What Does Your Bookshelf Say About You
Sometimes I find myself staring at my books as if they were paintings hanging on the wall. They are mixed in with souvenirs from around the world, pictures of special moments, awards and even some collectables. I have this image of myself singing and twirling around in a bookstore or library like Belle from Beauty and the Beast. Of course my library looks more like a jumbled mess full of clutter and in need of a good dusting, but still I fancy it as something beautiful.
When I decided to write this blog post I wondered what my books said about me. I started pulling them out, grouping them like I played with dolls as a child. Next I pulled out the magazines I either buy off the newsstand or subscribe to. After studying the combinations I started to wonder if I didn’t have some kind of mental problem. My books ranged from American Sniper to The Martian, The Worst Case Scenario to Reap and Repent, The 6th Extinction to Hiding in the Light. The magazines created yet another picture; TIME to National Geographic, Guns & Ammo to Southern Living, Writer’s Digest to Flea Market Décor. I decided I’d better take a test. What can I say; I’m a former teacher who gave tests most of her life. Book Browse had one that wouldn’t take too long to find out answers. Results later in this article.
After reading more about this topic it appears that there is no one way or right way to keep your books, but even that says something about the person who loves books. To a writer books are like the Holy Grail. They hold some kind of magic and guidance that propels us to create. So I discovered (again through online testing) that my collection borders on clutter. I like to think of it as a pair of worn slippers I wear at night when I curl up by the fire. See what kind of reader or book collector you are by trying these things.
- Organize – I group my books according to author then subject. Some group books according to color. That is just a little over the top for me.
- Variety – After you organize decide how diversified you are in your reading. Is it all one genre? One author? If so you might want to branch out. Join a book club, read reviews, sample one new book a month from a different genre.
- Expand – As writers and readers we need to make a conscience effort to grow. My favorite genres are thrillers and mysteries with a little romantic suspense on the side. But I love to find a good how-to book on writing or research book on some geo-political conflict going on in the world.
- Picture It – Take a picture of your bookcase, shelf or wherever you keep books. You might be surprised at your range and organizational skills. This will also give you a chance to make changes.
So as I said earlier I took a test to see what my books said about me. Turns out I’m pretty healthy. Here are the results as well as the test if you’d like to take it for yourself. Please let me know what kind of reader you are.
Your responses showed you fitting equally into all four reading personalities:
Involved Reader: You don’t just love to read books, you love to read about books. For you, half the fun of reading is the thrill of the chase – discovering new books and authors, and discussing your finds with others.
Exacting Reader: You love books but you rarely have as much time to read as you’d like – so you’re very particular about the books you choose.
Serial Reader: Once you discover a favorite writer you tend to stick with him/her through thick and thin.
Eclectic Reader: You read for entertainment but also to expand your mind. You’re open to new ideas and new writers, and are not wedded to a particular genre or limited range of authors.