11 Fast-Paced Books To Read At The Gym That'll Keep You Going On Those Machines

Whether you're at your local Planet Fitness so often you should be paying them rent, or you're a relative newbie, finding the motivation to go to the gym is not always easy. If you have a job, it's often difficult to get yourself out the door, especially if your brain is exhausted from a 9-to-5 job. Even if you're not working, you're plenty busy with that whole life thing you've got going on.

Another thing that's sometimes really hard to find the time for is pleasure reading. Not reading for class (if you're at school) or for your job (if you're working on improving certain skills or researching material), but reading for fun. You know, that thing you do for the enjoyment of sinking into a world where things happen to other people and you get to vicariously experience their drama and desperation and elation before you put the book away and go back to your real life.

I'm here to tell you that there is a solution to both of these problems: READING AT THE GYM! Whether you want to go with an e-reader, a physical book, or an audiobook, reading at the gym can make your workout time blast by. I recommend using audiobooks for your weight-lifting time, and e-readers or physical books for your cardio. I get so much reading done on the elliptical now, it's awesome.

The best stuff you can pick to read at the gym gets you going — it keeps your heart rate up, or makes you want to keep reading so you'll stay working out even longer. From thrillers to fast-paced and engrossing YA, to steamy or funny romance, here's a great list of stuff to take with you while you sweat:

Along Came a Spider by James Patterson

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Featuring Alex Cross, a black detective in Washington, D.C., and a rich abducted girl, this is a super-fast-paced thriller is only the first in a long line of books featuring the awesome Mr. Cross. (Plus, fun fact, James Patterson is awesome and donates boatloads of money to independent bookstores.)

Divergent by Veronica Roth

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If you haven't read this one yet, now's the time. A dystopian future and amazingly rich teenage characters, Divergent is hard to put down and keeps your heart rate up, so you might as raise the resistance, am I right?

Queen of Babble by Meg Cabot

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Did you like The Princess Diaries when you were younger? I was in love with those books. Imagine how happy I was to discover that Meg Cabot also writes for adults. This one is hilarious, like Bridget Jones on steroids. You won't want to get off the treadmill.

Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell

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The first in a series of books featuring the badass Kay Scarpetta, this book will take you on a wild and very CSI-like ride. You'll want to get to the end of this one and find out whodunnit.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

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OK, I know what you're thinking: Really? Twilight ? Aren't you a feminist? But the thing is that Twilight is compulsively readable. When I was a teenager, I read each of the four books within 24 hours. I'd stay up until 4 a.m. reading. It's the kind of book that makes you lose track of time. You'll thank me when you hit that 20-minute burn while you're on the stationary bike.

Born in Fire by Nora Roberts

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Nora Roberts is one of the best romance writers out there, and her characters are never boring. In this book, the protagonist is a glassblower (how cool a job is that?) and creates delicate art pieces. She falls in love with a gallery owner who wants to help her career, and guess what? Steamy drama ensues.

When the Bough Breaks by Jonathan Kellerman

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Alex Delaware (what is it with the name Alex in thrillers?) is a child psychologist with a best friend, Milo, who's a gay cop in L.A. (not easy even now, but even harder back when this was written). This is the first in a long, long series of Alex Delaware novels, and each and every one of them is worth a read. They're fast, they're interesting, and they're absolute page turners.

The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger

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Seen the movie? I have about a million times, too, but you'd be surprised at how fun and fast and funny the book is. Well worth a read (especially if you're surrounded by intimidatingly fit model-types at the gym — rebel against the sizeist fashion industry!).

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

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If there's one thing Dan Brown does really well, it's hold your attention and make you keep turning the pages. Whether or not you've seen the movie, I can guarantee that the book is so fun and fast that you'll be pumping up the speed on your machines to make you feel like you're going as quickly as the narrative.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

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Private school, magic, teenage drama — The Raven Boys will keep you on your toes (and your toes and feet running!). Gorgeously written as well as mysterious, you'll gobble up this book like your post-workout protein shake.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

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Even if you've read this before, it's well worth the gym reread. Not only is it fast paced, but the more infuriating bits of the book (Lisbeth Salander's past) will have your adrenaline pumping.

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