While introverts and books don't always go hand-in-hand, it's a fairly common combination. I am an introvert who loves alone time, and I simply adore the world of books. Books provide a place where I can escape when reality becomes overwhelming, a place where I don't have to worry about anything besides these characters and places I'm suddenly now involved in. I don't need to explain the magical experience of books to you since you're more than likely a book nerd yourself, but as an introvert, too, you probably enjoy reading about fellow introverts as well.
It wasn't until I read up on books about introverts that I actually understood I was one. Growing up around extroverts and outgoing personalities, I always just figured there was something wrong with me — but alas, that's not the case. And as always, books helped save me in the long run, and they might just help you, too, if you're struggling with introverted dilemmas.
Whether you need a book to just sit down and get lost in after a long day of meetings and being overly social, or you're looking for a few tips on how to be your best introverted self, here are 12 incredibly books that your introverted heart will adore:
1. Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
If you're an introvert and haven't read this, I urge you to do so now. This is more than a coming-of-age novel. This is a story about Charlie learning how to survive high school, but it's also a story about how he copes with a trauma from his past. It's a story you'll never forget, one that'll pull at your heart with every page turn.
2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre has a fiery spirit, but tends to recharge during her alone time — a true sign of an introvert. Jane's courage inspired me as a young introvert; I understood after reading that there's nothing wrong with being a bit overwhelmed by large social gatherings.
3. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Diaz introduces the lovable Oscar Wao as "a social introvert who trembled with fear during gym class." Right off the bat, I knew I was going to love this story. Oscar would rather read fantasy books and dream about falling in love than actually experiencing any adventures or actually falling in love. But when confronted with a family curse, Oscar finds the courage to overcome it... and maybe fall in love, too.
4. The Introvert's Way by Sophia Dembling
Sometimes being an introvert in a world dominated by extroverts can make you feel like you were given the short end of the stick, but in reality, introverts are pretty dang awesome. The Introvert's Way will help show you a new way of embracing your quieter nature.
5. Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart
Lenny Abramov doesn't fit into the futuristic generation where the rich can get their hands on immortality while the poor face the fate of death. It doesn't help that everyone seems to be plugged into the world of technology while Lenny still adores books, writes a diary, and crushes on a girl from afar rather than learn all about her through dating sites and credit score analyzers. When the two finally meet face-to-face, the story begins to take a new course, and one any introverted human will recognize and fear at the same time.
6. A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
Sherlock Holmes is a true introvert, though he is a bit overwhelming at times when his thoughts take over, but that's just one of the reasons why A Study in Charlotte, a genius YA Sherlock Holmes adaption, is perfect for introverts. Charlotte Holmes, the great-great-great granddaughter to the famous detective is Jamie Watson's least favorite person. While Jamie would prefer to keep to himself, Charlotte and a suspicious case surrounding their boarding school brings the two together for an unforgettable journey that'll make your introverted self truly happy.
7. Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
Some introverts like more socializing than others, but not many are like Bernadette, who would rather disappear from her mostly successful and normal life. She's one opinionated designer, wife, and mother — and sometimes that can get her into trouble. But no one understands when she suddenly goes missing just as she's about to go on a trip to Antarctica with her daughter. This funny, absurd story focuses on how all of a sudden the world and people around you can become too much, and as an introvert, you'll understand that immediately.
8. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Noah, a 13-year-old artist, is secretly in love with Brian, the boy next door who collects moon rocks and plays baseball. Noah has a lot of secrets, but not as many as his twin sister Jude, who tells her side of the story at age 16, while she's living her life by a bible of superstitions and convinced a ghost is destroying her artwork. With a complicated family web of lies and a dual-perspective, this book is also one of the most beautiful things I've ever read. As an artistic introvert myself, I felt for both Noah and Jude as the two try to piece together their broken relationship.
9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Most know right from the beginning that Nick Carraway is an introvert, being a hermit writer and quiet individual, but it's also true that Jay Gatsby, the host of the best parties in NYC at the time, is an introvert himself. Most of the time Gatsby isn't even enjoying his own parties, just hoping one will eventually bring Daisy, the love of his life, back to him. This American classic is a tale for everyone, but specifically introverts who don't actually enjoy parties except for the ones that you can read about in the comfort of your own bed.
10. Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes
Maguire is convinced she's bad luck. After multiple bad-luck occasions, and a devastating car accident that killed both her father and brother, yet left her with nearly a scratch, has her hiding out in her room hoping to save the world from her. But when she meets a lucky tennis star by the name of Jordy, he's more convinced that he can help break her unlucky streak and tries to bring her back out into the world. What this novel does extraordinarily well is portray therapy, anxieties, and overall what being a freaked-out introvert is like most of the time.
11. The Introvert Advantage by Marti Olsen Laney
If you're an introvert and have constantly wished you could be more outgoing, more social, more relatable, more this or that, you certainly aren't alone, and Laney's book will show you that you've got more skills and abilities you're aware of. Covering everything from introverts in the workforce to parenting, from building a relationship to loving your introverted self, each chapter will give you a new way to embrace your unique mind.
12. Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa
Mira is starting fresh at a new school, while her best friend Sebby is trying to make the best out of his foster home and closeted life. Then comes Jeremy, a boy with his own self-imposed isolation, who finds himself intrigued by their friendship. Mira, Jeremy, and Sebby are all introverts in their own right, and they create a world together that is far from reality — one that hides their secrets and allows them to be, well, themselves. There are a lot of emotions in this story, and it's one heck of a journey.
13. Quiet by Susan Cain
You may have stumbled upon Susan Cain's extraordinary TED Talk on the power of introverts, but why stop there when she has an entire book (plus a brand new one) that explores the power of introverts even further? Cain explains the nature of introversion, the skills that introverts possess, and explores why the world massively underestimates its quiet population.