J.K. Rowling delivered a deeply heartfelt commencement address at Harvard in 2008, the video of her speech immediately went viral. Now, you can hold her wise words in your own two hands and refer to them whenever you need a little guidance. 74 pages.

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