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Top 15 Recommended Books for College Students

When we talk about the different phases in our life, the phase of college life is always exciting and necessary. So, college students must look for ways to broaden their minds and explore new resources to keep them active. Out of all the resources, reading the best books for college students plays a vital role in students’ life. This article will help you explore the 15 best books to inspire and guide you effectively.

Part 1: The Best Way to Take Notes for Books?

Good books for college students are a fantastic resource for learning and enhancing their knowledge. However, there are certain limitations to consider. For instance, if you borrow a book from the library, you may need help annotating or highlighting important points in the text to help you remember crucial information. Fortunately, UPDF allows you to easily annotate and highlight digital texts, making it a convenient alternative.

It helps you keep your books tidy and also share the annotated books with your friends to help them track the important topics more conveniently.

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Annotate PDF using UPDF to takes notes for books

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Changes to Your Books Digitally

If you want to keep your books clean and simultaneously want to make some notes or highlight the necessary topics using your iPhone, you must follow the steps mentioned below:

Step 1: Launch UPDF and Open Scanner

Open UPDF on your iPhone and press the “+” button at the bottom right corner to expand options. Next, under the “Create New” section, tap “Scan” to open the scanner on your device.

Using UPDF iPhone to scan books to take notes

Step 2: Select from Two Capturing Modes

Following this, you will notice the two modes at the top of the device screen. You can choose "Auto-Capture" or "Manual" mode and place the camera to scan and capture the book you want to annotate or edit.

choose "Auto-Capture" or "Manual" mode to scan books to take notes

Step 3: Make Necessary Changes and Save the Picture

After that, you can also "Retake," "Detect," or "Crop" the picture as per your need and finally tap on "Done" and open the picture's final preview. Now, tap the “Save” icon at the top right corner of your device screen to save the picture as PDF.

Edit the books to take notes

Step 4: Add Additional Stuff or Annotate It

Continuing this, under the "Files" section, open the captured image, and press the “Pen” icon at the bottom right corner to annotate the notes digitally. You can also add "Text," "Signature," "Magnifier," and shapes into your notes to help you in a better way.

Annotate books on UPDF iPhone

Step 5: Upload on UPDF Cloud to Make it Accessible

If you want more features like adding stickers, sticky notes, or images, you can upload your saved picture on UPDFCloud to access the file on other devices as well. Afterward, open UPDF on Windows or Mac, and in the left sidebar, select "UPDFCloud," you will see your uploaded file there.

Download the files from UPDFCloud to takes notes on Windows.

Step 6: Share Your Document in a Preferred Way

Following this, double-click on the file you want to open, and on the left sidebar, you will get the "Comment" and "Edit PDF" modes, and on the right sidebar, click the "Share this file with others" button to share your document via a link, email, or as a QR code.

Take notes on books from UPDF on windows.

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Also Read: 10 Best Book Review Examples for College Students

Part 2: Good Books for College Students

College is an exciting time full of new experiences and opportunities for personal and academic growth. One of the best ways to make the most of this time is to read books that inspire, challenge, and teach you new skills. In this context, we recommend some of the most popular books for college students to help you start your reading journey.

1. The Freshman Survival Guide by Nora Bradbury-Haehl, Bill McGarvey

"The Freshman Survival Guide" is a comprehensive guidebook designed to help college students navigate their freshman year. This book for college students covers many topics, including study tips, time management strategies, dorm life, socializing, mental health, etc. The authors provide practical advice and real-life examples to help students adjust to college life and avoid common pitfalls.

They also offer insights into the college experience from the perspectives of current and former students, professors, and other experts. Moreover, the book is also well-organized, with each chapter focusing on a different aspect of college life.

The Freshman Survival Guide -One of books for college students

Why is it One of The Best Books for College Students?

  • Comprehensive coverage of topics.
  • Practical advice for a freshman.
  • Relatable content in a friendly and engaging style.
  • Mental health focuses on coping with stress.

2. 1001 Things Every College Student Needs to Know by Jr. Harrison, Harry H

"1001 Things Every College Student Needs to Know" is a comprehensive guidebook that provides college students with practical tips and advice on various topics. The book covers everything from time management and study skills to relationships and finances. Moreover, the author draws on his own experiences as a college student, as well as input from other students, to offer advice that is both practical and relevant.

These types of books to read for college students are organized into short, easy-to-read sections, making them an ideal resource for busy students. The book also includes practical tips on everything from cooking and laundry to staying safe on campus and dealing with stress.

1001 Things Every College Student Needs to Know

Why is it One of The Best Books for College Students?

  • Encourages self-improvement.
  • Based on real experiences.
  • Relevant to all students.
  • Easy-to-read format.

3. How to Become a Straight-A Student by Cal Newport

It is a practical and straightforward book for students who want to improve their academic performance. The book presents a detailed plan for developing effective study habits, managing time, and conquering procrastination. Furthermore, the author argues that becoming a straight-A student is not about intelligence or natural ability but rather about implementing specific strategies that optimize learning.

Newport provides readers with tips and techniques for studying efficiently, staying organized, taking effective notes, and preparing for exams.

How to Become a Straight-A Student

Why is it One of The Best Books for College Students?

  • Evidence-based and proven to be effective.
  • Empower students by showing them academic success.
  • Teaches life skills along with academic skills.
  • Helps prepare for a career.

4. 10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades by Thomas Frank

This best book for college girls helps those seeking to improve their academic performance. Frank's approach to achieving better grades is based on his personal experience as a successful student and his research on effective study methods. The book is organized into ten steps, each addressing a specific aspect of academic success. Frank also provides tips on how to take effective notes, study for exams, and write papers.

The author begins by encouraging students to adopt a growth mindset, which involves viewing intelligence as something that can be developed through effort and practice rather than as a fixed trait. He then explains how to set goals, manage time, and stay organized.

10 Steps to Earning Awesome Grades

Why is it One of The Best Books for College Students?

  • The holistic approach to self-care and mindset.
  • Based on research in education and psychology.
  • Relevant to all major academic disciplines.
  • Promotes resilience in achieving success.

5. The College Girl's Survival Guide by Hanna Seymour

This practical book is for young women entering college, helping them navigate the challenges and opportunities of this new phase in their lives. The book covers many topics, including building meaningful friendships, making wise choices about dating and relationships, managing stress and anxiety, staying healthy, and growing in faith.

Seymour draws on her experience as a mentor and campus minister to offer insights and advice and includes real-life stories and examples from other best books for college girls.

The College Girl's Survival Guide

Why is it One of The Best Books for College Students?

  • Written by an experienced mentor.
  • Positive and encouraging tone.
  • Faith-based perspective.
  • Real-life relatable and applicable examples.

6. The Naked Roommate by Harlan Cohen

Written by Harlan Cohen, it is a comprehensive book for college students, providing advice on how to navigate the various challenges that arise during the college experience. The book is organized into 108 chapters, each focusing on a different topic. These topics include everything from academic issues, such as how to study effectively, to social issues, such as making friends, dealing with roommates, and dating.

In addition, this best book for college girls also covers more serious topics such as mental health, sexual assault, and drug and alcohol abuse, offering resources and guidance for students who may be struggling with these issues.

The Naked Roommate

Why is it One of The Best Books for College Students?

  • A humorous approach to make advice memorable.
  • Diverse perspectives from a range of students.
  • Interactive elements to help students engage more.
  • Timeless advice to address issues timely.

7. Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before? By Dr. Julie Smith

This is a groundbreaking book that promises to revolutionize how you think about your life, relationships, and personal growth. This powerful book is a treasure trove of wisdom, insights, and practical advice to help you unlock your full potential and live your best life. The author draws on her years of experience as a therapist and a mentor to deliver an honest and relatable approach to self-improvement.

She covers many topics, including self-awareness, communication, emotional intelligence, and mindfulness, providing readers with a comprehensive toolkit for personal growth in this best book for college students.

Why Has Nobody Told Me This Before

Why is it One of The Best Books for College Students?

  • Provides insights from an experienced therapist.
  • Encourages critical thinking.
  • Promotes personal growth.
  • Written in an engaging style.

8. The 5-Ingredient College Cookbook by Pamela Ellgen

The Cookbook by Dr. Julie Smith is the ultimate guide for college students who want to eat delicious and healthy meals without spending too much time or money. With easy-to-follow recipes that require only five simple ingredients, this cookbook provides a wide range of tasty options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and even sweets.

Ranging from classic favorites like mac and cheese and spaghetti with meat sauce to more adventurous dishes like stuffed bell peppers and avocado tuna melts, this cookbook has something for everyone.

The 5-Ingredient College Cookbook

Why is it One of The Best Books for College Students?

  • Easy-to-follow recipes.
  • Suitable for all skill levels.
  • Nutritious meals to stay healthy.
  • Budget-friendly meals without investing much.

9. Indistractable: How to Control Your Attention and Choose Your Life by Nir Eyal

This self-help book is among the good books for college students and provides practical strategies to help readers become less distracted and more focused on their goals. The book is divided into four parts. In the first part, the author discusses the psychology of distraction and how to identify the root causes of distraction. He argues that distraction is not a result of technology or external factors but rather an internal struggle.

The book’s second part focuses on the four key strategies to becoming intractable, mastering internal triggers, making time for traction, hacking back external triggers, and preventing distraction with pacts.


Why is it One of The Best Books for College Students?

  • Provides practical strategies for managing distractions.
  • It helps students develop self-discipline.
  • Addresses mental health concerns.
  • Helps students develop healthy habits.

10. Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport

Written by Cal Newport, this book helps explore the impact of technology on our daily lives and provides strategies for reducing its negative effects. The book argues that digital clutter and overuse of technology can lead to distraction, anxiety, and a lack of focus and that we should adopt a minimalist approach to our digital lives to reclaim our time and attention.

Moreover, the author suggests that we must be intentional about technology’s role in our lives and focus on the activities and relationships that bring us the most meaning and fulfillment.

Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World

Why is it One of The Best Books for College Students?

  • Encourages offline leisure activities and human connection.
  • Offers insight into the impact of technology.
  • Promotes self-reflection and personal growth.
  • Helps students regain focus and productivity.

11. The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi, Fumitake Koga

This one of the good philosophical books for college students explores the teachings of the Austrian psychologist Alfred Adler. The book presents a dialogue between a philosopher and a young man, discussing Adler's self-acceptance and social interaction theories. The philosopher challenges the young man's belief that his past experiences and environment are responsible for his current problems and unhappiness.

Instead, he encourages the young man to take responsibility for his life and choose his goals and values. The philosopher argues that each person can create their future and that happiness depends not on external circumstances but on one's attitude and perspective.

The Courage to Be Disliked

Why is it One of The Best Books for College Students?

  • Philosophical and thought-provoking.
  • Relevant to college life to navigate new social dynamics.
  • Inspiring and empowering to pursue your own goals.
  • Self-help and motivation to overcome self-limiting beliefs.

12. Don't Believe Everything You Think by Joseph Nguyen

This book aims to help readers overcome their negative thought patterns and beliefs. The author suggests that many of our thoughts are not based on reality but on our perceptions and assumptions, which can be inaccurate and harmful. The book begins by exploring the concept of thought distortions and how they can lead to negative emotions and behaviors.

The author discusses the impact of our beliefs on our lives and suggests that many of our beliefs are formed in childhood and may not be accurate or helpful in adulthood.

Don't Believe Everything You Think

Why is it One of The Best Books for College Students?

  • Offers guidance for challenging negative beliefs.
  • Written in an accessible and engaging style.
  • It helps readers develop self-awareness.
  • Provides practical ways for managing stress.

13. The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down by Haemin Sunim

One of the best-selling books to read for college students, written by Haemin Sunim, a Zen Buddhist teacher and renowned writer. The book offers a collection of short, insightful, and meditative essays that encourage readers to slow down and reflect on their lives. The book is divided into parts: Rest, Movement, and Healing. In the first part, Rest, Sunim discusses the importance of finding time for us and learning to enjoy solitude.

In the second part, Movement, the author explores the importance of embracing change and finding joy in the present moment. Finally, in the third part, Healing, he offers practical advice on cultivating compassion and understanding towards oneself and others.

The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down

Why is it One of The Best Books for College Students?

  • The book has received widespread critical acclaim.
  • Highly accessible and uses everyday examples.
  • Offers practical advice to cultivate compassion.
  • Promotes mindfulness and self-reflection.

14. The Mountain Is You by Brianna Wiest

Focused on personal growth and self-discovery, this book is divided into four parts that guide the reader through self-exploration, self-awareness, and personal transformation. The author discusses recognizing and acknowledging our inner struggles and emotional pain in the first part. Part two delves into self-awareness and encourages readers to examine their beliefs and values.

In part three, the author explores the idea of personal transformation and how to cultivate a growth mindset. The book’s final part focuses on self-love and the importance of self-care.

The Mountain Is You

Why is it One of The Best Books for College Students?

  • Provides a valuable perspective on life beyond college.
  • Helps students to develop a sense of self-worth.
  • Describes the roadmap for personal growth.
  • Inspires readers to pursue their passions and interests.

15. Think Again by Adam Grant

It is among the thought-provoking books to read for college students to question their beliefs, attitudes, and assumptions. The author argues that we all can change our minds and that doing so can lead to greater success and fulfillment in our personal and professional lives. The book is divided into three sections: rethinking our ideas, rethinking the ideas of others, and rethinking our relationships.

One of the book's key themes is the importance of intellectual humility. The author argues that we should be willing to admit when we don't know something and be open to learning from others, even if their ideas challenge our own.

Think Again - One of good books for college students

Why is it One of The Best Books for College Students?

  • Helps students develop intellectual humility.
  • Inspires personal growth for future growth.
  • Relevant to a wide range of fields related to college students.
  • Empowers students to make better decisions.

What's Next?

To sum up, books for college students are an effective resource to help them have a better college life, expand their knowledge, learn new skills, and prepare for their future. From textbooks to memoirs, fiction to non-fiction, a vast array of literature can inspire, challenge, and transform how students think about the college and the world. However, while traditional print books have advantages, it is difficult to take notes if you want to keep them tidy.

Using a reliable PDF editor like UPDF, students can easily annotate and highlight their readings, making organizing their notes easier and reviewing the material later without leaving notes on the books.

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