Idols are often too busy fulfilling their schedules, some bookworms still make it a point to unwind via an old-fashioned paperback. Idols such as BTS‘s RM and Jungkook, GOT7‘s Jinyoung, NCT’s Jaehyun, IU, Red Velvet‘s Yeri, Blackpink‘s Jisoo and Day6‘s Jae, are constantly seen either recommending books to fans or quoting from them. If stay-at-home has you staring at the walls from boredom, why not take a page out of their books and pick up a good read?
1. Haruki Murakami’s Kafka On the Shore – Jae (Day6), RM (BTS), Jisoo (Blackpink)
Murakami’s books are well-loved by everyone in general, for its serious tone and descriptive manner, as well as it’s “mind-boggling” content, as Jae puts it. RM has also expressed his love for the book.
Kafka on the Shore is about a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister. He then meets an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction.
RM directly wrote the book into the song, “Butterfly”, off BTS’s album, with the touching lyrics, “I don’t know if this is reality or a dream / My kafka on the shore / Don’t go to those woods over there”.
2. Dazai Osamu’s No Longer Human – IU
The songstress was seen reading the book on air during her time on “Hyori’s Bed and Breakfast”. “No Longer Human” is told in the form of notebooks left by Ōba Yōzō, a troubled man incapable of revealing his true self to others. The work is made up of three chapters, or “memoranda”, which chronicle the life of Ōba from his early childhood to his late twenties.
3. Herman Hesse’s Demians – RM (BTS), Jisoo (Blackpink)
Even prior to the boys confirming that their Wings album was inspired by the book, Armies had been coming up with smart theories to draw links between the concept and the short novel.
• 데미안 – demian
– there was a theory during wings era that jin was demian and sinclair was his alter egos which are the 6 other members
— 𝐇𝐨𝐩𝐇𝐨𝐩𝐇𝐨𝐛𝐢⁷ (@HOSEOKISMYMANN) January 8, 2019
The book itself follows the story of Emil Sinclair, a young boy from a middle-class home.The book follows his struggle between the two worlds of illusion and the real world, also known as the world of spiritual truth. Accompanied and prompted by his mysterious classmate and friend Max Demian, he detaches from and revolts against the superficial ideals of the world of appearances and eventually awakens into a realization of self.
4. Kishimi Ichiro’s The Courage to Be Disliked – Jaehyun (NCT)
While Jaehyun has talked about this book to fans during fan signs, eagle-eyed NCTzens spotted the book on his shelves during a vlog on the NCT Daily channel.
Using the theories of Alfred Adler, this book follows an illuminating dialogue between a philosopher and a young man. Over the course of five conversations, the philosopher helps his student to understand how each of us is able to determine the direction of our own life, free from the shackles of past traumas and the expectations of others.
5. Alain de Botton’s Essays in Love – Jinyoung (GOT7)
The book details the highs and lows of contemporary romance, and the star who is known bookworm amongst fans, recommended the book to an Ahgasae during a fan sign in 2016! He was also seen picking it up during a VLIVE broadcast.
6. Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis – Yeri (Red Velvet), RM (BTS)
The story of a young man who transforms overnight into a giant beetle-like insect, becomes an object of disgrace to his family and an alienated man. The book is a reflection on human feelings of inadequacy, guilt and isolation. Yeri was seen holding the book at the airport, while Interpark Korea included the book in RM’s recommended book list.
7. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince – Jinyoung (GOT7), Jisoo and Rose (Blackpink), Jungkook (BTS)
Last but not least, a popular choice amongst many idols, the classic book can be revisited throughout one’s years, from childhood to adult.
Jungkook recommended the book in 2019 to fans on their fan cafe, stating that it was the only book he’d ever finished! The story follows a young prince who visits various planets in space, including Earth, and addresses themes of loneliness, friendship, love, and loss.