Best Books That Every College Student Should Read

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books for college students

Someone said-“Books are the best friend of a student”. When you read a book you become one of the characters of that book.

If you are like me who loves reading books, then in this article I have brought you the 19 best books for college students. So if you’re a college student or about to move to college then don’t deprive to read these books.

Because the books for college students that I going to list here can teach you many lessons that your professor might teach you in college. Every book has a different purpose that may change your life.

So let’s dive into it…

19 Best Books for College Students:

Read also: 17+ Useful things that college students can use

1: How To Win At College

This book is written by Cal Newport, the founder of the Study hacks blog and the author of many other amazing books.

This book is a complete guide on how you should live and maintain yourself in college and study effectively in college with 75 rules.

Some tips from this book that will inspire you to read:

  • Make a habit to read newspapers or magzines.
  • Instead of studying in room and keep distracting, study in a library.
  • Balance your study and friendship.
  • Laugh every day and don’t take any kind stress.
  • Make long time goals and always attend guest lectures in college.
  • Do one thing better than anyone else.

I can summarize this book more but I want you to read this book and get most of it. It’s one of the best books for those who have lack direction in college.

2: 10 Steps Of Earning Awesome Grades

This book is written by Thomas Frank who is the founder of Collegeinfogreek. It’s one of the best books that I read in my college days.

Well, this article is all about books for college students but I would recommend it to all students who want to earn awesome grades whether they study in college or school.

Here are the 10 steps of earning awesome grades:

  • Pay better attention in class
  • Take more effective notes
  • Get more out of your textbooks
  • Plan like a general
  • Build a better study environment
  • Fight entropy and stay organized
  • Defeat Procrastination
  • Study smarter
  • Write better papers
  • Make group projects suck less

The best part of this book it’s not just talking about theory it will also give you many tools ideas that can boost your study performance. So must read this book.

3: How To Win Friends And Influence People

The book is written by Dale Carnegie, one of the best American writers.

This book does not help you with your study and grades in college, but I am sure it must be helpful for your college life or maybe can change your life.

This book can teach you how to make good friends in college, how to influence people by your way of talking, and how to make a healthy relationship with anyone, it doesn’t matter whether you’re introverted or extroverted.

If I talk about the principles that you can adopt from this book are:

  • Be genuinely interested in other people.
  • Don’t just talk about yourself, be a good listener also. Encourage others to talk about themselve.
  • Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely. Appeciate them even for a little help.
  • The only way to get the best of an argument is to avoid it.
  • 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, they can’t stay focused in their studies in this distraction 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 impact 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 the Cal represents 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 and 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 must enjoy this book while reading.

6: The Power Of Your Subconscious Mind

Joseph Murphy wrote this wonderful book, and you’ll be shocked 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. But to get to know exactly the power of the subconscious mind and what it can do, how to activate and control the subconscious mind, you should read this book.

If once you read this book, you must 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. So must read this book.

7: To Kill A Mocking Bird

This is not a book, it’s actually a novel written by Harper Lee.


To be honest I haven’t read this yet but after researching deep 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 of the 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 a good student never wants to cram. 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 every college student should read who can’t find their passion.

Before reading this book, I was in believing that if you are doing something that you are really passionate about you will live happily. But this book proved me wrong. I wish if I could read it before my college.

According to the book, Every person chases their passion and wants to do what they are passionate about but the sad truth is you can't get happiness and the life you dream with having a passion only. 

That’s why this book says, be so good they can’t ignore you. This book gives you 4 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: 1001 Things Every College Students Need To Know

This book is written by Harry H Harrison Jr. who is a bestselling writer with more than 3.5 million books in print.

Although I didn’t read this book, as the name sounds, and after reading many reviews I found this book could be helpful for students that’s why I add it to my list of best books for college students.

This book is completely based on college life. The author provides practical advice ranging from classroom enrollment, living on campus, study habits, and more, that every student and parent will take benefit from.

This book is written for you if you need a little wisdom about:

  • Financial advice while attending school.
  • Handling parental expectations and being away from home.
  • Taking care of your mental health and maintaining your faith.
  • Taking and mastering multiple choice tests.
  • Creating healthy relationships with your professors.
  • Selecting classes, surviving campus life, and writing a college paper.
  • Participating in groups and handling various personality type.

11: Rich Dad and Poor Dad

This book is written by Robert T. Kiyosaki who is an American businessman and a great author. This is the best book 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 twenties, 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 when they 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:

  • Work
  • Love and Family
  • Brain and the body

13: Atomic Habits

James Clear, the author of this book and #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 that point of your life where you have failed, given up, and are feeling low and depressed, here is something for you that will not only lift up your spirits but bring you right on the path of success.

Here are 5 top takeaways from this awesome book (Source-

  1. Beware of the motion vs. action trap
  2. We live in a delayed return environment
  3. Identity change first, the rest will follow
  4. “The aggregation of marginal gains”
  5. Winners and Losers have the same goals

14: The Happy Student

This book is written by Daniel Wong, a study coach and the founder of Just like our blog, his blog is all about students’ life and study guides that you can also follow.

In The Happy Student, Daniel Wong describes the five key steps you need to take in order to become both a successful and happy student. So if you drag yourself to class every morning then this book can change your perspective.

In The Happy Student, Wong shows you how to:

  • Enjoy a new sense of purpose in your academics
  • Keep your motivation levels high every day using practical strategies
  • Conquer your fear of failure
  • Set meaningful goals and achieve them
  • Increase your self-confidence
  • Deal with the expectations of parents and teachers
  • Fall in love with learning again

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 your student 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, 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. The book is written by Stephen R. Covey. So if you have a lack of motivation but want to be a productive and business mindset then this book you must read.

These are the 7 habits that you can grab after reading this book:

  1. Be Proactive 
  2. Begin with the End in Mind 
  3. Put First Things First 
  4. Think Win/Win 
  5. Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood 
  6. Synergize 
  7. Sharpen the Saw 

17: The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

Robin Sharma, 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.

19: The Power of Now

This book is written by Eckhart Tolle that presents itself as a discussion about how people interact with themselves and others. The book is a spiritual self-help guide to help us discover our true Being, release our pain and find deep inner peace.

"Realize deeply that the present moment is all you ever have. Make the Now the primary focus of your life."

After reading this book you may find:

  • Realization of what ”Being” means
  • How to control mind for a particular purpose
  • What is ego and how a ego can destroy your life
  • What is enlightenment and how you can develop enlightenment in your life
  • And, many more…

My views and points:

So in this article, I have listed the best 19 books for college students that every college student should read. I accept not all books are based on college life and study guides but useful for all students who love reading books and need a direction.

Now I want to hear from you:

Which book have you read already and which book did you find most useful? (Although all books are useful for college students and you should read all)

Let me know in the comment, I am curious.

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