Do ENTJs prefer how-to reading material?


This is something I've noticed. I'm ISTJ, and I LOVE to read. I read over 100 books a year and have an MA in lit.

My ENTJ husband has probably not read a whole book since we got married nine years ago. :smiley: Well, maybe one or two-- that's no exaggeration. He has a Phd and reads tons of articles from scientific journals and on the 'net (news, tech. lists, online journals, etc). He read some textbooks in his three years as a prof. (before getting out of that due to the hierarchy and "we hate change/improving things" mindset at the college he taught at).

He reads collections of poetry most often if anything and/or individual poems (and he is good at literary analysis, of course, as a big picture person). His sister told me he has never really been a novel/book reader-- even before I met him.

So, I'm thinking it's perhaps a personality thing? His reading is usually for a purpose: ie, he is trying to gain more knowledge about how to conquer his current work issue/problem/experiment. :ugeek: Any other ENTJs not really enjoy to read whole novels or books?


Considering the fact that we ENTJs, or to be exact I read about many (15-20) books simultanously, it's hard to stick to one and finish it. The new material is constanty coming up ("waiting for", "someday/later/maybe")

With novels, I try to finish them, but it's not a rule. And it happens to me since ever.


Ah.... that is interesting. He definitely has started a lot of books (on airplanes... just because he wanted to, etc) and gotten sidetracked or lost interest. I always start them, read at least 20 pages. If they are good, I continue. If not, I review and file away online in my book shelf. :laughing: Very different approach. I feel like I must know what I have read.


I suspect most ENTJs devour how-to material, but not in a concrete way (e.g. how to build your own backyard patio) - more abstract/ technological. e.g. I have only read 2 novels since 2001 (both Ayn Rand), but I am a voracious reader of finance/ biographies/ real estate/ politics/ economics/ psychology related material, online and offline. And yes - same with me - 3-4 books going on simultaneously, and a host of websites/ blogs etc. I find it exciting to translate concepts/ ideas/ systems I read about into action in the real world.

I spend a lot of my day on the phone, and am typically reading something online while I'm talking. :wink:


I LOVE to read, mostly for the mental stimulation. I can't read at night or I will be up for hours and hours... after I close the book. I view books that I choose to read as challenges, and I must finish them. I keep all of them as trophies.


"I do"


Your husband sounds like a typical entj to me. Like myself, many entj's stick to how to material, technological manuals, etc. Although I enjoy the trophy statement made in the comment before mine. The thing about entjs is that they are very to the point people. I liked how you called him a big picture person, I often describe myself that way. Entjs see the big picture for a reason. So they can see what they're doing while keeping a goal in mind. Entjs are always working towars a goal, a point, a reason. If im reading a science magazine i often imagine to myself; will I need to know this? What if im in that kind of situation? Often literary reading goes out the window in that respect.
If your looking to buy your husband reading material, try and put yourself in his shoes. Imagine your looking for a book that might end up being useful in the real world, or that contains some sort of essential information. This will appeal to an entj, and peak their interest.
Best of luck. :smiley:


By profession, I am categorized as smart + creative. By choice, I am a knowledgable, creative person.

I live by the statement, "If it exists, it can be reproduced somehow."
-This statement is most motivating + usefully true for man made creations (e.g. DIY solar panels).

Unleashing the knowledge we have amassed in new, creative ways is what moves us forward. The brain must be tricked or trained to collaborate its knowledge with its creativity centers to yield (in my opinion) the most effective use of knowledge.

I like to read two books simultaneously (not per eye (I wish I was that gifted), you know what I mean). I will read something like Why does E=mc^2? (and why should we care?) while also reading A Clockwork Orange.

I highly suggest a 2-pack for your ENTJ. Something educational/DIY and something that will spark his creativity.

My picks:
Knowledge/DIY - Brain Rules
Creativity - The Visual Miscellaneum (out November 10, but looks promising; I have pre-ordered it)


Those are fun picks, especially the informationisbeautiful one. I think I might get it too.

Meanwhile, here's a pick from me:
The Big Questions by Steven Landsburg

He was the single most thought-provoking professor I had in college, and is also a huge best-selling author (Armchair Economist, Fair Play, More Sex is Safer Sex, etc.) with very enjoyable, challenging and counter-intuitive reads.

"In the wake of his enormously popular books The Armchair Economist and More Sex Is Safer Sex, Slate columnist and Economics professor Steven Landsburg uses concepts from mathematics, economics, and physics to address the big questions in philosophy: What is real? What can we know? What is the difference between right and wrong? And how should we live? Landsburg begins with the broadest possible categories from a mathematical analysis of the arguments for the existence of God; to the real meaning of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle and the Godel Incompleteness Theorem; to the moral choices we face in the marketplace and the voting booth. Stimulating, illuminating, and always surprising, The Big Questions challenges readers to re-evaluate their most fundamental beliefs and reveals the relationship between the loftiest philosophical quests and our everyday lives."


Perhaps its because of my age.. But I can never finish a book.. Ive always wanted to have a classy book collection, with like all the famous books along with law books haha

I have this weird problem where i have to keep my books in like immaculate condition anyone else have that?


I love reading too. When I first read this thread I thought, "I don't really read how-to manuals." But then I realized that I have a collection of sex books that qualify. Of course I have more mundane "how-to" stuff, nothing real technical, but helpful for projects around the house (I suppose the sex books qualify here too?? LOL). I enjoy reading novels too, but tend to go for the classics, thrillers, or erotica. I'll also read a how-to while simultaneously reading a novel.


Funny how you mentioned it. I'm an addict for how-to books. I probably read more of them than most of the people I know combined.

I've read books about photography, computing, various books about software packages (MS Office, HTML Programming, Photoshop, Illustrator), personal finance, investing, fitness, cooking, sex, psychology, social skills, various random self-help books, time management, career guidance... I also read a bunch of blogs and websites on several of the above subjects.

As a general rule, whenever I decide to learn something new or start a new project, you can bet your ass I'm gonna go on amazon and order a bunch of books on the subject.

It is a great way to learn by the way. The way I see it, why would you want to spend months learning by trial and error if you can buy a book and learn it in a weekend. It gives you a great start on things and you can polish it off with practice and personal experience. It's also much cheaper and time effecient than attending courses or trying to find people who can teach you.


I used to work at a library but always preferred non-fiction to fiction and still do. Most of the library budget seems to be spent on fiction. I particularly hate those wizard tales and Stephen King. Put in down in the 'likes how-to books' category.


i believe ENTJ's in general read material they can benefit from. knowledge is an unending search, we feel it is a waist of time and energys to read fiction. The books I read this week were
1. The Power of Pause
2. Nobel
3. The 50th Law
geat books, all I think are great reference books in one way or another. if i cant learn something from them, i have little interest. Knowledge is power, if its accurate knowledge.


I agree - fiction seems like a luxury, and of far lower importance than something that can be 'useful'. On that note, I've recently been reading
"4 Hour Work Week" - apparently the one out is the 'new expanded' version.

Sounds gimmicky, but its not. Highly recommended. Was on track for much of the stuff he talks about already - was pleasantly surprised to discover that the author was one step ahead, and offered some excellent how-tos (and case studies) for:
* Effective Time Management
* Working (a lot) fewer hours
* 'Extreme' automation and systemization
* An alternative view on work: rather than putting in your time to earn an early retirement, he prescribes mutiple 'mini-retirements' interspersed through every couple years or so of your life. Interesting approach, and very good food for thought. Compelling logic.








I might be the youngest entj on here.
In high school I took Ap English. This was a lot of reading. I could never finish a book. yet I would go to my room and spend hours reading how-to books.

I would have to say i prefer how-to reading material.


I guess I’m the different one here! I hate how to books. They are too dry and data packed for me.

I like science fiction (by Philip K Dick especially) for the most part. They touch on so many themes pertinent to everyday life and help me escape from reality since 99% of my life I take way too seriously. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Martian Time Slip, I Robot, Fight Club, etc.

Science Fiction, I feel, is more related to people, society, and philosophy more than anything else.


Thats funny, when it comes to fiction, I find science fiction very relaxing, lets my mind wander and expand. Its really the only type of fiction I read anymore, though in the past I’ve enjoyed Salman Rushdie and Ayn Rand (I think Michael Lewis - Liars Poker etc - counts as semi-fiction). I like Asimov, haven’t really explored Philip Dick yet.