100+ Inspirational Books Recommended by BTS

Global sensation BTS is known for their chart-topping bops and inspiring lyrics. But BTS’s impact on book trends is a lesser known facet of their influence.

100+ Inspirational Books Recommended by BTS

Global sensation BTS is known for their chart-topping bops and inspiring lyrics. But BTS’s impact on book trends is a lesser known facet of their influence. This article is your guide to the 100+ inspirational books recommended by BTS over the years.

BTS and their reading choices have no less of an impact on their fans than their music. The K-pop stars’ favorite reads offer great insights into their minds and what contributed to their lyrical approach itself.

The bookworm BTS members have varying specific reading preferences. Although BTS’s bookshelf is known to hold a collection of literary gems that offer insight into BTS’ literary influence. From fiction to self-help, the BTS reading list is a blend of genres, a fascinating exploration that offers fans a glimpse into the literary world that has inspired these global icons.


So, let’s dive right in and explore the books recommended by BTS:


The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin

“The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas” by Ursula K. Le Guin is a thought-provoking and philosophical short story that explores the ethical dilemmas surrounding a utopian society’s dark secret.


Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

“Kafka on the Shore” by Haruki Murakami is a surreal and intricately woven narrative that seamlessly blends magical realism and coming-of-age themes, immersing readers in a dreamlike world where two characters embark on separate but interconnected journeys of self-discovery. RM of BTS professes to be a big Murakami fanboy and credits Kafka on the Shore for having inspired him to write the song “Butterfly.”


Almond by Sohn Won-Pyung, Joosun Lee

“Almond” by Sohn Won-Pyung, translated by Joosun Lee, is another of the books loved by BTS. Almond is a poignant and beautifully written novel that explores themes of identity, acceptance, and the resilience of the human spirit through the perspective of a protagonist with facial differences. BTS members RM and Suga were spotted reading the book in their In The Soop episodes.

DemianThe Story of Emil Sinclair’s Youth by Hermann Hesse

“Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair’s Youth” by Hermann Hesse is a philosophical and coming-of-age novel that explores the spiritual and psychological journey of a young man named Emil Sinclair as he grapples with duality, self-discovery, and the search for his true identity. Demian has highly influenced BTS’ Wings album. Furthermore, the bookworm BTS members, RM and Suga, have been seen discussing the book often.

Jung’s Map of the Soul: An Introduction by Murray B. Stein

“Jung’s Map of the Soul: An Introduction” by Murray B. Stein is another BTS book recommendation that has inspired one of their albums “Map of the Soul.” The book offers an insightful and accessible exploration of Carl Jung’s profound psychological concepts, providing a valuable guide to understanding the complexities of the human psyche.

Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart by James R. Doty

“Into the Magic Shop” by James R. Doty is one of those books loved by BTS which made it into their lyrics, having inspired them. The book is a captivating memoir that chronicles the transformative journey of a neurosurgeon, blending science and spirituality as he explores the mysteries of the brain and learns profound lessons about the secrets of the heart.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1) by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is yet another of the many books loved by BTS. The 7 books series introduces readers to the magical world of Hogwarts as a young wizard, Harry Potter, discovers his true identity, battles dark forces, and forms lifelong friendships in this enchanting tale by J.K. Rowling.
Who isn’t aware of RM being a proud Potterhead?

Me Before You (Me Before You, #1) by Jojo Moyes

“Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes is a heartfelt and emotionally charged novel that explores the transformative journey of Louisa Clark as she becomes the caregiver for a quadriplegic man, Will Traynor, leading to an unconventional and poignant love story.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

“The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry is a timeless and enchanting tale that explores the complexities of human nature through the eyes of a young prince who travels from planet to planet, imparting profound wisdom and insights on love, friendship, and the meaning of life. The Little Prince is one of the rare books recommended by Jungkook of BTS which he could actually finish, as he admits to not being an avid reader.

1Q84 (1Q84, #1-3) by Haruki Murakami

“1Q84” by Haruki Murakami is yet another of Murakami’s masterpiece books loved by BTS’ RM. Murakami’s 1Q84 is a mesmerizing and surreal literary epic that unfolds a parallel reality in Tokyo during 1984, where two protagonists, Aomame and Tengo, navigate a world filled with mysterious cults, alternate realities, and a pervasive sense of disquiet.

Born 1982: A Novel by Cho Nam-joo

“Born 1982: A Novel” by Cho Nam-joo is a powerful and thought-provoking exploration of societal expectations and the struggles faced by a South Korean woman as she confronts the pressures of patriarchy, marriage, and motherhood.

The Stranger by Albert Camus

“The Stranger” by Albert Camus is a seminal existential novel that delves into the detached and indifferent worldview of Meursault, a character who grapples with the absurdity of human existence, morality, and the consequences of societal conventions.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho 

Another one of the Korean pop stars’ favorite reads, “The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho,” is a philosophical and enchanting tale following Santiago, a shepherd boy, on his transformative journey across the desert, imparting profound lessons about destiny, dreams, and the pursuit of one’s personal legend. One of the most infamous books loved by BTS, with each member owning an autographed copy.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig

“The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig is a poignant and imaginative exploration of regret and second chances, as Nora Seed discovers a magical library where each book represents a different life she could have lived, prompting her to reconsider the choices that define her existence.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, #1) by Douglas Adams

“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams is a hilariously absurd and intergalactic romp that follows the unwitting Arthur Dent as he embarks on a cosmic journey with an eccentric alien and an electronic guidebook, exploring the galaxy’s peculiarities and questioning the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.

1984 by George Orwell

“1984” by George Orwell is a dystopian masterpiece that RM of BTS recommends. The book chillingly depicts a totalitarian society led by the omnipresent Big Brother, exploring themes of surveillance, manipulation, and the erosion of individual freedoms.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

“The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger is a timeless coming-of-age novel that follows the rebellious and introspective teenager Holden Caulfield as he navigates the challenges of adolescence, seeking authenticity and grappling with the complexities of adulthood.

Human Acts by Han Kang

“Human Acts” by Han Kang is a haunting and visceral novel that delves into the aftermath of a brutal uprising in South Korea, examining the interconnected lives of characters grappling with the enduring trauma of violence, loss, and the search for humanity in the face of atrocity.

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

“Norwegian Wood” by Haruki Murakami is a poignant coming-of-age novel that navigates the complexities of love, loss, and personal identity against the backdrop of 1960s Tokyo.

“The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera 

A BTS book recommendation about philosophical exploration of love, identity, and the nature of existence set against the backdrop of political upheaval.

“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland / Through the Looking-Glass” by Lewis Carroll 

Classic tales that transport readers to whimsical and fantastical worlds, challenging the boundaries of reality.

“I Want to Die But I Want to Eat Tteokbokki” by Baek Se-hee 

A raw and introspective collection of essays is another BTS book recommendation which delves into the complexities of life, love, and mental health.

“Life Lessons: Two Experts on Death and Dying Teach Us About the Mysteries of Life and Living” by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross 

Insights into the human experience and the profound lessons learned through understanding death and dying.

“Walden” by Henry David Thoreau 

A transcendentalist reflection on simple living in natural surroundings, advocating for a connection to nature and self-discovery.

“Kitchen” by Banana Yoshimoto 

One of the most introspective books recommended by BTS that weaves together themes of love, loss, and the transformative power of cooking, creating a poignant narrative.

“The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka 

A surreal and existential exploration of identity and isolation, as the protagonist wakes up one day to find himself transformed into an insect.

“Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari 

A thought-provoking journey through human history, examining the evolution of Homo sapiens and the impact of cultural and social developments.


“The Miracles of the Namiya General Store” by Keigo Higashino 

A heartwarming tale of redemption and second chances, set in a mysterious general store where miracles happen.

“The Owl Service” by Alan Garner 

A modern fantasy novel that weaves ancient Welsh legends into a contemporary setting, exploring the cyclical nature of fate.


“Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne 

A classic adventure novel that takes readers on an underwater journey with Captain Nemo and his extraordinary submarine, the Nautilus.


“Thus Spoke Zarathustra” by Friedrich Nietzsche 

A philosophical novel that explores the idea of the Übermensch and the eternal recurrence, challenging conventional morality.

“Blonote” by Tablo 

A collection of reflections, anecdotes, and musings by the Korean rapper and songwriter, offering insights into life and creativity.

“Peter Pan” by J.M. Barrie 

A timeless tale of eternal youth and adventure, transporting readers to the magical world of Neverland.


“Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare 

Shakespeare’s iconic tragedy of love, fate, and family rivalry that has captivated audiences for centuries.


“A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia” by Gilles Deleuze 

A complex and influential work of philosophy exploring various aspects of society, psychology, and capitalism.


  1. “Complete Works” by Arthur Rimbaud

A comprehensive collection of the visionary and influential poetry of French poet Arthur Rimbaud.

  1. “The Courage to Be Disliked” by Ichiro Kishimi 

A guide to finding happiness and freedom by embracing a philosophy based on the teachings of Alfred Adler.

  1. “The Complete World of Greek Mythology” by Richard Buxton 

A comprehensive exploration of Greek mythology, covering gods, heroes, and legendary stories.

  1. “Gulliver’s Travels” by Jonathan Swift

A satirical novel that takes readers on a series of fantastical voyages, using humor to critique human nature and society.

  1. “I Decided to Live as Me” by Kim Suhyun

A self-help book, encouraging readers to live authentically and embrace their true selves. This is the book that BTS’s Jungkook was reading in Bon Voyage.


  1. “Aesop’s Fables” by Aesop

A timeless collection of moral fables featuring talking animals, each conveying a valuable lesson.

  1. The Power of Language by Shin Dohyeon and Yoon Na-ru

A Korean book on the art of effective communication and rhetoric. Spotted with BTS V, this book on communication and its importance is yet another masterpiece among the books recommended by BTS.

  1. “A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney” by Martin Gayford 

Dialogues with the renowned artist David Hockney, offering insights into his creative process and perspectives on art. It’s one of the excellent books recommended by RM of BTS.

  1. “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding 

Another of the gripping allegorical books recommended by BTS that explores the darker aspects of human nature when a group of boys stranded on an island descends into chaos.

  1. “Almost Transparent Blue” by Ryū Murakami


A visceral and intense novel capturing the disorienting experiences of youth in post-war Japan.

  1. “1cm: First Story” by Kim Eun-joo

1cm and 1cm+ are two of the beloved BTS book recommendations. It’s a simple collection of short stories that delve into the complexities of human relationships and emotions.

  1. “어떻게 살 것인가” by Si-min Yu 

Another one of the Korean books recommended by BTS members that explores the question of how to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.

  1. “The Escape (Snowpiercer #1)” by Jacques Lob 

The first volume in the Snowpiercer graphic novel series, depicting a dystopian future where the last remnants of humanity survive on a perpetually moving train. Another piece in BTS book recommendations that seemingly inspired one of their music videos, “Spring Day.”

  1. “1cm+” by Kim Eun-joo

The sequel to “1cm: First Story,” continuing to explore themes of love and human connection.

  1. “What Star Are We On” by Jeong Ho-seung 

A Korean collection of poetry exploring themes of love, loss, and the cosmic connection between individuals.

  1. “The Life Before Us” by Romain Gary 

A compassionate and heartrending novel narrated by an orphaned Muslim boy living in Paris, exploring themes of love and humanity.

  1. “Casa Wabi” by Bosco Sodi 

An exploration of the architecture and philosophy behind the art foundation Casa Wabi in Mexico.

  1. “Ways of Seeing” by John Berger

A seminal work on art criticism that challenges traditional perspectives and explores the ways we interpret visual culture.


  1. “Living, Loving & Learning” by Leo F. Buscaglia

Inspirational reflections on life, love, and personal growth by renowned speaker and author Leo Buscaglia.

  1. “Wipeout in Hong Kong – Invasion Guide 06” by Invader

An art book showcasing the works of street artist Invader, known for his pixelated mosaic art installations.

  1. “Highly Sensitive People in an Insensitive World” by Ilse Sand

A guide for individuals with heightened sensitivity, offering insights and coping strategies for navigating a world that may feel overwhelming.

  1. “Please Look After Mom” by Shin Kyung-sook 

A poignant novel exploring family dynamics and the search for identity, centering around a mother who goes missing.

  1. “The Art of Loving” by Erich Fromm

A classic exploration of the nature of love, relationships, and the art of living a fulfilling life.

  1. “Stories of Your Life and Others” by Ted Chiang

A collection of thought-provoking science fiction short stories that blend intellectual depth with emotional resonance.

  1. “Sky, Wind, Stars, Poems – Original Contrast Yoon Dong Ju’s Complete Collection” by Yun Dong-ju 

A comprehensive collection of poetry by Korean poet Yun Dong-ju, known for his lyrical and patriotic works.

  1. “밤 열한 시” by Hwang Kyung Shin

A Korean novel that delves into the complexities of human relationships and emotions.

  1. “Meno” by Plato

A Socratic dialogue exploring the nature of virtue, knowledge, and the process of learning.

  1.  “The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor, #1” by Heesung Nam

Embark on an epic virtual adventure as a legendary moonlight sculptor in this captivating Korean light novel.


  1.  “Nature” by Ralph Waldo Emerson

Emerson’s seminal work explores the transcendentalist philosophy, celebrating the inherent connection between humanity and the natural world.

  1. “If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho” by Sappho

A poignant collection of fragments from the ancient Greek poet Sappho, capturing the essence of love, desire, and the human experience.

  1. “A Little History of the World” by E. H. Gombrich

A charming and accessible journey through the history of the world, written with clarity and wit for readers of all ages.

  1. “Francis Bacon: Books and Painting” by Didier Ottinger (editor)

Delve into the intersection of literature and art through the lens of Francis Bacon’s works, curated and analyzed by editor Didier Ottinger.

  1.  “Yi Sang: Selected Works” by Yi Sang

Explore the avant-garde and innovative writings of Korean modernist Yi Sang in this curated collection of his selected works.

  1.  “The Complete Works of Charles Dickens” by Charles Dickens

Immerse yourself in the timeless tales and social commentaries of the renowned Victorian novelist, Charles Dickens.

  1.  “The Wind is Howling: The Autobiography of a Japanese Novelist” by Ayako Miura

Ayako Miura shares her life story in this autobiography, providing insights into the experiences that shaped her as a Japanese novelist.

  1.  “Seoul City” by Ha Sangwook

A poetic exploration of Seoul, capturing the essence of the city through the eyes of the author, Ha Sangwook.

  1. “집에 있는데도 집에 가고 싶어” by Kwon Rabin

Kwon Rabin reflects on the desire for home even when one is already at home, exploring the complexities of belonging.

  1.  “There Are No Bad People In The World” by Won Jaehoon

Won Jaehoon challenges conventional notions by asserting that there are no inherently bad people in the world in this thought-provoking work.

  1.  “THE SOUL OF A TREE: A Master Woodworker’s Reflections” by George Nakashima

George Nakashima shares his reflections and insights as a master woodworker, exploring the spiritual connection between the craftsman and the material.

  1.  “Crying in H Mart” by Michelle Zauner

Michelle Zauner’s poignant memoir explores identity, grief, and the cultural significance of food through her experiences in H Mart.

  1.  “Being Comfortable Without Effort” by Kim Suhyun

Kim Suhyun offers wisdom on finding comfort effortlessly, providing insights into leading a harmonious life.

  1.  “냉정과 열정사이 – Rosso” by Kaori Ekuni

Kaori Ekuni delves into the delicate balance between reason and passion in this contemplative work, “Rosso.”

  1.  “당신이 옳다” by Jung Hyesin

“You’re right by Jun Hyesin,” is one of those introspective BTS book recommendations in which the author explores the complexities of right and wrong in this intriguing and thought-provoking narrative.

  1. “On Death and Dying: Relief for Those Affected Psychological Distress” by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross is yet another masterpiece of BTS book recommendations that provides profound insights into the psychological aspects of death and dying, offering comfort to those affected.

  1. “I See You Like I See a Flower” by Tae-joo Na

One of the most introspective BTS book recommendations, Tae-joo Na’s I See You Like I See a Flower is a poetic work which captures the essence of seeing and appreciating life’s beauty through the lens of nature.

  1. “El mito de Sísifo” by Albert Camus

Albert Camus explores the philosophical concept of the absurd in “The Myth of Sisyphus,” questioning the meaning of life.


  1. “The Other Side of Things by Ahn Gyu Chul

Ahn Gyu Chul’s work, “The Backside of Things,” is one of those BTS book recommendations which offers a unique perspective on the hidden aspects of ordinary objects. But sadly, this one might not have an English translation available.

  1.  “The American Century: Art and Culture, 1950-2000” by Lisa Phillips

Lisa Phillips provides a comprehensive overview of American art and culture throughout the 20th century in this insightful work.

  1.  “Flowers for Algernon” by David Rogers (Adapter)

A poignant adaptation of Daniel Keyes’ classic, exploring themes of intelligence, empathy, and the human condition.

  1.  “Blanco” by Han Kang

Han Kang’s “Blanco” offers a lyrical and introspective exploration of life, death, and the complexities of existence.

  1.  “Killing Commendatore” by Haruki Murakami

Murakami weaves a surreal and mysterious tale of a painter’s journey into the depths of creativity and self-discovery.

  1. “Jean Michel Basquiat” by Francesco Pellizzi

Explore the life and art of the iconic Jean Michel Basquiat through the lens of Francesco Pellizzi’s insightful biography.

  1. “Invasion Los Angeles 2.1 Updated Edition / 1999-2018” by Invader

An updated edition of Invader’s exploration of art through the invasion of Los Angeles, showcasing the evolving landscape of street art.

  1. “On Modern Art” by Paul Klee

Paul Klee, a master of modern art, shares his thoughts and insights on the nature and purpose of art in this illuminating collection.

  1.  “Catalogue Raisonné du Mobilier: Jeanneret Chandigarh” by Jacques Dworczak

Explore the comprehensive catalogue of furniture designed by Jeanneret in Chandigarh, curated by Jacques Dworczak.

  1.  “The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle” by Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami crafts a mesmerising tale of a man’s search for his missing wife, blending reality and the surreal in this literary masterpiece.

  1.  “Believing Is Seeing: Creating the Culture of Art” by Mary Anne Staniszewski

Mary Anne Staniszewski explores the cultural impact of art, challenging preconceptions and inviting readers to reconsider their perspectives.

  1.  “Familiar Things” by Hwang Sok-yong

Hwang Sok-yong’s novel explores the impact of urbanisation on individuals and communities in modern South Korea.

  1.  “Reinventing Your Life: The Breakthrough Program to End Negative Behavior…and Feel Great Again” by Jeffrey E. Young

Jeffrey E. Young provides a self-help guide to breaking negative patterns and fostering personal growth. It’s a book recommended by Suga of BTS.

  1. “Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?” by Michael J. Sandel

Michael J. Sandel delves into ethical dilemmas and the concept of justice, inviting readers to ponder fundamental questions about morality.

  1.  “A Country Doctor” by Franz Kafka

A surreal and introspective journey into the psyche of a country doctor grappling with the enigmatic and bizarre challenges of his profession.

  1.  “The Moon and Sixpence” by W. Somerset Maugham

A captivating novel inspired by the life of Paul Gauguin, exploring the transformative power of art and the unconventional pursuit of passion.

  1.  “The Singularity is Near : When Humans Transcend Biology” by Ray Kurzweil:

Ray Kurzweil explores the imminent convergence of technology and human intelligence, predicting a future where biological and artificial intelligence merge to redefine the essence of humanity.

  1.  “I’m Glad You Lived Like BonoBono” by Kim Shin Hoi

Another infamous masterpiece in BTS book recommendations, “I’m Glad You Lived Like BonoBono” is a heartwarming and whimsical collection of stories reflecting on life’s simple joys through the perspective of BonoBono, a lovable and carefree sea otter.

  1.  “Lord Chesterfield’s Letters” by Philip Dormer Stanhope

A compilation of letters offering timeless advice on manners, morality, and social conduct, penned by the 18th-century statesman Lord Chesterfield.

  1.  “Driftwood Bay (Hope Harbor, #5)” by Irene Hannon

The fifth installment in the Hope Harbor series, Irene Hannon weaves a tale of hope, healing, and unexpected love against the picturesque backdrop of Driftwood Bay.

  1.  “Azaleas: A Book of Poems (Weatherhead Books on Asia)” by Kim Sowol

A poetic exploration of love, nature, and the human experience, with Kim Sowol’s evocative verses capturing the beauty and melancholy of life.

  1.  “Essays After Eighty” by Donald Hal

A collection of insightful and humorous essays by Donald Hall, reflecting on the joys and challenges of aging with wisdom, wit, and a profound appreciation for life.

  1.  “Haruki Murakami: A Long, Long Interview” by Mieko Kawakami

An in-depth and illuminating interview with the acclaimed Japanese author Haruki Murakami, offering readers a rare glimpse into the mind and creative process of the literary maestro.


  1. “Around the World in Eighty Days” by Jules Verne

Jules Verne’s classic adventure novel follows the daring journey of Phileas Fogg as he attempts to circumnavigate the globe in just eighty days, encountering various challenges and cultural landscapes.

  1. “Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus” by John Gray

A groundbreaking relationship guide that explores the fundamental differences between men and women, offering insights to improve communication and understanding in romantic relationships.

  1. “The Noonday Demon : An Atlas of Depression” by Andrew Solomon

Andrew Solomon provides a comprehensive exploration of depression, combining personal narratives, scientific research, and cultural analysis to illuminate the complex and often misunderstood nature of this mental health challenge.

  1.  “About Grief: Insights, Setbacks, Grace Notes, Taboos” by Ron Marasco

Ron Marasco offers a compassionate and introspective exploration of grief, sharing insights, anecdotes, and reflections to guide readers through the challenging and transformative journey of loss.



BTS reading recommendations much like their lyrics and concepts offer introspective and intriguing insights about various aspects of life. These inspirational BTS reading recommendations help us peek into what influences the global sensation’s albums, lyrics and personalities.


Now, while you’re curious about your favourite K-pop idols’ favourite books and want to read them, you’re afraid you won’t be able to finish all of them in one sitting.

But fret not! Wizdom is here as your saviour.

Join Wizdom today and secure access to various books recommended by BTS, Bill Gates, Elon Musk and many more. With Wizdom, you can read key insights of any book you want in the fraction of the time it would take to read it completely.


So, which of these books are you adding to your to-be-read list?

Layaba Noor

Layaba Noor

Layaba Noor, also known by the pen name Yarah Noor is an author and writer based in India. Apart from writing, Noor is a passionate reader who has deep admiration for literary giants like Haruki Murakami and Paulo Coelho.

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