20 Short Classics Under 200 Pages You Can Read Quickly

Short Classics Under 200 Pages that Everyone Should Read

Do you want to read more classics but don’t have a lot of time? Or are you worried classic novels are long and intimidating? All the books on this list are classics that come in under 200 pages and will help you reach your reading goals in no time!

Note: Exact page length will vary by edition, and the book may be over 200 pages due to extra material (introduction, notes, critical essays, etc.) or if the volume is a nice one with bigger font and larger spacing. However, the point is that all of these classics are fairly quick reads.  (Click links to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page.)

20 Classics Under 200 Pages

  1. Beowulf by Anonymous
  2. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Anonymous
  3. The Professor by Charlotte Bronte
  4. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  5. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  6. Maggie, A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane
  7. The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  8. Silas Marner by George Eliot
  9. A Room with a View by E. M. Forester
  10. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
  11. Vandover and the Brute by Frank Norris
  12. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  13. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
  14. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  15. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  16. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  17. The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy
  18. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells
  19. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
  20. Complete Fairy Tales by Oscar Wilde

How many of these has you read?  Do you have any other recommendations for short classics? Or classics that are approachable?

32 thoughts on “20 Short Classics Under 200 Pages You Can Read Quickly

  1. lesserknowngems says:

    I wasn’t aware that Frankenstein was under 200 pages. Every time I read it, it reads like a longer book (not boring, just that a lot happens in it). I’ve read 10, 10 on my TBR. Another classic under 200 pages, but might not be for everyone, is The Double by Dostoyevsky. It’s not hard per say, at least not harder than other Russian literature, but it’s very interesting.


  2. ALibraryMonster says:

    Of these I read Frankenstein and The Time Machine, but I started Heart of Darkness and I put it down. I think it was because I’m used to reading recent books that grip me early on. I still want to read it though, I wish it read like Frankenstein, like it didn’t feel like a classic !


  3. Ravenclaw Book Club says:

    I LOVE Animal Farm! I expected it to be quite deep and political but I found it a really enjoyable and fun read on top of everything. Completely forgot I was even reading a classic!


  4. Geraldine @ Corralling Books says:

    I loved Animal Farm! It was really interesting and engaging for me, and I loved the parallels within it, especially as the book moved forward.
    I’ve also read The Stranger, but I found it a bit boring – I felt like it was really centred on Mersault. That was probably the point though haha…think it’s just a case of “not my kind of book”! :’)


  5. saraletourneau says:

    Well, now I’m a little embarrassed. The only two books I’ve read from this list are Animal Farm and Beowolf. (*blushes*) Most of the books I read are longer than 200 pages, unless you count novellas. But I did read Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane a couple years ago; it was beautiful and haunting, and it was just under 200 pages, I think.


  6. speculatingsite says:

    I started ‘Frankenstein’ a long time ago, but never finished it…I should probably do that at some point, but I worry that I will find it too creepy. From what I recall, it was interesting though.


  7. Tim R. says:

    I’ve only read a couple on this list and have never looked at these books from this perspective. Give me a great place to start with a future project in mind.


  8. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

    This is a super fun list! I’ve read 4 of these, but I am embarrassed to say that I’ve never even HEARD of 9 of these books! O_o I recognize all the authors, however. Which makes me wonder… how does one define what is a “classic” novel?


  9. Stephanie says:

    Great list! I’ve read half of these, but I definitely want to get to the other half. The only book I can think of to add is The Metamorphosis by Frank Kafka. Weird, but good.


  10. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Fantastic list!! Love the books on here- some books I’ve read and quite a few I’ve been meaning to read! I’m surprised Frankenstein is on here, cos I didn’t realise it was that short-
    I feel like that means it’s due a reread about now then since it’s so short 😉 I’d probably add Yellow Wallpaper (and my editions of Great Gatsby and Picture of Dorian Grey- but I don’t know if that’s the same for other editions).


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