Thursday, April 14, 2011

Booking Through Thursday – Personality

 btt button

In a related question to last week’s–

I was reading the other day a quote from JFK Jr who said on the death of his mother, that she died surrounded by family, friends, and her books. Apparently, Jackie’s books were very much a part of HER, her personality, her sense of self.

Up until recently, people could browse your bookshelves and learn a lot about you–what your interests are, your range of topics, favorite authors, how much you read (or at least buy books).

More and more, though, this is changing. People aren’t buying books so much as borrowing them from the library. Or reading them on their e-readers or computers. There’s nothing PHYSICAL on the shelves to tell strangers in your home, for better or worse, who you ARE.
Do you think this is a good thing? Bad? Discuss!

It is true that the books you read reflect your personality. Not only that, the books you read also shape your personality. So, yes, people can find a lot about you when looking through your bookshelves.

If people borrow books from the libraries or read e-formats then other people cannot see what you are reading. But I would not agree that there is nothing physical in your home to tell people about you, judging by myself and the readers I know.

In my case, I borrow most of the books I read. It happened several times I first read the book from the library and I liked it so much or it had such an impact on me that I later bought it because I wanted to have it at home to reread it or parts of it or just to sit there and I can look at it and remember all the wonderful things I got from it. I like the feeling that the stories, the characters I like in a way live with me and continue inspiring me. Therefore, I think borrowing and e-readers will not prevent readers to have at least some of the most important books to them in their homes in a physical form. And what tells more about our personality than our favourite books?

How much you want to reveal about you is quite another issue and it depends on an individual. I am a private person, so I do not want everybody, least of all strangers, knowing a lot of things about me. I can show my books to my friends and we talk about them. Also, the books can be misleading. Judging only by the covers and titles may prompt people to get a wrong idea about your personality.

Overall, I think books will always be there to testify about who we are. And even if they are not it is not a necessarily bad idea if people cannot see them and make opinion about us based upon the books we read. 


  1. I completely agree with you on every aspect of your post. I couldn't have written it better myself.

  2. Interesting answer.
    Here's mine:

  3. I suppose there is that judgemental side. I've seen it happen and even been on the receiving end of it. I've got to the stage where I don't care anymore though. Most of my friends are book people and not one of them would judge me for what I read. That's not to say they would always agree with my tastes. I think in that I am possibly lucky. Recently when someone has made a snap judgement based on what I read I tend to ignore it. I've always thought book snobbery a little sad. These people are losing out as I bet they have never moved outside the confines of their own making.

    I like the idea that you do borrow your books and buy the ones that you love. It makes them all the more special in your case.

  4. Great points...I agree about the pleasure of always having physical books to remember the experience of reading.

    Here's MY BTT2 POST

  5. I am at an age where I don't care what other people think of my reading. I think what we choose to read is a very personal thing. There are genres of books that I wouldn't read, but I don't care that others choose those to read. Like I said it is a very personal choice.

  6. I think the only thing you can tell from my books is how much I love to read I don't think it will tell you too much about my individual personality traits.

  7. I still prefer the actual book.

  8. Interesting... I don't really mind if people make assumptions about me based on what I read - they'd have a pretty hard time anyway; I read from every genre, all kinds of subjects, so they'd have a hard time stereotyping, I think! Someone seeing me reading a book in public could do it, yeah, making different assumptions depending on my current book choice, but a whole collection of books is a different matter... I don't have strangers in my house (or anyone much, for that matter!), but even on LibraryThing, I see my collection as a way to connect with others with similar tastes, to find out what books I share with my friends, and to find people who have also read and enjoyed the more unusual books in my library.

    I like your answer though - and I do the same thing, buying library books that have blown me away so I have a copy here with me to keep. I think books like that definitely become a part of who we are, and we never really forget them - even years down the line, there'll always be some faint memory of how amazing they were and how wonderful we felt as we read them.

    Happy reading - and sorry for rambling on again! :-)

  9. Thanks everyone! Perhaps I have been misunderstood, or I misunderstood the prompt. I don't care what people think about what I read, as I said my friend know what I read and can see my book collection and we talk about books. What I wanted to say is that random people just see what they want to see, so for example someone would take a glimpse at my proudly displayed top-shelf romance collection and think me shallow, although some of those books have quite some depth inside.

    Anyway, I love what I read and I read a lot of different genres and they all fit a part of me, and I like actual books around me.

    @ Ellie: Not at all, i like your rambling:), I want to know what you think.


Don't hesitate to drop me a few strange new words! I'd love to hear what you think!