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!


  1. haha Jessica you are so cute and you do know a lot more of what your doing than what you give yourself credit for. I am totally on board. At first I was thinking, "what is this? I don't get it?" But by the end of the first post, I am quite interested. And I can see what you mean. Books really can shape us. Making us better or worse. Right? I can't wait to read more about your findings.

  2. What book are you reading now? And whose favorite is it?

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  4. Hi! It's Carmen! (From your Milton class.) I like this blog.
    So...I totally resent the color code test because even though it says most people are not completely one color or the other, I still feel like it's trying to classify me into a "type", you know? BUT, I love that you're looking into this....seeing if certain personality types are drawn towards certain genres or differently driven books. Please continue, I will be reading!