Fans already know that BTS‘s RM is an avid reader and lover of art who is constantly engaging with cultural works that will help him expand his world view. For example, his first few posts on Instagram were of the galleries he visited while traveling in the US—and now one of his latest posts is a new look at his personal bookshelf, which contains many interesting titles. RM has recommended some of these books to fans in the past, and the content of these books certainly says a lot of interesting things about him!
RM’s recommendations have made amazing reading lists for fans before, but here is a look at five particular titles from his collection, and their special meanings in relation to BTS and RM.
1. The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin
This short story by renowned author, Ursula K. Le Guin, tells the story of a utopian city in which everybody is happy—at the cost of one child’s suffering. Meant as an allegory for our own society, the story deftly presents the moral dilemma of a society in which some people are able to live well and prosper at the expense of others’ suffering, usually the suffering of marginalized communities. You can see the concept of this story in BTS’s “Spring Day” video, which shows just how much though RM and BTS put into their art.
2. Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam Joo
This is a book that gives a very honest account of the female experience in a patriarchal and misogynistic society—and how a life of constant microaggressions eventually wears one down. While it is about a South Korean woman’s experiences in South Korea, this book is also a good portrayal of the female experience at large. It’s a deeply insightful read, and the fact that it’s on RM’s reading list says a lot about his continued efforts to be an empathetic person and artist.
3. Demian by Hermann Hesse
Another book that was referenced in one of BTS’s videos, this book essentially outlines the process of finding oneself, and of doing so through a journey in which one must learn the meaning of ‘good’ and ‘evil,’ which Hesse does not view as being binary concepts. BTS incorporated the book’s message of “there is evil in all good, and good in all evil” in their “Blood, Sweat, & Tears” music video, portraying it as light vs dark which ultimately merge together to symbolize the complicated nature of real life.
The image of Jin kissing the statue also was taken from this book!
4. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
This classic is a must. It tells the story of a stranded pilot who meets a young boy, whom he calls ‘The Little Prince.’ The boy has been traveling from planet to planet seeking knowledge, and his stories have a lot of meaning to impart. This is a sweet and touching tale, and it has a lot to say about the way we view ourselves and what we choose to prioritize in life. RM personally recommended this book to fans, touching on how it’s an important book to read as we get older because of the way it reminds us to keep sight of what’s most important.
5. Jeanneret Chandigarh by Jacques Dworczak
Fans from India were excited to spot this particular volume on RM’s bookshelf, as it’s a book about the architecture of the city of Chandigarh, which was designed by Swiss architects Le Corbusier and his cousin Pierre Jeanneret. RM’s book collection is known to include a very wide range of titles, and since RM is a lover of art, it is no real surprise to see a book such as this in his shelf!