As bookworms, we’re used to diving into the unknown and discovering new worlds — but doing that in the real world is a whole other matter. Traveling begins the moment you step out of your home, and not every minute of it an exciting adventure. So let’s turn back to our good ol’ books to find adventures during our downtime — while waiting in the airport, or taking a 12-hour flight, or even just lying down after a full day of touring. Complement your real-life travels with these explorations of different worlds — all light and handy and sure to fit in your carry-on.


Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman

Recommended by Ish V.

Short stories are ideal for travel reading because you’ll be able to finish at least one short story during one trip, which lessens the tension you feel when you have to stop reading in the middle of a chapter of a novel. This collection by a master storyteller Neil Gaiman is available in mass market paperback — easy to carry and cheap.

Check out other books by Neil Gaiman.


Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Recommended by Denise V.

It’s a guiltless guilty pleasure to peek into the life of the truly and obscenely rich. And perfect to read before the latest book comes out.

Read the sequel: China Rich Girlfriend



Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Recommended by Mats C. 

Not a lot come as engrossing and enlightening of a read than this survival tale of an Indian boy, zebra, orangutan, hyena, and a tiger named Richard Parker—all confined in a boat in the middle of an ocean. I remember bus trips flying by with every page-flip.

Also by Yann Martel: The High Mountains of Portugal


Tripwire by Lee Child

Recommended by Denise V.

I read Lee Child on plane rides because I am guaranteed to be entertained. The situations Jack Reacher find himself involved in are never as simple as they seem and you can’t wait to find out how he will manage to right the wrong and “save the day.”



The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Recommended by Shanna L.

A personal favorite! An easy-to-read and insightful self-help book that helps the reader appreciate and improve various aspects of life — from relationships to finances to  even your hobbies.


Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Recommended by Roy M.

The perfect sci-fi novel for geeks and gamers, USA Today calls this book “Willy Wonka meets the Matrix.” It can be a quick, enjoyable read — you can finish it cover to cover on a flight — but try and savor its fresh take on fantasy and the hero’s quest.

Also by Ernest Cline: Armada


The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Recommended by Regina C.

A funny, quirky modern romance with witty banter and very likeable characters. This is a thoroughly entertaining book, even on the second reading. Don’t laugh too loud or your seatmate might think you’ve gone bananas! If you liked Sophie Kinsella’s I’ve Got Your Number, this is definitely for you.


Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Recommended by Shanna L.

This book helps the reader to heal after a break-up and realize that there’s much more to life than a relationship with someone who doesn’t appreciate you. Perfect for those who want to enjoy their traveling time even more by appreciating each aspect of life:

Also by Elizabeth Gilbert: Big Magic


The Girl with All the Gifts by M. Carey

Recommended by Ilia U. 

Want to forget that you’re on a budget airline and the seat is making your back ache like crazy? Bring M. Carey’s post-apocalyptic zombie thriller along for the ride. You’ll be so hooked, you won’t even realize you’re already landing. The Girl with All the Gifts offers a different take on the zombie story.  Like great science fiction always is, it makes you consider what it means to be human.


Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Recommended by Regina C.

Though this definitely doesn’t fall into the “light reading” category, this book will keep you occupied for days. You’ll appreciate the story even more if you can pair it with trips where you’ll see small towns and countryside. Perfect for extended vacations, long haul flights, lengthy layovers and cross-country bus rides.


Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Recommended by Joseph J. 

Awesome book, life changing. A great read for anyone interested in the how and why of all our habits. Easy to understand and examples that can be applied to every day life.



Elon Musk Intl: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance

Recommended by Ilia U.

If anyone’s life is as interesting as any science fiction book, it’s Elon Musk’s. Read about his life, his innovations, and his obsessions while on a bus trip, a ferry ride, or while waiting in an airport terminal.

Read the Young Reader’s Edition of this book.


Interested in any of these titles? Visit Fully Booked Online or email us at

Keep reading:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *