Sep 04 2011

You can learn a lot about a person from their bookcase

What does this say about me? (click here for huge version)Other than I obviously went shopping at Ikea.


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  1. 1
    Melissa E

    “Bug Sex”? It says more about you than I ever wanted to know ;) ;) ;) Of course, looking at MY book case, you might mistake me for a theologian… “The Basics of New Testament Syntax,” etc.

  2. 2
    Karl Winkelman

    Hmmm.  Was that Dune book never returned to the Library?

  3. 3
    Beyond Dimensions

    Is that the jesus with the little rollers on the bottom of his feet that has “gliding and water walking action”? If so, I totally have that action figure mint. :D

  4. 4
    Ben Crockett

    It says you have a lot of the same books that I do. (Hooray for The Ancestor’s Tale!)

  5. 5
    David's Not Here

    That you buy books you’ll actually read rather than those that look nice on a shelf? (I’m guilty of that…)

  6. 6

    I think that says “Big Sex,” and I’d love to know the full author and title.Oh, and I have a lot of those books too.  The one by Brian Greene was easily recognizable.

  7. 7
    Jln Francisco

    You really like normal type pokemon.

  8. 8
    Charles Hollingshead

    Yeah, it’s says we should be friends on GoodReads.

  9. 9
    Alexander Johannesen

    Yes! A Herbert fan, not a Dune zealot (at least not exclusively)! FH was brilliant *outside* of Dune as well, where “White Plague” is one of the better ones. Thanks for the reminder!

  10. 10

    May be writing down all the books you have for a future reading list. /creepalso holy geez i want to hang out with you.

  11. 11

    Degree,  As Nature Made Him, Sexology, The Fabric of The Cosmos = SmartPokemon, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter = NerdBooks by Dawkins, Harris, and Sagan = AtheistJesus figurine next to Dawkins books = WisenheimerName on Degree = Female

  12. 12
    Adam Esch

    Our bookshelves are eerily similar.

  13. 13
    Brent Royal-Gordon

    Can’t fault any of your selections, but that is not nearly enough books.

  14. 14
    Lance Finney

    Two copies of Ray Comfort’s bastardization?You have me beat on that.But are either of yours signed by PZ, Greta, Nickell, and Randi?

  15. 15
    Samantha Grover

    I see intelligent and fun.  I also see that Purdue has not changed their diploma formatsince 1986, when my hubby got his.  Sam

  16. 16

    It says that you need several hundred more books.

  17. 17

    “Big Sex, Little Death”Susie Bright

  18. 18

    You have an absolutely appalling lack of Heinlein novels?

  19. 19

    What, no Terry Pratchett?

  20. 20
    Carl Viñas

    I have that same bookcase, except it’s filled with computer parts. >_>

  21. 21
    Carol Thomas

    Giant Microbes(TM) rock!

  22. 22
    Pieter B

    Went to Purdue.Went to IKEA.Don’t own enough books.

  23. 23

    It says that we’re soul sisters. Potter, LOTR, Douglas Adams, and–most importantly–the almighty Neil Gaiman.

  24. 24

    “I find your lack of Star Wars disturbing.”…or is it bad form to misquote Darth Vader’s ‘lack of faith’ line to an atheist? (even if the ‘pants’ game is true on that line?)

  25. 25

    Bookcase.Singular?Pfft. :3

  26. 26
    Ben Tegland

    Jen, I am happy I am not the only godless geek with “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrel ” on my bookshelf. I loved that book. It was a beast to get through, almost as big as a bible, but I loved every min. reading it. Have you read Clarke’s short story anthology — The Ladies of Grace Adieu?? It was great as well.

  27. 27

    There’s at least three godless geeks with it! :D

  28. 28

    Not even the Ken Ham book? :)

  29. 29

    Ugh Sam Harris.Also Pokemon.

  30. 30

    Conclusions:You are not a book geek. You put sex books next to Dawkins, not sure what Freud would say about that. You haven’t a single shred of OCD in your body or the lack of a hardcover “Sorcerer’s Stone” to complete your HP set would be annoying you immensely. Surprising utter lack of Doctor Who references for an Adams/Gaiman fan. 

  31. 31

    You mean beyond your excellent taste in reading material?  I’d say that’s a bookshelf of +5 awesomeness.

  32. 32

    Can’t tell. Not enough books.

  33. 33

    By the way, do you know any materials science people?  I ask because I want to test my hypothesis that the cardboard they make Ikea boxes out of has a coefficient of friction lower than that of polished diamond, but I don’t have any to hand. >.>

  34. 34
    Al Y

    Needs more Catch-22. Big time.

  35. 35

    Your bookcase states “too few books”.  :p  I have three bookcases to the right of me, all overflowing with books.  A lot of general non-fiction, but some sci-fi, some fantasy, and some fiction.  I think the only plushie I have is the herpes one (google “giant plush microbes” for a source).While you are a remarkable person, I am starting to wonder about you.  You have far too few books in your household.  ;)But you get a plus for going to Ikea.  Cheap big-box store bookcases in the US tend to deform under the weight of the books, I’ve discovered, much to my dismay.

  36. 36

    I still have a lot of books back home in Indiana.

  37. 37

    Four! I also have the book with short stories!!!

  38. 38
    Elin Nilsson

    Tells me that you have a very small bookcase. Where are all your books!??! I have three bookcases twice the size of that one and they’re full >.<

  39. 39

    You haven’t a single shred of OCD in your body

    The meticulously uncluttered and organized space would kind of shoot that down. O.o

  40. 40

    For my own part, the concept of Ikea kind of bugs me, as does the marketing and the stupid gimmicks like having to go through all the little stuff to get to the boxed *furniture*.  On the other hand, they seem to be the only furniture manufacturer on earth who has heard of this strange and wondrous invention called a “baseboard.” >.>

  41. 41
    Anna Jobsis

    Lord of the Rings with movie blargh all over the spines?! … HOW COULD YOU??!

  42. 42
    Anna Jobsis

    Also: is life of pi any good? I’ve been eyeing it for quite some time.

  43. 43
    Svlad Cjelli

    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell!But where are The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories?

  44. 44
    Svlad Cjelli

    It also tells me that Mickey is in poor health.

  45. 45
    Simon Faber

    As said before, no Pratchett.Heresy.

  46. 46

    Yeah, there are things other than books on the shelves, and there’s nothing on the floor. Not nearly enough books.

  47. 47

    Let’s see… pretending I didn’t know who this bookcase belonged to:Female; Educated (big ol’ science nerd); probably an atheist, or at least a freethinker; not shy about sex; likes pokemon and sci-fi; owns a pirate hat; has at least attempted to read the Silmarillion (if you have actually read it all, you’re a better person than I).In short: “The person who owns this bookshelf is AWESOME.”There’s a website idea in this: whatdoesmybookshelfsay.com or something :)

  48. 48

    Missing ‘Neverwhere’, by Neil Gaiman. Otherwise I whole-fistedly approve.

  49. 49
    Beth Z

    Obviously that you don’t have enough books! There can’t be more than, what, 50 or so volumes there?

  50. 50
    Beth Z

    It’s an interesting read, I’ll give it that. Rather weird, though.

  51. 51

    Five. Both it and The Ladies of Grace Adieu are great.

  52. 52

    At least I’m not the only one who likes Harry Potter, LOTR and Jesus action figures O.0

  53. 53

    I know, right? I was just about to inform her that she needs to read more Pratchett.

  54. 54

    In 72 I flew from Illinois to Washington DC with one suitcase for what I thought was a job interview. I was hired on the spot and put to work. No books except the one I read on the plane. It happens to people, I had over a 1000 in Illinois.

  55. 55
    The Artful Nudger

    I agree on both counts.  I was hoping that wasn’t your only bookshelf.(And I see from a subsequent post that it’s not!  Hooray!  You’d mentioned reading Pratchett in the past, so that was my suspicion.)

  56. 56

    Which Fluxx is that?

  57. 57


  58. 58
    Adam Lee

    I also read both and enjoyed them a lot.

  59. 59
    Adam Lee

    I didn’t know there was a pirate version! I have the original and Eco-Fluxx, but the games tend to take too long when I mix decks together.

  60. 60

    Haha, I bought it at a library book sale.

  61. 61

    Nope, it’s Jesus with glow in the dark hands.

  62. 62

    I actually haven’t read it yet – I’m borrowing it from a friend!

  63. 63

    …I’ve actually only read Good Omens, which is back home in Indiana >_>

  64. 64

    I actually haven’t read Jonathan Strange yet – I bought for like 50 cents at a book sale and never got around to it. One day!

  65. 65

    Yeah, not everything on the shelf is something I’ve enjoyed…

  66. 66

    Every time I move and have to put my books away, my paperback copy of Sorcerer’s stone annoys me. Then I see something shiny and promptly forget about it.

  67. 67

    …I didn’t read LotR until after I saw the first movie. I was 13 >_>

  68. 68

    I enjoyed it. Not my favorite book ever, but worth the read.

  69. 69

    I actually like Zombie Fluxx a little more than the Pirate one.

  70. 70

    It’s so small.And tidy.Where are the Chick Tracts?Is that the new Mickey Mouse tailored for the US market?I actually have that unit. Even with the same birch finish. I put wheels on it, but in the end I’ve never moved it …

  71. 71

    Does anyone else here feels discouraged from buying science fiction because of the terribly cheesy cover art? It’s like a plague, and pretty exclusive to science fiction.

  72. 72

    I didn’t know there was a Pirate one, either.  We like Zombie Fluxx here, but were uninspired by Stoner Fluxx.  But then, we’re not stoners.  We haven’t yet tried substituting beer/wine/whiskey for blunts/doobies/mary jane.

  73. 73

    One of my favorite books ever…  When I heard HBO was making a series based on American Gods, I was only disappointed that it wasn’t Jonathon Strange instead.  Especially after seeing Game of Thrones, I think it would be possible to do a great series based on JS & Mr N.

  74. 74

    Hell yeah, Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell! I adore that book. It’s a pity that I can’t goad any of my friends into reading it, and just resolve myself to pestering people on the Internet about it.I enjoyed the Ladies of Grace Adieu, particularly “The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse.”

  75. 75

    Ohey, I made one of those FSMs! :D

  76. 76

    You really need to, well worth it…

  77. 77

    I think science fiction has -always- had cheesy cover art – have you seen some of the novels from the 1940s-50s? Dripping with cheese! :)

  78. 78

    That makes me feel…old.

  79. 79

    Yeah – talk to me when you are contemplating which wall of your house to convert to shelving next (currently, I am up to 2.75 walls or so – each about 12 x 8 feet; around a few hundred linear feet total or so)…

  80. 80

    I don’t see a copy of House of Leaves in there (seriously, every good home library needs a copy of that book, if only to confound your friends and loved ones)…

  81. 81

    Fortunately I haven’t. But thanks for the warning :-D

  82. 82
    Erika Nolen

    Great post, I concur completely and appreciate the time you took to write it. Cheers!

  83. 83
    Anna Jobsis

    NO EXCUSE! I was 11 when I read the hobbit. ;-)

  84. 84
    Anna Jobsis

    Hey! I’m a Dune zealot! (well, original series – the son’s contributions suck ass).

  85. 85
    Anna Jobsis

    Dune pretty much confirmed to me that I was an atheist. I LOVE, love the orig. Dune series.

  86. 86
    Anna Jobsis

    I’ve read Hobbit, Silmarillion, LOTR, Tolkien’s letters & Histories of Middle-earth (all of them).  I might be a little puritanical.

  87. 87
    Eamonn Murray

    Very similar in book choices but no Hemingway ? You should really have for “Whom the bell tolls” on the shelf :-)

  88. 88

    Hot geek chick.

  89. 89

    You don’t have enough books!

  90. 90

    Sex, atheism, spec-fic, and woven versions of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.I guess your local Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t have much chance, do they?

  91. 91

    This says that you have nowhere near enough books, go out and get some more, about another 4 or 5 thousand should be enough for a start.

  92. 92
    Ben Tegland

    Good deal, I actually came across my copy of it at a Dollar Tree store of all places. I was never able to find another copy for a buck . . . but you beat me!Once you start reading it, I am sure you will be hooked!

  93. 93
    Ben Tegland

    Yeah, there is supposed to be a movie in the works…… but who knows if it will happen. I think it would make a better series as well. Thanks to the mass of the book.

  94. 94
    Ben Tegland

    I continually check online to see if there is any news about upcoming novels…. I cannot wait!

  95. 95

    Michael Crichton!?!  You’re a global warming denialist. ; )Also, not enough atheist books. : )

  96. 96

    It says… 1. you need a Kindle and 2. you seem to be missing http://www.amazon.com/Kushiels

  97. 97

    That your middle name is Christina. :P

  98. 98

    You don’t have very many books.

  99. 99

    Well, the fact that you have Mostly Harmless means you have awful taste in books. I mean, really, any sensible person ends that series with “We apologize for the inconvenience.”

  100. 100
    Steve Corbin

    It says you have an awesome brain, and that, barring HP, you’re the type of person I enjoy discussing books with. (Not to hate on HP; just not my thing)

  101. 101
    Jeff van Booven

    If your only option is to measure the amount of books you have by weight, you’re on the right track. Though, such levels of books do make it a pain to move.

  102. 102

    Unfortunately, the Harry Potter series, while decent in and of itself, got loaded up with so much hype that the writing would have required a level of “solidness” on a par with the forces that hold atoms together in order to withstand the strain.

  103. 103


  104. 104
    Ani Sharmin

    It shows me that your bookshelf is made of awesome.  I like that a whole section is taken up by Harry Potter books and that you have action figures on your bookshelf.  In response to your comment above, I also watched the Lord of the Rings movies before reading the books.  (I started reading The Hobbit after the first movie was released.)I’ve also concluded, as others have above, that you should have more books.  As a student myself, though, I understand that that’s not always financially feasible — that’s why I love used book sales.Happy reading!

  105. 105
    Stelaze pod materac

    Good post however I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? Id be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Many thanks!

  106. 106

    I see that you dressed up as a pirate for some occasion ;) you seem to have a youthful side :)

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