Thursday, December 9, 2010

How Trendy a Reader Are You?

We love taking quizzes about ourselves. To judge from the things that whiz around Facebook or show up in magazines, we are the one topic guaranteed to fascinate ourselves. Even things like the Myers-Briggs are fun because they're all about us! I couldn't even take a nap the other day without my seven-year-old plying me with quiz questions from American Girl magazine: "Would you rather know what people or thinking OR be able to see the future? Would you rather have to make up a song in front of your class OR have to make up a dance?" What I discovered about myself was that, even more than thinking about myself, I would rather take a nap.

But as a little Christmas gift to my readers, I've got a quiz for you, inspired by Scholastic's list of "Ten Trends in Children's Books from 2010."

Have a go at this puppy and find out if you're a Trendy Reader:

1) I tend to choose my books based on:
a. What Oprah picks (10 pts)
b. What my friends are reading (5 pts)
c. Things I discover when browsing library or used bookstore shelves (2 pts)
d. I didn't read any books this year (0 pts)

2) Give yourself a point for each of the following books you've read OR purchased:
a. Jonathan Franzen's Freedom
b. Mockingjay
c. Tale of Two Cities
d. Autobiography of Mark Twain
e. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
f. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth
g. Sh*t My Dad Says
h. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
i. The Help
j. Fall of Giants
k. Eat Pray Love
l. Anything by David Sedaris or Chelsea Handler

3. How have you read your books in the past year? (If your answer is a combination, add 'em up!)
15 points: on my phone
10 points: on an iPad
8 points: on a Kindle
6 points: on another eReader
5 points: on my computer
2 points: by buying actual physical books
-5 points: from the library

4. How do you feel about children's picture books?
10 points: Hate 'em. Children should read Tolstoy from infancy.
5 points:   They're okay for preschoolers.
0 points:   Wonderful for all ages!

5. One point for each trend you've participated in, in the past year:
  • A work of dystopian fiction. Something set in a grim future where people fight for survival.
  • A work featuring either a vampire, werewolf, zombie, or other paranormal creature.
  • A work told from a dog's point of view.
  • A work featuring--surprise!--a highly dysfunctional traditional family and a gay couple with an ideal relationship.
  • A work featuring a mythological character or Greek God.
  • A work either inspired by a tv show/movie or one from which a tv show/movie sprang.
  • A book with lots of truly gratuitous sex.
  • A mash-up between a classic and a horror element (e.g., Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer)
  • A work taking a minor character from a classic and telling it from his POV
  • A work by a popular politician/talk show/news media host
Okay! How did you do? Tally up your points.

40+ points: Total, Sold-Out Trend-a-holic. Wherever the herd stampedes today, you are certain to be found. Silly Bands? Got 'em. Backyard chickens? You built the coop yourself. Oprah counts you among her faithful followers, and you wouldn't blink an eye if every bookstore in America went out of business because Costco, Target and the iBookstore have you covered.

20-40 points: Water-Cooler Wannabe. Discussions of the latest trends in books leave you a little sweaty, trying to keep up. Will someone guess you aren't sure which Collins wrote The Hunger Games and which one The Valley of the Dolls? Or that you're just now mastering how to spell Stephenie Meyers' name? Better put down the Christmas cookie and get with the program, Buddy!

0-20 points: Just Crawled Out From Under Your Rock for a Quick Look Around Before You Get Back Under. Wow. You're still reading your way down the bestseller list of the last millenium because that's what you find at garage sales for $0.25. You only wish you could find someone around to discuss How Green Was My Valley or The Winds of War, but they're all in nursing homes now. Just a tip--in about twenty years, when you finally get your hands on a copy, you are gonna love Life of Pi.

How'd ya do? Would love to know your results.


  1. EIGHT (8) whole points. Excuse me, I'm going to head back under my rock now!!

  2. I am afraid I also live under a rock. But frankly, Oprah, I don't give a d...!