Different personality types favor different leisure activities more than others. Statistically, ENTJs favor exercise more than any other leisure activity while NFs show a definite leaning towards reading books. But which types read the most? Let’s find out!
According to research, the average American reads 12 books per year. It’s important to look at the results in this article with a grain of salt because people who responded to the surveys I conducted were probably more avid readers (although I was surprised how many people responded with “zero”).
Where is the information taken from?
All the statistics here are taken from the MBTI® Manual, as well as surveys I conducted through my email list, Facebook page, Facebook groups, forums, my twitter followers, and the people I know and have typed personally.
Here is a list of the numbers of different types who responded to my surveys:
INFP – 287 responded to surveys.
INFJ – 342 responded to surveys.
INTP – 240 responded to surveys.
INTJ – 299 responded to surveys.
ENFP – 187 responded to surveys.
ENTP – 128 responded to surveys.
ENFJ – 152 responded to surveys.
ENTJ – 130 responded to surveys.
ISFP – 88 responded to surveys.
ISTP – 61 responded to surveys.
ESFP – 84 responded to surveys.
ESTP – 42 responded to surveys.
ISFJ – 245 responded to surveys.
ISTJ – 219 responded to surveys.
ESFJ – 46 responded to surveys.
ESTJ – 53 responded to surveys.
Here’s Who Prefers Reading According to the MBTI® Manual
Validation studies among a national sample of 3,036 adults showed that the following types were over-represented for preferring “Reading” as a leisure-time activity:
INFPs, ENFPs, ENFJs
This same study showed that the following types were under-represented for preferring reading:
ISFPs and ESFPs
According to My Surveys, These are the Types That Read the Most Books:
#1 – INFPs
According to the MBTI® Manual, INFPs are overrepresented in preferring reading as a leisure-time activity. This matched up with the surveys I conducted as well, with the average INFP reading a whopping 68 books per year!
“I read whenever I have a spare minute. I read on the bus, at night before bed, and I listen to audiobooks at work if things are dull. Books are my life.”
– India, an INFP
#2 – INFJs
INFJs came in second place, with the average INFJ reading 67 books per year.
“If I could read in my sleep I would.”
– Angela, an INFJ
Related: 10 Must-Read Books for INFJs
#3 – INTPs
INTPs came in third place, with the average INTP reading 48 books per year!
“No, I don’t like reading at all. That’s why I finish 300+ books a year.”
– Jonathan, an INTP
#4 – ISTJs
The MBTI® Manual doesn’t show that ISTJs are over-represented for reading, but according to my surveys (which got more than 200 responses from ISTJs), the average ISTJ reads 37 books per year!
“I know we’re supposed to be the pragmatic, boring personality types. But I love science fiction and fantasy books as well as fairy tales and legends.”
– Eugene, an ISTJ
#5 – ISFJs
The average ISFJ reads 34 1/2 books per year!
“Reading is what I like to do at night after all my kids are in bed. I revel in the solitude, and I definitely need a hot cup of tea to go with the book!”
– Melanie, an ISFJ
#6 – INTJs
According to my surveys, the average INTJ reads 31 books per year. I think the number may have been higher for INTJs if we included unfinished books. Many INTJs were drawn to non-fiction and philosophical books, which they would read in sections, but not finish from cover-to-cover.
“Philosophy is my favorite subject to read about, followed by mysteries or psychology books. I don’t finish a lot of the philosophy/psychology books because I just want to read specific section.”
– Matt, an INTJ
#7 – ENFJs
According to my surveys, the average ENFJ reads 30 books per year.
“I love to read. If I wasn’t so busy I’d probably read a book a day. But I have 5 kids and that makes it hard to accomplish!”
– Gina, an ENFJ
#8 – ENTJs
According to my surveys, the average ENTJ reads 24 1/2 books per year.
“I like to read strategy books or books about running a business. Anything that will help me succeed in my career or in life.”
– Daniel, an ENTJ
#9 – ENTPs
Based on my surveys, the average ENTP reads 20 books per year. This number would probably be much higher, except that they tend to start a lot of books without finishing them. I would guess if we put the number of books started here, it would be a much more impressive number.
“I probably start 300+ books a year. Finishing? That’s a whole different story.”
– Ahaj, an ENTP
#10 – ENFPs
The average ENFP reads 18 1/2 books per year according to my survey. Similarly to ENTPs, I got the impression that the number would be MUCH higher if we included books started, yet unfinished. Many ENFPs reported that they read upwards of 100 books per year, but didn’t finish nearly that many.
“Reading is oxygen for me. Books, articles, audiobooks, it doesn’t matter. But I read snippets or I “skim”. I rarely read a book from cover-to-cover unless I’m really invested.”
– Rowynn, an ENFP
#11 – ISFPs
According to my surveys, the average ISFP reads 18 books per year. However, according to the MBTI® Manual, ISFPs are under-represented in preferring reading as a leisure activity. This surprised me, as the ISFPs surveyed were very enthusiastic about reading!
“I love to read outside. Being in nature with a good book is therapy for my soul.”
– Morgan, an ISFP
#12 – ESTJs
The average ESTJ reads 15 1/2 books per year according to my surveys. In general, they seemed to appreciate non-fiction books that had to do with career, organization, or learning a new skill.
#13 – ISTPs
I was surprised at how many ISTPs responded to my survey with upwards of 300 books per year! However, there were also quite a few who answered with “zero” or 1-3 which brought the average down quite a bit. Overall, the average ISTP reads 13 books per year.
“I like to read, but I want it to be something practical. I read a lot of mechanical books and survival stories. I don’t tend to read just for the sake of reading.”
– Edward, an ISTP
#14 – ESTP
The average ESTP reads 11 books per year. Many of the ESTPs mentioned that they enjoyed reading a lot before they had kids, or before they had a demanding job. As soon as responsibilities got in the way, reading was given a much lower priority (understandably).
“I used to read 30-60 books a year. But now I’ve got a 50+ hour a week job and a family. When I have free time I just want to be with my friends or my kids or outside.”
– Lyndon, an ESTP
#15 – ESFP
According to my survey, the average ESFP reads 8 books per year. As always, there are exceptions. My mom is an ESFP and I think she probably reads upwards of 30 books per year! There were some definite book-lovers who emailed me with massive lists full of their favorite books!
“I’m so tired of the internet stereotype that we are just brainless party animals! I love to read so much! I read classics, self-help books, religious books, fantasy books, YA fiction, everything…ESFPs LOVE to read!”
– Mazie, an ESFP
#16 – ESFJ
ESFJs came in the last place, with an average of 7 1/2 books read per year. That said, only 46 ESFJs responded to my surveys so it’s likely that the number would be higher if we’d gotten a bigger pool of respondents.
What Are Your Thoughts?
Do you love to read? Do you hate it? Let us know what you think in the comments! Want to participate in future surveys? Follow me on Facebook or join my email list!
Find out more about your personality type in our eBook, Discovering You: Unlocking the Power of Personality Type.
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