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2016 Reading List: Book Categories for Your Personal Development

Personal Growth

2016 Reading List: Book Categories for Your Personal Development


Relaxxx and enjoyyy…

Your 2016 reading list categories is here – for an optimal self growth, learning and development.

No doubt, reading is a gateway to self growth and development.

It is a strong key to change, learning and empowerment.

I can boldly testify to that. Last year (2015), I was able to read more books than usual. And it made a huge difference to my mind, body and soul.

I’m sure the same goes for those who share similar reading habits. I was able to recommend some book categories for 2015 here on the blog. This guided my book reading, buying, borrowing and even reviews.

And I want to do the same for 2016.

Whether you are a reader or wisher, there’s something for you.

You can start kick start a healthy reading habit this year. My advice is usually to start with 5-10 minutes a day. Then watch that expand to 20/30 minutes daily and even more.

Rather than chant everyday that ‘I don’t have time’.

There are titles you can consider and pick from the 40 books every Muslim youth must read before 40. Beyond the 40 books list, you can choose from the following categories for a well rounded beneficial learning and worthy leisure experience.

But don’t limit yourself, visit a bookstore or library for inspiration.

I love to plan my reading and use recommendations from others just I did recently from a mentor’s book list. Along the way, I get many random picks based on what appeals to me online or in bookstores or through friends, family etc

2016 reading list categories for your personal growth and development

Below are 7 book categories to help you put together some type of skeletal outline for your 2016 reading list. They are listed as shelves:

1. Spirituality shelf ~ Titles on understanding and living Islam, boosting eeman, worship and purification.

2. Self growth shelf ~ On learning, productivity, leadership, psychology, skills building.

3. Relationships shelf ~ On marriage, parenting, communication, brotherhood/sisterhood and family life.

4. Fiction shelf ~ Stories and other Islamic fiction books.

5. Great peoples’ shelf ~ Biographies, autobiographies, memoirs and history of great personalities.

6. Career shelf ~ On creativity, hobbies/ crafts, personal finance, business and marketing, entrepreneurship and professional development.

7. Education shelf ~ On Islamic sciences, life sciences, scholarship, research and knowledge building.

This is just a guideline.

Do not get overwhelmed by the above listed categories. Instead, decide on a reading goal for 2016 and announce it. Make your reading list today or at least decide on the categories you want to focus on. Then go on to buy or borrow your first book for the year and read on.

I got some inspiration from this reading list by Muhammad Al Shareef.

And I plan to read more from the spirituality, self growth, career and great peoples’ shelves. I actually discovered some some young adults titles’ and plan to read some more of those. Looking forward to some great recommendations from you as well.

Make 2016 a year of reading for growth and change. Gift yourself priceless packages all year long with beneficial reading.

Get your boost from reading and reflecting on the Qur’an daily. This will help nourish your mind and soul; and help develop those reading muscles.

Remember that Allah(swt) sent us the best book, through the best of people on the best of month and day; to the best of mankind.

Soooo… what book categories have you been reading from? Any favourites? And which do you plan to read more of in 2016?



  1. Karen C January 19, 2016

    I have so much reading to do in 2016. A book that I found to be a must read for the “career” and “self growth” shelf is “Leading for Results” by Joan Bragar. There are so many valuable tools in this book it’s like it’s own mini leadership course. This book focuses on “The Results Model” which is a process that frames the challenges you (and your team, if at work) want to face and there are exercises that help clarify each step along the way, What I found most inspiring was at the end of the book when the author tells her own story of how she had to “practice what you preach” and her trials and tribulations after surviving a plane crash. Definitely a book to read if you want to make a difference in your leadership style or need help to overcome a challenge in your own life. I hope you and your readers will check it out

    1. Amina Edota January 20, 2016

      Thanks for sharing your insight Karen.

      It always makes a great impact when the author tells a personal story especially in the middle of a non-fiction book. I will definitely try to get my hands on it.

  2. Kai January 18, 2016

    Salam. Ma sha Allah, I’ve never thought of doing this. I just read what I can for the moment. I have to start organizing my reading list. Thank you!

    1. Amina Edota January 19, 2016

      Masha Allah… You are most welcome.

  3. Foz January 18, 2016

    I love reading…..used to read so much as a child! Then since going Uni, starting work, getting married and kids, I stopped reading and rarely booked up a book.

    Must change that, been trying to read more

    1. Amina Edota January 18, 2016

      Life does get busy, doesn’t it. Insha Allah you can change it with 5-10 minutes of daily reading.

  4. Myda Tahir January 17, 2016

    Really insightful.
    besides these i also read from the health and fitness shelf.
    Eat Healthy Stay Healthy 🙂

    Myda Tahir

    1. Amina Edota January 18, 2016

      Wa alaykum salaam Myda ,thanks for the pointer.

      I must admit I don’t buy much of health and fitness books – I either borrow or read blogs online. Must try to change that. Although, I try to follow the sunnah closely regarding health and fitness issues. Baarakallahu feek.

      1. myda January 18, 2016


        1. Amina Edota January 19, 2016

          Wa iyyak

  5. hena January 15, 2016

    i loveeeee reading..thanku so much fr these categories!

    1. Amina Edota January 16, 2016

      Nice of you to comment. I loveeee reading too.

      Baarakallahu feek.

  6. Umm Asiya January 14, 2016

    I have adding self development in my genres to read alhamdulilah.

    1. Amina Edota January 15, 2016

      Masha Allah… that’s great Umm Asiya

  7. Amina January 13, 2016

    Great List! I’ll have to look into these….

  8. Ruku January 13, 2016

    Alhamdulillah I try to read everyday, but I need to get out and move on to new genres this year iA. Also, I like Muhammad Alshareef’s enthusiasm mA, it’s very contagious.

    1. Amina Edota January 15, 2016

      Masha Allah… that will be a great reading adventure for you Ruku – trying other genres.

      And o yes. you are right about our dear brother and shaykh, may Allah preserve him for the Ummah.

  9. Zainab Dokrat January 13, 2016

    Lovely most thank you for sharing 🙂

    1. Amina Edota January 15, 2016

      Its my pleasure…

  10. My reading habit has gone for a toss really… Would love to get back to the habit soon… InShaAllah…

    1. Amina Edota January 13, 2016

      I’ve been there…and it wasn’t a great feeling. I hope you get back to it real soon… in sha Allah.

  11. Papatia Feauxar January 12, 2016

    It’s always good to read many genres to stay balanced. At least I do. Thx for the reminder 🙂 xx

    1. Amina Edota January 13, 2016

      It is indeed Papatia… glad you do the same. I cannot do otherwise…

  12. Ashfa Salam January 11, 2016

    I’m an ardent reader myself! This is really useful! Thank you very much

    1. Amina Edota January 11, 2016

      You are most welcome. Always a pleasure to meet a fellow reader…

  13. Irum January 11, 2016

    I like the way shelfing is listed. So organised. And good sound advice for beginners.

    1. Amina Edota January 11, 2016

      Masha Allah…

      I hope you are able to utilise it for your reading this year.

  14. Zara January 11, 2016

    I’m getting more into reading now. Thanks for sharing a great post masha’Allah

    1. Amina Edota January 11, 2016

      Baarakallahu feeki…

      I feel really excited for you – giving yourself the gift of books/reading.

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