The 6 Best Books About Worms From Educational to Philosophical

Written by Angie Menjivar
Published: November 15, 2022

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Key Points

  • The best overall book about worms is The Earth Moved.
  • Check out different types of worm books. Some teach you about earthworms while others teach you how to farm worms. Some offer philosophical messages while others are more straightforward.
  • Read through summaries of each book and consider what other readers have to say about the content and authors’ writing styles.

Post-rain, you can typically spot worms wriggling around on the ground, some ruthlessly smashed by rain boots, because humans are often too busy to notice them. However, it’s worth deepening our understanding of the world around us. There’s magic in better understanding our ecosystems. In the text below, we highlight the six best books about worms. The first two are fantastic for educating yourself. The others take a different approach.

You may just be curious to learn about worms found throughout the world. Or you may be ready to take on natural composting and learn how to farm worms. You may even be looking for a worm book you can gift the teenager in your life! We put together a diverse, yet powerful list of books about worms for you to explore. Some of these books explore philosophical and theoretical concepts, inviting you to consider the interconnectedness of our ecosystems, including the reality of mortality we must all face sooner or later.

  1. The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms
  2. The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms
    • 204 pages.
    • Covers the earthworm's impact on the ecosystem.
    • Uses discoveries by Charles Darwin as inspiration.
    Check Amazon
  3. Worm Farming
  4. Worm Farming
    • 120 pages.
    • Shows the benefits of a worm farm, what worms to choose for your farm, what can be fed to worms, and much more.
    • Great for budding worm farmers.
    Check Amazon
  5. The Crimson Worm
  6. The Crimson Worm
    • 34 pages.
    • Discusses the two meanings of the word 'worm' in the Bible, and their significance to it.
    Check Amazon
  7. There's a Hair in My Dirt! A Worm's Story
  8. There's a Hair in My Dirt! A Worm's Story
    • 64 pages.
    • Recommended for readers ages 12 through 15.
    • Written by the author of comic strip Far Side, Gary Larson.
    Check Amazon
  9. The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life
  10. The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life
    • 263 pages.
    • Covers the philosophy that the knowledge that we must die is "the worm at the core" of the human condition, dubbed by American philosopher, Willam James.
    Check Amazon
  11. Fireflies, Glow-worms, and Lightning Bugs: Identification and Natural History of the Fireflies of the Eastern and Central United States and Canada
  12. Fireflies, Glow-worms, and Lightning Bugs: Identification and Natural History of the Fireflies of the Eastern and Central United States and Canada
    • 376 pages.
    • Features over 600 color photographs, with details accounts of over 75 species.
    • One of ten Reptiles Wormsloe Foundation nature books.
    Check Amazon

Best Overall: The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms

Best Overall
The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms
  • 204 pages.
  • Covers the earthworm's impact on the ecosystem.
  • Uses discoveries by Charles Darwin as inspiration.
Check Amazon

The best overall book about worms is The Earth Moved. This title is available in Kindle, audio, and hardcover formats. The author is Amy Stewart. Although earthworms are quite small and literally spineless, they hold an important role in the ecosystem. They fight plant diseases and break up the soil. Earthworms clear out pollutants and transform regular dirt into fertile soil. If you’re looking for books about worms, you likely already know just how important these blind creatures are. This book takes you on a journey to explore all the different actions earthworms take. Further, Stewart writes in a very witty style that incorporates Charles Darwin’s very careful discoveries regarding these little writhing creatures.

You learn about the earthworms’ subterranean realm, and it feels like you’re a fly on the wall as she shares her conversations with oligochaetologists. You may already know what they do and if you don’t, they’re the ones who study earthworm science. They spend their lives exploring what we often miss beneath our feet. Throughout this book, you discover different types of worms. For example, you learn about the giant Australian worm that can grow up to 10 feet long. You also learn about some more common worms like the red wigglers that Stewart sees in her compost bin. Although worms often go unnoticed, Stewart invites you into their world to learn about just how vital they are on this ever-evolving planet.

Customers rate this book 4.7 out of five stars. They describe it as a fascinating read. It’s comprehensive in that it covers everything from your own compost bin at home to what you may uncover in your garden and beyond into all the places where these underground creatures live. One customer says she is amazed by how much she learned in the pages of this book. In fact, she asked her husband to rake leaves with much more care during the fall. She’s more in tune with the nature surrounding her home and feels a sense of responsibility to let the worms do their work. Another customer says he doesn’t really know why he was drawn to this book but he’s glad he read it. Stewart really knows her worms and now he knows a lot more than he used to.

Best Guide: Worm Farming: The Practical Guide to This Unique Form of Natural Composting

Best Guide
Worm Farming
  • 120 pages.
  • Shows the benefits of a worm farm, what worms to choose for your farm, what can be fed to worms, and much more.
  • Great for budding worm farmers.
Check Amazon

If you’re ready to pick up a book that guides you outside to start naturally composting, you need this one. Unless you’ve been composting all your life, you know how much food goes to waste. It goes into your trash bin, the trash service picks it up, and you never see it again. Landfills keep getting loaded and these actions affect our ecosystem. This book helps you work on the solution. It teaches you how to farm worms. This is especially helpful if you have a blooming garden of healthy plants and vegetables. Worm farming can even help you save money on all the other gardening tools you typically use.

This guide is fantastic because it answers questions that you may not even think to ask. Ultimately, you learn how it all works and how you can get started right away. Some books are a bit vague but this one sort of holds your hand through the process. You realize after reading just how easy it is to start your own worm farm and how you can ensure success even without too much knowledge or effort. You also learn why farming worms is beneficial and then you learn more specifics about which types of worms may be best for your farm. There’s so much information in this book and it’s great even for beginners. If you’re a specialist, you can also pick up this book to discover some tips and tricks of the trade. However, most people feel this book is best for starters and hobbyists.

Customers rate this book 4.3 out of five stars. Customers appreciate that this is a very easy read and that it’s accessible for beginners. One woman says that it covers all of the bases, and introduces you to worm farming and vermicomposting. Another customer says that he feels this book is a great starting point. It incorporates simple diagrams as well as fun quotes to keep the reader interested throughout. He feels it’s a great resource for both adults and children who need to understand the basics and explore which topics are worth further investigation. He recommends it with a five-star rating.

Best Faith-Based: The Crimson Worm

Best Faith-Based
The Crimson Worm
  • 34 pages.
  • Discusses the two meanings of the word 'worm' in the Bible, and their significance to it.
Check Amazon

This book takes a different approach to worms. It’s a faith-based book that you can pick up in a paperback format or you can download the Kindle version. In this text, you learn the difference between the two meanings of the word ‘worm’ in the Bible. One definition refers to the worms you see dwelling on the earth. The other is the crimson worm. This crimson worm is ultimately the story of Jesus and the boundless love he shared with the world.

Customers rate this book 4.4 out of five stars. They find it informative and interesting. Most people have no idea about the crimson worm or how it relates to the Bible. One customer calls it a simple, yet comprehensive review of the plan God created for humans on earth. It’s suitable for both children and adults. One customer says he didn’t agree with all of the content but it was informative enough to get him curious enough to follow through with further study of the crimson worm.

Best for Teens: There’s a Hair in My Dirt! A Worm’s Story

Best for Teens
There's a Hair in My Dirt! A Worm's Story
  • 64 pages.
  • Recommended for readers ages 12 through 15.
  • Written by the author of comic strip Far Side, Gary Larson.
Check Amazon

This next book has a hilarious cover that you have to see for yourself. It’s suitable for kids between 12 and 15 years old. Pick it up in school and library binding or in paperback formats. It’s the kind of book that keeps teens laughing. The Washington Post said it’s “more entertaining than any science class I remember…” The story follows a man named Gary Larson. He used to draw cartoons that were featured in daily newspapers. His work became well-known and well-loved. Some people found his work confusing though. One day Gary just stopped. He sort of just disappeared.

He gets restless and has trouble sleeping. There’s something haunting him and he has to figure it out. So, he starts telling the tale called There’s a Hair in My Dirt! A Worm’s Story. The story starts with a young worm a few inches underground. He’s annoyed to have found a hair in his plate of dirt and gets upset. This prompts his father to intervene. Father worm goes on to tell him a story that inspires the young worm. The book contains what can only be described as off-kilter humor. Ultimately, teens learn that there’s a difference between how you perceive the world and the realities of it.

Customers rate this book 4.7 out of five stars. They call it a classic. This is an incredibly creative story with lots of twists and turns that makes a great gift not just for teens, but also for adults. One customer purchased this as a gift for one of his clients. It’s something he read a long time ago. After reviewing it, he still feels it’s absolutely amazing. Another customer says this is not just hilarious work, but the author is also incredibly wise. It incorporates biological science and touches on our collective mortality, an important topic for all of us.

Best Philosophical: The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life

Best Philosophical
The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life
  • 263 pages.
  • Covers the philosophy that the knowledge that we must die is "the worm at the core" of the human condition, dubbed by American philosopher, Willam James.
Check Amazon

This philosophical book is a transformative read. It’s actually about human behavior and how it’s ruled by the unconscious fear of death most carry within. The book covers what American philosopher William James covered in his work: the knowledge that we must die being “the worm at the core” of the human condition. Basically, that means humans need to accept their mortality by confronting it. This is the only true way to live authentically. The book presents fascinating evidence on all the ways the worm at the core drives human thoughts and actions.

Although philosophical, this book delivers 25 years of in-depth research from three authors who work together to show you how the fear of death impacts the actions humans take. For example, some people crave fame and want to purchase expensive cars while others counterintuitively put their health at risk. This fear leads to some of the greatest art humans create and some of the most devastating wars we fight. They then go on to present terror management theory (TMT).

Customers rate this book 4.5 out of five stars. They find it stimulating. One customer purchased this because he wanted to get a bit more knowledge about the topic of death into his brain before his eventual passing. He feels that the authors did a bit too much when they were discussing the different tests they conducted and the conclusion of those tests. However, he does appreciate how they tied it all together in the end. He says if you have an inquiring mind, it’s definitely worth the read. Another customer calls this an essential read. She couldn’t put it down. She calls it “one of the most important books you’ll ever read.”

Best Explorative: Fireflies, Glow-worms, and Lightning Bugs: Identification and Natural History of the Fireflies of the Eastern and Central United States and Canada

Best Explorative
Fireflies, Glow-worms, and Lightning Bugs: Identification and Natural History of the Fireflies of the Eastern and Central United States and Canada
  • 376 pages.
  • Features over 600 color photographs, with details accounts of over 75 species.
  • One of ten Reptiles Wormsloe Foundation nature books.
Check Amazon

This next book is a comprehensive guide that covers fireflies, glow worms, and lightning bugs. If you’re interested in any of these bugs, there’s so much for you to discover in this book. The author of this book is Lynn Frierson Faust, known as “The Lightning Bug Lady.” She has spent decades of her life focused on tracking the behavior and habitats of these glowing creatures.

Her aim is to inspire you to learn more about bioluminescent insects. She writes in an informative way but also incorporates a lot of fun into this work. You can expect some clear, close-up photos that illustrate the different characteristics of fireflies and glow worms. Also, the book includes over 600 color photographs and detailed pages on over 75 species.

Customers rate this book 4.7 out of five stars. They feel it’s beautifully done. One customer says it “shines and glimmers.” She’s not a fan of dry, boring, scientific books about nature. This one really takes the cake for her. She loves all the photos throughout the book and all the information on fireflies and glow worms it presents. The author is obviously very passionate and imparts all the knowledge she has on these creatures in a very user-friendly way. Ultimately, she intends to use this book as a resource for teaching children about fireflies and glow worms.

The Different Types of Books About Worms

Some books about worms take you on a deep dive into the earth to discover their natural habitats. You learn about the different types of worms that exist throughout the world and about the role they take in our ecosystem. They often go ignored, but learning about them helps to inspire you to consider how worms contribute to your own life. Other books invite you to get even more acquainted with worms. We highlight a worm farming book that serves as a practical guide if you’re interested in natural composting. This takes your knowledge of worms to a whole new level because you start working with them and learning how to keep them contained as they keep your garden flourishing.

Still, there are other books about worms that incorporate worms but they’re not as educational as other varieties. If you are feeling like you need a faith-based lesson in your life, The Crimson Worm is a great book to pick up for yourself. Further, if your kids have shown interest in worms and you want to gift them with a book that makes them giggle with each page, check out the one for teens we highlight in the list above. Some books are more philosophical and theoretical, touching on the human experience. Ultimately, we return to the earth. You may be inclined to learn a bit more about the experience of death and how everything is interconnected.

Up Next, Explore Some More Fascinating Reads…

About the Author

Angie is a writer with over 10 years of experience developing content for product and brand reviews, focusing much of her time on animals of all types. A cat owner herself, she enjoys writing articles on beloved pets that both inform and entertain her audience.

The 6 Best Books About Worms From Educational to Philosophical FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What do worms do to humans?

If you’re talking about earthworms, they can actually serve as a source of protein if needed. However, if you’re talking about intestinal worms, that’s something different altogether. If a human contracts intestinal worms, they have a high risk of developing anemia. They may also become malnourished and experience intestinal blockages. It’s important to differentiate between the type of worm you’re inquiring about when asking how they affect humans.

What are the three types of worms?

There are thousands and thousands of worm species. Despite this, they’re not all related. Some of the most common worm groups include segmented worms, roundworms, and flatworms.

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