Reading You Like a Book

Some are very fussy about their books, refusing to read anything outside of a particular genre or subject matter. Others read indiscriminately, devouring volume after volume without pattern or preference. Many read only on occasion or when work or study demands it. And then there are those who simply don't read at all if they can avoid it.

But for those who do read, not just out of necessity, but for the sheer pleasure and relaxation it affords, finding a good book is almost like making a new friend. There's a sense of simultaneous familiarity and discovery. It's as if a window has opened into a previously unimagined world, but one you sensed was waiting for you all along. Sometimes it's almost as if the book has chosen you.

1. A book lies open in front of you. What type of story does it contain?

2. You begin to read and soon find that you yourself are a character in the story. What kind of role do you play?

3. You read further and come to a section where the pages have been damaged, making them nearly impossible to read. What part of the story is it?

4. You have just closed the cover after finishing the book. How was the ending?

The Key to Reading You Like a Book

While reading habits and preferences may vary widely from person to person, we all share a common experience in which books and reading were an inevitable part of life: our school years. In our culture, books and school are inextricably linked, and the answers you gave in response to this scenario likewise echo your own experiences during school.

1. The type of story you imagined reflects your general impression of your school years.

Does your answer suggest you lived through a comedy, a mystery, or a romance? Then again, who among us didn't?

Or perhaps it was an erotic novel? Either you were a very precocious child or you had an overactive imagination.

A Shakespearean tragedy? The fact that you survived all five acts has added nobility to your character.

2. The role you saw yourself in is the image you have of yourself in your time as a student.

Were you the star of the tale? A sidekick? Comic relief? Or no more than a bit player with only a single line of dialogue on page 283? It may just be that your character was being developed for the sequel.

3. The scene described in the damaged pages mirrors a situation in which you were hurt during your youth. Broken hearts can hurt as much as an act of violence, and even seemingly minor traumas can take a lifetime to heal. Although at first there might not seem to be any immediate connection to your life, if you think back to your past, it's more than likely you'll find some buried painful memory associated with the scene.

4. The ending of the story is an expression of your feelings of closure (or a lack thereof) regarding your days spent at school.

Did you answer something like "And they rode off into the sunset to live happily ever after"? A little clichéd, perhaps, but you can't argue with success.

Perhaps you envisioned a story in which your character dies in the end? It's likely you greeted your graduation as a chance to be reborn into a new life.

Or was the ending a cliff-hanging "To be continued . . ."? In a way, that's the most accurate response you could give. You'll just have to wait and see how the next episode turns out.

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