7 Genres of Books to Make You Smarter (&Titles)

Ever since we were little, our parents and teachers have always wanted to instill in us the same idea: Reading makes people smarter, helps them enrich their vocabulary and at the same time helps them develop their personality and their ideas.

Now, although no one doubts this statement and the use of literature in our lives has been more than proven, there are still those who do not know how to distinguish between an efficient reading and a passing reading.

And it is because of this fact that I am obliged to ask the following big question: what genre of books make you smarter?

Book genres that make you smarter are history, science, poetry and philosophy books.

For all these reasons and with the intention of serving as a guide to millions of readers who seek to broaden their horizons and start reading books much more instructive and full of wisdom, below I will list in detail what are the seven types of literary genres that will help you be smarter.

Take notes!

7 types of literary genres that will make you smarter

1. History

Yes, when we hear the word history we all think of the long hours of boredom and study during our childhood and adolescence, and the fact is that history seen from a purely academic point of view can be really insufferable.

And the fact is that history has an endless number of characters, dates, events and curious facts that we can hardly memorize completely in a single reading, which is why most children hate this subject and believe that history is not useful for anything other than studying and taking exams, when in fact it is not.

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The problem with history not being attractive to us is its approach, because when we get older and go back into it we usually discover that it can bring us much more than we thought when we were too young.

Knowing our past will not only provide us with information, but will give us a new perspective on our reality, help us to better understand our current society and its evolution, and to accept our position in it.

Therefore, try to read books on history that appeal to you in terms of subject matter and context, such as titles from medieval times or the Second World War, and be surprised by the amount of knowledge and entertainment that the old stories of our humanity can offer you.

Recommended history books:

  • “Grant” by Ron Chernow
  • “Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies” by Jared Diamond
  • “Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World” by Jack Weatherford

2. Science

When I say that we should read more science books, I don’t mean that we should start reading books about scientific theories or full of formulas that probably won’t give us anything and that will take us many hours to understand, no.

I mean that we should read more books that awaken our curiosity about nature, the most relevant scientific discoveries in history and in general about the functioning of our entire planet.

I mean that we should read more books that awaken our curiosity about nature, the most relevant scientific discoveries in history and in general about the functioning of our entire planet.

After all, science is the subject that tries to explain everything that happens or doesn’t happen in this world, so reading more books about it will undoubtedly make us wiser people, awakening our curiosity and increasing our database of scientific information; which never hurts.

Recommended science books:

  • “The Feynman Lectures on Physics” by Richard Feynman
  • “Cosmos” by Carl Sagan
  • “The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark” by Carl Sagan

3. Poetry

You may find it a little strange that I have included poetry in this list of genres, but you may be surprised to know that reading more poetry, as long as it is good and by well-known authors, is one of the most enjoyable ways you can become a much smarter person.

Everyone thinks of Shakespeare when talking about poetry and great love stories, and it is normal since the English author has created works and love sonnets that to this day are still read by everyone and are considered a source of immense beauty and wisdom that everyone should enjoy.

Sensitivity and the use of words in an elegant and eloquent way is also a way of acquiring wisdom and sharing it, believe me.

Those who love this genre always explain that by reading a great poem, whatever the subject, they feel more connected to the world and to themselves, which is not only beautiful but also beneficial for our personal growth.

Doubt it? Read poetry and you will know!

Recommended poetry books:

  • “Soft Science” by Franny Choi
  • “Heart Like A Window, Mouth Like A Cliff” by Sara Borjas
  • “Too Bright to See” by Linda Gregg

4. Philosophy

Plato, Socrates, or Descartes are some of the most prominent authors in this subject and whose ideas continue to be the subject of discussion and study in institutes and universities around the world.

And why do we continue to turn to ideas from thousands of years ago in order to understand today’s world?

Because in philosophical theories, as well as in most important religious texts such as the Bible, we find some of the greatest precepts of human wisdom: science helps us to understand how the world works on the outside, while philosophy helps us to understand how we work on the inside.

Despite what many people claim that reading philosophy today is a waste of time, philosophy is a timeless source of wisdom capable of making us grow as human beings no matter how old its texts are.

The modern era has made us believe that what was thought millions of years ago is obsolete, and in terms of technological advances it is, but when it comes to the human soul and its knowledge it is not, philosophy is essential and always will be.

Recommended philosophy books:

  • “A History of Western Philosophy” by Bertrand Russell
  • “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius
  • “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl

5. Adult fiction

Anyone who believes that reading fiction novels is only for entertainment is truly mistaken.

The great Truman Capote once said: “A good novel can teach you more than any scientific book.”

And he is absolutely right, because fictional stories are composed of facts and characters just as complex and rich as any treatise on human science.

Didn’t Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” or Gabriel García Márquez’s “One Hundred Years of Solitude” mark a before and after in society and in what was understood up to that moment of the concept of fiction novels?

His works were fiction, with a very real background and within a very marked historical context, yes, but his characters and plot were invented with the sole intention of making us better understand how the world works and how we people are and our feelings, whether loving or not.

So, can a fictional novel make us wiser people? Y

es, of course it can. In fact, most fiction novels today are considered to be true gems of wisdom in which we can better understand how the world works, how people work, as well as the different types of societies that inhabit it.

It will make us gain a lot of cultures and that translates into knowledge and intelligence, do not doubt it.

Recommended adult fiction books:

  • “Where the Crawdads Singby” by Delia Owens
  • “An American Marriage” by Tayari Jones
  • “The Great Believers” by Rebecca Makkai

6. Politics

It is true that reading books with political themes is not the most entertaining thing you will do in your life, but it is the smartest thing to do: politics moves the world and the most influential people in the world are politicians, so it is worth finding out more about this topic and knowing how the strings are pulled.

A political thriller is the kind of literary genre that will give you everything you need to accomplish this goal: suspense, historical context and facts about the inner workings of politics, whatever the country.

It is not that by watching television and listening to the meetings of politicians we cannot obtain relevant information, but it will never provide us with the wisdom and relevant data that a novel of these characteristics can give us.

In short, reading books about politics is not only a way to be a better citizen and find out what kind of heads of state we want, but it will also make us wiser and provide us with a very relevant context to better understand how society works today.

Recommended politics books:

  • “The Economists’ Hour: False Prophets, Free Markets, and the Fracture of Society” by Binyamin Appelbaum
  • “Promise Me, Dad: A Year of Hope, Hardship, and Purpose” by Joe Biden
  • “We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast” by Jonathan Safran Foer

7. Autobiographies

Reading the lives of the great personalities of history is also another way to make us smarter, since through their experiences and thoughts we will be able to better develop our own personality and look at the world with new eyes.

For example, Obama’s biography or Steve Jobs’ biography are some of the most important stories we can read, full of ups and downs and popular wisdom that will make us much wiser in the long run.

Choose a character you really like, someone you admire and would like to be like and read their memoirs, you will learn much more than you think.

Recommended autobiographies:

  • “The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin” by Benjamin Franklin
  • “Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela
  • “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank

How long a day should I read to be smarter and increase my IQ?

Another big question that many people ask themselves about how reading can influence more or less our IQ is how much time we should dedicate to it on a daily basis to really help us to be better.

The answer to this question has already been given several times by some experts in the field who investigated in-depth on this issue and formulated an innovative theory that gives an answer: the so-called “Half-hour theory”.

How long a day should I read to be smarter and increase my IQ? 

The answer to this question is very clear today- dedicate half an hour of reading some of your novels, whatever the genre, and you will gradually increase your cognitive capacity at the same time that you also improve your reading speed and reading comprehension.

In short, I hope that after reading this article the answer to the question I have made you at the beginning of the text will be a little clearer in your head and you will be much more able to distinguish between a productive reading and a simple hobby. Want to get smarter through reading? Follow all the tips I’ve given you, and you will!