One's movies, music or books...what reveals most?

If you had to pick someone (previously unknown to you) to hang out with based on their collection of music, movies or books, upon which group would you base your choice and why?


Books: as I can collect any number of movies for different moods…sappy romance, adventure, blood & guts, cops and robbers [and/or indians] because they are movies. They are 90 minutes [except lord of the rings] of visuals.

Books ont he other hand…take exponentially longer to read, and therefore require a longer attention span and by default a longer capability of interest. If I’m in the mood for a sappy movie [rarely] I will watch one. However, I will never pick up a smutty fabio novel to fill this temporary void. So Ilook at someones books to see if I would like to hang out with them. If I see the entire Robert Jordan Collection with a smattering of Arthur C Clarke I would think something completely different than if I saw Danielle Steele’s entire collection on someones bookshelf. Also, Bookshelves usually hold other things [trinckets] that will give me a good barometer of what is in a persons soul. At least ours do.

Music, same as movies, sans the visuals.

Books definately.

Music for many people is background noise, and they may be very into it, or they may not. Sort of the same for movies - could well be chosen to please a wider group of people. Books on the other hand are chosen just for that person, and require full concentration to read, so the level of personal involvement is higher.

Books! I tried to think of it the other way around, how would I prefer people to choose to hang out with me. The answer is definitely books.
I read a lot and always have done, my books reflect nearly 40 years of me.
I have lots of movies and music, but I tend to buy these in phases. They give you a good idea of where I have been at certain points in my life, but the books give a more consistent, comprehensive picture.

Whichever collection is largest will give the most information, so that’s the one.

I would tend to go with movies, but it really depends on the person. Take me, for instance. I do most of my reading on backlit screens, so half my books remain unread, and a certain number of those were gifts. All my movies, on the other hand, are titles I specifically sought out. I suppose there are people for whom the converse is true.

Books. Preferably lots of them.

I’m gonna go with movies.

I have read a lot of books that don’t reflect my views. A lot. I have both a bible and a Koran, and several other ‘religious’ texts, but am not at all religious. I have lots of books that oppose my political or social views, because I like to see the other side of topics. So I have Bill O’Reilly, Al Franken, David Moore, whatever on my shelf.

I think it would be hard for someone to learn what’s up with me through my bookshelf.

And my music is all across the map. A person looking at my collection would pick up fairly quickly that I am a huge reggae fan, but they would be wrong if they thought reggae/dancehall was my favorite music, just because it represents about 80% of my collection. The truth is, Hip-hop has my heart, and I also love the old blues singers, classical music, pop music, techno, house music, etc…

Now, movies! Movies would be a good indicator. There is no way I will get up and go see a movie, or go out of my way to rent one unless I really am interested in what that movie has to offer. And it is something we are more likely to do just because we want to, not because we need information, which is why I sometimes read books.

If others are at all like me, then movies are the way to figure them out.

My book collection tells people I am into
Religion, Politics, Horror, Fantasy, SciFi, Humor, Paranormal, Weirdness, Poetry.

My movie collection leaves out the Politics.

My music collection leaves out the politics & paranormal, but adds the Estrogen (I have lots of Sarah MacL, Tori A, Kate B, Enya, etc.)

I opt for looking at a persons books if I have to look at only one collection.

Btw, one shelf alone-

Bio of Dwight L. Moody, The Apocryphal books, Bible prophecy, Hitchikers Guide to the Universe set, Uri Geller, Tesla, Ayn Rand, Donnelly’s Atlantis, Von Daniken, World Lit Treasury, Great Pyramid, World Almanac, Bible Dictionary, Koran, Walker Percy, Egyptian & Tibetan Books of the Dead, Bhagavad-Gita, Herbert W. Armstrong, C.S. Lewis, Stephen King, Oral Roberts, Illiad, Annie Besant, Last Temptation of Christ, Kabbalah

Next shelf- Albert Pike, Aleister Crowley, George Adamski, Vampires, Shakespeare, Pilgrims Progress, Fulton J. Sheen, Cults, Taylor Caldwell, Hal Lindsey, Book of Revelation commentaries, Book of Mormon, Stonehenge

Next shelf- Crime, Little Orphan Annie, Monsters, Scientology, Bible history, Bible stories, Man Myth & Magic set, Bettie Page, The Golden Bough One Volume.

Friggin’ statisticians.

Actual answer:

I’m going to take a slightly different take, or at least spell something out that some of you have hinted at:

My books reflect what I think about, and my CDs are more about my emotional life. I will readily buy either one of those on a whim. Movies, OTOH, are very carefully thought-out purchases; I almost never buy a movie I haven’t already seen, because I only buy movies I know I will want to watch whenever I want, multiple times over the years. (Otherwise I just Netflix it.)

So – do I want people to know about my intellectual life or my emotional life? Depends who it is. And which do I want to know about someone whose home I’m snooping through? Depends who it is.

Ah, what if their movie collection is larger than both music and books? Then that is a person I’m probably not all that intersted in getting to know.

I don’t care about movies, and I’m easy going about music, but I have an intimate and emotional relationship with books.

I once ahem “missed the last train” so that I had to spend the night at a really cute new acquaintance’s place, and we had to share a bed because it was a rooming house, right? When I realized the only books my new friend owned were a textbook and a Danielle Steele, I instantly lost any interest I’d had in a sexual encounter.

Based only on myself, I would have to go with movies. The movies I own have all been carefully chosen and I only buy ones that I am fairly sure I will want to see over and over again. There are some movies that I will bring up in conversation specifically to test whether an acquaintance could become a close friend.

My music is all over the map, but some of it I’ve gotten as gifts or on a whim, so it doesn’t give as much information about me as my movies.

I agree that books do tell a great deal about a person, but in my case I’ve always lived five or ten minutes away from large libraries, so it ends up that I don’t actually own some of my favorite and most read books. And again, some of the books I do own I’ve only purchased because of classes and I keep them on my shelves because I like the persona they help create (such as The Republic).

Actually, I think that for others, I’d have to consider whatever they talk about most to be the most revealing of their personalities.

I’m glad I didn’t actually consider this when I met my wife.

I like Miles Davis, Wes Montgomery, Steve Morse.
She likes ABBA, Kenny G.

At the moment I am reading books by Alan Greenspan and Michio Kaku.
I don’t know what she’s reading but there was a part that made her cry.

And none of it really matters.

That you didn’t have a lot of books might not tell me about your reading tastes, but it might tell me something about your reading habits that I found meaningful.

Of the choices you listed, for me: music.

I have read many books and seen many movies. Music, though, has meant the most to me. In my darkest and happiest moments, music has been my refuge and release.

If the question is which one I’d examine to find like-minded people, I’d choose books, for the reasons already mentioned. Reading choices will generally tell you what “genre” of person you’re dealing with, while music and movies are much more varied among individuals, especially when you account for the differences in how much a particular person will care about either. (You could say the same for books, and it’d be valid, but I’d argue that the extra time and effort required to read something makes selections a lot less haphazard.)

On the other hand, if we’re talking about which one I’d like potential friends to know about me, I’m going to have to go with music. My taste in movies is all over the place, as I have about sixteen different ways to “like” a movie, so it’s fairly meaningless if you don’t know my reasoning. My reading selections these days tend to be philosophical, religious, or political nonfiction espousing viewpoints I hate, which I read so that I can argue against them from an informed position (I’m currently working through a highly-worn collection of essays on pragmatism…worn, because I read about three pages in any given sitting before throwing it against a wall). Because of this, anyone who’d choose me as a likely “friend” based on book selections is probably not going to be anyone I want to spend time around.

Excluding the “books on tape” phenomenon, which isn’t really reading anyway, reading books remains a solitary, private, and quiet phenomenon.

Movies are more intrusive, but unless you’re a proponent of watching them on your iPod or whatever, movie-watching remains largely confined to the TV area. That, and transcontinental flights. I can deal with that.

But music is the most invasive and publically shared art form, excluding the likes of architecture, automotive design, and fashion. And due to the inescapable aspect of sound, as well as the emotional content of music, music has an unrivalled capacity to either please you or annoy you – either way, breaking through your personal Fortress of Solitude.

You can often strike a compromise with someone whose taste in movies differs significantly from yours… there’s going to be at least a few movies out there you both can agree on. But there isn’t that guarantee when it comes to musical tastes. I’ve known people who listened virtually exclusively to jazz, to reggae, to heavy metal, to a smorgasbord of punk, industrial, and oi!, to a bizarre combination of techno, acid jazz, and, in the winter, Christmas music [don’t ask]… and if you don’t think that’s a deal breaker, I’ve two words for you: road trip.

:smack: Crimminy, I forgot the boyfriend who listened to nothing but Bach. He truly believed that music has been going downhill since 1720 or so. :dubious: So there’s that charming anomaly…