We have all been there – you’re reading a new book, and the characters either come across a magical tome, or one of them writes the great American novel, or some other tie-in to an absolutely irresistible fictional book. Of course, being the book people we are, we tend to get a little ravenous about reading these stories – whether or not they actually exist. So whether they are powerful spell books, Necronomicon-esque collections, or alternating stories, here are some of our favorite books within books.

6 Books Within Books We Would Totally Read (If They Were Real)

1. The Book of Eyes, from Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Grimoires in Austermeer are alive and incredibly powerful. Some more than others, especially those that were bound with human parts. The Book of Eyes is one such book and since it was outlawed to bind human parts to grimoires, it also makes it incredibly rare. Inside are spells that allow sorcerers to reach into people’s minds to read and even control them.

2. The Book of the White, from City of Bones by Cassandra Clare















One of the most powerful spell books with Shadowhunters universe, the Book of the White is a key plot point in several Mortal Instrument novels. Cassandra Clare fans have long itched for the opportunity to explore all of the secrets of this magical tome.


3. Afterworlds, from Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld















This is literally a book within a book. Afterworlds (the Scott Westerfeld novel) is the story of Darcy Patel, a young girl who has put college on hold and moved to New York to publish her YA novel, with the text of her dystopian YA novel, also called Afterworlds, presented in alternating chapters. The fun, parallel story angle will keep you glued to the page until the very end.


4. The Scythe Diaries, from Scythe, by Neil Shusterman















Interspersed between chapters in this pulse-pounding dystopian thriller are diary entries from famous “Scythes” – the arbiters of death in this world where natural death has been eliminated. These ruminations on death, power, and the meaning of life when natural death has become extinct will make you wish you could read the diaries in their entirety.


5. Ireland for the Heartbroken: An Unconventional Guide to the Emerald Isle, from Love & Luck, by Jenna Evans Welch















Love & Luck’s chapters are introduced with excerpts from a fictional guidebook called Ireland for the Heartbroken: An Unconventional Guide to the Emerald Isle. These fun, sassy travel suggestions will both whet your appetite for travel, and make you yearn for a complete guide to plan your next jaunt to Ireland.


6. Autoboyography from Autoboyography by Christina Lauren















This touching coming of age novel follows two Mormon teen boys as they meet and fall in love at a prestigious summer writing seminar, during which Tanner is expected to produce a novel in four months. Anyone who knows both the joys and sorrows of writing a lot of words on a very tight deadline (i.e. anyone who’s ever attempted NaNoWriMo) will definitely be able to relate to the experience.