National Book Lovers Day: 10 Books Every Student Needs to Read

Calling all bookworms…National Book Lovers Day 2023 is taking place on the 9th of August and we’re not sure about you, but we’re super excited. 

If you need some inspiration for your student reading list, we’ve got a list of the 10 best books that every young person needs to read, not just this August but beyond. 

No matter what genre of books you usually enjoy reading, we’re certain you’ll find something in our awesome list that you’ll enjoy. 

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The Top 10 Books To Read As A Student 

It’s hard to narrow down our guide of the top books that every student should read to just 10, because there’s so many amazing reads out there. 

We’ve collated a list of our top recommendations for those at university, so we hope you enjoy them as much as us!

The Top 10 Books To Read As A Student 

1. The Satsuma Complex 

When it comes to books that will go straight to your favourite shelf, The Satsuma Complex has to be up there. 

This intriguing novel written by Bob Mortimer takes you on a rollercoaster of emotions as it follows the lives of a group of friends navigating the challenges of adulthood. 

The page-turning story delves deep into their relationships, dreams, and struggles, which makes it a relatable and unforgettable read for students.



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2. 1984 

If you are a fan of dystopian fiction, then 1984 by George Orwell is an absolute must-read. 

In this book written more than 70 years ago, you can step into a world of government surveillance and thought control, and witness the struggle of one man against an oppressive regime. 

This classic will leave you pondering long after you’ve turned the last page, so make sure you pick up a copy! 


3. Normal People 

You may have already heard of Normal People, thanks to the TV show buzz, but nothing beats experiencing the original novel by Sally Rooney.

In Sally Rooney’s second novel the two protagonists Marianne Sheridan and Connell Waldron attend secondary school in a small town in Ireland and are soon going off to college. 

At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other, but when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her housekeeping job at Marianne’s house, a connection grows between the two teenagers.

Navigating the ups and downs of life and love, the story follows the pair as they navigate the changing landscape of their relationship into adulthood. 



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4. Freshers

If you’re looking for a new read for the start of the academic term, look no further for a perfect companion than Freshers

In this relatable novel, Lucy Ivison and Tom Ellen take you on a hilarious and heartwarming adventure. 

The story follows a group of first year students as they navigate the challenges of university life, new friendships, and, of course, romance.

This coming-of-age book is a perfect companion for any student starting their own university journey, and it’s sure to make you laugh out loud! 



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5. Wuthering Heights 

Got an empty space on your bookshelf? Fill it up with Emily Bronte’s timeless classic, Wuthering Heights. 

Published in 1847 originally under Bronte’s pen name “Ellis Bell”, this masterpiece of love, and revenge unfolds in the eerie moors of West Yorkshire. 

The passionate relationship between the two protagonists Heathcliff and Catherine is sure to keep you captivated from the first page to the last. 

This classic novel is a must-read for students seeking a literary masterpiece, so the next time you go on a book buying binge, pick up a copy! 



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6. The Great Gatsby 

Step into the glamorous world of the Roaring Twenties this National Book Lovers Day, with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. 

Set in the Jazz Age on Long Island, near New York City, the novel depicts first-person narrator Nick Carraway’s interactions with mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his obsession to reunite with his former lover, Daisy Buchanan. 

In this acclaimed novel you can immerse yourself in the parties, the secrets, and the longing for the elusive American Dream.


7. What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 

What better way to celebrate National Book Lovers Day than to curl up with a copy of What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20?

In this international bestseller written by Tina Seelig, you’ll gain valuable life lessons and wisdom as you embark on a journey of self-discovery.

This inspiring book will act like a guide to help you make the difficult transition from the academic environment to the professional world, with provocative stories, inspiring advice, and a big dose of humility and humour.

Trust us when we say, this is a book you won’t regret reading!



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8. Exciting Times

If you are looking for a modern and witty love story to start, Exciting Times should be at the top of your list. 

The novel follows the story of Ava, an Irish 22-year-old woman teaching English in Hong Kong, who finds herself stuck in the middle of a captivating love triangle. 

In her debut novel, author Naoise Dolan beautifully captures the complexities of relationships, self-discovery, and the pursuit of identity. 

Exploring the themes of love, belonging, and personal growth, this book is a perfect companion for your student years!



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9. This Must Be The Place 

This Must Be The Place is a top-ten best selling novel written by Maggie O’Farrell and is a fantastic read for students. 

This dazzling book really has got it all with drama, humour, and a dash of romance to keep things interesting. 

The characters are so well-developed that it feels like you’re hanging out with real-life friends, and their adventures will keep you hooked from start to finish! 

So, if you want an escape from the daily grind, “This Must Be the Place” is the book to pick up this National Book Lovers Day! 



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10. The Rules Do Not Apply 

Whilst navigating the transition into adulthood, you probably feel pressured to have everything all figured out, right? If so, this is a book you have to read. 

Ariel Levy’s memoir, The Rules Do Not Apply, challenges this notion and offers a raw and honest account of her life. 

Levy, now a celebrated journalist, is brutally honest in her memoir, sharing her experiences with her sexuality, with loss, love, career struggles, and self-discovery. 

If you do anything this National Book Lovers Day, make sure to experience this profound book for yourself! 



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We hope this guide has inspired new reads for your book collection, don’t forget to host a book club within your student accommodation.

Use the hashtag #NationalBookLoversDay on social media to spread the word and get involved with this year’s celebrations. 

What’s your favourite book? Let us know @essentialstudentliving. 

If you loved this blog, you should take a read of 10 Things You Should Do Before Starting Uni.

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