What’s Your Favorite Book?

I’m asking, readers, because a few days ago I had a surprising revelation: what does a person’s favorite book, or favorite genre, say about them?  Does it even say anything at all, or is this just a stupid question?  I’m not one to read very deeply into things normally, but the possibilities of this intrigue me.

For example, my favorite genre (or, rather, subgenre) right now is of the post-apocalyptic/dystopian strain.  Don’t even ask me about my favorite book, because I honestly could not tell you.  Anyway, does my current affinity for this genre mean that I’m generally depressed about the direction humanity as a whole is taking?  Or is it that I’m hopeful that no matter how bad things are, there will be someone to stand up for the little guys?  Or maybe this means something entirely different- perhaps it indicates that I’m a bit of a crowd follower, what with the popularity of this subgenre these days.  As with most types of personal interpretation, it can mean just about anything.  Which is why I have to be a bit careful when broaching this subject, especially since I’m not sure any of those possible answers quite fit me.

I do think that a favorite novel can say a lot about a person, though.  After all, the individual who adores Gone With the Wind is going to be a tad different than he who will swear by Ender’s Game.  Someone who likes the action genre may be a bit more outgoing than someone who is more into tech novels.

There are some Web sources that explore this topic in various ways, but I want your opinions, readers.  Which is why, for the first time ever on Novel Journeys, I’m putting a poll in the post, just asking whether you think there’s anything to this personality stuff.  You can always leave a comment if you would like to elaborate on the topic, but in general I think this will be a good way of determining what stock my subscribers (or casual passersby) put in this question of mine.

In other news, I’ve been thinking lately about starting a Goodreads account.  It seems like a good way to get recommendations for new books to read, as well as a way to easily keep track of what I’ve read and what I still want to read, if and when the To-Be-Read pile is eliminated at last.  I’ve been there more than once to see the pages for certain books I’ve received over the holidays, and from what I’ve seen I like the layout of the site.

And so here is my second (and third) question to those of you who use Goodreads or a similar site (like Shelfari): how useful is it in reviewing and finding books?  Are there any good books you found through those sites that you wouldn’t have come across otherwise?

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an English paper on Walt Whitman to finish (the research for which is the reason I had that quote from the preface to Leaves of Grass on my About page for a few days).

Happy reading.

UPDATE: Here’s the link to a site where the author outlines all of the major genres and what they might say about their readers.  Enjoy!

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13 thoughts on “What’s Your Favorite Book?

  1. Definitely get a Goodreads account! I’ve been a member since October 2007 and I’ve never have so much knowledge about how much and what I read in a year. And I’ve gotten a lot of recommendations and learned about many books – old and new – that I had never heard of before. If you’re active on the book blogging scene, I’m not sure that will be the same for you because a lot of the same people are blogging and on Goodreads. But still, I really recommend it.

    • Thanks for the comment! I’m probably going to make an account at some point, as I do think it will help me discover new things, even with the blog. At the very least I’m seriously considering it.

  2. This is interesting… I guess your favorite genre could say something about you but I don’t think much. A person could love a book or movie that in no way relates to them or reflects on them as a person. I think there are stereotypes, though, that – for example – a person who reads erotica has a sick mind. I’m guessing that this isn’t true (I, obviously, don’t read nor plan to read the genre). I guess a favorite genre or book can indicate something, but not much other than the standard stereotypes.
    I like mysteries. What would that say about me? Seriously, I’m curious. 🙂
    This is really interesting, though. Thanks for posting it!

    • See, that’s what I’m concerned with- whether a favorite genre or book is simply something fun to do, and not necessarily an indicator of anything.
      Mysteries, huh? I’m not sure, and I’m in no position to make an assumption concerning what that says about you. Like I said before, I’m not particularly good at insight. Anything I would say wouldn’t really be that interesting.
      However, I am pretty good at Google searches, and I just found a Web page that outlines multiple genres (link added at the bottom of the post). For mysteries, it says you might be “naturally curious” and a “good problem solver,” one with a flair for either adventure or paranoia. I don’t know how much of that applies to you, but it’s a start. 🙂

      • Ahh. I guess you added the link while I was commenting! I don’t really think that it’s much of an indicator, but it has to be a little bit, I guess. I wouldn’t say I’m a good problem solver, really, though I guess I’m naturally curious. Hmm…

  3. Very interesting…I’m a library employee and I’d say that one’s favorite genre/authors says a lot about a person. I’m with you on the P/A and sc-fi genres; some of my favorites there are Robert McCammon’s “Swan Song,” William Gibson’s “Neuromancer” and S.M. Stirling’s Emberverse series.

  4. Goodreads is so important to me. In my opinion, it’s the single, best site for discovering the best-rated books in the genre/category that interests you. Most other book sites are fine, Amazon is very good, but Goodreads has the best rating, sharing, and discovering system. Go ahead!

    P.S. I think what themes/ideas are portrayed in someone’s fav. book says a lot about their personality, and I think it’s less about the plot of the book. I chat more about the importance of theme in a post from my “Best advice I’ve learned” series. Sorry for the plug, but if you’re interested, the “theme” post is here: http://rebeccaberto.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/the-best-advice-ive-learned-on-mastering-theme-in-storytelling/

  5. Very interesting post. I think it can go both ways – in general what I read is probably quite a good clue to my personality, but then again in my final year of university I read a lot of trashy romances. Not because I was starved of romance (I don’t think!) but just because I had to do so much reading of dry, academic textbooks that I wanted something completely brainless to occupy my down-time. I guess whether or not my reading represented me would depend on the period of my life!
    I think I’m going to get a googlereads account though. First I’ve heard of it but it sounds great.

  6. Pingback: What Does Your Favorite Genre Say About You? « The Incessant Droning of a Bored Writer

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