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Does your taste in books reveal your personality?

This is going to be very disjointed and probably won't make much sense, but I was reading one of the favorite books threads and wondered how much we reveal about ourselves when we choose which books we say we like. Do you think you make assumptions about people based on what books they come up with as favorites?

Edited to add -- I know the subject line question and the question in the post are sort of opposites. I'm wondering if it goes both ways, or one, or neither.

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Re: Does your taste in books reveal your personality?

  • Hmmm, that would be interesting if it does.  Do does that make me a closet murderer (since I love horror/  mysteries and the more gruesome the better)

    Everyone know I am sweet and innocent in real life- so it can't be true right? (Bwaaa haaa haaa haaa)

    I don't think it reveals your personality.  Maybe a taste of something you like?  See that still doesn't sound right.  If you go by this theory- then where would the people who love horror books fall?  Or are we all closet freaks?  All joking aside-  I love dark, scary, graphic books- but I really do think I am a sweet caring person.  So my book taste is the exact opposite of my personality (other than the times that I am not- sorry I have to joke about it)

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  • I would have one hell of personality complex disorder if that were the case.  I love everything from YA, to horror to presidential biographies. 

    I guess in a nutshell I would be Sybil.

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  • image charlatti:

    This is going to be very disjointed and probably won't make much sense, but I was reading one of the favorite books threads and wondered how much we reveal about ourselves when we choose which books we say we like. Do you think you make assumptions about people based on what books they come up with as favorites?

    Yes, but less about their personality and more about their fabulous or crappy taste in books.

    image
  • I'm right there with June and Booney - somewhere in between maybe?  I like reading pretty much anything, so maybe I'm kind of Sybill-ish too.

    I also tend to be drawn to books about addiction - not because I have any, or that anyone close to me does, but just because I'm interested in it.  What does that say about me?  And the fact that I like really messed up books, generally - the more twisted and f'ed up, the better.   I'm pretty well-adjusted and laid back IRL, so maybe I like reading stuff that's sort of opposite of me as well.

    I feel like the question was more about the books that we chose to answer as our "favorites," though.  I know that I don't have a single favorite book, and what I might answer to that question depends on the day.  Maybe it effects the way someone thinks of me if I say that Lolita is my favorite book, or if I say that A Tale of Two Cities if my favorite, or if I say that Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas or American Psycho is my favorite book ever.  What if I said that A Walk to Remember was my favorite - would that give someone a different opinion than if I said one of the others I just listed?

    Incidentally - I hate Nicholas Sparks, and the others I listed are some of my favorites, so take that for what it's worth.

  • image FallinAgain:
    image charlatti:

    This is going to be very disjointed and probably won't make much sense, but I was reading one of the favorite books threads and wondered how much we reveal about ourselves when we choose which books we say we like. Do you think you make assumptions about people based on what books they come up with as favorites?

    Yes, but less about their personality and more about their fabulous or crappy taste in books.

    And I do this too, but in the same way - I don't make personality assumptions, but I definitely notice whether I agree with the books that I see people recommending or not.

  • I think the books we like show part of our personality, but not the whole thing. And its not a direct correlation - like June likes horror, so she's a serial killer. More like she likes adrenaline or thinks its fun to be scared.

    I do definitely think that people judge others based on their taste in book. I know people judge me for loving YA (both on the board and IRL), but I don't really give a crap. I try really hard not to judge others' taste, and it's not like I won't be your friend or have a perfectly nice conversation with you or anything, but I can't honestly say I've never looked at what someone was reading and thought, "Really? You're reading that?"

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  • I do have to admit that there are books that I have read and have judged myself for reading them Embarrassed.  There are certain books that I have read that don't leave my house because I don't want other people to see me reading them. 
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  • I'm with June on this, I think my taste in books is the opposite of my personality, maybe there's some deep psychological stuff going on there? lol

    IRL, I'm really outgoing, positive, cheerful--not annoying, I swear! haha. But I prefer darker books and thrillers~murder mysteries, suspense, serial killer stories etc. 

    What's really weird is I do not like or watch scary movies. I abhor them actually. I saw a few minutes of Hostel and am scarred for life. I am more of an old-fashioned suspense lover at heart I guess, I love Hitchcock {Rear Window--woot woot!} and I also  appreciate when a writer can create suspense without gore and senseless violence.

  • image bnlchic03:

    I think the books we like show part of our personality, but not the whole thing. And its not a direct correlation - like June likes horror, so she's a serial killer. More like she likes adrenaline or thinks its fun to be scared.

    I do definitely think that people judge others based on their taste in book. I know people judge me for loving YA (both on the board and IRL), but I don't really give a crap. I try really hard not to judge others' taste, and it's not like I won't be your friend or have a perfectly nice conversation with you or anything, but I can't honestly say I've never looked at what someone was reading and thought, "Really? You're reading that?"

    Perfectly said, bnl.. I completely agree, especially about the YA part. And I'm always thrilled when I find another grown up YA lover - I feel like we're in a secret club of people who "get" it. But others look at how many YA books I read and think "ew. teeny bopper books." That doesn't define me, nor do I think other genres define anyone.

    Like for example, my favorite types of books are Historical Fiction and YA. All that really says about me is that I looove a good historical drama and still feel young at heart Stick out tongue


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  • Based on pp's, I'm thinking that our taste in books reveals the opposite of our personalities, like it's a form of escapisim.
  • image FallinAgain:
    image charlatti:

    This is going to be very disjointed and probably won't make much sense, but I was reading one of the favorite books threads and wondered how much we reveal about ourselves when we choose which books we say we like. Do you think you make assumptions about people based on what books they come up with as favorites?

    Yes, but less about their personality and more about their fabulous or crappy taste in books.

    I think this is what I was thinking about -- if someone has crappy book taste, I wonder about what they're like in real life, in a Judgy McJudgyson sort of way.

    So not so much the books themselves but the choice and the reasoning behind it. If I say my favorite book is a highbrow classic, am I trying to appear educated and snobby? If I pick a recent bestseller, am I a crowd-follower and proud of it? That kind of thing.

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  • I think my taste in books is all over the place so it's hard to say.  It could certainly be true of some people though. 
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  • image FallinAgain:
    image charlatti:

    This is going to be very disjointed and probably won't make much sense, but I was reading one of the favorite books threads and wondered how much we reveal about ourselves when we choose which books we say we like. Do you think you make assumptions about people based on what books they come up with as favorites?

    Yes, but less about their personality and more about their fabulous or crappy taste in books.

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  • Only if I see them reading Twilight.

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  • I should clarify that I don't judge people for enjoying any type of book, but if you name, say, Twilight, as your all-time favorite book, I have to assume that you either don't read much, have poor taste, or you are a 13 year-old girl. 
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  • image FallinAgain:
    I should clarify that I don't judge people for enjoying any type of book, but if you name, say, Twilight, as your all-time favorite book, I have to assume that you either don't read much, have poor taste, or you are a 13 year-old girl. 

    Or you're future published author Snooki! 

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  • I'm pretty sure that my taste in books would reveal that I have multiple personality disorder.  I'm all over the place.

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  • image Young_Love:

    image FallinAgain:
    I should clarify that I don't judge people for enjoying any type of book, but if you name, say, Twilight, as your all-time favorite book, I have to assume that you either don't read much, have poor taste, or you are a 13 year-old girl. 

    Or you're future published author Snooki! 

    I shuddered at that news.

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  • Some people have judged my personality by the books they have seen me read but I will pretty much read anything. I base this off of when I was reading all of Anne Rice's books. So I was considered freaky since they were about vampires and witches and all that.

    Although I will admit, me and my co-workers at the book store I worked at did judge some people who were "regulars" by what they read.

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  • I did a google search and found this site:  http://www.bookbundlz.com/BBArticle.aspx?articleId=16

    It goes a bit into what certain genres say about people.  Some of the meaning are more interests rather than personalities.  Honestly, I don't really buy into it.  Though, I am sure that there are some psychologists out there who would go into great depths describing someone's personality based on what sort of books they like.  And maybe there could be some accuracy in it. 

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  • I don't necessarily judge anyone by what books they read as in "Oh she's reading PNR, we can't be friends" but I agree that I make assumptions about that person based on what their favorite books are.  If you love Twilight, but you also love modern literature and are familiar with the names of writers I'd consider "literary", I'll probably think you're a different kind of reader than if the only authors you can name are PNR writers. 

    But that doesn't really matter to me.  DH only likes sci-fi and can't name many authors beyond that genre.  It's just something that really doesn't bother me at all about other people. I like to read, other people don't or they like to read different things.  No biggie.

    And my reading choices definitely do not say much about my personality, but a lot about my interests and what entertains me.

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  • Hello my name is Ashley and one of my favorite books is Twilight.  Judge away.  I could not care less whether you agree, disagree, have read it, ever plan to read it or think it's the worst book ever.  It just doesn't make a difference to me and I feel no need to defend it or push it on other people.  I've never been more sucked into a book/series in my life and  I don't personally rate my books in literary merit, I rate them on how much I enjoy them.  Period. 

    That said....does that mean that I haven't read a lot of books? No. I read all the time both for pleasure and for school.

    Does it mean it's my only favorite book? No.  Some of my other favorites include In the Time of the Butterflies, The Phantom of the Opera, To Kill a Mockingbird, HP, The Giver, and most recently The Sky is Everywhere.

    So if you think that this makes me a vampire loving, political activist, who enjoys Opera, being romanced by disfigured people, who also wants magical powers and a cool danger sensing scar and who wants to live in the future where all my decisions are made for me, where I can fantasize about my dead sisters boyfriend and crush on the new boy at school.... oh! and who also has bad taste in books.... so be it.

    I guess my short answer is no. I don't think that my books say much about my personality because I'm all over the map.

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  • image RevJen:
    I'm pretty sure that my taste in books would reveal that I have multiple personality disorder.  I'm all over the place.
    Ha! This pretty much describes me as well. I don't have a favorite genre, really. I tend to read a little bit of everything.
  • image Ashley T:

    Hello my name is Ashley and one of my favorite books is Twilight.  Judge away.  I could not care less whether you agree, disagree, have read it, ever plan to read it or think it's the worst book ever.  It just doesn't make a difference to me and I feel no need to defend it or push it on other people.  I've never been more sucked into a book/series in my life and  I don't personally rate my books in literary merit, I rate them on how much I enjoy them.  Period. 

    That said....does that mean that I haven't read a lot of books? No. I read all the time both for pleasure and for school.

    Does it mean it's my only favorite book? No.  Some of my other favorites include In the Time of the Butterflies, The Phantom of the Opera, To Kill a Mockingbird, HP, The Giver, and most recently The Sky is Everywhere.

    So if you think that this makes me a vampire loving, political activist, who enjoys Opera, being romanced by disfigured people, who also wants magical powers and a cool danger sensing scar and who wants to live in the future where all my decisions are made for me, where I can fantasize about my dead sisters boyfriend and crush on the new boy at school.... oh! and who also has bad taste in books.... so be it.

    I guess my short answer is no. I don't think that my books say much about my personality because I'm all over the map.

    That's a lot of defending to not defend.

    I think there's a difference in saying "I really enjoyed that book.  It was such a great ride." and identifyinging something as you one favorite book ever.

    I read Twilight.  I got a kick out of it (and the saga--until 4, which is the worst book I've ever read).  But it didn't touch me.  I didn't think about it after I finished.  It didn't teach me anything about life.  I guess I assume that's generally how pick choose the all-time favorite book.   

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  • image FallinAgain:

    That's a lot of defending to not defend. 

    I meant I'm not going to defend the book itself (the content) in terms of trying to convince people that it's really a wonderful book with a ton of literary merit.I truly don't care whether others read it or not. It's totally up to them and doesn't bother me one way or the other.  I may recommend it to people that I think will enjoy it (as I do with all books I like) but if they choose not to read it, or if they do and they hate it, that's fine.  I'm not going to get huffy about it.

    But I digress...

    What I'm saying in my above post is that considering Twilight to be a favorite book does not necessarily mean that you have bad taste in books overall, or that you don't read a lot.  Judging someone by one book of the 100s or 1000s that they have read is just ridiculous.

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  • I think it can.

    I read a lot of non-fiction. I think it reflects my seriousness and my desire to learn.

  • I've been running a book club for nearly 6 years and I can pretty accurately guess how people in my club will feel about the book we've just read. 8 out of 10 times there are significant shared personality traits between the people that like a book or don't like it. Now this is sort of off topic because these books are not books that are our favorites or that we choose to read but to some degree yeah I think it says some things about our personality.
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  • image FallinAgain:
    I should clarify that I don't judge people for enjoying any type of book, but if you name, say, Twilight, as your all-time favorite book, I have to assume that you either don't read much, have poor taste, or you are a 13 year-old girl. 
    This made me laugh so much I woke up my daughter, who was sleeping on my lap. I completely agree!!
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  • image Ashley T:

    image FallinAgain:

    That's a lot of defending to not defend. 

    I meant I'm not going to defend the book itself (the content) in terms of trying to convince people that it's really a wonderful book with a ton of literary merit.I truly don't care whether others read it or not. It's totally up to them and doesn't bother me one way or the other.  I may recommend it to people that I think will enjoy it (as I do with all books I like) but if they choose not to read it, or if they do and they hate it, that's fine.  I'm not going to get huffy about it.

    But I digress...

    What I'm saying in my above post is that considering Twilight to be a favorite book does not necessarily mean that you have bad taste in books overall, or that you don't read a lot.  Judging someone by one book of the 100s or 1000s that they have read is just ridiculous.

    No one is judging that.  I'm not really even judging it being one of someone's favorite books, though I do not understand that. I AM judging if you say it is your all-time, numero uno, most favoritest book ever in the history of all books. 

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