The One Classic Book For Your Myers-Briggs Type

by Charlotte Ahlin

Want to know who you should date? Where you should live? Which books you should read? Take the Myers-Briggs personality test. It's an infallible frighteningly accurate assessment of your very being. If you're feeling a little overwhelmed by the seemingly endless lists of "classic" books that you have to read, why not use your Myers-Briggs personality profile to narrow it down? Once you've taken the test and memorized those four letters that make up your "type," try picking up the one classic book for your Myers-Briggs personality.

For anyone who hasn't spent hours online debating the nuances of their own persona, here's what those four letters actually mean:"I" or "E" stands for "introvert" or "extrovert," meaning you either draw energy from alone time or from group hangs. Then there's "N" or "S" for "intuiting" or "sensing," which describes whether you intuit information internally or observe it externally. Next is "T' or "F" for "thinking" or "feeling," which determines whether you put more energy into logical or emotional intelligence. Finally, there's "P" or "J" for "perceiving" or "judging," which means you're either open to opportunities or you have your life planned and outlined to a tee.

There's no right or wrong personality combo, but your special blend of traits might help you re-discover one particular work of classic literature:


INFP: 'Love in the Time of Cholera' by Gabriel García Márquez

Shy, poetic INFP likes a good love story, especially if there's a aura of magic around it. Love in the Time of Cholera is an achingly beautiful book about a lost love found again (well, kind of), and all that transpired in between. Perfect for a dreamy INFP, who definitely has a book of poetry hidden under their pillow as we speak.

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ENFP: 'On the Road' by Jack Kerouac

Enthusiastic ENFP is always striving for greater meaning in life, always starting a new project, and always hitting the road. Jack Kerouac may occasionally get a little hippy-dippy for a truly driven ENFP, but his quintessential travel novel will speak to every ENFP's need for wide open spaces.

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INTP: '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' by Jules Verne

Brainy, creative INTP likes a good wacky science fiction but they can also tell you the real science behind it (and they know that "twenty thousand" refers to distance traveled and not depth under the sea, duh). Jules Verne was an early master of hard, science-based sci-fi, perfect for an innovative INTP.

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ENTP:'My Man Jeeves' by P.G. Wodehouse

ENTPs are devilishly clever, witty, and determined to get their way and make everyone else look like a buffoon. That's why every ENTP should pick up Wodehouse's classic Jeeves series, the consummate comedy about a clever butler who outsmarts his bumbling master at every time.

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ENFJ: 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee

ENFJs are often called "The Protagonist" because so many classic protagonists share their character traits: outspoken, empathetic, justice-oriented, adventurous... basically, every ENFJ is Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the all-time great classics tacking injustice in America.

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ENTJ: 'Invisible Man' by Ralph Ellison

Thoughtful, decisive, and determined, ENTJs like books they can sink their brains into. Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man is a searing exploration of bigotry and identity, from the deep south to northern Harlem. Its ambitious scope will be sure to inspire the heady ENTJ (especially since ENTJs know a thing or two about being ambitious).

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ESFP: 'The Great Gatsby' by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The ESFP is the fun personality type. Sorry everyone, but you will never throw a better house party than an ESFP. The moral of The Great Gatsby may not exactly be "party all the time, who cares?" but the quintessential novel of the Jazz Age is still pretty perfect for an entertaining ESFP.

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ISFP: 'Watchmen' by Alan Moore

ISFPs are... out there. They take risks and think outside the box. They don't write off graphic novels as lesser literature just because they include pictures. Alan Moore's Watchman is just about as classic as any graphic novel can get, and ISFPs will appreciate the inventive, very human take on superheroes in this singular book.

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ESTP: 'The Three Musketeers' by Alexandre Dumas

ESTPs are all about adventure and living life on the edge. Swashbuckling! Honor! Swordsmen! Also muskets, sometimes! The Three Musketeers is the original buddy comedy adventure story. It's got fights, friendships, underdogs, lady spies, an evil Cardinal. What more do you want out of your adventures?

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ESFJ: 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen

If you're going through a break up, you need an ESFJ in your life. They're a positive, emotionally intelligent sort of folk, and they love romance novels. Pride and Prejudice might not be the sappiest romance out there, but it's the foundation for a surprising number of modern day rom-coms. Romantic ESFJ will love the comedy, the wit, and (of course) the wonderfully real love story of Pride and Prejudice.

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ESTJ: 'All Quiet on the Western Front' by Erich Maria Remarque

ESTJs are the most likely personality type to pick up a war novel outside of a high school classroom. They like historical detail and accuracy, but they also care deeply about the lives of the real people involved. All Quiet on the Western Front is one of the greatest war novels of all time, brimming with both historical detail and humanity.

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ISTP: 'True Grit' by Charles Portis

The ISTP is your classic lone cowboy archetype. They like to build things with their hands. They want to understand how machines work. They're methodical and tough and perfectly suited to a hard-bitten western like the classic True Grit. If anyone has true grit, it's an ISTP.

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INTJ: 'The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes' by Arthur Conan Doyle

No one loves a good mystery more than an INTJ. They love delving into details, picking apart clues, and coming up with the answer before they hit the last page. If you're an INTJ who hasn't already been introduced to a certain Mr. Holmes, then what are you even doing with your free time?

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INFJ: 'The Lord of the Rings' by J.R.R. Tolkien

INFJs can get a bit... intense, but it's just because they care. Your typical INFJ is quiet, passionate, imaginative, and deeply involved in the fight of good vs. evil. That makes them ideal readers for high fantasy, and there is no higher fantasy than the original Lord of the Rings, complete with a battle over goodness itself.

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ISFJ: 'The Hunchback of Notre-Dame' by Victor Hugo

ISFJs want to make the world a better place and interact with their fellow human beings... but they also want to hole up in a bell tower and never talk to anyone ever again. They're sensitive yet logical, shy yet devoted to others, and they should all read Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre-Dame to work through all of their complicated introvert feelings.

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ISTJ: 'Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass' by Frederick Douglass

The practical, no-nonsense ISTJ is a junkie for non-fiction. Whimsy and boy wizards are all well and good, but an ISTJ truly lights up when their reading about real history. They love nothing more than curling up with a fascinating auto-biography, and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass is one of the most fascinating, monumental, and inspiring.

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