Are you what you read?
By Morgan on May 15th, 2012
In 2010, Scholastic launched You Are What You Read, an online book community where people decide which five books most influenced their lives and then connect with others who share the same books. So it’s probably pretty obvious that we’ve always believed that what you read deeply influences who you were, who you become, and who you will be.
Imagine our glee when we saw the results of a new study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: “You are what you read, study suggests,” says MSNBC. Because it’s true! They write, “Novels have a lot more power than we think. When you identify with a literary character, like Katniss Everdeen of the Hunger Games books, there’s a good chance you’ll become more like her…”
Think for a moment about the books and characters you hold closest to your heart. How have they affected you? There are the obvious ways — for example, I know people who’ve signed up for archery lessons after falling in love with The Hunger Games — but I’m more intrigued by the subtle ways characters invade our lives, our personalities. Are there pieces of Ellen Olenska (The Age of Innocence) in me? Is the feather necklace I’m wearing today a subconscious nod to Claudia Kishi (The Baby-sitters Club)? (Yes, both of those are in my personal Bookprint!)
If you haven’t been to You Are What You Read recently, stop by and check it out. In addition to the 28,000+ people who’ve joined the site, we have nearly 300 Names You Know, like Whoopi Goldberg, Kristen Bell, Hillary Clinton, and Malcolm Gladwell, all of whom have listed the five books that most influenced them. (I wonder which characters they would say they’ve become most like…)
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