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Harry Potter, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Hunger Games: these were the books of my childhood (and I’m sure of many others) that made reading so addictive. Now I find myself looking back on the days where I would read for hours upon hours and wonder how the hell I did that?! When I open a book now I can only seem to make it a couple pages before I’m reaching for my phone or fighting to keep my eyes open. What happened to the version of myself that could polish off a book in an afternoon? Have our phones, social media and streaming services really killed our attention span this drastically or is it because we have to read book after book for classes and can’t seem to find the joy in picking one up for pleasure anymore? While we may not know the exact cause, I do have a few suggestions for a solution. If this bookworm child/young adult rings true to you it is not too late to salvage that part of yourself and fall in love with reading once again.

The trick is to really dive headfirst into it and buy yourself a couple books, the ones that every family member or friend has told you you MUST read, that way you’ve got the added pressure of having already spent your money and the desire to make that transaction worth it. Now when exactly should I be reading these (you’re probably asking)? Well like many of you I’m a student and the thought of reading a book that is not required while I’ve got multiple classes on the go and assignments due every week does not spark joy with me either. Therefore, the best time to read and have it truly be fun with no added pressure or requirements is to do so over breaks.

I fell in love with reading again during the summer in quarantine and while I let it slide for the better part of the fall semester it was easy to pick it right back up again over the holidays! It’s the perfect way to feel as though you’ve accomplished something during your break while still enjoying yourself and relaxing. You’ve got to create the right atmosphere for yourself as well, if it’s winter, wrap yourself in a blanket and make a cup of tea; if it’s summer, take your book outside and enjoy some fresh air and nice weather while you’re at it! It’s all about making reading fun again and finding your own motivation for putting down your phone and picking up a book.

Now if all of this is appealing to you and you're ready to begin reading but don’t know where to start and what book to choose, look no further. Here are my top three books that will have you hooked just like when you were a kid:

For the Netflix/TV lovers: If you’re totally addicted to Netflix and streaming and are wondering why the hell you would read a book (trust me I am not judging, TV is so good these days!!) try Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. This book explores the complicated world of mother-daughter relationships and how vastly different/complicated they can be. It has also been recently turned into a series so why not read it first and then save the watching as a little reward for yourself after having finished the book! 

For murder mystery fans with very little patience: I recommend The Guest List by Lucy Foley. A murder mystery set during a wedding on a remote island off the coast of Ireland. The author gives you the five suspects right off the bat so it’s your job to play detective as you go along. Also, the chapters and the book as a whole are not too long and you’ll speed through it in no time, desperate to figure out who did it! 

For murder mystery fans with more patience: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is the story of a young girl growing up on her own in the swampy marsh of North Carolina, intertwined with the story of a murder investigation of a local boy. This book is a bit longer but well worth it for it is so beautifully written and has such a captivating story. 

I’ve ordered this list from shortest to longest length books and if you’re looking for more suggestions after reading and loving all of these, browse the list of books on Reese Witherspoon's online book club Hello Sunshine. All of these are on her list along with many other great ones. I have not been steered wrong by her yet!    


Sophie Panton

Carleton '24

Journalism and Humanities at CarletonU class of '24. Passions include: travel, good food, addictive TV and the great outdoors!
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