There is a theory doing the rounds at the moment. It’s based on Carl Jung’s notion of personality types, claiming that it’s possible to gain an insight into a person’s character by the books they have lying around. Another crackpot theory?

I suppose it’s possible to deduce if they are an outdoors-type person. Or an academic. Or if they are the sort of individual interested in adventure and escapism. But their personality?

So, see what you can draw from this. At the moment there is a collapsing tower of 23 books on my bedside cabinet. Titles include such things as “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury, O’ Henry’s Short Stories, and Body Language by Robert Phipps (with a chapter on Lie Detection which I contributed.) All sensible stuff, really.

But there is also a copy of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Chess, and three different editions of The Reader’s Digest. I’m not even going to mention the mentalism books, but will give you a further pointer by telling you that the whole thing is topped off by an old, well-thumbed copy of The Complete Sherlock Holmes which I’ve had since I was 14-years old.

Enough to be going with? Are you beginning to form a psychological profile based on my reading matter? No?

Well, there is also the massive Times Complete History of the World (Rather sadly, I have noticed a major mistake in that book. According to the author, the ex-president of Zambia, Kenneth Kaunda, was born in 1924 and died in 1997. Well, that will come as something of a surprise to him as I spoke to him last year. I can call him on his mobile if you want me to check.)

Other books in the bedside pile include The Nations’ Favourite Poems and an Ian Rankin novel.

Most of these books have various ticket stubs and playing cards acting as bookmarks. So, they are either being read, or are intended to be read, but I’ve closed it and started on something else.

Just to confuse things further, I now have a Kindle e-book reader that contains at least 40 books which I have downloaded from the internet. (Try reading THAT in the bath!)

So, have you deduced my personality type from all this information? Well, if you said that I am somebody who flits from one thing to another, is completely disorganised, and has too much time on his hands then you’re almost there. And you are absolutely correct if you think I am somebody who should be moving most of his reading material to the charity shop in a wheelbarrow. Or just setting a match to it all.

Seems the theory works, then.


Drew McAdam


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