10 Must-Read Books for INFJs
It’s no secret that INFJs are book lovers. Enter any INFJ group or forum and you’ll see countless threads about “favorite books”. Reading is by far one of the favorite pastimes of most INFJs (including myself). Books provide a respite from a weary world, an escape into the imagination, and, in some cases, helpful advice for the ups and downs of life. There are so many wonderful books out there, and so many books that INFJs love to read, so this was a hard list to narrow down. I asked as many INFJs as I could to tell me which books were their favorites, then I tallied up the ones with the most responses.
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Table of contents
- Why are INFJs drawn to these specific books?
- 10 Books Every INFJ Should Read
- What Are Your Thoughts?
Estimated reading time: 14 minutes
Why are INFJs drawn to these specific books?
INFJs look for several things when they read a story: depth, fascinating characters, symbolism, and mystery. They like a story that forces them to use their intuition and insight to get hints or guesses about what will play out. They like stories that ask tough questions about the meaning of life and the nature of psychology. They love books that look honestly at the purpose and struggle of the human condition. Reading for the INFJ is more than just an escape, it’s a chance to understand humanity in a deeper way and solve mysteries about the meaning of life. All this taken into account, I am pretty sure many NFs, in general, would be drawn to these particular stories (some were voted for by other NF types and will surely wind up on their lists!)
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10 Books Every INFJ Should Read
#1 – The Little Prince
“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
The Little Prince is a timeless tale of love, loneliness, and meaning. It tells the story of a young boy who leaves the safety of his own planet to travel the universe in search of adventure. INFJs will appreciate that the book isn’t a straightforward children’s story, but also a moral allegory that discusses the underlying meaning of relationships, the fleeting nature of life, and the importance of imagination. They will also appreciate the symbolism prevalent throughout the book. Each motif and landscape means something; the rose, the desert, the water. Everything is symbolic. Find out more here: The Little Prince Family Storybook: Unabridged Original Text
#2 – The Divine Comedy
“Consider your origin. You were not formed to live like brutes but to follow virtue and knowledge.”
– Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy
Dante Alighieri is the quintessential INFJ author; his writing is filled with mysterious, symbolic, and profound messages. INFJs will be mesmerized by Alighieri’s visions of the afterlife; Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. In the poems and stories readers will find inspiration, terror, adventure, monsters, and lessons of good and evil. Find out more here: The Divine Comedy
#3 – Brave New World
“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly…they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”
– Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
Brave New World is one of the original dystopian novels, written in 1931 by English author Aldous Huxley. This book captures a vision of a technologically-advanced future where humans are bred genetically, socially indoctrinated, and pharmaceutically anesthetized to survive passively under an authoritarian rule. There is no freedom anymore, no spirituality or soul-searching. How will humanity survive like this? What will become of a people without any sense of individuality? INFJs will appreciate the vision and scope of Huxley’s writing, and will likely reflect on the possibility of a similar scenario playing out in the future. Find out more here: Brave New World.
#4 – A Wrinkle in Time
“Life, with its rules, its obligations, and its freedoms, is like a sonnet: You’re given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself.”
– A Wrinkle in Time
A Wrinkle in Time follows the adventures of Meg Murry, her younger brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin as they try to rescue her father from the forces of evil in a heart-stopping journey through space. INFJs will enjoy the mind-bending, “otherworldly” nature of the book. This book opens the imagination to lush new landscapes and terrifying beasts and temptations. This is a read-in-one-sitting, edge-of-your-seat sci-fi that is filled with heartfelt wisdom and advice that we all need to hear. Find out more here: A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet)
#5 – Crime and Punishment
“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.”
– Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment is the quintessential INFJ fiction. This suspenseful, psychological novel tells the story of a poverty-stricken Raskolnikov, an intelligent student who is grappling with his conscience after he murders a vile, cynical old pawnbroker. This book goes beyond Raskolnikov’s actions and unveils the psychological turmoil of crime and the innate struggle and beauty of the human condition. Find out more here: Crime and Punishment
#6 – Man’s Search for Meaning
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”
– Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning
Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s memoir captures the details of his life in Nazi death camps and his quest for spiritual revival in the midst of intense suffering. Between 1942 and 1945 Frankl labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his brother, parents, and pregnant wife died. In spite of all his loss, Frankl found that even though he couldn’t avoid suffering, he could choose how to cope and find meaning in it. Frankl’s theory – logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (“meaning”) – states that our primary drive in life is to pursue meaning over pleasure. The New York Times has called this book “An enduring work of survival literature”, and it has sold more than 10-million copies in 24 languages. Find out more here: Man’s Search for Meaning
#7 – Never Let Me Go
“I keep thinking about this river somewhere, with the water moving really fast. And these two people in the water, trying to hold onto each other, holding on as hard as they can, but in the end it’s just too much. The current’s too strong. They’ve got to let go, drift apart. That’s how it is with us, Kath, because we’ve loved each other all our lives. But in the end, we can’t stay together forever.”
– Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
A reunion with her childhood friends draws Kathy and her companions, Tommy and Ruth, into a study of memories and mysteries. These memories revolve around their childhoods at Hailsham, an isolated private school in the English countryside. At Hailsham the three friends were sheltered from the outside world, told they were special, and given very specific instructions about how to live their lives. The school’s efforts and mysterious rules and cliques were really just a facade for a terrifying truth that Kathy and her friends are now confronting as adults. INFJs will enjoy the depth, suspense, and atmospheric beauty of this story. Find out more here: Never Let Me Go
#8 – And Then There Were None
“There was something magical about an island – the mere word suggested fantasy. You lost touch with the world – an island was a world of its own. A world, perhaps, from which you might never return.”
– Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None
Ten people are invited to an island for the weekend. Each harbors a shameful secret, but none are aware, until they each start dying off one by one, that there’s a pattern to each guests secret. Panic ensues when the guests realize one of their own is the killer. This incredibly suspenseful mystery created the template by which many mysteries have since been copied, and this book is considered by critics to be Christie’s greatest technical achievement.
Agatha Christie is believed by many typologists to have been an INFJ; her visionary writing, ability to connect the dots, and insight into human nature have made her stand out as one of the greatest exponents of classic detective stories.
#9 – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.”
– Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre tells the story of an orphan who is abused and treated with cruelty as a child only to emerge as a young woman with tremendous integrity and depth of character. She takes a post as the governess at Thornfield, where she meets and falls in love with Mr. Rochester. Unfortunately, her love story is far from simple or painless. There are mysteries and dangerous secrets that threaten to break her heart as she searches for a life of meaning beyond tradition and Victorian society. Find out more here: Jane Eyre (Penguin Classics)
So many NFs voted for Jane Eyre as their favorite book, so whether you’re an ENFP, INFP, ENFJ or INFJ, I’m sure you’re bound to find comfort and beauty in its pages.
#10 – The Stand by Stephen King
“Show me a man or woman alone and I’ll show you a saint. Give me two and they’ll fall in love. Give me three and they’ll invent the charming thing we call ‘society’. Give me four and they’ll build a pyramid. Give me five and they’ll make one an outcast. Give me six and they’ll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven and in seven years they’ll reinvent warfare.”
– Stephen King, The Stand
In the wake of an apocalyptic pandemic, a diabolical adversary emerges from the ruins to rule in tyranny. A tattered band of survivors, comprised of a fragile old woman, a deaf mute, and a disabled person among others are the only group to oppose him. This story is part allegorical tale of good vs. evil and partly a portrait of good taking on the form of humility and seeming weak while evil takes on the form of domineering strength. King based this book on the Book of Revelations in the Bible, and also on Jesus’s words in the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Find out more here: The Stand
Stephen King is believed by many typologists to be an INFJ. A.J. Drenth from Personality Junkie states, “Stephen King, most certainly an INJ type, describes his process of writing novels. He is adamant about the fact that he does not consciously plan or piecemeal the plot or direction of his stories. Rather his stories emerge from his unconscious as preexisting wholes, requiring little as far as conscious effort or planning.” You can read more from Drenth here.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you love these books? Do you have any suggestions? Share your thoughts with other readers in the comments!
You can also learn A LOT more about the INFJ personality type with this INFJ starter kit and course from Personality Hacker.
Disclaimer: This article contains affiliate links. I only recommend products I truly believe in.
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OMG! I’ve doubted if I’m really an INFJ (and still doubting, of course, being an over thinker…) But this list surprises me. Almost every single book here I’ve either read or want-to-read!
I’ve read Jane Eyre, A wrinkle in Time, and I’ve ALWAYS wanted to read And then there were None, Never let me go, Brave New World, Divine Comedy (but is it in Italian?) and A Little Prince
English translations exist.
The Book Thief! I’m an INFJ, and this book has had the biggest impact on me as a writer and as a human.