When you’re getting ready for a flight, you likely have a lot of things on your mind. You want to make sure you’ve packed everything you’re going to need for your trip and that your itinerary is set. When packing, it can sometimes be easy to forget to bring things to do on the plane. If your flight is for more than just a few hours, you probably won’t want to rely on just your phone or the in-flight entertainment. A long flight is a great way to catch up on some reading and get lost in a book. This can help pass the time and help you feel like you’re doing something productive, too.
We’ve put together a list of 10 great books to read while on a long flight. Ranging from fantasy to nonfiction, there’s likely something on this list that will catch your attention.
10 HARRY POTTER SERIES
If traveling on an airplane stresses you out, you’re going to want to read a book that you can truly immerse yourself in. The Harry Potter series is perfect for that. Whether you’ve read the books many times before or it’s your first read through, these books are long but also easy to read. This series is the perfect way to find yourself in a story that’s far away from your immediate surroundings. If you like fun novels that are a breeze to get through, reading Harry Potter is the perfect choice.
9 THE POISONWOOD BIBLE
While fantasy novels are the perfect fare for some people, others like their fiction to be a little more believable. This book by Barbara Kingsolver is a best-selling novel that came out in 1998. It’s a popular book that’s taught in college English courses, but it’s also one that will capture your attention. The Poisonwood Bible tells the story of a family from the '50s who move from the state of Georgia to become Christain missionaries in the Belgian Congo. This story deals with many intersections of social issues and also ignores you with the characters.
8 WORLD WAR Z
If you like your books to have an edge of horror and suspense to them, you’ll love World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. This book has also been made into a movie starring Brad Pitt, so you could plan to read the book and then watch the film on your flight. The book is a zombie story but told in a fascinating way that looks at the repercussions of this crisis all over the world. This book makes it seem like the Zombie Apocalypse really happen.
7 EDUCATED: A MEMOIR
While many people love fiction, sometimes mixing it up with some nonfiction is the right way to go. This is a more recent pick that was a top book of 2018. Written by Tara Westover, it’s an autobiography that is about her upbringing as a homeschooled student in rural Idaho.
This book deals with themes of religion, politics, family, and more. If you love a nonfiction book that catches your attention just like a novel, this is a great novel to pick up for your flight.
6 BIG LITTLE LIES
Many of the most popular pop culture television series and movies were books first. Big Little Lies was written by Liane Moriarty and follows the story of three mothers from Monterey, California. Plus, since season two of the series is airing right now on HBO, you’ll be able to read the original. If you’ve loved the series, you’ll definitely enjoy reading the book, too. Or, if you’re someone who likes to read the book first, a long flight is the perfect opportunity.
5 SHARP OBJECTS
Sharp Objects is another popular novel that was turned into a successful HBO series. Gillian Flynn is a master of mystery/murder novels, and Sharp Objects might be one of her most disturbing.
You can also finish the book and then go straight into watching the series which stars Amy Adams. Even if you’re flight turns out to be miserable, this book will make you feel much better about your own circumstances.
4 SAPIENS: A BRIEF HISTORY OF HUMANKIND
This is another nonfiction book that’s perfect if you like to read books that have a lot of meat to them. This is a more scientific nonfiction story, but it’s fascinating to read and not boring at all. This novel was written by Yuval Noah in 2011 and first published in Israel. It looks at the history of humanity from evolution all the way to the twenty-first century. If you love learning about history and science, a trip is a perfect time to dive into this book.
3 WHITE TEETH
White Teeth is another novel on this list that is in the drama category. It was published in 2000 by Zadie Smith, a British author. The story follows the lives of two friends, Samad Iqbal and Archie Jones, after the war.
The setting is in London, and it’s themes are about Britain and its relationship with people who are from countries the country colonized. If you're looking for a fascinating novel that will catch your interest and also have something to say, this is the perfect pick.
2 THE HOBBIT
The Hobbit is another more classic pick on this list that is firmly in the fantasy category. It’s the right choice if you want to read something that you can get through rather quickly. If you don’t want to have to think too hard about what you're reading and want to enjoy a book about the adventure, The Hobbit is perfect. Plus, if you’re trip is taking you on an adventure of your own, you might feel a bit inspired by Bilbo Baggins.
1 BOOKS ABOUT YOUR DESTINATION
This isn’t a specific book because you’ll have to do a bit of research yourself. If you’re planning to go to somewhere like NYC, for example, you’ll have a lot of nonfiction and fiction novels to choose from. Almost anywhere in the world has books that are about that place, so finding a new story that tells you more about your destination will make your arrival even better.