A Classic Book for Every Myers-Briggs Personality Type


Recently at the Flavorwire office we’ve become obsessed (in a skeptical and dubious way, of course) with the Myers-Briggs personality test, a pop-psych phenomenon which sorts us all into one of 16 categories, each with a unique combination of four letters. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Intuitive or sensing? Thinking or feeling? Perceiving or judging? Now take all your results and combine them, and you have your MBTI personality type! (If you want to take a quick version of the test, try this one). While we don’t advocate your running out and switching jobs based on this result, a personalized reading guide can’t hurt. So in the spirit of summer reading — and summer self-inquiry — we offer a novel that we think would suit each MBTI result.

ISTJ: The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

With interest in traditions and loyalty, and an ability to make a huge impact despite being quiet, ISTJs will appreciate Wharton’s masterpiece of manners.

ISFJ: Emily Post’s Etiquette

Conscientious, thorough, and neat, this manual dots every I and crosses every T on the page of life — as does the ISFJ.

INTJ: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The INTJ is fiercely independent, like a true Austen heroine, and skeptical like the novel’s creator.

ISTP:The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

Evidence, facts, and observation, all building to a rational argument. Darwin’s groundbreaking and lively scientific text is emblematic of this type.

ISFP: Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov

You love your own space and are not a fan of conflict, much like the hero of this classic Russian novel — who won’t even get out of bed for the first section!

INTP: White Noise by Don DeLillo

Clinical and ideas-oriented, the INTP will appreciate DeLillo, the writer as philosopher-scientist, who has a knack for observing and even predicting the fate of our times.

INFP: The Color Purple by Alice Walker

A deeply loyal seeker of understanding will appreciate this classic book that’s full of empathy and loyalty to its battered but unbroken characters.

INFJ: Ulysses by James Joyce

Like an INFJ, the classic by Joyce is hard to get into and definitely intimidating, but once you discover its world, you find it warm, humanistic, and even a little bit silly.

ESTP: Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence

The ESTP values experiential learning and living, much like D.H. Lawrence and his randy, earth-loving characters.

ESFP: The Anne of Green Gables series, L.M. Montgomery

A positive force who makes boring tasks fun and brings people together, the ESFP is as spunky and beloved as the world’s most cherished redheaded orphan.

ENFP: The Harry Potter novels by J.K. Rowling

Much like the ENFP, the Potter series ends up messily and flubs a few key details, but also takes everyone on a joyful and wild ride.

ENTP: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

Resourceful, quick, and clever ENTPs will find much to appreciate about Huck and Twain both.

ESTJ: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

Practical, take-charge types will enjoy Sandberg’s exhortation for women to find the leader within before the system changes to embrace them.

ESFJ: Howard’s End by E.M. Forster

The classic novel’s humanistic refrain — “only connect” — appeals to this type, who thrives on idealism and harmony.

ENFJ: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

The March family’s warmth and willingness to sacrifice for each other and the Union are bound to hold a treasured place in the heart of ENFJs, who are known to give themselves to others.

ENTJ: Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

A brilliant and imaginative critique of race in America will be a great fit for this pathfinding and galvanizing type.