A unique blog dedicated to covering the worlds of book publishing and the news media, revealing creative ideas, practical strategies, interesting stories, and provocative opinions. Along the way, discover savvy but entertaining insights on book marketing, public relations, branding, and advertising from a veteran of two decades in the industry of book publishing publicity and marketing.
Sunday, June 3, 2018
Are We The Books We Read?
the world is mapped and accounted for in the wrong way. Perhaps we haven’t adequately profiled the
planet the way it really needs to be.
about it. All kinds of books of
statistics, demographics, and facts seek to sum up life in a neat way -- who we are
and what our world is -- but I think we are the undefined, the unquantifiable,
the unrecorded. It is that very image that we really need to formulate if we are
to adequately fix the world.
too often we look to data and formulas to craft a picture of things. We divide people by so many factors – gender
identity race, religion, sexual preferences, size, wealth, geography etc. There’s our health and genes. There’s the fact of being a dog owner or
having two siblings or being a vegan. If
you look at enough data points of our physical status, mental faculties, I.Q.,
history of behavior, and other factors, one can create a profile of you and
possibly predict your behaviors and views under certain circumstances. Marketers, sociologists, politicians, and psychologists depend on such predictability in order to cash-in, plan cities, save lives, or prevent
disasters – not to mention decide elections and other important events.
we simply tell who someone is by the books he or she reads, assuming such data
could be accumulated in a single database?
of all the sources you have for books:
from stores, Amazon, elsewhere
from a friend
as a gift
visiting a house or hotel
copies handed to you or found online
an accurate and complete list be kept?
If so, what would it say about that person?
because one comes across a book doesn’t mean he reads it – fully or at all –
and just because he reads it doesn’t mean he agrees with all or any of it.
the order or age in which you read matter?
What you read at age 15 as a school assignment is not the same as what
you select to read at that age. And if
you read a book and it’s only the tenth book you’ve read vs. your 300th,
will it impact you differently than if the order of what your read was
we will draw some conclusions about people based on what they read – and
especially about what they don’t read.
If your bookshelf is devoid of books on Christian heroes, horses,
knitting, slavery, or fishing, some conclusions can be made. And if you have read only 20 books by age 30
vs. 200, other conclusions can be made.
regardless of our book detective work, we must realize that the sampling is
incomplete, in part because many of us have not exposed ourselves to books we
may like, even love, in part because of money, convenience, ignorance,
prejudice, misinformation, and a hundred other reasons.
will say this: We are the books we read.
But it’s a temporary definition.
The minute you read another book, who we are changes. We are made better, smarter, and more by
reading another book. Who we become may end up being different from who we’ve
been or seem to be, and the books we read contribute a big piece to how we are
defined and how we define the world around us.
are only as good as the fantasies we contemplate, the experiences we have, the
wisdom we ascertain from others, and the environmental models we surround
ourselves with. Read a book, and take a
step closer to who you really are. But
don’t always think you know someone by the books they read.