Albus Dumbledore’s Reading List

As Harry has, I often wonder what Dumbledore does during his summer holidays. Does he visit historical locations in the wizarding world, remain secluded at Hogwarts, or relax on a beach somewhere reading? I have to go with the beach reading theory. Dumbledore is a booklover, as we can tell from his office packed full of books. The only question that remains is: What does Dumbledore enjoy reading? Here are Dumbledore’s reading list suggestions.




One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
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This famous novel has everything that Dumbledore would enjoy: a complex plot, magical characters, unexpected twists, and a unique storyline. Dumbledore loves everything having to do with magic, so naturally, he would enjoy a Muggle’s take on the magical realism genre. Plus, Dumbledore seems like the kind of reader who would enjoy classic and multi-layered books, because honestly, his life could also be described as multi-layered. As a side note, there is a character who ends up getting cursed with a pig’s tail. Did Hagrid read this book too?




Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
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A spiritual book may not seem like Dumbledore’s first pick, but there are some elements in Siddhartha that Dumbledore would enjoy. I think Dumbledore would like learning about the academic study of Buddhism because it is a nonviolent practice. Dumbledore is certainly an accomplished duelist, but he also avoids violence whenever he can. Dumbledore seems to prefer calm and rational discussion, so I can imagine him enjoying learning about meditation and Buddhism.




The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
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This newer 2019 novel is about gifted librarians who have their own secret society. I can see all the book’s characters attending Hogwarts due to how gifted they are. This is another Muggle interpretation of magic that I think Dumbledore would get a kick out of. The complicated but beautiful plot is just the sort of highbrow reading Dumbledore would like. The magical library described in the novel is so similar to the Hogwarts library, maybe this book wasn’t even written by a Muggle after all!




Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
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This is another novel perfect for booklovers. The main character’s mentor is eccentric, clever, and mysterious. Does that ring a bell? Dumbledore would find many similarities between himself and Mr. Penumbra. Plus, I think Dumbledore would admire the curiosity of the other main characters. The humor in the novel is quirky, yet witty, and Dumbledore is always making jokes. This is a book I can see Dumbledore bragging to Professor McGonagall about.




The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
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Like Dorian Gray, Dumbledore enjoys gazing at his own reflection in mirrors and seeing what appears. Dorian’s story reminds me of the somewhat arrogant relationship between Dumbledore and Grindelwald. Maybe after reading this book, Dumbledore would even catch a glimpse of what his life would have been like if he hadn’t parted with his evil friend. However, this reader is sure that Dorian never saw a pair of socks appear in his mirrors.




Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
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Dumbledore strongly believes that beings shouldn’t be judged by their upbringing or parentage but instead by their actions. I think Dumbledore would enjoy Frankenstein because that is a lesson of the novel. Frankenstein’s “monster” is deemed a monster before anyone gets to know him. Also, Dumbledore would love all the interesting science referred to in the text. Frankenstein is arguably one of the best books in depicting the negative aspects of human nature, and I think Dumbledore would agree with that assessment.




Folk Socks: The History & Techniques of Handknitted Footwear by Nancy Bush
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Dumbledore loves socks and knitting, so surely he must own a knitting magazine or book. Perhaps Dumbledore even spends his summers off finding new knitting patterns. This book is one of the most important sources of knitted socks and their history, so it is a must-read for Dumbledore. If he can’t order this book from Amazon, maybe Dumbledore will be able to borrow a copy from Molly Weasley. Maybe he’ll even knit some new socks for Dobby!




What are some more books you think Dumbledore loves, and what books do you think he should add to his to-read list? Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments.


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Monet Polny

"Harry Potter" has been my ultimate inspiration as a writer. Everything from the characters to the plot dynamics has impacted my writing style and aided me in making the decision to major in creative writing. I wanted to become Newt Scamander's protegee and work with magical creatures, but becoming a writer is the next best career choice.