6 Ways Reading Books Benefits Introverts

An introvert surrounded by books

For introverts, books provide the perfect escape — you can “go out” into another world while staying in. 

You may be familiar with this quote from Henry David Thoreau: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

This enriches our lives, as do other insightful quotes we get from books — especially for introverts since we live in our heads so much. So it comes as no surprise that introverts love reading.

But books are more than a mere hobby for introverts. Yes, reading becomes a ritual for us, but research shows that books are also a kind of therapy for many people. This is referred to as bibliotherapy. To me, books are certainly therapeutic, whether they’re fiction or nonfiction. They all tend to contain valuable lessons, advice, and information about the journey of life. Here are six key ways books benefit introverts. See if you agree!

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6 Ways Books Benefit Introverts

1. They offer solutions to everyday problems.

By observing the way in which the characters in books find solutions to everyday problems, these solutions become accessible to us off the page. It helps us believe that life’s challenges can be conquered, and they may even be easier than we’d realized. 

We can see how a character did it, and then follow suit. And we will probably learn valuable life skills and coping techniques in the process! In the end, it works like a self-fulfilling prophecy: We are able to conquer what seems impossible just because we think we can.

So the next time you’re struggling with something, see how you feel after reading for a while. Chances are, you’ll feel a lot better and want to keep on reading…

2. They provide secondary experiences.

By reading about the experiences of other people, we can have secondary experiences. In other words, we can put on glasses and see the world through the eyes of the characters — even if we would not necessarily do what they do. But by observing their actions, as well as their inner worlds, we can create our own spaces of healing and victory. In this way, we can look at things from a new perspective and from others’ points of view.

Yes, their world may be a fictitious one, but we can still apply their scenarios to our own world.

3. They offer tips and tricks, especially if they’re self-help books.

Although we can learn a lot from all kinds of books (like I mentioned in #1), self-help ones deserve a special mention. They’ve given me the power to take charge of my life, set goals for myself, and go after those goals.

Of course, it depends on who the writer is and what their value system is. However, most self-help books that I’ve read have made a tremendous difference in my life. Many of them are written by therapists and life coaches, people who have expert knowledge and professional experience to give advice and guidance. So that credibility means a lot in terms of the advice they give in their books. 

Whatever area of life you may need help in — relationships, career, you name it — there is a book that can help. 

Do you ever struggle to know what to say?

As an introvert, you actually have the ability to be an amazing conversationalist — even if you’re quiet and hate small talk. To learn how, we recommend this online course from our partner Michaela Chung. Click here to check out the Introvert Conversation Genius course.

4. They provide an escape and a safe space for you to work through problems.

The world out there, and life in and of itself, can be cruel — and it can even be harder for introverts who don’t know how to access their inner strengths. Books, though, are a way of escaping from the harshness of reality. They allow us to take a very necessary time-out from our daily stressors, pressures, and demands of life. (And, for introverts, the more of these, the merrier!)

This allows us introverts to retreat into a safe space, granting us time to think, process, and work through our problems. And, of course, this gives us the alone time we so crave, too. 

Aside from the books we read inadvertently that offer us solutions to things we’re struggling with, they can also make us feel less alone. In turn, this can prove to be a light distraction or can lead to deeper healing, comfort, and inner peace.

5. They give us something to talk about with others — likely, other introverts.

I don’t know if there is research out there on this, but if I had to guess, I would say most book clubs consist of introverts. You see, when we introverts are passionate about something — like the bestseller we just read — we cannot shut up about it. 

So whether you join a book club (online or in person) or just want to use your latest read as fodder for the small talk you have to endure at work, having an arsenal of books in your brain comes in handy.

6. They are great for your mental health (and cheaper than psychologists).

Why is reading so important to us introverts? It’s our refuge and safe haven, a place to relax, get comfortable, and do some deep thinking (which we excel at!). Through reading, an introvert can delve into their innermost being, the part of themselves that is only accessible to them. So reading can be good for our mental health and allows us to delve even deeper into our heads (where we like spending time anyway!). 

Because introverts can become easily overwhelmed — by society and everyday challenges — and get drained, reading acts as a salve to regroup and decompress. And the more of that we can do, the better.

In essence, I find books to be very therapeutic, no matter what the genre may be. They can supplement traditional therapy or sometimes even replace it (as therapy can be expensive!). So whether we’re between therapists or want to read about certain topics alongside our therapy, books can help us grow and gain insight into our problems. In short, I feel books are therapists and life coaches in disguise. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

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