Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Read When Time is Short

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by That Arty Reader Girl. Each week, we are given a bookish topic to discuss. This week’s theme is Books to Read When Time is Short. In an ideal world, we readers would have all the time we want to read. However, in reality, we often find ourselves with little time to get to read our TBR. These books are ones to pick up when time is short but the desire to read is strong.

Books to Read When Time Is Short


Novellas are a great option to pick up when you don’t have much time to read. Oftentimes, you can find novellas for some of your favorite series.


Manga is my go-to for reading, whether I have hours or minutes to read. The advantage is that manga volumes are short and can, for the most part, be read in less than 30 minutes. While the length of a manga series can vary greatly, it’s the individual volumes that are great for reading when you don’t have much time.

Here are a few of my favorite manga series:

The Savior’s Book Cafe Story In Another World by Kyouka Izumi

Tsukina is a single, thirty-something office worker who’s favorite thing is curling up with a good book. When a god tells her that she must go to another world to become its magical savior, Tsukina isn’t interested. She has zero desire to go on some grand hero’s journey. So when she arrives in this strange new land, she decides to use her magical powers to create a cozy little book café instead. Her first customer is a handsome soldier who loves reading almost as much as she does. But when a fellow “savior” starts causing trouble, Tsukina might have to play the hero after all!

Inuyasha by Rumiko Takahashi

Kagome is an ordinary modern schoolgirl living an ordinary life. Who would have thought the dried-up old well on the site of her family’s shrine would be a gateway to Japan’s ancient past? Drawn through the gate against her will, Kagome finds herself battling demons for control of what she thought was a worthless trinket but is actually a powerful magical gem, the Shikon Jewel! Together with an unlikely ally, the half demon Inuyasha, Kagome begins a quest to recover the shards of the Shikon Jewel and learn more about her link to the past.

Pulled Through Time!

After falling into an old well and into ancient Japan, Kagome discovers that her destiny is linked to the dog-like half demon called Inuyasha! As Kagome learns more about her connection to the past and to Inuyasha, she comes into conflict with the terrible demons that are drawn to the Shikon Jewel, including Inuyasha’s own half brother, Sesshomaru. Finding the shards of the Shikon Jewel is going to require powerful magic, strange allies, and a strong heart. Kagome’s got plenty of heart, but she’s going to need Inuyasha’s help for the rest of it, and he may not be so willing to lend a hand!

Silver Spoon by Hiromu Arakawa

Defying the expectations of family and teachers, Yuugo Hachiken chooses to leave the city and enroll at Ooezo Agricultural High School. Having always been at the top of his class, Yuugo assumes a rural school will be a breeze, but mucking out stables, gathering eggs, and chasing errant calves takes a lot out of him-and fills him with something he’s never experienced before. Surrounded by endless fields and fresh air, Yuugo discovers a new connection to the land and to life…Springtime begins at Ezo AG!!

Kimi ni Todoke by Karuho Shiina

With her jet-black hair, sinister smile and silent demeanor, Sawako “Sadako” Kuronuma always had trouble fitting in. But her whole life changes when she befriends the most popular boy in class, Shota Kazehaya. Can love trump her cursed life?

Sawako Kuronuma is the perfect heroine…for a horror movie. With striking similarities to a haunting movie character–jet-black hair, sinister smile and silent demeanor–she’s mistakenly called Sadako by those around her. But behind her scary façade is a very misunderstood teenager. Too shy to fit in, all she wants to do is make some friends. But when the most popular boy in class befriends her, she’s sure to make more than just that–she’s about to make some enemies too!

Erased by Kei Sanbe

Twenty-nine-year-old Satoru Fujinuma is floundering through life. Amid his daily drudgery, he finds himself in the grip of an incredible, inexplicable, and uncontrollable phenomenon that rewinds time, a condition that seems to only make his drab life worse. But then, one day, everything changes. A terrible incident forever changes Satoru’s life as he knows it…and with it, comes a “Revival” that sends Satoru eighteen years into the past! In the body of his boyhood self, Satoru encounters sights he never imagined he would see again–the smile of his mother, alive and well, his old friends, and Kayo Hinazuki, the girl who was kidnapped and murdered when he was a boy the first time around. To return to the present and prevent the tragedy that brought him back to his childhood in the first place, Satoru begins plotting a way to change Hinazuki’s fate…But up against the clock and a faceless evil, does eleven-year-old Satoru even stand a chance?

Childhood Favorites

Though many of us look to read something new, even when we are short on reading time, there is something to be said about reading a favorite book from our childhood. These books tend to be short and entertaining, plus revisiting these stories can bring on a feeling of nostalgia.

Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry

On the island of Chincoteague, off the coasts of Virginia and Maryland, lives a centuries-old band of wild ponies. Among them is the most mysterious of all, Phantom, a rarely-seen mare that eludes all efforts to capture her—that is, until a young boy and girl lay eyes on her and determine that they can’t live without her.

The frenzied roundup that follows on the next Pony Penning Day does indeed bring Phantom into their lives, in a way they never would have suspected. Phantom would forever be a creature of the wild. But her gentle, loyal colt Misty is another story altogether…

Unicorns of Balinor by Mary Stanton

As Arianna recovers from a bad accident and loss of memory, she slowly recalls things about her past and learns that her “horse” Chase can speak thoughts to her, as can her dog. When Chase is threatened, Arianna tries to run away with Chase and Lincoln – only to find herself transported into the world of Balinor, where she must reclaim her birthright.

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a menacing, kid-hating headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it!

I hope you enjoyed my list of Books to Read When Time is Short. What books do you read when you don’t have a lot of time?


  1. I used to enjoy reading the Matilda books to my grandkids when they were younger.

  2. Despite the popularity, I never read the Matilda books, but the movie that Netflix made was fun. Also, Manga is having SUCH a moment in culture right now. So many love it! 🙂 Thanks so much for visiting my website today!

    1. Author

      It would still be worth reading, especially if you loved the Netflix movie. Manga is very popular and with it becoming more available outside of Japan, it’s popularity will surely grow.

    1. Author

      Absolutely. I think I only found one childhood favorite I didn’t love when I reread them as an adult.

  3. Matilda is so nostalgic for me. I haven’t read the other books you listed though. Unicorns of Balinor is really calling to me!

    1. Author

      I think a lot of us read Matilda when we were younger, it was a popular book then and still is to this day.

    1. Author

      That’s great. I have read a couple of romance novellas but I should make time to read more of them.

    1. Author

      Same. I read her books so many times I completely wore out the copies and we had to get new ones. I still have them to this day.

  4. I was thinking about buying a copy of The Road to Balinor the other day. Its will has to stay on my tbr for now.

    1. Author

      It’s worth picking up. It’s a fun little series that you could probably binge-read in a day if you wanted to.

    1. Author

      I’m glad I could share some manga recs with you. I talk about manga a lot, so more recs will come in the future.

  5. I am a fan of kids’ books, so that is often my go-to genre when time is short. Thank you for sharing some of your favorite manga titles. That’s a genre I have read little of.

    1. Author

      Glad to hear you still enjoy kids books, they are so fun to read. I hope you are able to check out more manga, it’s quite an amazing genre to dive into.

    1. Author

      The manga is the way to go because the anime isn’t complete yet. The anime currently over covers about half of the manga series but there is a third season coming out this year.

    1. Author

      The manga is worth picking up for sure. I can’t remember any major difference between anime and manga, other than the movies don’t exist in manga, they were created purely for the anime.

  6. Oh, I didn’t even think of manga or graphic novels, but you are right! I would have included the Tea Dragon Society books, if I had thought of it, and also Moon Cakes.

    And yes, childhood favorites are great for rereading (at any time, really.) I have an entire bookshelf and a half of my favorite children’s books… some from my own childhood, some I discovered as an adult and later as a parent. And I do reread my favorites.

    1. Author

      I’m not familiar with either of those, I’ll have to check them out. That’s awesome that you have so many children’s books.

  7. This is a great list! I’ve seen manga mentioned a lot, but never really knew what it was, and the examples you posted all look really interesting! I also love the idea of rereading childhood favorites – and they tend to be faster reads. And Misty of Chincoteague was one of my favorites!

    1. Author

      Thank you. There are tons of manga out there, so there is something for everyone in the genres. Happy to meet another Misty fan.

  8. I love these recommendations! It’s so nice to have options when you want a quick read and these all look really fun. Thank you for the recommendations!

  9. This is a great list! Manga is one of my go-to for quick reads, too. I haven’t read The Savior’s Book Cafe Story in Another World yet, but it sounds like something I need to look into!

    1. Author

      Thank you. I hope you do pick up The Savior’s Book Cafe Story in Another World because it’s a fantastic short series.

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