In-flight entertainment: The best books to read on a plane

Good books are like airplanes in that they can take you away to almost anywhere. You might struggle to find the time to read in-between work, family life, and social commitments – but travelling also offers rare opportunities for downtime. And if you’re flying private, you’ll face no distractions whatsoever.

There are lots of reasons why planes are perfect for page-turners. We’re less likely to be distracted by thoughts of what we could or should be doing while travelling, which could take several hours depending on your destination. And if you find long hauls dull or even stressful, that time will fly by in the hands of a skilled writer.

With so much choice out there, find inspiration for your in-flight entertainment in our picks of the best books to read on a plane.

Self-improvement guides

Some view travelling as dead time – while others use flights as opportunities to find motivation, inspiration, or expert guidance. You could have goals of growing into a better leader or creator, or perhaps of becoming more at one with yourself. Whatever your targets, a self-improvement book could help you smash them.

For classics of the genre, try Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People or Echkart Tolle’s The Power of Now. The former details straightforward practices for maximizing your efficiency and success – while the latter explains the power of living in the moment and how to harness it.

Want to focus on working and communicating better with others? Try Dale Carnegie’s iconic How to Win Friends and Influence People. If not, pick a theme that speaks to you and begin your journey of growth in the air.

Travel writing

Travel is an obvious topic for any list of the best books to read on a plane as it helps to build excitement for your trip. Whether you think you know your destination well or you’re flying in blind, travel writing can offer new insights into the culture, sights, and types of individuals you’ll soon experience.

Guidebooks are a go-to if you want to plan out an itinerary, while studying phrasebooks will help you ingratiate yourself with the locals. But perhaps the most fun can be found in stories set in your destination or written by local authors.

Bill Bryson, Paul Theroux, and Frances Mayes are among the most famed American travel writers, though you shouldn’t be afraid to diversify. Research what’s been written on your chosen location or around an aspect of travel itself that’s relevant to you and pick up some insights before you touch down.

Classic fiction

No genre offers an escape quite like fiction, of course. With so many literary classics out there, you’re bound to have countless titles or authors you’re yet to get around to reading. Your next flight could be the perfect time to buckle down and see what the fuss is about.

Few critical roundups of the best books to read on a plane will omit the works of John Steinbeck, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Toni Morrison. Other American names to think about adding to your reading list include Bret Easton Ellis, creator of the controversial American Psycho, and J.D. Sallinger, author of The Catcher in the Rye.

Whatever you look for in a novel, pick up a classic or two for your next trip and watch the hours fly by.

Inspiring memoirs

As well as the great storytellers are those who deserve to have their stories told. Many of your childhood heroes will have put their lives to paper, as will lots of other inspiring business, political, historical, sporting, and musical figures.

Steve Jobs’ self-titled biography is a must-read for innovators, as is Phil Knight’s Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike. Andre Agassi and Arthur Ashe’s memoirs are both sporting aces – while Michelle Obama and Malcom X make for inspirational in-flight companions.

Find an individual who means something to you and read about the events that defined them as you soar through the clouds.

Lose yourself in the VistaJet library

We know our stuff when it comes to in-flight entertainment, having transported private individuals to over 96% of the world’s countries.

Our onboard library is an expert curation of classic and modern titles for travelers of all tastes and ages. It’s one more component of our exceptional ultimate cabin experience, complete with the comfiest of seating and absolutely no distractions.

Get in touch with our expert team today to book the perfect private flight for your next read.

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