BTS Member RM Reveals Some of His Favorite Books

Artistic inspiration has to come from somewhere, and many creative people who produce one type of art are drawn to inspiration from other mediums. That appears to be the case with BTS member RM, who is well-known for his refined side and love of great visual art.

It turns out that the musician is also a fan of the literary world, and he has some recommended reading that reveals a little more about who he is and what makes him tick. 

BTS is known for its depth and vision

RM and Jimin of BTS
RM and Jimin of BTS | THE FACT/Imazins via Getty Images

While it may sound silly to say this about a pop band, BTS is known for digging deep into the meaning of the world and using it to inspire their art. They recently dropped the album Map of the Soul: 7, and it’s clear that they were trying to tap into some deeper themes.

Band member Suga had some thoughts on what they were trying to achieve: “One message that penetrates the album as a whole is that you must face your inner shadows but resist becoming submerged into its depths,” Suga said. “You must face it and move on forward.”

The number seven is also significant for the group. That’s the number of members in BTS, and it’s also the number of years they’ve been performing since their debut. This album represents a thoughtful exploration of where they have come from and what they still hope to achieve. 

RM is sensitive and attention to art 

RM was particularly moved by the work on the new album. He admitted that he “cried a lot” while writing some of the songs, including one that was inspired by the Natalie Portman movie Black Swan. It’s clear that RM takes his inspiration for music from other art forms, and his social media feeds often showcases his love for visual art as well. 

RM’s love of art galleries has even helped his fans find new favorite pieces. He frequently shares pictures from his visits that demonstrate his appreciation for the visual arts is diverse and sophisticated. 

RM has some book recommendations that reveal his worldview

Now we’ve got a peek into what books RM likes as well. The six books on his list are Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis, Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore, Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You, Martin Gayford’s A Bigger Message: Conversations with David Hockney, Ursula K. Le Guin’s “Those Who Walk Away from Omelas,” and Shin Kyung-Sook’s Please Look After Mom

One of the most obvious things this list reveals about BM is his diversity of thought. It’s a mix of work from different cultures as well as different genres.

He enjoys nonfiction work focusing on an artist and his craft as well as science fiction, fantasy, and romance. This mix of very different texts suggests that BM is an open-minded person who is interested in learning about the world from many different perspectives. 

The book list suggests RM is thinking about heavy topics

Another interesting connection between his chosen works is the question of existentialism. Both Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Le Guin’s “Those Who Walk Away from Omelas” are classic texts used to explore the human condition. In Metamorphosis, the protagonist, Gregor Samsa, finds that he has turned into a giant cockroach and must grapple with what this reality means about who he is and what he will become.

Le Guin’s work is a question about morality and what harm we will accept falling upon others to ensure our own comfort and safety. 

The fact that RM has been exploring both of these texts suggests that he is carefully considering what it means to be human and how individual responsibility intertwines with other people’s lives and needs.