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10 Must-read Books for INTPs to Understand Their Personality 

Do you know the timeless quote by René Descartes—“I think; therefore I am”?

That’s the INTP personality, in a nutshell.

According to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, a popular and widely used personality assessment tool, people with the INTP personality type exhibit Introverted(I), Intuitive(N), Thinking(T), and Perceiving(P) traits. 

These individuals tend to be speculative, erudite, analytical, innovative, and imaginative. Often referred to as ‘The Thinker or ‘The Philosopher,’ this personality type is known for being thoughtful, creative, and independent. 

More often than not, INTPs are engrossed in reading about the latest scientific discoveries, navigating the technological frontier, or getting lost in mind-bending philosophical debates. 

They usually gravitate toward fantasy/science fiction books with far-reaching worldviews. They also enjoy literary works where the conventional is challenged (Think Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club) and the modern world is depicted in dystopian ways.

We bring you an extensive list of books INTPs will resonate with. 

So, let’s embark on this literary exploration together—because understanding ourselves is an adventure worth undertaking!

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Top 10 Book Recommendations that Suit INTPs

Whether you’re an INTP or just curious about developing a growth mindset, we’ve got a list of 10 INTP books to learn more about your personality type.

1. Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov

Foundation Series by Isaac Asimov
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  • Author(s): Isaac Asimov
  • Year published: 1951
  • Estimated reading time: 12 hours 
  • Ideal for: Beginners
  • No. of pages: 907 
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.7/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.17/5 (Goodreads)

Asimov’s Foundation Series is a celebrated classic. It’s like a cosmic chess game where the pieces are civilizations, and the rules are written in the language of psychohistory—a field of mathematics predicting the future of massive societies. 

Its inventor, Hari Seldon, the story’s protagonist, can only foresee and prevent the interstellar wars threatening to dismantle the 12,000-year-old Galactic Empire. 

What unfolds is a highly interesting sci-fi marvel of a heroic quest, replete with power plays and political warfare—sure to appeal to the INTPs’ imaginative sensibilities. 

Foundation Series makes a perfect match for the INTP brain that thrives on complex scenarios and intellectual challenges. The book’s focus on futuristic societies, political ideas, and the allure of power might resonate with introverts. 

Quote from the book

The fall of Empire, gentlemen, is a massive thing, however, and not easily fought. It is dictated by a rising bureaucracy, a receding initiative, a freezing of caste, a damming of curiosity—a hundred other factors. It has been going on, as I have said, for centuries, and it is too majestic and massive a movement to stop.

Isaac Asimov

Key takeaways

  • Embrace the predictable catastrophe with the desire to learn and navigate the challenges with a problem-solving mindset
  • Understand the motivations behind information and seek diverse perspectives to get a fuller picture
  • Actively engage with history, analyze its patterns, and apply those lessons to navigate present and future challenges

What readers say

“A thrilling tale about how self-knowledge—an understanding of how our society works—can change history for the better.”

2. INTP Utilize Your Strengths, Solve Life’s Problems, and Thrive as the Genius Thinker INTP Type by Dan Johnston

INTP Template
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  • Author(s): Dan Johnston
  • Year published: 2014
  • Estimated reading time: 2 hours 
  • Ideal for: Beginners
  • No. of pages: 111
  • Ratings: 
    • 3.8/5 (Amazon)
    • 3.5/5 (Goodreads)

Fellow INTPs, this one is custom-tailored for us. Only a few books break down our strengths and challenges and guide us in thriving as unique thinkers. And this one does it well.

The book contains anecdotes for INTPs to navigate their relationships, understand their short temper, build fulfilling connections, and achieve financial success. It’s the right guide to dive deeper into your consciousness to learn about yourself.

It’s similar to having a personal coach advising insights into your INTP soul. From unraveling the intricacies of the INTP personality to providing strategies for personal growth and professional success, it’s the perfect roadmap for the INTP journey.

Quote from the book

Genius lies not just in intelligence, but in the unique way an INTP approaches and solves problems.

Dan Johnston

Key takeaways

  • Understanding our strengths, shortcomings, relationships, and thought processes could help us learn about our character better
  • Practicing active listening, preparing key points beforehand, and using humor or analogies are helpful in better communication 
  • A fulfilling life is based on knowing the conscious mind and acting upon that knowledge

What readers say

“If you are an INTP, or suspect that you might be, this will help you understand yourself better and help avoid the pitfalls of this personality style.”

3. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
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  • Author(s): Viktor E. Frankl
  • Year published: 1959
  • Estimated reading time: 3 hours
  • Ideal for: Readers at all levels
  • No. of pages: 184
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.7/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.37/5 (Goodreads)

If you find yourself in existential contemplation of the human experience, perhaps you couldn’t have a better philosophical guide than Viktor Frankl. 

In his book Man’s Search for Meaning, he doesn’t just share his experiences of surviving the Holocaust; he explores the very essence of human existence and the quest for meaning. 

Despite the struggles and the hopelessness of his situation, Frankl refused to lose hope—even after losing his patients and his entire family to the horrors of the Holocaust. Instead, he finds meaning in everyday life through work, love, and suffering. 

For INTPs, who love to dissect the philosophical underpinnings of life, Frankl’s journey becomes a mirror reflecting their search for purpose and significance in life.

Quote from the book

Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.

Viktor Frankl

Key takeaways

  • Hope and love can do wonders; only they can help overcome the dark times and the toughest of adversities
  • No matter the prison, a man’s will to live and find purpose in life will always conquer hardships
  • Mourning through suffering is not a sign of weakness but rather a strength

What readers say

“This is a book I reread a lot . . . it gives me hope . . . it gives me a sense of strength.”

4. Spiral Dynamics by Don Edward Beck

Spiral Dynamics by Don Edward Beck
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  • Author(s): Don Edward Beck, Christopher C. Cowan
  • Year published: 1996
  • Estimated reading time: 6 hours 
  • Ideal for: Niche readers
  • No. of pages: 352
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.9/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.21/5 (Goodreads)

Spiral Dynamics discusses a human psychology developmental system, which suggests that the foundational constructs of an individual, organization, and nation’s life cycle revolve around a series of ‘spirals’ or levels.  Each level represents a different cultural and human maturity essential for evolution. 

Don Edward Beck and Christopher C. Cowan expand on the system with plenty of examples and provide blueprints for each maturity level in the book. 

For the INTP brain that loves abstract thinking, it’s a fascinating exploration of how societies evolve, clash, and transform over time. The authors provide insights into the interplay of individual and collective thought, which will have your INTP gears turning in excitement.

Quote from the book

The only system which is truly democratic is that which recognizes and protects the variety of ways in which human beings exist and survive on this planet.

Don Edward Beck, Christopher C. Cowan

Key takeaways

  • Human nature, similar to any civilization, is a mix of multiple elements that transform them over time and in stages
  • By recognizing different value systems, you can better understand yourself, others, and societal conflicts
  • Personal and social growth are two separate yet interrelated aspects driving the societal wheels

What readers say

“A fascinating typological model for how individuals, groups, and societies react to pressures in their environment based on their primary mode of existing in the world.”

5. The One Thing by Gary W. Keller

The One Thing by Gary W. Keller
via Amazon
  • Author(s): Gary Keller and Jay Papasan
  • Year published: 2012
  • Estimated reading time: 5 hours 
  • Ideal for: Beginners 
  • No. of pages: 256
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.5/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.1/5 (Goodreads)

Want to know the “surprisingly simple truth behind extraordinary results”? It’s to focus on one task at a time.

This award-winning book provides a great opportunity to understand why and how to outline one’s life and goals around one important thing and use your time productively. It provides ample examples, advice, frameworks, and illustrations to iterate the benefits of focused work. 

Although a few decades old, the book’s primary principle of how discipline creates long-lasting habits is relevant to date.

Gary Keller’s wisdom on simplicity and the power of concentrated attention aligns perfectly with an introverted desire for efficiency and excellence. Someone handed us the blueprint to streamline our mental chaos and set the right goals.

Quote from the book

Extraordinary results happen only when you give the best you have to become the best you can be at your most important work.

Gary W. Keller

Key takeaways

  • Poor health habits, inefficient working environment, inability to say “no”, and the fear of chaos are four “thieves of productivity”
  • Use the 80/20 principle to choose one goal and one task to concentrate on
  • The more narrow your focus is, the more extraordinary the results will be

What readers say

“The book very skilfully does what its name suggests. How to narrow down to the one thing which one needs to do at such time to achieve the intended outcome. Recommend 👍🏼.”

6. How to Do the Work by Dr. Nicole LePera

How to Do the Work by Dr. Nicole LePera
via Amazon
  • Author(s): Dr. Nicole LePera
  • Year published: 2021
  • Estimated reading time: 9 hours
  • Ideal for: Beginners 
  • No. of pages: 320
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.8/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.15/5 (Goodreads)

Dr. LePera invites us on a holistic journey of self-discovery and improvement with How to Do the Work. The book goes beyond psychotherapy’s traditional (often limiting) practices to introduce interdisciplinary tools for self-healing.

This book is a toolkit for minds that crave a deep understanding of themselves.  Dr. LePeratalks talks about a three-step process for navigating mental landscapes: Awareness, Exploration, and Action.

She emphasizes the importance of self-awareness, encouraging readers to understand their thought patterns, emotions, and behaviors. The exploration phase involves delving into past experiences and traumas to uncover their impact on present behaviors. Finally, the action phase provides practical tools and exercises to implement positive changes and establish healthier habits.

Quote from the book

You cannot change what you do not acknowledge.

Dr. Nicole LePera

Key takeaways

  • Acknowledge the problem to find a solution and trust your intuition
  • Most of our belief systems are established early in life. So, to truly move ahead in life, first identify and heal any signs of historical trauma
  • Healthy lifestyle and mental habits are the key to establishing healthy relationships throughout life

What readers say

How to Do the Work is an invitation to do the work with the inner tools we all carry within ourselves.”

7. A Radical Awakening by Dr. Shefali Tsabary

A Radical Awakening by Dr. Shefali Tsabary
via Amazon
  • Author(s): Shefali Tsabary
  • Year published: 2021
  • Estimated reading time: 6 hours 
  • Ideal for: Beginners 
  • No. of pages: 363
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.7/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.11/5 (Goodreads)

The inward-looking nature of INTPs can sometimes transpire negatively and lead to a sense of insecurity and chronic overwhelm.

However, the impact of such a thought process is particularly tough on INTP women who constantly succumb to societal expectations and fill in their assigned patriarchal roles.

In A Radical Awakening, Shefali Tsabury provides a path to break free from the feeling of such a caged identity and discover one’s true, authentic self through self-inquiry and reflection.

The book is a call to authenticity and a journey into consciousness and self-discipline. For your reflective minds, it’s a profound exploration of shedding societal norms and embracing your true self. 

Quote from the book

Soul erosion is a gradual process—a slow, creeping, chipping away of our inner being, resulting in the inevitable death of all we know to be our truest selves.

Dr. Shefali Tsabary

Key takeaways

  • By discovering the power within, you not only help yourself but also others around you and the world
  • The path to finding the true self is by overcoming one’s illusions and fears in thoughts and around people
  • The purpose of life is to be honorable and compassionate and to know, through everything, that you have made a difference and lived well

What readers say

“The book can be informative, therapeutic, and transformative simultaneously. All women should read a copy.”

8. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain Dashboard Image
via Amazon
  • Author(s): Susan Cain
  • Year published: 2012
  • Estimated reading time: 6 hours 8 minutes 
  • Ideal for: Intermediate to advanced readers   
  • No. of pages: 368
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.5/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.1/5 (Goodreads)

Susan Cain’s book, Quiet, is a friendly guide explaining introversion.

Through historical and example-led speculation, Cain explains how the ‘Extrovert Ideal’ has slowly engulfed the cultural values of our society and how that complicates how qualities like intelligence and leadership are perceived.

She also highlights a diverse group of successful introverts to cut through the stereotypes around introversion and provides aspirational values to live by. 

Quiet advocates for a cultural shift that values silent and contemplative spaces, acknowledging the diverse contributions that both introverts and extroverts make to the world. 

It’s a comforting read that makes INTPs feel seen and valued for their thoughtful, quiet selves.

Quote from the book

Introversion is not a choice, nor I s it a lifestyle… It’s an essential part of who you are.

Susan Cain

Key takeaways

  • Manage overstimulation by identifying draining situations (large meetings, open offices) and develop coping mechanisms (noise-canceling headphones, breaks in smaller spaces)
  • Instead of focusing on “fixing” yourself, actively find opportunities where your listening, introspective nature shines
  • External demeanor does not correlate with a person’s IQ. The loudest person in the room isn’t always the smartest

What readers say

“This book is a pleasure to read and will make introverts and extroverts alike think twice about the best ways to be themselves and interact with differing personality types.”

9. The INTP Quest: INTPs’ Search for Their Core Self, Purpose, and Philosophy by Dr. AJ Drenth

The INTP Quest: INTPs' Search for Their Core Self, Purpose, and Philosophy by Dr. AJ Drenth
via Amazon
  • Author(s): Dr. A.J. Drenth 
  • Year published: 2016
  • Estimated reading time: 2 hours 50 minutes 
  • Ideal for: Beginners 
  • No. of pages: 170
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.5/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.0/5 (Goodreads)

Dr. AJ Drenth’s book, The INTP Quest, is like a manual tailored just for INTPs. It helps them better understand their quirks, purpose, and why they love diving into deep thoughts. He breaks down the INTP quest for purpose into four parts, complementing the different phases of life: 

  • Part 1 is a comprehensive exploration of an INTP’s key personality functions (Ti, Ne, Si, and Fe) while also touching upon the cognitive tools they possess
  • Part 2 talks about the influence of ideas and concepts on this purpose-finding journey, as INTPs balance the extraverted (E) and introverted (I) factors
  • Part 3 is a portrait of the INTP’s philosophical leanings and how they can impact how INTPs find a place in the world
  • Part 4 provides a sympathetic outlook on the changes that follow once the purpose is found

With a conversational tone and relatable examples, Drenth makes the content accessible, creating a sense of camaraderie with the readers.

Quote from the book

The quest for self-discovery is a lifelong journey for the INTP.

Dr. A. J. Drenth

Key takeaways

  • INTP trait is a power; harness this ability by exploring the thoughts, ideas, and concepts that aid in self-discovery
  • Introverts are equal parts thinkers and seekers, both of which largely impact the core self and the philosophy of their life
  • The doubts and uncertainty stand no chance to the INTP minds that persist in their quest, with hope, to find their place in the world

What readers say

“For anyone looking to further their understanding of the INTP personality type. This is ‘The’ book to explore.”

10. The Secret Teachings of all Ages by Manly P. Hall

 The Secret Teachings of all Ages by Manly P. Hall
via Amazon

About the book

  • Author(s): Manly P. Hall
  • Year published: 1928
  • Estimated reading time: 10 hours 40 minutes 
  • Ideal for: Intermediate to advanced readers
  • No. of pages: 768
  • Ratings: 
    • 4.6/5 (Amazon)
    • 4.27/5 (Goodreads)

Enter the captivating world of The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall, a literary trove where ancient wisdom and mystical teachings converge. 

This massive encyclopedia is a crash course in some of the world’s oldest esoteric traditions—distilled and refined from the teachings of nearly 600 experts. It’s got everything a logician desires in a book: Philosophy, mythology, and religion. 

Hall also delves into the occult practices, exploring the fascinating realms of the supernatural, secret societies, and mystic subjects like vampirism, ceremonial magic, and witchcraft. 

This book explores the symbolism in ancient texts, architecture, and religious practices, offering readers esoteric wisdom.

The book remains a classic in esoteric literature, providing a valuable resource for INTPs seeking a deeper understanding of the mysteries of existence.

Quote from the book

Words are potent weapons for all causes, good or bad.

Manly P. Hall

Key takeaways

  • No philosophy, ancient or modern, stands on its own. The latter often evolve and borrow teaching from the former ones
  • Wisdom is an intricate fabric with multiple threads, or esoteric traditions, woven together, yet what is unknown does not even compare to what is known
  • Words are powerful enough to either bring destruction or development based on how they have been used and perceived

What readers say

“A classic reference, dizzying in its breadth.”

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Application of Learnings from INTP Books

Most INTPs are voracious readers. Of all the 16 MBTI personality types, INTPs are most inclined toward reading and acquiring knowledge in general. 

Whenever they find a great book, they will likely binge-read it. However, reading becomes a chore when perusing through fiction or books on a topic they don’t find appealing.  

An INTP can go from reading 500 pages in a day to a single page in a week. 

But if you want to enjoy the reading process without going between feast and famine cycles, the following tips can help: 

  • Find a reading spot with the least number of distractions. Many INTPs lean toward outdoor environments, far away from the distractions of computers and smartphones. Tune into productivity podcasts to get some more tips
  • If you’d like to enjoy fiction more, visualize the story. You can imagine a vivid world of the characters as the story unfolds to enhance the reading experience
  • If you’re struggling to focus and sit through long novels, consider reading a visual book instead. For example, comics, mangas, and graphic novels
  • After completing a book, you’re likely to be brimming with thoughts. That’s the best time to join Reddit threads to discuss and share your interpretations of the book. This stimulation will appeal to the logician in you

And if you’d like to take notes, ClickUp’s Custom Project Management is one of the best ways to organize reading lists and related learnings. 

You can create book reading projects, record vital information, assign priorities, and track progress—all in one place. It lets you create a workspace customizable to your professional and personal preferences.

For instance, you can summarize your INTP books in ClickUp Docs and connect them with your preferred workspace. This will keep all your book summaries well-organized and provide easy access whenever needed. 

ClickUp Docs
Summarize your books using ClickUp Docs

To visualize better and track the book projects, try out the different ClickUp Views like List, Calendar, and Board View. You can track the individual book entries and get a bird’s eye view of all of your reading projects in progress. 

It offers a customized perspective tailored to individual workflows and processes. It adapts to complement natural tendencies and allows you to organize, filter, and visualize your tasks in a way that resonates with your personality, preferred working style, and project management needs.

ClickUp’s Views
Switch between project views for a tailored project management experience with ClickUp’s Views

Whether you prefer a detailed List View for comprehensive task management or a visual Kanban View for a more fluid approach, ClickUp ensures that these views remain up-to-date and reflective of your evolving project landscape and work habits.

With ClickUp Custom Fields, you can create custom records for the books you’ve read, the titles you’re reading, and those on your to-be-read list. Create fields like Book Title, Author, Key Takeaways, Review, Rating, etc. to keep a comprehensive overview of your reading journey handy at all times (and, of course, get bragging rights and share your book recommendations!).

ClickUp Custom Fields
Customize your project organization and capture relevant information with ClickUp Custom Fields

INTPs, known for their analytical and reflective approach, can also use ClickUp Automation to create a workspace that resonates with their cognitive processes. 

It handles routine and repetitive tasks, leaving the INTP free to focus better on the more intricate aspects of their projects. For instance, automated reminders are a good way of staying on top of deadlines without needing constant manual checks. 

ClickUp Automation
 Streamline tasks and boost productivity by automating processes using ClickUp Automation
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Work in a Way that Fits Your Personality, with ClickUp

If you’re an INTP, there are more books to help you manage your professional and personal lives well. But while you flip through the pages, consider getting help with the rest of your work.

ClickUp is a tool that adapts to how you think and work, making project management a breeze for the curious minds of INTPs. 

Whether saving filters, using tags, picking favorite colors, or switching to dark mode for those late-night sessions, ClickUp is a space where INTPs can make their work as unique and efficient as they are. 

With 2 million highly productive teams already on board, ClickUp is the ultimate creative partner for inquisitive minds.

Interested? Get started with ClickUp now!

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Common FAQs

1. Is INTP the rarest type?

The INTP personality type is often cited as one of the less common types. Still, it’s important to note that the prevalence of personality types can vary depending on the source and the population being studied.

Some studies and surveys suggest that certain types, including INTP, may be less common in the general population. However, it’s crucial to approach these statistics with caution.

2. Is it hard to read an INTP?

Reading an INTP individual can be challenging for some people. They are known for analytical and independent thinking, often keeping their thoughts private, which makes them hard to read. 

However, with time and trust, such individuals can share their insights more openly. Patience and understanding are key when trying to connect with an INTP.

3. What genre is best for INTPs?

INTPs are often drawn to genres that allow them to explore complex ideas and theories. Non-fiction genres such as philosophy, science, psychology, and technology may appeal to their analytical and curious minds. 

Additionally, science fiction and fantasy genres, which often involve imaginative and speculative concepts, can also ignite their curiosity.

Questions? Comments? Visit our Help Center for support.

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