Looking for books for college students? Keep reading, you’ll love this guide.
Since I read many books during my college days, this article will reflect my experiences and sort of research. Today, I’m going to share the 19 best books that every student must read, especially in their 20s.
To make this article more interesting, along with the book names, I will also share the main lessons you can learn from these books. This will definitely encourage you to read them.
Let’s dive into it…
1: How To Win At College
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This book is a complete guide on how to live and maintain yourself in college and study effectively with 75 rules.
Here are some tips from this book that will inspire you to read:
- Make a habit of reading newspapers or magazines.
- Don’t do all your reading at once.
- Instead of studying in your room and getting distracted, try studying in the library.
- Balance your studies and friendships.
- Laugh every day and don’t stress out.
- Drop classes every term if needed.
- Set long-term goals and attend guest lectures in college.
- Strive to be better than anyone else at least in one thing.
I could summarize this book further, but I want you to read it and get the most out of it. For college students who lack direction, this is the best book to read.
Read also: 17+ Useful things for college students
2: Atomic Habits
This is one of my favourite books of all time. “Atomic Habits” is authored by James Clear and is a #1 New York Times bestseller. In this book, James focuses on habits, decision-making, continuous improvement, and the importance of strengthening the foundation of life in order to achieve greater heights.
If you are at a point in your life where you have experienced failure, given up, or are feeling low and depressed, this book is for you. It will not only lift your spirits but also guide you back onto the path to success.
Here are 5 top takeaways from this awesome book (Source- medium.com):
- Beware of the motion vs. action trap
- We live in a delayed return environment
- Identity change first, the rest will follow
- “The aggregation of marginal gains”
- Winners and Losers have the same goals
3: How To Win Friends And Influence People
The book is written by Dale Carnegie, one of the best American writers.
This book may not directly help you with your studies and grades in college, but it can definitely be helpful for your college life and even change your life.
This book can teach you how to make good friends in college, how to influence people through your communication skills, and how to build healthy relationships, regardless of whether you’re introverted or extroverted.
Some principles that you can adopt from this book include:
- Be genuinely interested in other people.
- Don’t just talk about yourself, be a good listener as well. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
- Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely. Appreciate them even for small help.
- The best way to handle an argument is to avoid it altogether.
- Try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”
4: Deep Work
This book is also written by Cal Newport. And, just like the book How to Win at College, I must recommend this book to every college student. Because in students’ life distraction is very common, and they can’t stay focused on their studies in this distracted world.
But it’s not limited to college students only, any less productive person, who can’t give their best in their work and can’t stay focused this book is written for that person.
The four best lessons from this book that can bring change in your life:
- Work deeply (with practical tips)
- Embrace boredom
- Quit social media
- Drain shallow works
Many people can give you suggestions to do these things but I am sure the way Cal represents the facts and benefits of deep work as compared to shallow work no one can do it.
"Deep Work is a time taking process, you can't expect just after reading this book you will be able to do deep work and apply all rules in your life."
5: The Naked Roommate
This book is written by Harlan Cohen and is one of the best books for college students that I found before college. I will recommend this book to those students who are about to move to college.
This book is a go-to guide for your very best college experience begins with ‘Arriving on Campus’ and ends with ‘It’s Almost Time to Say Goodbye. If you’ve never stepped out of the comfortable confines of your home then this book can teach you many lessons.
From sharing a bathroom with 40 strangers to sharing lecture notes, this book is your behind-the-scenes look at everything you need to know about college. This book is based on real-life advice on everything from making friends to managing stress.
I’m sure you’ll thoroughly enjoy this book, especially if you have the best dorm chair available for ultimate reading comfort.
6: The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind
Joseph Murphy wrote this wonderful book, and you’ll be amazed to know I have read this book 3 times.
This book is not based on college life but all college students should read this book and know all about what their minds can do.
We all know what Conscious and Subconscious minds are. To get to know the exact power of the subconscious mind and what it can do, how to activate and control this mind, you must read.
If once you read this book, you will be able to control and activate your subconscious mind whenever you want, not much but better than nothing.
And for being a mature student, it is a required skill to learn how to use your subconscious mind in the right way.
7: To Kill A Mockingbird
This is not a book, it’s actually a novel written by Harper Lee.
ONE OF THE GREATEST AMERICAN NOVELS EVER WRITTEN.
To be honest I haven’t read this novel yet but after researching deeply I added it to the list of best books for college students.
Again, this book is not related to your college life, study tips, and all but I must say this novel can give you the best moral lessons that you might get in college.
After reading the summary and so many reviews I got the best lesson that will inspire also you to read this novel.
"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around it."
Doing the moral thing is not always an easy or popular, or safe thing to do. Everybody deserves to be treated with dignity and to receive justice, no matter what their skin color are.
8: How To Become A Straight-A Student
Again this book is written by Cal Newport and is one of the best books for college students who want to study smarter, not harder.
You see, having too much fun in college most students can’t give sufficient time to their studies and they cram and study all night before exams.
And you too know cramming never works and an ideal student never crams. So if you are among those students who don’t want to cram, this book is written for you.
Here are the skills that you’ll learn after reading this awesome book
• Streamline and maximize your study time
• Conquer procrastination
• Absorb the material quickly and effectively
• Know which reading assignments are critical—and which are not
• Target the paper topics that wow, professors
• Provide A+ answers on exams
• Write stellar prose without the agony
9: So Good They Can’t Ignore You
This book is also written by Cal Newport and is a must-read for every college student who is searching for their passion.
Before reading this book, I believed that pursuing your passion would guarantee a happy life. However, this book proved me wrong. I wish I had read it before college.
According to the book, while many people chase their passion and want to do what they are passionate about, the sad truth is that having a passion alone does not guarantee happiness or the life you dream of.
That’s why this book emphasizes the importance of being exceptionally good at what you do, to the point where others cannot ignore your skills. The book presents four golden rules that you should apply to your life:
- Don’t follow your passion (with practical examples)
- Be so good they can’t ignore
- Turn down a promotion (Build your career capital)
- Think small, act big with having a mission
10: The Alchemist
This book is written by Paulo Coelho and I’d highly recommend it to students who are in their 20s.
This book is a captivating and inspirational tale that encourages you to pursue your dreams, trust your intuition, overcome fear, find meaning in simplicity, and believe in yourself.
It is a beautifully crafted story that follows the journey of Santiago, a young shepherd, as he embarks on a quest to fulfil his dreams and find his personal legend. Along the way, Santiago encounters a series of obstacles, meets interesting characters, and experiences various adventures that transform his life and worldview.
This book teaches you so many more lessons that I can’t describe in words. You better read this book to receive those learning.
11: Rich Dad and Poor Dad
This book is written by Robert T. Kiyosaki, an American businessman, and a great author. This is one of the best books I have ever read.
This book is not based on college life and study guides. The reason why I choose this book for students is many students in college focus only on their studies to get a high-paying job. And for them, this book is a complete guide with practical examples to change their mindset.
In this book, you will learn those skills that you’ll never get in your college. The college will educate you to get a high-paying job but not teaches you how to make money which is a so important skill. And I want you to grab these skills in your college days.
I can tell you many lessons from this book that I have grabbed. But until you’ll read this book you can’t get most of it.
12: The Defining Decade
This book is written by Meg Jay. This book is all about finding the importance of your 20s, that’s this book says Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now.
It’s an eye-opening book, especially for college students who have just stepped into their twenties. If you feel lost or stuck or feel no sense of purpose, then this book is for you.
You can easily relate to many things while reading this book and it will give you a lot of perspectives.
The author gives important advice based on real-world examples and also gives the psychological reason behind it.
The book is structured in three parts:
- Love and Family
- Brain and the body
13: The College Cookbook
Like other books featured in this article, this book is not going to give you any life lessons but helpful definitely in surviving in college.
This College Cookbook is a great guide for students that makes it fun and accessible to cook fresh, healthy, and tasty food for themselves in college and for life. It involves more than 100 tasty and affordable 5-ingredient recipes for busy college students.
All the recipes given in this book are easy and quick. Additionally, you get a lot of basic kitchen instructions. You must have this book if you’re interested in cooking.
14: The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck
Again, this book is a must-read for students and everyone who lacks confidence and doesn’t know how to deal with tough situations. Trust me, you’ll this book.
It’s a bestselling self-help book written by Mark Manson. This book presents a refreshing and unconventional approach to self-improvement, challenging the traditional notions of positivity and urging readers to embrace a more realistic and practical approach to life.
With its blunt and irreverent tone, this book offers a unique perspective on personal growth, resilience, and happiness.
The main lessons you may expect from this book:
- Embrace the concept of “not giving a f*ck” as a mindset that prioritizes what truly matters in life and lets go of unnecessary worries and concerns.
- Accept that life is inherently difficult and that suffering is inevitable, but it’s how we choose to respond to and deal with that suffering that matters.
- Shift your focus from external validation and superficial goals to internal values and meaningful pursuits that align with your authentic self.
- Learn to confront and confront your fears, failures, and limitations, and use them as opportunities for growth and self-improvement.
- Develop healthy boundaries and learn to say “no” to things that don’t align with your values or bring unnecessary negativity into your life.
- Embrace the imperfections and uncertainties of life, and learn to find meaning and fulfilment in the present moment, rather than constantly chasing after future achievements.
- And many more…
15: The Ultimate College Student Health Handbook
The book is written by Jill Grimes MD FAAFP and illustrated by Nicole Grimes.
Let’s accept it, college students never take care of their health and that’s why I recommend this book to every college student. This book would be your Guide for everything from Hangovers to Homesickness.
This book addresses the most common medical issues encountered in the college years and teaches students how to handle them like a champ without having to call mom or dad for advice.
Everything about this guide is perfect. It is clear, to the point, interesting, and fun to read. It should be gifted to all college students.
16: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
One of the most inspiring and impactful books ever written. This book is written by Stephen R. Covey. If you lack motivation but want to be productive and business-minded, you should read this book.
These are the 7 habits that you can grab after reading this book:
- Be Proactive
- Begin with the End in Mind
- Put First Things First
- Think Win/Win
- Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
- Sharpen the Saw
17: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari
Robin Sharma is the writer of this book and a motivational speaker. This book provides a step-by-step approach to living with greater courage, balance, abundance, and joy. A fable about fulfilling your dreams and reaching your destiny.
Good lessons that you can grab:
• Run your own race.
• Have the courage to live your own life.
• Live your children’s childhood. Grow up with them.
• Spend time reflecting in silence and focus on gratitude.
• Do not fear failure; it’s your friend.
• No amount of money is more important than your peace.
• In order to improve our outer lives, we have to improve and work on our inner selves first.
• An empty cup is indicative of space and room for learning more.
18: Debt-Free U
Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships, OrMooching Off My Parents, written by Zac Bissonnette, is one of the best books for college students.
These days, most people assume you need to pay a boatload of money for a quality college education. However, it’s false. In this book, the author figured out how to get an outstanding education at a public college, without bankrupting your parents or taking on massive loans.
The book is easy to read and filled with stats and stories. Though at times, the author’s personality is a bit much, the value of the info more than makes up for it. So, if you want to be debt-free then must read this book.
This is the last but not least book in our list of best books for students. Educated by Tara Westover is a compelling memoir that chronicles the author’s journey from growing up in a strict and abusive household in rural Idaho to eventually earning a PhD from Cambridge University.
The book provides a raw and powerful account of Westover’s quest for knowledge and education, despite facing immense obstacles and challenges along the way. While going through her journey, you’ll get so many life-changing learning that will stay with you forever.
Here are some of the key learnings from this book:
- The importance of education
- The impact of family and upbringing
- Importance of self-identity
- The resilience of the human spirit
- The complexities of forgiveness and healing
- Value of empathy and understanding
You must read this book if you seek these learnings and want inspiration from the author’s journey.
So in this article, I have listed the best 19 books for college students that I believe every college student should read. I accept not all books are based on college life and study guides but are useful for all students who love reading books and seek direction.
Now I want to hear from you:
Which book have you read already and which book you’re going to read first?
Let me know in the comment, I am curious.