I Tried A Myers-Briggs Book Recommendation Engine, And Here Are The Results
Now that summer is officially here, you might find yourself looking for the perfect summer read. To help you with this, Modern Mrs. Darcy has compiled a list of summer reads for each Myers-Briggs personality type. So, there are recommendations for you if you're an ENFJ, or an ISTP or any of the combinations thereof.
If those letters mean nothing to you and you're a newbie to the Myers-Briggs system, you're not alone — I was, too, before I did a little research. For some background, the Myers-Briggs test was developed by mother-daughter team Katharine Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers, and based on the psychological theories of Carl Jung. People are tested in in four areas or "dichotomies," each of which has two possible personality markers. This means that there are 16 total Myers-Briggs personality types all told. They are usually referred to by four letter abbreviations that indicate which psychological traits the person in question exhibited. That's what those combos above are all about.
In the Modern Mrs. Darcy recommendations, each book features a protagonist with a different Myers-Briggs type — she matches your personality classification with a character like you to find a title you should read. But as someone who has never determined where she falls in the Myers-Briggs scheme, I kind of worked backwards: if I looked at the list without knowing my personality type, would I be drawn to the "right" book? I decided to give it a shot.
I started by looking over all the books Modern Mrs. Darcy selected and picking my favorites, ignoring any mention of personality types. Here were the contenders:
Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
I hadn't heard of this book before, but the description sounded awesome: a bookstore owner facing declining sales and the loss of his prized collection of Poe poems receives a mysterious package and the chance to change his life. I have no idea if our personality types are a match, but I do feel a deep bond with any fellow book-lover.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I haven't reread this book in a long time, but I loved it the first time around and with Harper Lee's new novel coming out, it seems like the perfect time to revisit Scout Finch, who I definitely love as a protagonist, whether or not we share a personality.
Emma by Jane Austen
I mean, the title is literally my name. I feel like it has to make a list of books meant for me.
Faithful Place by Tana French
Another new one, this time a mystery about a man who once had plans to run away with his girlfriend but assumed she stood him up — until 22 years later when her suitcase was uncovered in their meeting place. So what happened? I want to read to find out.
The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
It's Harry Potter. I am down to read any of these books any time.
So out of all these books which would I pick as The One? Well, I'm going to have to go with the Harry Potter books. Because not only is it a series, meaning it comes with more reading opportunity than the stand-alones, it also speaks to my soul on a deep, existential level. And that is the point of this exercise right?
So how did I do in picking a book in line with my personality type? Well, according to this test, I am an INTP — which means I would have more in common with the protagonist of Stephen King's 11/22/63 than any of the main characters on my list. (The Harry Potter series was meant for an ISFP.)
Oops! Though I suppose, in retrospect, I do see it. If I ever found a portal into the past that allowed me to change the present, I like to think I'd try to right some of the wrongs of yesteryear, too!
So which main characters share your personality type? You can find out here.
Images: Barnes and Noble (5)