Skip to Content

Books To Read When You’re Bored With Life

“This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases”

Boredom is defined as weariness which comes from a lack of stimuli in the environment. The lack of stimuli can be due to internal or external causes. A boring book may be necessary for an assignment, but books can be an excellent way to increase your feeling of interest and surprise.   

There are many books which can be used to put an end to a feeling of boredom with your life. As you add stimuli through the use of new topics and fields of learning, you become a person who is more interesting both to yourself and to those around you.

Because of its close ties to depression, combating boredom in a realistic way should be an intentional part of your daily activities. It is important to realize that adding more work doesn’t result in more stimuli in your environment. Read on for some tips on choosing books to read when you are bored with life. 

Can Reading Be Boring?

There is a difference between reading material that is required and reading books for your own enjoyment. Books and manuals which are required as part of your classes, tests, instructional materials, and other topics may not be something that is likely to provide the stimuli you want to fight boredom, but they are beneficial for furthering your career or other long term goals.

How to deal with reading of required boring materials

You can enhance the reading of boring content by reviewing the material in creative ways. In  particular, try drawing pictures of the material as you read. Doing so will help in a review before a test or examination. Use memory aids such as a rebus or mnemonics.

Read required material aloud or make outlines of textual material. If you must get through a certain amount of material, try setting it to your own composed music. The purpose of such activities, when combined with underlying material which is inherently boring to you, is to engage different locations in the brain. 

Structure your required reading of boring materials so that you take a break periodically to give your brain time to change course for a while. While not everyone will find the same books or reading content boring, you can pace yourself to get through material which doesn’t interest you by rewarding yourself with other activities, including reading books for entertainment and new stimuli.

Reading for enjoyment and fun

When you are bored and looking for something to perk up your zest for life, reading for enjoyment is one of the top ways to feel more engaged in your life and life activities. Here are some suggestions to find new reading material. 

Bucket list

If you have a list of things you want to do before you die, it is colloquially called a “Bucket List”. It is unique to you, but you may have forgotten what items were there. Update or create your list and then choose one of the items on the list and find reading material which will help you to accomplish that item. For example: if your list includes traveling to Ecuador, choose a book about someone who has visited the country. Choose a history book about the country. If you have a working knowledge of Spanish, find a book, play, or poem written in Spanish and read it. 

Reread your favorites

The books that you remember reading from your teen years or later often stand the test of time. Reading a book that interests you enough to remember it years later can be fun and exciting. You may discover that it seems different the second time through. It may not be as interesting, or you might find depths to the book that you did not see on the first reading

Keep a reference list

When you hear or see someone discussing a book they recommend, jot down the title or author and follow up by doing the research to see whether you might be interested in the topic. Maybe it is a person that you may want to learn more about. Perhaps you heard a name or topic in a movie or on television and decided to follow up. To have books that interest you on hand is a welcome break from boredom. 

Best Seller List 

You can also obtain suggestions from Best Seller lists, such as those offered by  the New York Times. The publication posts the top selling books in fiction and nonfiction titles, along with the length of time that the book has been at the top of the list in the United States.

Visit a bookstore or a blog

The books which are available online and in a local store are worth exploring in person. If you are trying to keep costs down, find a used bookstore and browse their offerings. Often a proprietor will learn about your reading tastes and habits, and can make suggestions from the existing stock. Online bookstores stocking both new books and used books are easy to find and navigate. 

Does reading cure boredom?

Reading can cure boredom, but elimination of boredom from your life is not automatic. It requires taking deliberate action to improve your interactions with humans and with books. Reading books can provide an escape from stress or boredom.  In addition, reading is known to help readers better interact and understand other people. Reading keeps brains flexible, and expands our world views. It also helps us to grow as individuals. Stories and books permit readers to feel connected with other people and part of something beyond oneself. 

Reading books does more than cure boredom. It makes the reader creative, as well as interesting to be around. You can learn about other people’s culture and their way of life without leaving the comfort of your armchair. 

How do I keep my reading choices fresh?

Although hundreds or even thousands of books are published every year, you probably won’t have time to read even a small fraction of the total. To avoid getting bogged down in a list of books and becoming bored with reading, look at these challenges to keep your choice of books fresh and interesting to you.

Don’t read what you don’t like

You don’t have to force yourself to read something that you have no interest in, no matter how popular it may be. Just because your book circle is fascinated by a certain title doesn’t mean that you are. You may be able to broaden your choice of books though, if you at least make an effort to check out a genre you haven’t read before. 

Consider taking part in a reading challenge

There are several book sites or blogs which offer opportunities to take part in a reading challenge. Some of the top ones from a Google search include 

  • GoodReads – 2022 Reading Challenge has 6.5 million participants who have pledged 322 million books. Any number can be pledged and Goodreads will help you to discover some appropriate choices.
  • The 52 Book Club’s 2022 Reading Challenge – An annual challenge made up of 52 unique prompts. Match one book to each prompt for a total of 52 books throughout the year. The goal is to try new authors or genres, push yourself to read more, read differently, and most importantly… to have fun.
  • Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge – based on the Gilmore Girls show
  • The StoryGraph is a new online-based reading tracker and quasi-social media platform similar to that of GoodReads. A lot of people like it because it gives detailed statistics about the individual’s reading habits. It also has an entire section devoted to users’ reading challenges you can upload on your own or join.

Keep a reading journal

A log of books you have read and those you want to read is a good practice for several reasons. You will always know what books you are hoping to see at your local or online bookstore, so you can watch for discounted prices. You can respond to questions about book recommendations for a friend or relative. Jot down what you liked or didn’t like about an author or topic and share as needed. 


In order to overcome boredom, it is important to take a serious look at why you are bored. Few people have no opportunity to obtain outside stimuli. There are books about almost any topic you can think of, and it is not hard to create a ‘Want to Read’ list which contains hundreds of volumes. The more books you read, the more you will realize that there is no way to read everything you want to explore even if you had a lifetime to do it.

An active person may have little time to be bored, but the busier you are, the harder it is to carve out time to read as much as you would like to. Part of the enjoyment of reading, though, is to decide from the millions of published volumes out there, which ones to read first.