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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UCT chapter.

Now that we’re all fully back on campus, I’ve found that my days can be quite long with little bits of spare time splattered throughout the day. When I’ve got 10 minutes to kill, I usually end up scrolling, which makes my eyes sore, my brain hurt, and my battery die.

So, I’ve been trying to read more, especially in those moments between class, waiting for the bus or simply resting my eyes from essay writing. But my main problem has been trying to find a good, easy-to-read book that doesn’t weigh a ton or have a super complex storyline so that I can pick it up whenever and feel like I know what’s going on.

I figured this might be a universal issue, so I’ve put together a short list of 5 books that fulfil these requirements so we can all become more well-read and less phone-dependant.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Taylor Jenkins Reid.

If you know anything about books or have ever stumbled upon booktok, you’ll definitely know of this book.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is a captivating, fast-paced, and colourful story that will have you desperate for every spare moment you can find to turn the pages.

Following the rise of fictional movie star Evelyn Hugo and her encounters with her seven husbands, the story takes you on an emotional journey throughout time and vividly places you in Evelyn’s shoes as she experiences life.

Educated, Tara Westover.

For a slight change of pace, Educated is a memoir about Westover’s life and the trials and tribulations she faced while growing up in a strict Mormon household.

With a super unorthodox family, Westover explains in beautiful and intricate detail the struggles she had to overcome to educate herself and loosen the binds of her family ties.

This book will seriously help you escape those dreary moments, as you get so sucked into Westover’s world that you’ll never want to put the book down.

Such a Fun Age, Kiley Reid.

Also, such a fun book! Well-written and easy to read, Reid’s novel weaves together the lives of white, privileged girlboss Alix and her black struggling babysitter Emira as they face everyday struggles and just general life.

Reid gracefully discusses and unpacks complex issues while also humanising the characters and making the language and writing accessible, ultimately creating a digestible story for everyone.

Normal People, Sally Rooney.

Now I’m sorry to say it, but the only way you haven’t heard of this book is if you’ve genuinely been living under a rock.

Rooney’s story took the world by storm, and was developed into a BBC series which is similarly as fantastic and incredibly highly rated.

Normal People is a tiny book (under 300 pages) which makes it perfect to throw into your tote bag – but don’t think that it doesn’t pack a punch. This book is soul-destroying. It follows the lives of Marianne and Connell as they navigate high school, first love, ugly love, university, and then the real world, and how they always seem to find each other.

Emma, Jane Austen.

I know… I know… Austen!? You’re probably thinking, surely that’s not an easy read, right? Well, you’d be surprised!

Although Jane Austen was mainly writing in the 19th century, her work still translates into today’s times.

Emma is about a young, snobby, entitled and upper-class rich white girl, yet the novel knows this and constantly pokes fun at her about it. She is a self-proclaimed match-maker in her town, yet she struggles to find love herself. Equipped with lots of humour, some slightly complicated love stories, and a completely lovable heroine, Emma is sure to keep you company wherever you are.

So there you have it folks! A short collection of easy-to-read books that are all under 400 pages, have punchy storylines and are easy to follow. Get those tote bags ready because they’re about to be filled with good books and no more battery packs!

Hi! I'm a film student and an avid reader. I adore cooking, nature, and trying to be the best version of myself :)