The Top 11 Best Books to Read High

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Reading while high can add extra layers to the meaning of the text and enhance the reader's ability to image the scenarios in the reading. For me, weed makes me laser focused on nuances in the story and more emotionally invested in the characters. The best books to read while high have strong characters, dialogue, and plot. Pictures can help.

Weed can make any genre of book sound more interesting and entertaining. From sci-fi to philosophy to comedy, books can teach you about a new subject or transport you to a different world. With weed, books can take on a more psychedelic tone. For avid readers and cannabis aficionados, these are the best books to read while high.

Table of Contents

Crime Noir

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Some of the best books to read high involve robberies, illegal gun sales, extortion, and fictional violence. Diving into the world or organized crime after smoking a joint can immerse you right next to the titular characters and their shady dealings. The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V. Higgins is a realistic andgrimy portrayal of Boston's criminal underworld that can be enhanced with some cannabis.

Higgins' experience as an assistant attorney general and assistant United States attorney in the early 1970s informed his tantalizing and true-to-life dialogue of cops and criminals. Fans of true crime and weed will love reading about gunrunner Eddie Coyle. It'll seem like you're reading actual transcripts of real criminals. Partake in some cannabis and be prepared to be transported into a riveting masterclass in dialogue writing.

Sci-Fi Mystery

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Take a huge dab and follow the other-worldly adventures of Inspector Tyador Borl of Beszel's Extreme Crime Squad. China Miéville's The City and the City will take you on a weed-induced trip to the city of Beszel, which exists simultaneously on the same territory as another city-state, UI Qoma. Some weed can open your mind to the metaphysical and post-war environment depicted in the book.

Through the process of "unseeing," their citizens mentally block any object from the other city. A murder investigation forces Tyador Borl to investigate Orciny, a mythical third city, and Breach, the entity that punishes anyone who interacts with the other city. Pack a few bowls for the trip into this highly-regulated and fantastical land experiencing political turmoil.

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a little life

A bildungsroman is a coming-of-age novel that deals with the moral and psychological growth of the central characters from an early age to adulthood. Hanya Yanagihara's tragic novel, A Little Life, will keep you hooked from beginning to end, even if this is a particularly heavy and emotionally challenging book. The 720-page behemoth follows the lives of four successful friends from New York City and their lives into adulthood.

The novel focuses on Jude, a lawyer with a dark and dreary past. A hit of weed could put you in a calm, empathetic, and open mindset to traverse the tragic and abusive events of Jude's childhood and how they led to his sinister and dysfunctional relationships with his friends and lovers. This book is not for the squeamish or anxiety-prone since it involves triggering scenes of self-harm and violence, but it's a cathartic read.


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If dry, serious, and dramatic fiction isn't your cup of weed tea, then opt for a bevy of humor books filled with jokes, comics, and funny stories. For an image-heavy reading experience, choose Bart Simpson's Guide to Life: A Wee Handbook for the Perplexed by Matt Groening. Inside you'll find ideas for cheating your way through school, lying to your parents, and other cheeky advice from El Barto himself.

For stoner fans of weird and absurd comedy, check out Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey or any of his subsequent joke books and novel, The Stench of Honolulu. His one-liner jokes have appeared on classic Saturday Night Live sketches. Cannabis can make his one-liners even more hilarious. Some examples include:

  • "If I ever get real rich, I hope I'm not real mean to poor people, like I am now."
  • "Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me?"
  • "During the Middle Ages, probably one of the biggest mistakes was not putting on your armor because you were "just going down to the corner."


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Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius unintentionally penned one of history's most important books on philosophy and life, Meditations. In this collection of essays, Aurelius transcribes his ideas on Stoic philosophy, a philosophy governed by logic and virtue, not pleasure or fear. This meditation on philosophy is one of the best books to read while high for wisdom and insight.



Roman Clef

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Roman clef novels portray real events with a fictional twist. Sylvia Plath is most known for her incisive and brooding poems, but her first and only novel, The Bell Jar, offers readers a grim semi-autobiographical portrayal of Plath's mental breakdown and suicide attempt in her early 20s. Like the author, the main character suffers from depression that ends in a tragic manner. Plath committed suicide less than a month after the book's release.


You won't find a more comprehensive book about the history of stand-up comedy in America than Kliph Nesteroff's The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Scoundrels and the History of American Comedy. You've laughed with

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these comedians on television, movies, and stand-up specials, now read little-known details and personal anecdotes from the comedians themselves. Read up on what role weed played in stand up comics' lives.

Get a little weed buzz going before reading Bob Zmuda's Andy Kaufman Revealed! Best Friend Tells All. This tell-all book was written by polarizing comedian Andy Kaufman's best friend. Kaufman's wacky performance art and eccentric lifestyle make for an excellent read while high. You won't want to put this book down.

Cult Novel

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Bright Lights, Big City was written in 1984 by Jay McInerney. The novel recounts a writer's self-destructive alcohol and cocaine addiction following the death of his mother. New York City's party scene overwhelms the narrator to the point of ruining his life. A bit of cannabis can make this heartwrenching and glitzy novel one of the best books to read high.

I'd be remiss if I didn't include the cult classic, American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. Weed can brighten the dark imagery in the life of sociopathic investment banker, Patrick Bateman. Prepare yourself after consuming weed and reading up on this reviled novel with graphic depictions of violence. It's a heavy, but exhilarating read that can be tempered with some fresh cannabis buds.

The best books to read while high depend on a person's specific interests and preferences. Most comic books and animation provide jaw-dropping images with a compelling storyline. Cannabis cookbooks provide practical recipes for those with the munchies. Any book read while high will take on a new meaning and offer the reader a more transcendent experience.

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