We are what we read. Or at least that's what a new study from OnePoll suggests. Ever wondered what your favorite book genre says about you?
Researchers surveyed 2,000 Americans about their reading habits, vacation preferences and common personality quirks to see if the literary genres we gravitate toward reveal anything about our inner worlds. It turns out they do — and not necessarily in the way you might think.
It doesn't feel like a stretch to assume that a shelf full of romance books shows the owner is prone to vulnerability or that a stack of self-help titles on a bedside table indicates a certain level of introspection. Books are reflections of not just our interests but also our fears, desires and the way we see the world.
And seeing as how books are so brazenly displayed in homes and offices, one could even argue that they're how we want the world to see us.
Unlike zodiac signs assigned from birth, we choose the books we read and, therefore, the genres we identify with. Unlike personality quizzes designed to tell us who we are, the books we love reveal our own truths back at us. You can't fake a love for sci-fi or horror if you're not genuinely drawn to the intrigue of outer space or the thrill of being scared.
So, what does your go-to book genre really say about you? Read on to see what the study found.
Action and Adventure Readers Are the Most Generous Tippers
If you can't get enough of high-stakes action and daring exploits such as the ones in "After Death" by Dean Koontz, chances are you're the type of person who's always on the go. You likely value excitement and adrenaline, constantly seeking out new experiences and challenges.
But according to this study, there's another aspect of your personality that shines through in your love for action-adventure books: generosity. The research found that people who prefer adventure reads are more likely to tip over 20%.
Horror Readers Prefer to Vacation in Small Towns
Most horror stories are set in small, seemingly idyllic towns that turn out to have dark secrets lurking below the surface. According to this study, readers who love these types of creepy tales are more likely to choose vacation destinations that mimic this setting. If vacaying in a one-stoplight town with a population of 500 is your cup of tea, pack a book such as Gillian Flynn's "Dark Places" and hit the road.
Romance Readers Daydream the Most
This one seems like a no-brainer, right? Fans of books such as "The Seven Year Slip" by Ashley Poston are often portrayed as hopeless romantics who daydream about their next big love story. And, according to the study, there may be some truth to that stereotype.
The research found that 37% of romance readers are always daydreaming — although not all of those daydreams are happy ones. In fact, 49% of this group claims to worry on a regular basis. Completely unrelated, people into this genre are also most likely to enjoy family-friendly vacation spots.
Thriller and Historical Fiction Readers Spend More Time Reading
If you're a fan of suspenseful plot twists and historical events, chances are you spend more time reading than people who prefer other genres. The study found that thriller and historical fiction readers spend more time reading per week on average than any other genre.
This isn't too surprising, considering how downright addicting thrillers tend to be. And historical fiction books — such as "Demon Copperhead" by Barbara Kingsolver and "The Echo of Old Books" by Barbara Davis — require a bit more reading time since they tend to fall around 400-500 pages.
Biography Readers Worry the Least
Does reading about other people's lives make you less stressed about your own? Apparently, yes. According to the study, biography readers are the least likely to say they are in the "worries regularly" category compared with other genres. So if you're trying to chill out a bit, put down that self-help read and pick up a copy of a popular biography such as Willie Nelson's "It's a Long Story" or Dolly Parton's "My Life in Lyrics."
Other Interesting Tidbits
The survey also revealed other insights about people's reading habits. Respondents admitted to spending about 10 hours a week reading, though 45% admit they probably spend more time nose-deep in a book than that. The bed and the couch were the top two spots for reading, followed by traveling and on vacation.
But booking a trip just to read may not be necessary, considering that 47% of people consider books to be just as effective of an escape from real life as a vacation. While 3 out of 4 participants make sure to carve out reading time at home, romance and adventure readers plan to get through most of their TBR list while traveling.
No matter what title you're packing, 51% of people agreed that a good book is a vacation essential — and we couldn't agree more.
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