The TBR Pile | Hooray For Short Reads!

Photo by Maria Puskas


Whenever I’m stuck in a reading rut or feeling stressed about my ever growing TBR pile, I remind myself that great books come in all shapes and sizes. Not every book you read has to be a 500-page clunker. There are some great books out there that can get the job done in 200 pages or less.

When I haven’t read anything in a while, I’ll start off with a short book. It helps me slowly ease myself  back into reading. Usually, once I’ve finished one book I’m ready to pick up another and then another and then suddenly I’m on a reading frenzy, devouring every book in sight!

Below I have included a list of the shortest books from my TBR list. If you’re stuck in a reading rut, maybe one of these will grab your attention and make you want to read again. Remember, a book is a book, no matter how small!

The Day the Crayons Came Home – Drew Daywalt: I’m not sure what it is about this kid Duncan, but his crayons sure are a colorful bunch of characters! Having soothed the hurt feelings of one group who threatened to quit, Duncan now faces a whole new group of crayons asking to be rescued. From Maroon Crayon, who was lost beneath the sofa cushions and then broken in two after Dad sat on him; to poor Turquoise, whose head is now stuck to one of Duncan’s stinky socks after they both ended up in the dryer together; to Pea Green, who knows darn well that no kid likes peas and who ran away—each and every crayon has a woeful tale to tell and a plea to be brought home to the crayon box. (36 Pages)

Extra Yarn – Mac Barnett: A young girl and her box of magical yarn transform a community in this stunning picture book. With spare, gently humorous illustrations and a palette that moves from black-and-white to a range of color, this modern fairy tale has the feel of a new classic. (40 Pages)

In the Shadow of No Towers – Art Spiegelman: Spiegelman presents a highly personalized, political, and confessional diary of his experience of September 11 and its aftermath. In 10 large-scale pages of original, hard hitting material (composed from September 11, 2001 to August 31, 2003), two essays, and 10 old comic strip reproductions from the early 20th century, Spiegelman expresses his feelings of dislocation, grief, anxiety, and outrage over the horror of the attacks—and the subsequent “hijacking” of the event by the Bush administration to serve what he believes is a misguided and immoral political agenda. Readers who agree with Spiegelman’s point of view will marvel at the brilliance of his images and the wit and accuracy of his commentary. Others, no doubt, will be jolted by his candor and, perhaps, be challenged to reexamine their position. (48 Pages)

The Houdini Box – Brian Selznick: Victor is forever trying to escape from locked trunks, walk through walls, and perform any number of Houdini’s astonishing magic tricks…without success. Then — amazingly — he actually meets his idol, and begs Houdini to explain himself. A mysterious locked box is the magician’s only answer, and Victor is left to wonder: Does the box contain the secrets to the most famous magic tricks ever performed. (64 Pages)

Night – Elie Wiesel: Born into a Jewish ghetto in Hungary, as a child, Elie Wiesel was sent to the Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald. This is his account of that atrocity: the ever-increasing horrors he endured, the loss of his family and his struggle to survive in a world that stripped him of humanity, dignity and faith. Describing in simple terms the tragic murder of a people from a survivor’s perspective, Night is among the most personal, intimate and poignant of all accounts of the Holocaust. (120 Pages)


Book summaries via Goodreads


What’s the shortest book on your TBR list?


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