A couple of weeks ago, one of my friends passed on this website hosted by Scholastic, called You Are What You Read. Intrigued (obviously), I promptly investigated. Scholastic invented a brand new word on which to base their project:
bookprint [book-print] noun: The list of books that leave an indelible mark on our lives, shaping who we are and who we become.
Okay, so as cheesy as it might sound, it’s actually a pretty cool idea. To readers, books really are an incredibly important part of who we are. The purpose of reading is to further your understanding of both the world and yourself and to see meaning in what before may have been unremarkable or elusive. That books can shape perception as well as action is a truth that needs no expansion. There are some books that I’ve read time and time again, each time as enjoyable as the last. Others I’ll get through only once, but these too can stick with me, usefully popping up for new situations or discussions forever after.
Personal and internal importance aside, books are often also a way of connecting to others- whether it’s in a mutual love or excitement over a particular tome or a fierce disagreement. While choosing only 5 is a really difficult task (so many choices- immediately overwhelmed!), once the books have been narrowed down, you can see who else has been similarly affected by the same words.
Also interesting are the lists of popular titles. The “Most Listed” list differs from the “Most Liked” in parts- obviously you don’t have to necessarily like a book to be marked by it.
I’m really interested to know what your “bookprint” would be if you could only have 5. Also, would it matter that Bill Clinton values The Invisible Man or that Taylor Swift was affected by Charlotte’s Web (or that Daniel Radcliffe’s life was changed by Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone…)? Because they all have profiles and Scholastic is conveniently making it easy for your favorite famous people to show you that they like reading, too.
In any case, I really enjoyed exploring the site (though I’m still working on my own list!) and if nothing else, there’s little I like more to look at then lots and lots of book covers all lined up.