The Bookshelves of 20 Surprisingly Smart Celebrities (Infographic)

Avatar by Isabel Cabrera | April 5, 2024, 12:06 am

Most successful people tend to have one thing in common: they read a lot.

A young Elon Musk read science fiction novels for up to 10 hours a day when he was young. Bill Gates reads a new book every week. At 89 years of age, Warren Buffet still reads 5 to 6 hours every day.

However, it’s not just successful business people who read a lot—there are many celebrity bookworms too.

In our infographic below, we present the bookshelves on 20 surprisingly smart celebrities.

These celebrities read for different reasons. Some for entertainment, and others as a way to help them in their personal lives.

Lebron James has made a habit of reading books before a game. It’s his way of escaping, to take his mind off the game, and to give him a different perspective.

Kendall Jenner’s passion for reading only started in 2019 when her agent gave her book recommendations. Jenner claims that reading is a form of therapy that helps her deal with anxiety.

Blackpink’s Kim Jisoo reads to relieve stress. Jisoo doesn’t mind rereading books either; she says it gives her a different point of view every time.

So it seems that when it comes to some celebrities, you really can’t judge a book by its cover.

Check out our infographic of 20 bookworm celebrities and the books they like to read.

(If you want to learn more from your favorite celebrity, then you need to check out MasterClass. In our ultimate review, we answer the question: Is MasterClass worth it?)

Amy Poehler

Amy is an actress, comedian, writer, producer, director… and an avid reader.

If you haven’t watched Parks and Recreation then it’s time to put down the books (for now) and turn on Stan for a good laugh! The actress certainly knows how to get into character and she plays it well.

So, what’s sitting on her bookshelf? You’ll find Charles Dicken’s A Tale Of Two Cities right next to entertainment expert Amy Sedaris’ I Like You, which shows you how to be the hostess with the mostess. It’s all about balance in her collection.

LeBron James

Well-known as one of the greatest NBA players in history, LeBron James goes from court to chair and loves to settle into a good read.

While he might have the NBA’s highest career-scoring average in Game 7’s, what exactly is he getting up to off the court? You’ll discover The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference from Malcolm Gladwell, which looks at how a single person can start an epidemic of the flu (very pertinent right now).

There’s also The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, which should be on everybody’s reading list telling the powerful story of Santiago.

Marilyn Monroe

A household name that knows know introduction, I bet you’re itching to know what sits on the bookshelves of this amazing icon.

There’s a little bit of everything with Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser, which tells the story of a young woman who moves to the big city to realise her American Dream. To the drama-thriller The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale by Joseph Conrad, which is full of spies and mystery.

Mike Tyson

From the boxing ring to the comfort of his couch, what exactly is legend Mike Tyson reading in his spare time?

He’s considered one of the best heavyweight boxers of all time, but this reputation doesn’t follow through to his choice in reading material.

For Tyson, it’s Leo Tolstoy with Youth – the sequel to Boyhood following Nokolai as he enters university. And Mao: The Unknown Story a 2005 biography of Communist leader Mao Zedong. And many more!

Uzo Aduba

Ever watched Orange is the New Black on Netflix? Well, you’re most definitely missing out. Actress Uzo Aduba is well-know for her role as Suzanna ‘Crazy Eyes’ Warren in this series, and even won an Emmy for it!

So, over to that bookshelf of hers. She’s another fan of The Alchemist and A Tale of Two Cities, while also adding the classic Cather In The Rye to her extensive list, and my all-time favourite Green Eggs & Ham by Dr. Suess.

Rainn Wilson

Rainn Wilson is an American actor, writer, and producer. His best-known role? As Dwight Schrute on The Office, which saw him receive three consecutive Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a comedy series.

This funny guy likes to read, and his books take a more serious turn. From The Family Virtues Guide, which shows parents how to help children make moral choices, to The Seven Mysteries of Life: An Exploration of Science and Philosophy. The funny side does come out in This is a Book from Demetri Martin.

Chrissy Teigan

Model, television personality and author, Chrissy Teigan has certainly made a name for herself in recent years. She publicly opened up about her pregnancy loss journey, and many connected with her journey.

Her book choices say a lot, from So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson to Ladies Who Punch by Ramin Setoodeh.

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Singer, song writer and actress – or more commonly known as the Queen of Pop! Madonna is a household name thanks to the influence she has had on pop culture. So, what is sitting on her bookshelf?

There’s a good mix there with The Quran and On the Road by Jack Kerouac, as well as The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery and The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

Ashton Kutcher

Actor, model, producer, entrepreneur, venture capitalist… his list of accolades goes on. But Ashton Kutcher is well-known for his funny side and began his acting career as Michael Kelson in sitcom The ‘70s Show.

Sitting on his shelves you’ll find a nod to parenthood with Harvey Karp’s The Happiest Baby on the Block, and then career with Finding The Next Steve Jobs.

Karlie Kloss

Declared as one of the top 30 models of the 2000s at the tender age of 17, Karlie Kloss was a Victoria’s Secret Angel until she resigned to study in 2015.

She’s also an avid reader, enjoying Rise Of The Rocket Girls  by Nathalia Holt, My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem and A Curious Mind by Brian Grazer.

Noah Centineo

Actor and model, Noah began his career as a teen on Disney Chanel. At the age of 24, he loves a good read. Here’s a few of his favourites.

The Alchemist makes another appearance (did I mention you should put this one of your reading list?) as well as Macbeth by William Shakespeare. You’ll also find The Mastery Of Love from Don Miguel Ruiz and many more.

Dolly Parton

Known for her work in country music, this icon is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actress, author, businesswoman, and humanitarian. And she loves to read.

Amongst The Bible you will also find The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas, Black Mountain Breakdown by Lee Smith that looks at the traffic that has gone black from coal.

Camilla Cabello

Singer-song writer Camilla Cabello rose to fame after her appearance on The X Factor in 2012 and has been wowing her fans ever since.

In her downtime, she sits back with a number of great titles. With educational book Reading Fun by Mona Kerby – and a fair few more Kerby books thrown into the mix, it’s safe to say she has a favourite author.

Kendall Jenner

Media personality, socialite and model, Jenner rose to fame in Keep Up with the Kardashians. She comes with quite an interesting reading list.

There’s So Sad Today by Melissa Broder, which is an honest collection of essays, and How to Cure a Ghost by Fariha Rosin – a poetry compilation from self-loathing to self-acceptance.

Kim Ji-soo

This South Korean singer and actress worked on television for more than decade before she branched into film.

She has taken on a number on interesting reads, including The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes, to The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exuperv.

Elvis Presley

You guessed it, even the King of Rock & Roll loved to sit back with a good book. But I bet you can’t guess what he loves to read.

On his shelf you will find some interesting titles with Torah, The Prophet by Kahul Gibran, Bible Mystery and Bible Meaning by Thomas Troward and The Autobiography of a Yogi.

Kristi Yamaguchi

Kristi Yamaguchi skated her way to a gold medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Albertville and went on to be one of the most beloved ice skaters in America.

The fabulous classic Green Eggs & Ham makes a return on this bookshelf, along with a few other classics, including Anne of Green Gables, The Art Of Happiness by Dalai Lama and A Wrinkle in Time.

Nina Dobrev

Nikolina Kamenova Dobreva is known professionally as Nina Dobrev. This Canadian actress and model got her first role as Mia Jones in the series Degrassi: The Next Generation.

On her self, you will find every single on of the Harry Potter series (the best!), Twilight and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. A good selection of young adult fiction, we have all enjoyed.

Maria Sharapova

This former Russian tennis player has lived in the United States as a permanent resident since 1994.

You’ll find a good mix of reading on her shelf, with A Tale of Two Cities and Love Warrior by Glennon D. Melton, sitting next to The Beggar King and the Secret of Happiness by J. Ben Izzy and Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl.

Syd Schulz

Last, but by no means least, we find mountain bike racer, writer and blogger, Syd Schulz, who shares “I write about bikes and life and trying to get better at both.”

It’s clear she loves to read around her interests with Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall, The Power Of Habit by Charles Duhigg, The Mindful Athlete by George Mumford and more.

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