10 Best Novels to Read When Bored

When you're bored and you just need to dive into a different world, the choice of books can be overwhelming. Don't worry, though - we've got you covered with a variety of novels that are sure to drive the boredom away. Here is a selection of books to read when bored...

Alt Text

1. The Girl on the Train

Paula Hawkins

This psychological thriller is sure to provide some edge-of-the-seat reading that will guarantee no dull moments. The novel follows Rachel, who, on her regular train commute, witnesses something she shouldn't have seen - and now her life will never be the same...

Alt Text

2. The Hunger Games

Suzanne Collins

This YA dystopian series has taken the world by storm over the last few years with both the films and novels known for being relentlessly thrilling. Regardless of your age, if you still haven't picked up Suzanne Collins's heart-pounding series about Katniss, the young girl who becomes part of a brutal gameshow where children fight to the death, then now is your chance!

Alt Text

3. American Gods

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman's fantasy novel has recently been adapted into a hit series on Amazon, so why not delve into the original work and see what all the fuss is about? When Shadow is released from prison and offered a mysterious new job, he finds himself thrown into a world of danger and mythology in one of Neil Gaiman's most thrilling novels yet.

Alt Text

4. Bridget Jones's Diary

Helen Fielding

Helen Fielding's witty novel about unlucky-in-love Bridget is a brilliant read that is sure to chase the boredom away. Based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice with a modern twist and hilarious results, it's no wonder this series has been turned into several much-loved films.

Alt Text

5. The Great Gatsby

F. Scott Fitzgerald

If you are looking for a shorter book, then F. Scott Fitzgerald's tale of parties, money, excess and the price we pay for love is a quick read at only nine chapters. However, despite its length, it is an enthralling and fascinating exploration of the American dream, and F. Scott Fitzgerald's beautiful writing is sure to cure your boredom.

Alt Text

6. 'Salem's Lot

Stephen King

If horror is your go-to for scaring away boredom, you must check out Stephen King's personal favourite of his many books. Salem's Lot is about author Ben Mears who attempts to write his own work of horror fiction - only to find himself in the centre of a real horror story, as he discovers his hometown is filled with vampires...

Alt Text

7. The Book Thief

Markus Zusak

Set in 1939 Nazi Germany, this captivating story is narrated by Death and follows Liesel, a girl who becomes an avid young booklover - and is shocked by the destruction of books by the Nazis. When Liesel has to help hide a Jewish boy in the basement, the power of words and books to enrich the soul is explored by both youngsters as they try to evade danger and even death. This spellbinding and striking story is a must-read and a gripping boredom buster.

Alt Text

8. The Hound of the Baskervilles

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

If classic detective stories with the opportunity to crack the case yourself are more your thing, then give some Sherlock Holmes a whirl. The Hound of the Baskervilles is definitely not one to leave you bored with Holmes and Watson finding themselves tracking a demonic hound across the moors. This unusual mystery will keep your brain working until the very end.

Alt Text

9. The Buddha of Suburbia

Hanif Kureishi

This hilarious story about family and race in Britain is a brilliant read and both the comedy and the social commentary will keep you turning pages. The novel follows Karim, a wannabe actor and mixed-race son of a very eccentric family, and is both heart-warming and terrifically silly in equal measure.

Alt Text

10. Peter Pan

J. M. Barrie

When you're bored, why not revisit this childhood classic? Reading Peter Pan, the story of the boy who never grows up on the magical island of Neverland, is just as magical for adults as it is for children, and with the added touch of nostalgia, you're guaranteed to be engrossed.

Alt Text

Need more boredom-busting books? Check out our entire range of the best fiction books to fill your free time with riveting reads.

  • The Hunger Games Collection - 3 Books - Collection - 9781407130361 - Suzanne Collins
    GAME 12 years +
    12 years +
    • £5.99
    • RRP £23.97
    • Save £17.98Save 73.9999999999999982946974341757595539093017578125%
    • Just £2.00 per book
    Suzanne Collins' bestselling YA book series, The Hunger Games trilogy, transports readers to a dystopian future run by the evil President Snow, where children are forced to take part in a deadly game to win favour for themselves and their village.

    When Katniss Everdeen becomes a contestant, she is convinced she won't return, but as she enters the life-or-death world of the televised game, she finds she's stronger than she thought... Will the odds be ever in her favour? She'll need the help of fellow contestant Peeta Mellark, previous winner Haymitch Abernathy and other rebels to help overthrow the sinister government.

    Totally unputdownable, the Hunger Games books - The Hunger Games, Catching Fire and Mockingjay - are a must for any bookshelf and they will surely generate discussion around the world we live in today. The Hollywood films - starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Woody Harrelson - have gained the trilogy a legion of dedicated fans and now is the perfect time to immerse yourself in the life-or-death adventures found in The Hunger Games books.
  • MZK2 11 years +
    11 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £4.00Save 50.00%
    Now a major motion picture starring Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson, The Book Thief is a moving and breathtaking novel that young readers and adults will both be sure to devour.

    Set in 1939 Nazi Germany, the country holds its breath, waiting on the brink of war. Young Liesel's life is changed forever as she stands by her brother's grave and picks up The Gravedigger's Handbook from the snow, committing her first act of book thievery and changing her life forever... So follows her love affair with books in an increasingly dangerous time. When her foster family hide a Jewish boy in their basement her world is both opened up and shut down, but the power of words and the ability for books to feed the soul is explored and enjoyed by both youngsters.

    Superbly crafted and incredibly moving, children aged 11+ simply must read this award-winning tale which has proved to be one of the most enduring and respected of recent times.
    • £5.89
    • RRP £5.99
    • Save £0.10Save 1.0000000000000000710542735760100185871124267578125%
    This is the "Penguin English Library Edition" of "The Hound of the Baskervilles" by Arthur Conan Doyle. "Mr Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!" The terrible spectacle of the beast, the fog of the moor, the discovery of a body: this classic horror story pits detective against dog, rationalism against the supernatural, good against evil. When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead on the wild Devon moorland with the footprints of a giant hound nearby, the blame is placed on a family curse. It is left to Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson to solve the mystery of the legend of the phantom hound before Sir Charles' heir comes to an equally gruesome end. "The Hound of the Baskervilles" gripped readers when it was first serialised and has continued to hold its place in the popular imagination. "The Penguin English Library" contains 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
    • £9.89
    • RRP £9.99
    'Turn off the television - in fact, why don't you turn off all the lights except for the one over your favourite chair? - and we'll talk about vampires here in the dim. I think I can make you believe in them.' Stephen King, from the Introduction.

    'Salem's Lot is a small New England town with the usual quota of gossips, drinkers, weirdos and respectable folk. Of course there are tales of strange happenings - but not more than in any other town its size. Ben Mears, a moderately successful writer, returns to the Lot to write a novel based on his early years, and to exorcise the terrors that have haunted him since childhood. The event he witnessed in the house now rented by a new resident. A newcomer with a strange allure. A man who causes Ben some unease as things start to happen: a child disappears, a dog is brutally killed - nothing unusual, except the list starts to grow. Soon surprise will turn to bewilderment, bewilderment to confusion and finally to terror...
    • £6.29
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £0.70Save 10.00%
    Jay Gatsby is the man who has everything. But one thing will always be out of his reach...Everybody who is anybody is seen at his glittering parties. Day and night his Long Island mansion buzzes with bright young things drinking, dancing and debating his mysterious character. For Gatsby - young, handsome, fabulously rich - always seems alone in the crowd, watching and waiting, though no one knows what for. Beneath the shimmering surface of his life he is hiding a secret: a silent longing that can never be fulfilled. And soon this destructive obsession will force his world to unravel.
    • £7.79
    • RRP £8.99
    • Save £1.20Save 12.9999999999999999289457264239899814128875732421875%
    After three years in prison, Shadow has done his time. But as the time until his release ticks away, he can feel a storm brewing. Two days before he gets out, his wife Laura dies in a mysterious car crash, in adulterous circumstances. Dazed, Shadow travels home, only to encounter the bizarre Mr Wednesday claiming to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America. Together they embark on a very strange journey across the States, along the way solving the murders which have occurred every winter in one small American town. But the storm is about to break...Disturbing, gripping and profoundly strange, Gaiman's epic novel sees him on the road to the heart of America. Includes extra material exclusive to Headline Review's edition
  • ETE2 7 years +
    7 years +
    • £3.99
    • RRP £6.99
    • Save £3.00Save 42.0000000000000005684341886080801486968994140625%
    Don't miss this timeless classic! JM Barrie's Peter Pan has charmed generations of children and their parents and the adventures of the mischievous Lost Boys, adventurous Darling children and courageous Peter Pan are sure to enchant generations more! Perfect for reading aloud.
    • £8.89
    • RRP £8.99
    Karim lives with his Mum and Dad in a suburb of south London and dreams of making his escape to the bright lights of the big city. But his father is no ordinary Dad, he is 'the buddha of suburbia', a strange and compelling figure whose powers of meditation hold a circle of would-be mystics spellbound with the fascinations of the East. Among his disciples is the glamorous and ambitious Eva, and when 'the buddha of suburbia' runs off with her to a crumbling flat in Barons Court, Karim's life becomes changed in ways that even he had never dreamed of.
    • £7.69
    • RRP £8.99
    • Save £1.30Save 14.0000000000000004973799150320701301097869873046875%
    With an introduction by Caitlin Moran A dazzling urban satire of modern relationships? An ironic, tragic insight into the demise of the nuclear family? Or the confused ramblings of a pissed thirty-something? As Bridget documents her struggles through the social minefield of her thirties and tries to weigh up the eternal question (Daniel Cleaver or Mark Darcy?), she turns for support to four indispensable friends: Shazzer, Jude, Tom and a bottle of chardonnay. Bridget Jones's Diary was first published in 1996 and applauded by critics from Salman Rushdie to Jilly Cooper. A number-one bestseller, Helen Fielding's book has sold over fifteen million copies worldwide and has been turned into an Academy Award-nominated film series starring Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth and Hugh Grant. Bridget Jones's Diary is followed by Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy.
    • £6.39
    • RRP £7.99
    • Save £1.60Save 20.00%
    This is the runaway sunday times no. 1 bestseller and thriller of the year. "Really great suspense novel. Kept me up most of the night. The alcoholic narrator is dead perfect." (Stephen King). Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She's even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. 'Jess and Jason', she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she's only watched from afar. Now they'll see; she's much more than just the girl on the train...