What the Book You’re Reading in Public Says About You


It happens all the time — subways, buses, trains, parks, coffee shops. It could be happening right next to you. People are reading. You can’t stop them, but you can judge them. What others enjoy reading is a window into their mind. After the jump, we’ll take you through some helpful tips on what your oh-so-literate neighbor’s book actually says about them. Feel free to add to our sweeping generalizations in the comments.

The Story of O: You need more constructive hobbies

Eat, Pray, Love: You are recently divorced OR love travel and Javier Bardem (it’s actually him in the book right?)

The Great Gatsby: Your sense of schadenfreude is aimed at the rich

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: You never read The Da Vinci Code, and you’re not going to feel left out this time

A Separate Peace (school/library copy): You’re in the 9th grade; (personal, much dog-eared copy): You’re gay, closeted, in love with your best friend, and in the 9th grade

In Search of Lost Time: You think that you’re smarter than us

A Brief History of Time: You are definitely smarter than us

Sex and the City: You loved the show, but hated the movies. Back to the source material with you!

Infinite Jest : You feel bad about having a lot of free time and must do something constructive

Jurassic Park: You wish there were three more Jurassic Park movies. Aren’t dinosaurs the coolest?

Anything by Nicholas Sparks: You don’t really like reading, per se

One Hundred Years in Solitude: You’d love someone to interrupt and explain this book to you

The Monkey Wrench Gang: There’s a small chance that you will blow up this train/plane/Starbucks

The Feminine Mystique: You’re an independent, principled, and brilliant young woman (but probably still won’t “identify” as a Feminist)

L.A. Candy: You’re Lauren Conrad

The Road: It’s okay. There’s just something in both of your eyes

Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man: You are trying to reclaim parts of your heritage by working through Irish cultural history as documented in the country’s literature

Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man: You work in publishing

Shit My Dad Says: You think your status updates are hilarious

Outliers: Your smartest and dumbest friends kept telling you to read this

The Right Stuff: You always wanted to be an astronaut, but you also wanted to live to be 40

Twilight: Your desire for salacious material couldn’t be satisfied by an issue of US Weekly

Fight Club: Everyone is careful around you for fear you may invite them into your fight club

Strangers on a Train: Everyone is careful around you for fear you may invite them into your murder pact

Super Sad True Love Story: Out of all your friends, you spend the most time developing your online dating profile

Down and Out in Paris and London: You have been neither to Paris nor London

Fantastic Mr. Fox: That’s your child screaming, not paying attention. Their loss.

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life: Your dad used your teenage rebellion to make you think being smart was cool

Frankenstein: Jesus, you need a real friend. One not made out of spare parts.

On the Road: You’ve lived in the same place since… 2004? Buy a bus ticket already!