The Most Beautiful Book to Read: A Ranking of Stunning Literary Works

Choose the book you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 21, 2024 05:21
Discover the literary masterpieces that stir the soul and awaken the senses! Welcome to StrawPoll's ranking of "What is the most beautiful book to read?" – a captivating collection of timeless tales and enchanting epics, handpicked by book lovers like you. Dive into the pages of these beloved books and embark on unforgettable journeys through the power of words. From heartwarming love stories to profound philosophical reflections, we've got it all. But, we need your voice to make this ranking truly magical. Cast your vote for your favorite or suggest a missing gem, and help us unveil the most beautiful book that has ever graced our bookshelves. Together, let's celebrate the literary wonders that have forever changed our lives and left us in awe of the world's boundless beauty.

What Is the Most Beautiful Book to Read?

  1. 1
    This classic novel is a masterpiece of elegant prose, vivid imagery, and poignant themes. It captures the glittering allure and dark underbelly of the Jazz Age, and explores the elusive nature of the American Dream.
    The Great Gatsby is a novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest works of American literature and is known for its portrayal of the Jazz Age in the 1920s. The story follows Jay Gatsby, a wealthy and mysterious man, as he tries to win back the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan, who is now married to another man. Through themes of love, wealth, and the corruption of the American Dream, Fitzgerald explores the tragic and unattainable nature of romantic idealism.
    • Publication Date: April 10, 1925
    • Genre: Fiction, Romanticism, Modernism
    • Setting: 1920s, Long Island, New York
    • Point of View: First-person narrator (Nick Carraway)
    • Main Characters: Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, Nick Carraway, Jordan Baker
    "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald in other rankings
  2. 2
    This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is a poignant and powerful exploration of racism, prejudice, and injustice in the Deep South. It is a timeless masterpiece that continues to resonate with readers of all ages and backgrounds.
    To Kill a Mockingbird is a powerful and influential novel written by Harper Lee. It explores themes of racial inequality, social injustice, and the loss of innocence through the eyes of Scout Finch, a young girl growing up in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama during the 1930s. The story revolves around Scout's father, Atticus Finch, a lawyer who defends Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of assaulting a white woman. With its compelling storytelling and thought-provoking themes, To Kill a Mockingbird has become a classic of American literature.
    • Publication Year: 1960
    • Genre: Fiction
    • Setting: Maycomb, Alabama, 1930s
    • Main Characters: Scout Finch, Atticus Finch, Jem Finch, Tom Robinson
    • Themes: Racial inequality, social injustice, loss of innocence
    "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee in other rankings
  3. 3
    This magical and inspiring novel tells the story of a young shepherd boy who embarks on a journey to fulfill his dreams and discover the secrets of the universe. It is a timeless allegory of the human quest for meaning and purpose.
    The Alchemist is a novel written by Paulo Coelho. It tells the enchanting story of a young Andalusian shepherd named Santiago who embarks on a journey to discover his personal legend, or his true purpose in life. Along the way, Santiago encounters various characters and experiences adventures that lead him to uncover profound messages about the meaning of life and the pursuit of dreams.
    • Genre: Fiction, Inspirational
    • Published: 1988
    • Setting: Andalusia, Egypt
    • Themes: Destiny, Personal Legend, Dreams, Omens
    • Writing Style: Magical realism
    "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho in other rankings
  4. 4
    "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    Harry Zilber · CC BY-SA 3.0
    This enchanting and whimsical fable is a beloved classic that has captivated readers of all ages for generations. It is a poignant and profound meditation on the nature of love, loss, and the human condition.
    The Little Prince is a widely renowned novella written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It tells the enchanting story of a young prince who embarks on a journey through the universe, encountering various characters and learning valuable life lessons along the way.
    • Publication Year: 1943
    • Genre: Fiction, Children's literature
    • Original Language: French
    • Setting: The Sahara Desert, Asteroid B-612, Earth
    • Themes: Friendship, Love, Morality, Human Nature
  5. 5
    "The Picture of Dorian Gray" by Oscar Wilde
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    This dark and decadent novel is a masterpiece of wit, irony, and social commentary. It explores the corrupting influence of beauty, youth, and decadence, and the dangers of unchecked desire.
    The Picture of Dorian Gray is a novel written by Oscar Wilde. It tells the story of a young man named Dorian Gray who remains eternally youthful while a portrait of him ages and bears the burden of his sins. The book explores themes of beauty, vanity, and morality in a captivating and thought-provoking manner.
    • Genre: Gothic fiction
    • Published Year: 1890
    • Setting: Late 19th-century London
    • Narrative Style: Third-person omniscient
    • Themes: Beauty, morality, corruption
  6. 6
    This Booker Prize-winning novel is a lyrical and haunting exploration of family, memory, and identity in postcolonial India. It is a powerful and poignant testament to the resilience and beauty of the human spirit.
    The God of Small Things is a novel written by Arundhati Roy. Set in Kerala, India, the story takes place in the late 1960s and 1990s, following the lives of two fraternal twins, Rahel and Estha, and their dysfunctional family. It explores themes of love, loss, societal traditions, and the consequences of breaking social conventions. Through poetic writing and rich storytelling, Roy delves into the complexities of human relationships and the oppressive caste system in India.
    • Genre: Fiction
    • Setting: Kerala, India
    • Time Period: Late 1960s and 1990s
    • Themes: Love, loss, societal traditions, social conventions
    • Writing Style: Poetic, rich storytelling
  7. 7
    "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    Luis Rivera · Public domain
    This Nobel Prize-winning novel is a sweeping and magical epic that chronicles the rise and fall of the Buendia family in the mythical town of Macondo. It is a masterpiece of magical realism, and a testament to the power of storytelling.
    One Hundred Years of Solitude is a mesmerizing novel written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It tells the captivating story of the Buendia family across multiple generations in the fictional town of Macondo. The book explores themes of love, solitude, magic realism, and the circular nature of time. The narrative is rich with vivid imagery, stunning prose, and complex characters who grapple with their own desires and struggles. As the Buendia family experiences both triumphs and tragedies, the novel offers a profound reflection on the human condition.
    • Genre: Magical Realism
    • Publication Year: 1967
    • Setting: Fictional town of Macondo
    • Number of Pages: 417
    • Original Language: Spanish
    "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez in other rankings
  8. 8
    This visionary and poetic novel is a meditation on the nature of cities, memory, and imagination. It is a haunting and beautiful exploration of the human quest for meaning and identity in an ever-changing world.
    Invisible Cities is a novel written by the Italian author Italo Calvino. It is a poetic and imaginative work that explores themes of cities and urban life. The book is structured as a series of interconnected descriptions of cities, each with its own unique characteristics and atmosphere. The cities described in the book are imagined and fantastical, blurring the line between reality and fiction. Calvino's writing style is lyrical and evocative, capturing the essence and spirit of each city with vivid descriptions. Invisible Cities is often considered a masterpiece of Italian literature and a prime example of Calvino's literary genius.
    • Genre: Fiction, Literature
    • Publication Year: 1972
    • Original Language: Italian
    • Number of Pages: 165
    • Themes: Cities, Urban Life, Imagination
  9. 9
    This gripping and atmospheric novel is a masterful blend of historical fiction, mystery, and philosophy. It is a rich and complex exploration of the power of language, knowledge, and belief, set in the medieval world of monasticism and heresy.
    The Name of the Rose is a historical mystery novel written by Umberto Eco. Set in the 14th century, it tells the story of a Franciscan friar, William of Baskerville, who is called to a Benedictine monastery to investigate a mysterious series of deaths. The novel is not just a thrilling murder mystery, but also a detailed exploration of medieval philosophy, religious conflicts, and political intrigues.
    • Genre: Historical fiction, Mystery
    • Publication Date: 1980
    • Setting: Abbey of Melk, Italy, 1327
    • Main Characters: William of Baskerville, Adso of Melk
    • Themes: Religion, Knowledge, Power
    "The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco in other rankings
  10. 10
    This philosophical and poetic novel is a profound meditation on love, freedom, and the human condition. It is a masterpiece of existentialism, and a testament to the power of literature to illuminate the mysteries of life.
    The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera is a philosophical novel that explores the concepts of love, life, and human existence. It is set in the backdrop of 1968 Prague Spring, a period of political and social turmoil in Czechoslovakia. The story follows the interconnected lives of four main characters—Tomas, Tereza, Sabina, and Franz—whose relationships and experiences embody the paradoxical nature of life's lightness and heaviness.
    • Genre: Philosophical fiction
    • Publication Year: 1984
    • Setting: Prague, Czechoslovakia
    • Themes: Love, Politics, Existentialism
    • Narrative Style: Third-person

Missing your favorite book?


Ranking factors for beautiful book

  1. Writing style
    A beautiful book should have a captivating, engaging, and lyrical writing style. The choice of words, sentence construction, and the flow of the narrative should pull the reader in and create an enjoyable reading experience.
  2. Storyline
    The plot should be engaging, thought-provoking, and compelling. It should draw the reader in and keep them interested throughout the entire book.
  3. Characters
    The characters should be well-developed, relatable, and lifelike. Readers should easily empathize with the characters and be invested in their journeys and transformations.
  4. Theme
    A beautiful book should explore themes that resonate with readers, challenge their beliefs, or offer new perspectives. It should leave the reader with something to contemplate long after they've finished reading.
  5. Emotional impact
    A truly beautiful book will evoke deep emotions in the reader, whether it be happiness, sadness, nostalgia, or empathy. The reader should feel a strong connection to the characters and be moved by their experiences.
  6. Imagery and descriptions
    Vivid and detailed descriptions of settings, characters, and events are essential for painting a mental picture for the reader and making the world within the book come alive.
  7. Pacing
    A well-paced story keeps the reader engaged and maintains a balance between suspense, action, and character development.
  8. Originality
    A beautiful book should offer a fresh and unique viewpoint, whether it's through a new twist on a familiar genre or by exploring an entirely new topic.
  9. Literary merit
    A beautifully written book should exhibit exceptional literary merit, displaying the author's mastery of language, narrative, and character development.
  10. Impact and influence
    The impact a book has on readers, as well as the influence it has had on other works of literature or society as a whole, can contribute to its beauty. A book that stands the test of time and continues to captivate readers years after its publication is more likely to be considered beautiful.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful book to read. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or book is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 196 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each book once every 24 hours. The rank of each book is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most beautiful book to read

Books have always been a source of inspiration, knowledge, and entertainment for people of all ages. From classic literature to modern-day bestsellers, there's no denying the beauty of a well-written book. However, when it comes to determining the most beautiful book to read, it's all about personal preference. Some readers may find beauty in the poetic language of a novel, while others may be drawn to the vivid imagery and descriptive prose of a memoir. At StrawPoll, we've collected thousands of votes on this topic, and the results are always intriguing. So, whether you're a bookworm or just looking for a new read, join us as we explore the most beautiful books to read.

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