Is Someone's Bookshelf A Dating Dealbreaker?


Do you judge people by the books they read? Turns out, you are not alone, as many people in the dating world admit to basing their first impressions on the books their dates are reading.

Jenna Lang of The Guardian writes about this type of judgment, asking, “We all know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but what about judging a date by the cover of the book he or she is holding?” Lang finds that men were most impressed by seeing Russian literature, “well-worn” copies of classics, and the works of Orwell, Dickens, and shock of all shocks, Hemingway. Women, on the other hand, seemed most impressed by books on current events and travel writing, but looked down on men who read fiction, deeming it “girly.” WTF?

On the flip side of things, both genders were repulsed by stereotypical chick lit, as Lang notes:”‘Any of those trashy romance, Sex and the City types’, declared one man. ‘Anything with ‘shopping’, ‘heels’ or ‘chocolate’ in the title”, said another. “It’s a turn-off when girls are too materialistic.'” Women agreed: ” “If I saw a man reading Bridget Jones’s Diary, I’d be rather disturbed. Any of those airport novels, the ones with spies and CIA agents, are a no-no too.”

As someone who spends most of her time surrounded by books in the library, I often find myself gravitating toward people’s bookshelves, more out of curiosity (and perhaps to pick up some reading suggestions) than anything else. Usually I find everything from serious classics to short stories to yes, the occasional “airport” novel, but all that says to me is that a person is well-read and able to enjoy work from many genres.

So what say you, commenters? Do you judge people by the books on their shelves? Or do you care more about a person’s life story than the stories they choose to read?

Reading Between The Lines [Guardian]

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