Do You Read Like an Extrovert or an Introvert?

Do You Read Like an Extrovert or an Introvert?

Each of us has a unique way of engaging with the world of literature. How we read—quickly scanning the page, savoring each word, or skipping around to the sections of most interest—often reflects much about our characteristics. The way we read is no random occurrence. Instead, it is a habit that intertwines with our inherent personality types. This habit can speak volumes about us, revealing facets of our persona we might not have consciously considered before.

But have you ever wondered how your reading style could correlate with your personality type? How, for instance, does it map to traits like extraversion and introversion? These are two fundamental personality aspects identified by renowned Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung. Extraverts tend to derive energy from the outside world, while introverts tend to recharge through solitude.

Understanding Extraversion and Introversion

Extraversion and introversion describe two distinct personality types. Extraverts gain energy from external stimuli, such as interacting with people and exploring the world around them. On the other hand, introverts draw power from their inner world and often seek solitude to think and reflect. This understanding comes from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a widely used tool for exploring personality types. Commonly, extroverts appear outgoing and talkative, while introverts seem thoughtful and reserved.

The Extravert’s Reading Habits

Extraverts approach reading as they do with most things in their lives: with energy and a friendly mindset. They often prefer reading material that connects them with the outer world, like contemporary novels, biographies, or social science books that offer insight into society and people.

Notably, the social aspect of reading captivates many extroverts. They enjoy discussing books, joining clubs, and sharing their thoughts and interpretations. Famous extravert, Oprah Winfrey, built a globally successful book club, sharing her love for reading with millions and prompting lively conversations around selected books.

The Introvert’s Reading Habits

Introverts treat reading as a solitary activity, a refuge from the bustling world. They savor the quiet moments immersed in books, exploring different worlds and perspectives. Literature that allows deep introspection, like classic novels, poetry, or complex science fiction, often appeals to them.

The need for a calm environment, free from distractions, seems crucial for many introverts. They find solace in the pages of a book, often becoming so absorbed that they lose track of time. Famous introvert Albert Einstein reportedly had a profound love for solitude, allowing him the quiet to indulge in complex theoretical physics books.

The Impact of Personality Types on Reading Comprehension and Retention

Personality types can influence how we comprehend and retain information. Extraverts may prefer active engagement with the material, such as discussing it with others or teaching it, to reinforce their understanding and retention. Introverts, in contrast, might find that taking time to reflect on the material helps them understand and remember it better.

The Role of Ambiversion in Reading Habits

Ambiversion sits on the spectrum between extraversion and introversion, incorporating traits from both ends. Ambiverts can switch between social interaction and solitude, depending on their energy levels and the situation. They have diverse reading habits, relishing both the social aspects of reading, like book clubs, and the solitary nature of this activity.

The Influence of Reading Habits on Personal Growth

Despite our personality types, reading undeniably contributes to personal growth. It expands our minds, enhances our empathy, and opens our eyes to different cultures and perspectives. Whether you identify as an extrovert, an introvert, or somewhere in between, stepping outside your reading comfort zone can offer enriching experiences.

Extraverts might benefit from delving into introspective literature, allowing them some quiet reflection time. Conversely, introverts could try joining a book club or discussion group to connect with others and gain different viewpoints. After all, the beauty of reading lies in its capacity to offer new insights and experiences, pushing us to grow and learn.

Case Study: The Intersection of Reading Habits and Personality Types

The literature world holds a variety of engaging styles, genres, and narratives. Yet, our interaction with these elements is as unique as we are. Our reading habits – whether we skim through a text, relish each line or skip to intriguing sections – mirror our personality traits. Notably, these habits can provide insights into two fundamental personality types – extraversion and introversion – identified by the esteemed Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung.

Understanding Personality Traits and their Relationship with Reading:

Extraversion and introversion constitute two divergent personality traits on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a popular tool for understanding personalities. Extraverts thrive on external interactions and stimuli, often characterized as outgoing and friendly. In contrast, introverts gravitate towards introspection and solitude, generally appearing reflective and reserved.

Case 1: The Extravert’s Reading Style:

Extraverts are often sociable readers who derive energy from the social aspects of reading. They prefer material that enables them to connect with the world, such as contemporary novels, biographies, or social science literature. They delight in discussing literature, participating in book clubs, and openly expressing their thoughts about various narratives. A notable example is talk show host and philanthropist Oprah Winfrey, who channeled her extroverted tendencies into establishing a globally influential book club.

Case 2: The Introvert’s Reading Approach

Introverts, on the other hand, often perceive reading as a solitary activity. They cherish a good book’s tranquility and favor literature that stimulates introspection, such as classical novels, poetry, and intricate science fiction. For instance, renowned theoretical physicist Albert Einstein, known for his introverted nature, reportedly relished the solitude that enabled him to dive into complex physics literature.

Case 3: The Ambivert’s Reading Preferences

Ambiverts, who straddle the line between extraversion and introversion, possess a unique approach to reading. Their reading habits are fluid, enjoying both the social aspects of reading and its solitary nature, often switching between the two based on their energy levels and circumstances.


Our reading habits offer a fascinating glimpse into our personality types. Whether you’re an extravert diving into a lively book club discussion or an introvert finding solace in a quiet corner with a captivating novel, understanding your reading style can enhance your reading experience. Embrace your reading habits and continue to explore different genres and methods of reading – after all, each page turned holds the promise of discovery.

Recommended Reading

For those keen on diving deeper into personality types and reading habits, I suggest delving into books like “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain and “The Extravert Advantage: How to Thrive in an Introverted World” by Marti Olsen Laney.