Reading while high: What it is like + 10 amazing books

Reading while high: What it is like + 10 amazing books

Reading while high
Reading while high
Reading Time: 9 minutes

When the weekend comes in, and you are high on Cannabis, you may consider watching movies on Netflix, play video games, or better yet read a fascinating book. Reading when high can be tough; however, the experience is worth it. 

Many cannabis smokers have reported that Cannabis helps them process reading content. In one of the interviews, a contributor to a major marijuana website described his former self as an illiterate at 30 years. Though he was able to read single words, he never understood the meaning of some sentences. One day, he puffed some weed and opened a book, to his disbelief; he managed to grasp the sentences. 

Well, we know from other studies that marijuana enhances imagination—whether auditory, gustatory, or visual. In this case, the ability to connect visual scenes with sentences enabled the reader to grasp the meaning. Enhanced imagery after smoking Cannabis has also been reported by other readers. Some reported that being high enabled them to focus while reading, while others reported that being high enabled them to focus without getting tired. 

Interestingly, Cannabis also enhances the understanding of foreign languages. The same process of switching suddenly from puzzling words to grasping sentences is used by cannabis smokers to understand a foreign language.

Further, another characteristic effect is that users can understand songs that are not clear to them when sober. These enhancements are a result of cannabis intake. One of the basic effects of Cannabis is to focus our attention to help with what is referred to as ‘selective attention.’ Therefore, being high facilitates our capability to focus on a song and to ignore disturbing music stimuli. More notably, an enhanced capacity for understanding when high may be subserved by an enhancement of recognition abilities.

Reading a book sitting

The genre of books to read when high 

The best thing about reading while you are high is that you get to add layers to the text and also improve your capability to image the scenarios in the text. For other readers, weed makes them more emotionally invested in the character.

The best books you should consider reading while high should have a strong dialogue character and plot; pictures are a bonus. From comedy to philosophy to Sci-fi, with weed, the book sounds entertaining and interesting. Below are the genre of books to read while high. 

Crime Noir

These books involve illegal guns, extortion, robberies, and violence. Diving into crime scenarios while high can plunge you right into shady dealings. It will seem like you are reading real transcripts involving real criminals.  


These books are filled with comics, funny stories, and jokes. If you are looking for an image reading experience, look for Bart Simpsons Guide to Life. Inside the book, you will find stories on lying to your parents, cheating in school, and also receive some cheeky advice.  For weird comedy, check out the stench of Honolulu; his jokes have even appeared on Saturday night live sketches. With Marijuana, his lines are more hilarious.


Most philosophers pen histories and philosophies of life in a bid to educate us. For example, Marcus Aurelius penned down the Meditations, a book that is guided by logic and not fear. This book is a very nice book to read while high for better insight. 

Sci-Fi Mystery

These books involve speculations based on technology and science. Sci-Fi mystery is often classified into two: science fiction/ fantasy. Fiction differs from fantasy in that the imaginary elements are possible within scientific laws. However, fantasy is based on writing rationally about possibilities contrary to a known reality. Weed opens your mind to the fantasies and fiction depicted in any book.  

Cult Books

Defining these books is not easy. To begin, cult books have a huge following, for example, 50 Shades of Grey and Harry Potter. Due to their serious fiction, these books have created a wave of change in culture, generation, and society and also garnered some attention due to their obscure content. A smoke of Cannabis can make this obscure content interesting.

Book with cannabis

10 Books to read while high

We have highlighted the genre of books to read in the above section. In this section, we will recommend some of the best books to read as you consume Cannabis. Grab a blanket, find a quiet place, select your favorite cannabis ingestion system as we recommend the best novels to read while getting high.  

1. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

What would be more shocking than waking up as a huge insect? The story’s leading role worked hard to pay off his guardian’s debts, but the physical toll turned him into a huge insect. He wakes up one morning as a huge creature with an intact mind. 

Nonetheless, his family continues with day to day activities as if nothing new has happened; strangely, they also become monstrous in their neglect of Gregor. It is a peculiar premise, specifically when you read while high; however, if you read deeply, you may relate this work to depression. You will get a better understanding of how societies respond to mental illnesses. 

The novel was published in 1915, during a period when mental illness was stigmatized; therefore, expect a great experience while reading.

Check out reviews of this book.

2. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Philip K. Dick

Have you heard of this ultramodern book? Well, you should consider reading it while high. The story is about officers who try to ‘retire’ aids who have invaded the earth from space – the androids pretend to be human beings before invading the earth. The book takes you to into depressing moments as the officers are torn between their feelings and their position to kill.

Check out a review of this book by The Guardian.

3. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe.

 This novel is worth reading while you are high. It dates back to 1968 when Ken Kesly signs of participating in a drug study. Under the influence of the drug, Ken begins to attract adventurers, and together they travel around California, dropping acid. The story continues to highlight their hippie life as they encounter leading figures, for example, Neal Cassady, all the while being chased by police. 

Check out reviews of this book

4. The Stranger by Albert Camus

Do you ever feel like human existence holds no meaning? Well, the narrator of this novel lives in Algeria and is a lover of violence. He commits violence based on logic and scares everybody around him. Surprisingly, when his mother dies, he shows sympathy to satisfy the expectations of others. It is confronting to explore the mind of a person who commits crimes without a purpose – especially when you realize that the story is based on the idea that the universe is not here to serve the desires of human beings.

Check out reviews of this book on Amazon

5. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll

As we go down, down, and down to the rabbit hole, a cat appears with a grin, Alice sips the gin and shrinks down to size. If you want to feel supernatural when reading, Alice’s novel will give you that feeling. 

As you read, you will watch the world changing around you; sometimes, this is frightening, while other times, this happens for the better. Don’t dismiss the book because it is classified in the children category—this book blends in poetry, dream-like passages, and philosophy.

Check out a review of this book on

6. On the Road

On the road is a classic novel authored by Jack Kerauc; it played a huge role in shaping the cannabis culture. The beautiful story gives an understanding of the 1950 post-war movement that paved the way for the 1960s radicals. 

The book illustrates the travel experience of a group of broke young people driving in the country.  They love drugs and life and hate road maps and mortgages. This book inspired a whole generation with its poetry, truth, and rawness. 

When high, this book will sweep you to a wonderful state of mind. Who doesn’t like drugs, jazz music, traveling, and sex? This book will give you a feel of the beatnik generation that played a huge role in bringing Cannabis to the mainstream culture.

Check out a review of this book on

7. The Lord of the Rings

This book will take you to another classic world. It is the mother of all classical fantasy literature and set the stage for all fantasy stories written after 1955, as well as Game of Thrones. The Lord of the Rings weaves together a story with spectacular language that portrays adventures, characters, and landscapes that are out of this world. With a puff, you get to enjoy the experience, regardless of your background. 

Check out this video review of the Lord of the rings books:

8. Watchmen

Before publishing the Watchmen in 1986, writing comic books was a secret. But after this novel was written by Alen, everything changed and paved the way for comic characters. The storyline begins in the 1940s where some superheroes had surfaced and changed history; for instance, the United States of America won the Vietnam war.

Moving on to 1985, the world changes, costumed vigilantes are barred, and superheroes are forced to retire. However, an investigation on the execution of a government superhero pushes the protagonists out of retirement. The story illustrates a struggle that reflects anxieties and ridicule of the superhero concept.  

So, what makes the book interesting? The story is all about illustrations with minimal text; this makes it remarkable to read, especially while high. It was ranked among the best-written novels since 1923 and, of course, considered the most graphic novel to be published. You need to read the book!

Check out a review of this book on

9. The four agreements by Don Miguel

The book presents the religious teachings of Toltecshamans. It elaborates themes that can change your life. The highlighted agreements summarize how to get on the right path and become an authentic self living your best life. Reading the book while you are high enables you to grasp the concepts and get a better insight on how to implement the outlined practices. A good high will enable you to sharpen details that you would overlook and enable you to apply them on a day to day life. 

Check out a review of this book on

10. The bright lights, big city

This book was written in 1984 by Jay McInerney. The story depicts a writer’s self addiction to alcohol and cocaine after the death of his mother. The writer comes across a New York scene that overwhelms. One puff of marijuana makes this novel the most heartwrenching to read, especially when high. 

The book is similar to American Pscho by Brett- they both fall under the cult classic category. Smoking weed brightens the dark imagery in the life of Patrick Bateman- a sociopathic investment banker. Besides, reading this book is exhilarating; it brings out the graphic depictions of violence.

Check out a review of this book on the New York Times

Caution on the use of cannabis

It is important to note that Cannabis can impair concentration and coordination. Therefore, don’t operate a machine under the influence of the drug. Further, the drug has intoxicating effects that may be harmful. 

Marijuana can also have negative effects on memory that can last for several days after the drug wears off.

It all depends on your interests

The best books to read will depend on your interests. With animation and comic books, you are assured of jaw-dropping images with convincing storylines; with Crime Noirs, you are assured of a thrill, and with philosophy books, you are assured of better insight. 

It is evident that while one person will love to read Crime Noirs, the other would prefer philosophical books. No matter what you choose to read when high, be sure to laugh your loudest. What is more, is you are likely to continue garnering knowledge at a time people think you are hallucinating.

In the end, there is no amount of fun you can equate it with pairing Cannabis with interesting books. Besides, it appears to be the sole way to end your day as you dive into another world. As you enjoy your story, your mind will paint nice images inspired by the content you are reading. Well, all the best as you experiment and make the best of your sensory experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you read while high?

Yes, you can read while high. Poetry and short fiction are two subgenres where stoners claim to feel the most glued and actually bid goodbye to forgetfulness. Reading while high makes you feel empathetic to most of the characters. For nonfiction enthusiasts, the best thing about reading while high is that you don’t have to keep track on all what you read.


Why can’t I read when I’m high?

When you are extremely high, you can find reading an uphill task. This happens when you are paranoid and temporary memory loss kicks in. The problem with reading when you are overly high is that the perception of time changes and you could find yourself forgetting what you read in the beginning of a sentence after you reach its end.

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