I judge you based on the books you read. :-)

(This post is meant to be in fun, so no one is allowed to be offended, kapeesh?)

I think we all do something like this, to some extent.  I have a dear friend who judges people based off of their favorite Beatles songs!  My choice of “Here Comes the Sun” passed muster, but if you were to say, for example, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand,” her opinion of you would drop pretty fast.  For some people, it’s the music you listen to; for others, the movies you enjoy.

But for me, it’s books.


If you read C.S. Lewis, I like you automatically, but if you haven’t read his space trilogy, I start to doubt just how big a fan you are.  When I discover people who haven’t read Narnia, I jokingly ask them why they don’t love Jesus.  (JOKINGLY!  Calm down!)

If you read Melina Marchetta, I think you are brilliant and first-class.  If you’ve discovered Jandy Nelson’s one novel, I’m impressed and can’t wait to discuss it with you.  If you loved The Fault in Our Stars, I think you’re a deep-thinking intellectual.  Same thing if you like Yann Martel’s books.

If you read paranormal romance, I will probably automatically think you’re not serious about good books.  Probably.  Not for sure.  I rather liked The Mortal Instrumentsbut then again, I kind of judge MYSELF for liking them.  Ha!

If you’ve read Sophie’s World, I’d be blown away.  I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone else who has.

If you refuse to read Harry Potter, I will probably joke that, Yeah, the rest of the world must have been wrong.  But yet, I won’t let that argument work on me if you try to use it for another book.

If you’re a big fan of Christian romance, I’m going to raise an eyebrow.  (You can convince me of your sound judgment if you tell me they are a guilty pleasure.  I have one friend– you know who you are!– who avoids my judgment this way.)

I’m not impressed if you read Austen or the Brontes.  I’m not saying these are bad books at all, just that I don’t care for them much (excepting Wuthering Heights).

A friend of Billy Collins is a friend of mine.  Same goes for Anne Lamott.

I respect LOTR fans though I myself am not interested.

If “cancer books” are your thing (you know, those books where kids fall in love and one of them dies, and every story is almost identical), we should talk.  I can kindly redirect you.

Now, tell me yours!  Do you produce snap judgments, and if so, based on what?  Give me some details!

26 thoughts on “I judge you based on the books you read. :-)

  1. Hi! Interesting post and thought I’d reply. I don’t really judge on genre preference, unless, I confess, I discover that all someone reads are romance or erotic novels. I like C.S. Lewis too and tend to like the thoughts of C.S. Lewis fans, though I haven’t read the Space Trilogy. I’ve browsed Sophie’s World (required college reading) and while I find it quite interesting it’s not exactly a “favorite”. Currently reading The Fault In Our Stars and I am hooked. Not very much into most of the classics and somehow I have yet to start reading Harry Potter and prefer the LOTR movies than the books. I remember talking with a geeky guy once whom I was attracted to and who read all kinds of books. He mentioned The Time Traveler’s Wife as one of his favorites, and I was like, ahh, figures… Bonus points if you read Khaled Hosseini books. 🙂

    • Loved your thoughts! And I totally agree … if I find out all someone reads is romance, I want to GROAN and redirect them to REAL literature. 🙂 (I mean genre romance … I of course love a little romance in stories!)

  2. Hahaha, I do the exact same thing – and it’s REALLY hard to contain those judgments as an English teacher, where I’m just supposed to be the glad the kids are reading. I think I’ve perfected this pleasantly vague expression for whenever one of my girls tells me how great Twilight is.

    Totally agree with Anne Lamott, Billy Collins (and I freakin love WH – teaching it right now), only impressed by Jane Austen readers if they get the sarcasm and wit and don’t just drone on about how great Mr. Darcy is (um, he’s not).

    And you are my instant friend if you have read Wendell Berry, Kathleen Norris, Marilynne Robinson, Madeleine L’engle (beyond the Wrinkle in Time series) or Czeslaw Milosz.

  3. Anne Lamott! 😀 How about Annie Dillard?

    I am the same way, though I’ve learned to give a lot of grace, as college students don’t have much time on their hands to read for fun! I would know! I went through this when I studied abroad in Italy though. I instantly had better conversations with the people who actually /liked/ to read as opposed to those who only wanted to run around and play soccer 😛

    I think my biggest turn off, besides “Teen Paranormal Romance” (that shouldn’t have become a genre! ew!) are Christian fantasy novels. Because of my middle school days, I instantly cringe when people mention Bryan Davis or … any of those other cliche writers.

  4. Hahahaha, I love that Jeanette Oke was mentioned in the comments, since she was my hero in sixth grade… HOWEVER, my literary tastes have improved since then, due in great part to your book suggestions 😉 And yes, now Christian romance is guilty pleasure… VERY guilty. Love what you said about the Harry Potter books–that actually came up in my grad class the other night when we had to share which book(s) made us fall in love with reading/writing. The professor noted that none of us had mentioned Harry Potter, as if this was a good thing… But hey, obviously something is pretty incredible about them given their popularity! I said “Where the Red Fern Grows” was the book that made me fall in love with reading–it was the first book that made me SOB for the characters–but HP was what made me want to be a writer. For career day in 4th grade, I went as an author and wore a name tag that read “E.L. Kallgren”…

  5. What I would pay attention to more than the titles someone claims to love is the reasoning behind the enjoyment of the book and the variety of books someone has read. The titles you mentioned show a lot of variety, so you pass the test. You also seem to like books for a variety of reasons: emotional, intellectual, guilty pleasure… which shows you aren’t one of those people who likes talking about fancy-pants books rather than reading them.

    If you asked me about my favorite books, this is what I’d say: I’ll read anything dystopian, even if it’s terrible, by my favorites are 1984 and The Handmaid’s Tale. John Green is my hero, and Looking for Alaska is still his best novel. Ruby Oliver has my heart as my favorite character, and I’ll read anything E. Lockhart writes. And I think Ender’s Game and Harry Potter are essentially the same book, so I love them both equally.

    • OH MY GOSH, THE LIBRARIAN WHO DOESN’T SAY SHHH COMMENTED ON MY BLOG!!!!! Tara, you just made my day, especially because you said I passed the test. 🙂

      Love your blog!! (I’m being such a fan-girl right now, sheesh.)

      Anyway, yes. I agree with everything you said. And of course, I love a boarding school book just the same way you do … which is why I am dying to read The Holders, which you reviewed recently. My problem with reading your blog is that you review things I can’t get my hands on for months, and I go crazy, haha! 🙂

      Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  6. Hmm… I think I’ve passed a few of your tests. 🙂 I’ve read the LOTR series, CS Lewis (only The Chronicles of Narnia), and Harry Potter. I like a good romance novel, but I’m not married to them.

    Currently I’m reading “Gone with the Wind” and I’m enjoying it. My favorite book is a very obscure book called “Moonraker’s Bride” by Madeleine Brent. I consider it my favorite because I can read it at least once a year and still be entertained. I’ve read it at least five times. I think you would enjoy it. 🙂

    I love crime, drama, young adult, comedy, romance, historical, and memoirs. I’ll pretty much pick up any book and give it a try… except for Steven King (he scares me).

    Anyway, I hope you don’t count me out because of my book choices! 🙂

    As a side note, I don’t think my husband passes your test. Ed only reads science fiction. I can’t get him to pick up a book that takes place on Earth. 🙂 His favorites are Star Wars (we probably have 100 Star Wars books) and The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.

  7. It makes me positively mental when someone claims to be a reader and cites Dan Brown or James Patterson as favorite authors. Oy.

    I own Sophie’s World as I was trying to read it in college. I didn’t make it through and it’s been sitting on my shelf ever since. I will try again someday!

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