Thursday, July 18, 2013


So, here's my almost completely unfounded hypothesis from the brief conversations I've had with people about their favorite books as well as a brief explanation of the categories of books I previously listed. Explanations first.

1. Language driven books
These are books where reading them aloud is a pure joy. In these books, just about everything the author says seems poetic and you wind up fascinated at the control he or she has over making ideas seem fresh or romantic or both. This is probably not the only thing readers think about when evaluating a book, but if someone leans toward this type of book the most heavily, having beautiful language will make or break the work for them.Sometimes the book itself isn't necessarily poetic, but the author will allow certain characters to be prolific or poetic. Examples of these books can be Uncle Tom's Cabin, the works of Shakespeare; the characters are usually leaders like Dumbledore or Gandalf. People who lean towards language driven books will often go back and read, or at least really enjoy the first time the words of the sages in books they read.

2. Character driven books
In these books, a main element, sometimes the main element is how well-rounded the characters are. Many people will say they read a certain book because they love how intimate they become with the characters. The people that read these are intrigued at the relationships and moral make-up of their characters. They like to analyze why the people in the book are the way they are and predict what outcome their backgrounds allow for and devise what they could need to be happy. People who enjoy reading these books enjoy the fact that they know why these people tick and the more realistic and round these characters are, the more appealing it will be to this particular audience. Examples of these books will be things like Persuasion or Agatha Christie novels. Some well-loved-to-analyze characters are Othello's Desdamona or East of Eden's Cathy. Obviously, these characters aren't loved by everyone who leans towards these books, they're just examples of some.

3. Plot/thrill driven books
These will be exciting, edge-of-your-seat, page turners. Tom Clancy books and the Twilight series are almost completely plot/thrill driven as defined here. They're the ones that will leave you hanging and keep you going. The people that read these want to escape and find a new adventure. They will usually completely distract themselves and you may not have any real communication with them for anywhere from a couple hours to a couple days depending on how often they'll come out to breathe. A lot of these books capitalize on cliff-hangers and the people who drawn to them primarily are looking for a fun time and anything exciting.

4. Historical and informative books
I've put histories and self-help books in this section. People who read these are driven by the knowledge and often also the conversations that follow after reading these books. They love feeling like there's one more thing in the world that's now so much clearer to them and often the thought of a new world changing conversation to follow propels them through its pages. Political commentaries, and any informative thing counts.

5. Humor driven books
Haven't actually asked about this one and haven't found this as anyone's major make it or break it quality. Let me know if it's yours! May just scrap it.

Also, within each of these categories, there is room for personal preference. Edgar Allen Poe is certainly poetic, but not everyone will be comfortable with the level of apparent psychosis in his work.(I personally LOVE Edgar Allen Poe, but mostly because I think he is fascinating as a person. His characters aren't necessarily ground breaking all the time, but you can read into his psyche, which I think is really fascinating. I am thoroughly satisfied by character driven books, if you can't tell.)

Each color personality has a first motive. White is peace, red is power, blue is intimacy, and yellow is fun. My hypothesis is that for the most part, red personalities, like pure red, will be drawn towards historical and informative books. They like to know more than others or because they're power-driven, they'll find those kinds of books most helpful to their cause. I think many blues will like character driven books because of the level of intimacy they'll feel when they read it. It will fill a craving they have to be close to people. Yellow will be drawn towards plot/thrill driven because they feel like they're on a ride. And I think white will be language because of the wise words that can help them gain the peace they so desperately crave. That's my guess. I have no idea if there will really be a correlation, but we can all cross our fingers!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


This blog may not contain complete scientific facts. For now, it's a place to organize information and thoughts about my Reading Experiment. I do hope it eventually escalates enough to make a full-fledged study, but for now I really just hope my attention span lasts as long as this paragraph.

What is the Reading Experiment?
The Reading Experiment is really simply testing out the theory that personality traits have strong correlations with the books one finds attractive. I'm working on making it more sciency and doing the research in the fields of English and Psychology and stuff, but for now I can tell you a little about my rough, skeletal ideas.

The idea is this: there is a psychological theory about personalities that groups people into a mixture of 4 different strength/weakness patterns. Each of these 4 categories is given a color: red, blue, white, and yellow; this is called The Color Code (for more information and reading, click the link). I'm not really going to go into The Code much here, but there is another side I'd like to explain as well. I feel like reading materials can also be grouped into 4 (or 5) main categories. While they're a little hard to explain, being really more of a sketch than fact, it's pretty easy to understand. I've listed the categories below:

1. Language driven
2. Character driven
3. Plot/thrill driven
4. Historical and informative
And maybe
5. Humor driven, but I haven't really experimented with this thought very much.

Most reading materials, like people, will fall under more than one category, but each will have at least one or two that count as its strengths. What I want to do is mark the correlation between novel and reader; probably not a new idea, but I want to do it myself.

What is it's purpose?
You may be thinking, "Why? What possible purpose could it serve?" At first, I thought so too. It was really just for fun. I had no idea it would be so long-lived, but I kept finding aspects that would fascinate me. What ended up being my long-term goal was to create a scientific study that would help teachers find ways to help struggling students love to learn.

It's very common among my own observance (you see I can't site anything yet) that once a person is really latched onto reading, learning becomes something they crave. There was a study done (I'll have to ask my mother about it, she'll know who did it and where) that showed as soon as you start helping a child recognize and use their strengths, it will improve their weaknesses more than focusing on their weaknesses will.

Our family has a dear friend, Jenny, who was our babysitter from around 1999 on. Jenny was dyslexic, but our family had started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone together and my brother and I would hardly play anything but Harry and Hermione. In order to play with us or understand what we were talking about, Jenny decided to read it. Harry Potter was to her, as to many others, intriguing and enjoyable. She attributes this one book as the catalyst of her reading career. After reading Harry Potter, she began to read other books she'd always meant to read, but originally found too hard. She now is a mother and has some of the brightest children I've ever met. They crave learning because they follow her wonderful example. Having the right book suited for her personality changed her life. If this study is more founded and developed, teachers would have the resource to match their students with books that would have the maximum appeal to them and help them potentially overcome or deal with learning, reading, and cognitive disorders.

How did it start?
A few years ago I got the idea to read my favorite people's favorite books. I was having a hard time deciding what to read and wanted to be closer to my favorite people, so I asked what books they always go back to, which books do they read time and time again? As I started this, I've come to know my loved ones on a whole new level. I see the people they love and I've never met. I walk the roads familiar to them and retreat to the comforts that have shaped the character and ideals that rule their hearts.

I have only just started this journey and I thought it would be a great way to continue by blogging about it! It may also contribute to this hope and dream I have of becoming a moonlighting psychologist. The start of this compilation of info will begin by my reading these book and probably having my favorite people complete a Color Code test.

If there's anything you want to hear from me about any of this information or want to see out of my "experiment" (for lack of a better word), or if you may have any suggestions, please message or post it below! Any insight would also be welcome. Mostly, I don't know what I'm doing, but I can write about it!