Skip to Main Content
Header image

20 long books to read while staying in

By Nathan Maharaj • March 16, 2020The Bookish Life

Put on the kettle. Mute your phone. We’ve got a lineup of epic journeys you can take right now, right where you are.

If your heart's full of wanderlust but you've got no plans to leave the couch, look no further. We've got a list of some of the best and longest eBooks to fill any quantity of leisure time.

And to help you decide on your destination, we’ve included how long each one will take to read.

(Click through any title to find the audiobook version.)

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Now’s your chance to get ahead of your best-read friends. Hunker down with this and impress them that you’ve already read it when they bring it up. (10 hours to read)

View Book

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Not only an incredible book in its own right as it imagines the perilous court of Henry VIII as vividly as the first season of House of Cards, but it’s also the start of a trilogy that just concluded with The Mirror & the Light. (19 hours to read)

View Book

The Dreamblood Duology by N. K. Jemisin

N. K. Jemisin is a writer of immense imagination and world-building skill: here she tells the story of a world in which magic is powered by dreams and overseen by a priesthood that also serve as executioners, and there’s someone (or something) killing people who...you know what? Let her tell it. (22 hours to read)

View Book

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

Donna Tartt writes the kind of novels that remind us why we like reading in the first place. In the event that you finish it and still have more time to fill, we advise skipping the movie and reading another book from this list instead. (25 hours to read)

View Book

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

A story of kings, princesses, and magic that counts among its fans George R. R. Martin and Lin Manuel Miranda. And if you make it to the end, there’s a sequel. And if you make it to the end of that, you can join the legion anxiously awaiting the trilogy’s conclusion. (23 hours to read)

View Book

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

Isabel Allende’s 1982 debut novel comes from deep in our to-read pile. It’s a gorgeous multigenerational novel of Latin America that influenced an entire generation of writers around the world. (16 hours to read)

View Book

Native Son by Richard Wright

A classic 20th-century African-American novel, which tells the story of Bigger Thomas, a young man doomed to poverty, violence, and despair. (14 hours to read)

View Book

In the Woods by Tana French

Tana French is the greatest mystery writer you’re not already obsessed with and though you could read this in one long sitting, you really shouldn’t. (17 hours to read)

View Book

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

The movie was hardly a fraction of the world Kevin Kwan created. And did you know it’s only the first in a trilogy? (11 hours to read)

View Book

2666 by Roberto Bolaño

Given the century-long, continent-jumping scope of Bolaño’s epic masterpiece, it’s actually a pretty short read. (34 hours to read)

View Book

White Teeth by Zadie Smith

Before Zadie Smith was the pre-eminent British novelist we now know her as, she was the twenty-something author of this book that became an instant contemporary classic. (14 hours to read)

View Book

A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

A portrait of 70s-era Jamaica so epic in scope it’s a wonder it can all fit in a book and a single reader’s mind. (21 hours to read)

View Book

The Stand by Stephen King

A book legendary among Stephen King fans for being the one they haven’t read… yet. It’s time to end the excuses. (42 hours to read)

View Book

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

Tolkien’s epic tale is a pretty good substitute for going on an actual trip with friends. (50 hours to read)

View Book

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

Glamour! Intrigue! Comeuppance! A bonafide classic that will entitle you to say for the rest of your life every time someone mentions the magazine of the same name, “Oh, I thought you meant Thackeray's novel, which I quite enjoyed.” (27 hours to read)

View Book

The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich

An enchanting, imaginative work of historical fiction about a master butcher setting off for America with little more than his knives, a suitcase full of sausages, and his best friend’s pregnant widow. (12 hours to read)

View Book

The Margaret Atwood 4-Book Bundle by Margaret Atwood

It often feels like we should be reading more Margaret Atwood, and now might be the time to fix that once and for all. (57 hours to read)

View Book

Middlemarch by George Eliot

Imagine the best PBS costume drama, except it’s four times as long as you expected and it’s all in one book. (29 hours to read)

View Book

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

If you’re going to read a book notorious for making readers weep, you might as well do it at home where you’ll be the only one made uncomfortable by your sniffling. (27 hours to read)

View Book

Harry Potter: The Complete Collection by J. K. Rowling

Or maybe what we all need most right now is something easy and familiar like a trip on the Hogwarts Express. (99 hours to read)

View Book

Follow us at @kobobooks on Instagram

If you would like to be the first to know about bookish blogs, please subscribe. We promise to provided only relevant articles.