It could be said the beach was made for reading — there’s something especially satisfying about finishing an entire story while you’re lounging on the shore, sunning in a lounge chair, or lazing under the shade of an umbrella. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best beach books under 250 pages, making them the perfect length to read in one sitting. With a blend of ebooks and audio — including fun rom-coms, short captivating fantasies, and a Stephen King thriller — there's something for everyone.
You’ll be transported to your own summer camp days with this short Scribd original. Based on Theroux’s own experiences, it’s about a boy at a 1950s Boy Scout camp learning what it is to be a man — and grappling with disturbing moments of prejudice along the way. Filled with humor and nostalgia, it nonetheless packs an emotional punch.
Binti is the first of her people to be accepted into the galaxy’s equivalent of an Ivy League school, Oomza University. But her journey there takes her far from home and the culture of her people — and in the orbit of an alien race hellbent on revenge. Winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards for Best Novella, this captivating science-fiction audiobook might make you forget you’re at the shore.
What is a day at the beach without a sizzling romance? It’s easy to fall in love with this Tessa Dare historical novella about wealthy, beautiful Miss Diana Highwood and the man she absolutely should not want: rugged blacksmith Aaron, who’s a little too good with his hands. Read it to slack your thirst while you’re waiting for the next season of Bridgerton.
No one does a thrilling page-turner like King. In this short horror audiobook, Jamie, a boy who can speak to the dead, gets dragged into using his talent to find where a deceased murderer planted his last bomb to prevent the deaths of more innocent people. But when the murderer’s rage-filled ghost — or perhaps the entity occupying his spirit — starts haunting Jamie, the plot takes an extra chilling turn. The one thing that’s not frightening about Later is its length: You can read it in an afternoon (followed by a sleepless night).
Travel to Tokyo in this quirky book about 36-year-old Keiko, an unusual woman who feels most at home working at her local “Smile Mart,” where rules of how to dress, speak, and behave are outlined in a manual. But, when family and friends pressure her to find a husband, Keiko struggles to conform. You’ll be recommending this one to friends, so you can discuss what’s really going on with Keiko — and what “normal” really means, anyway.
If you’re ready to laugh, think, and remember all the fitness fads you’ve attempted, this graphic memoir by Fun Home author Bechdel is just what you need. Chronicling Bechdel’s various ways of exercising through the years — from climbing to karate to yoga — it’s a blast from the past. But it’s also about connecting to our bodies and discovering something greater than ourselves.
A standalone tale in McGuire’s Wayward Children series, this audiobook tells the story of Regan, a girl with troubles in the real world who enters a doorway into the Hooflands, a place where unicorns, centaurs, kelpies, and more roam. You’ll be transported into this magical world of wonder and possibility. But things are not quite as simple as they seem …
You’ll laugh and sigh reading this short romantic romp set on a sandy, sun-drenched island in the Florida Keys. In it, personal trainer Roberta runs an exercise class for brides-to-be. But her class — and single life — get more interesting when gorgeous sheriff's deputy Ryan accidentally joins her bridal boot camp, with some unexpectedly sexy results.
Perfect for true-crime fans, this Scribd Original delves into the 1970s case of Willie J. Maxwell, an Alabama pastor and suspected murderer who was eventually shot to death at a funeral. The strange tale so captivated writer Harper Lee that she traveled to Alabama to interview the people involved … then for some reason, dropped the story. But why? This short book about murder, greed, voodoo, and a great American author is riveting.
A sweet addition to Emma Chase’s Legal Briefs series, this novella will have you swooning from more than just the summer heat. After marrying beautiful Chelsea, attorney Jake is now the father figure for her six orphaned nieces and nephews. Could life get any crazier? Yes, in fact, it can in this funny romance also available as an audiobook.
Looking for a great short audiobook for the drive to the beach? This Scribd Original packs enough humor and heart to keep you entertained. A college-educated graphic designer and gay man, Jay is nothing like his blue-collar, womanizing dad. But when the older man starts suffering from dementia, Jay helps him find a new place to live. Have they found it in the quirky Town & Country Senior Inn?
Funny and tender, this short novel follows 30-year-old Ruth, a woman who boomerangs back home after her engagement and job come to an end. But there’s nothing easy about being back with her parents either, especially when her professor father is descending into Alzheimer’s. You’ll be drawn into Khong’s story, an L.A. Times Book Prize finalist, as Ruth navigates both issues of family and self-identity with humor and emotion.
You’ll easily lose an afternoon being entertained by this audiobook, the newest in Martha Wells’ award-winning Murderbot Diaries series. Starring a self-aware android who dislikes people and wryly dubs itself “Murderbot,” it manages to ace science fiction, humor, and mystery at once since, in this latest installment, Murderbot must discover who killed the human whose corpse was dumped at a station.
You can’t go wrong with Gaiman’s fantasy, and this short fairy tale — also available in audiobook — shows why. When an old man returns to the neighborhood where he grew up for a funeral, memories of a strange girl he once met there overtake him. The story is nostalgic, wonderful, and deliciously dark. In a starred review, Kirkus Reviews called this treasure “a fable that reminds us how our lives are shaped by childhood experiences, what we gain from them, and the price we pay.”
This may only be 100 pages, but don’t let that fool you: you’ll be utterly transported by this sci-fi adventure. One of the newest books on this list, it takes place in a future where the Earth has been destroyed and follows astronaut Quiver and her robot companion, Mic, as they attempt the journey toward an ideal planet named Trafik.
For more easy reading recommendations, check out the Books Best Read Poolside (or in a Hammock) list from our Scribd editors.
About the Author: G.G. Andrew
G.G. is a freelance writer and author of romance and women's fiction, including the short story "Everything Left Unsaid" in the collection A Million Ways: Stories of Motherhood. A Texas transplant, she lives outside Houston with her husband and two sons, both of whom are on the autism spectrum. In her spare time, she enjoys browsing bookstores, yoga, paper crafts, cooking, genealogy, and anything related to Halloween. She's probably drinking tea right now.