Reading has a lot of benefits for everyone, but for new college students it is especially important to read lots of different kinds of books to help you learn and grow.


  • Widen your vocabulary

  • Help students find new models for academic writing

  • Improve your cognitive skills

  • Expand your view of the world around you

  • Helps students remember grammar and punctuation rules 

  • Help students learn a subject better

  • Helps students learn about other people and cultures they may not be familiar with and develop empathy for others

The following are just a few of the great options of books to read before you start college.

Naked Economics:Undressing the Dismal Science by Charles Wheelan

This book is a humorous approach to economics that will have you laughing out loud. This is a must for any high school student, it will give you a better understanding of finance and economics.

We are Okay by Nina Lacow 

This book is about dealing with the change and upheaval that college can bring. This is a great read that inspires self awareness and hope.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

This is a timely read for young adults ready to set off to college. Cath heads off to college without her twin. She quickly learns that she must push beyond her comfort zone and find herself if she is going to survive college.

The  Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan 

This collection of essays and short stories is by Marina Keegan who touched everyone she met. She died suddenly and tragically but what she left behind allows us to appreciate living in the moment. Her book emphasizes the bonds and relationships that form during college years. This is a great read for anyone trying to find their place in the world.

Freedom is a Constant Struggle by Angela Davis

Author and activist Angela Davis shines a light on the battles against state violence and oppression with this collection of essays. 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This book is about police brutality and finding your voice.This is a great read for all highschool students and soon to be college students. 

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Set in Nazi Germany this books follows a young orphan named Liesel. When books are being burned and the world is turned upside down Liesel finds comfort in words and learns how to move on from tragedy. This is a great book for expanding vocabulary and understanding multiple viewpoints.

Now What? A Practical Guide to Surviving and Succeeding Your First Year of College by Jessica Linnell

College can be a stressful time, one with worry of the uncertainty of change. This book’s goal is to change that. The author shares tips about dealing with stress in the ever changing environment that is college.

The Relaxation And Stress Reduction Workbook For Teens by Michael A. Tompkins and  Jonathan R. Barkin

Being a teen can be stressful but with this workbook you can learn techniques that will provide you with the tools you need to distress and find the joy in life. 

Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll

You have probably read Alice in Wonderland but did you know there is a part two? This book is just as magical as the first one. Reconnect with your childhood and remember beloved characters.

**Staff picks are chosen by CCPL staff members and are not intended to be comprehensive lists. We’d love to hear your ideas too, so write to us and tell us what you’d recommend.