Sharing your book list…the horror

There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.

-Bertrand Russell

On a scale of 1-10, how horrified would you be to have all your reading made public? 1 means you’re an exhibitionist who would enjoy having your reading list go out to random strangers. If you were a 10, you would hail the mere thought as the apocolypse.

On that scale, I’m very comfortable being number 8. The idea of my reading list going public makes me want to curl up in fetal position and never come out of my room.  I can’t see why anyone would ever want their acquaintances to know what they read. I mean, I’m sure there are intellectuals who read Dante’s Inferno and feel the need to toss it into other readers’ faces.  I know certain people who are in the middle of War and Peace ( have been for over a year) and wouldn’t mind you thinking they’re a lot smarter than they actually are.

But for the most part, most people will share different parts of their reading list with other people. I have classics ready on the tongue when people ask for favorite books, while I swoon over chick-lit and romance privately with close friends. And I’ll probably take some of the darkest, most taboo books I’ve read to my grave.

At the same time, it’s hard to think of reading as personal as say, your social security number or your sex life. Don’t get me wrong —it’s up there on the list. For example, I’d rather share my blood type,  phone number and weight than  a comprehensive list of what I read. But what is the point of reading if you can’t  fangirl or rant about it later? One of the highlights of my life is probably having a captive audience of 800 listen to me ramble on about the Golden Compass series. For a few glorious minutes, I bubbled over with enthusiasm as I  described how every read brought something new to my attention.

About a year back, Goodreads released a feature which allowed you to add the books you were currently reading to your email signature. They were surprised it didn’t really take off.

Cute idea but I read too much naughty stuff to add something to my email signature. I can just imagine sending an email to my dad with a cover of a shirtless man!
-D.G.

I’m not.

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