Genre & Personality: A Survey

I saw an article on Facebook the other day with a headline about how people who like certain book genres are more likely to have more flexible moral codes than those who like other genres. I didn’t click on the article, so don’t ask me what the statistics are, but it did get me thinking about my favorite genres and how our personalities might affect what we’re drawn to, or how certain genres might shape us.

My favorite genres are definitely fantasy and science fiction (light to moderate sci-fi; I can only take so much jargon). I’m open to contemporary or historical fiction, but the majority of my personal library belongs in the first two categories.

Personality-wise, I would describe myself as more of a right-brain than a left. I would pick English and History over Math and Science classes any day. A love of fantasy makes sense for a right-brain, as creativity and imagination make it easier to suspend disbelief, but sci-fi is one of those weird genres that could skew toward left or right, depending on how it’s presented. I suppose less jargon and technical knowledge might equal more right-brain friendly…

Compare that to one of my best friends, who was always the left brain to my right brain growing up. I’m not even exaggerating; we were a walking example of this dynamic. She helped me with math homework and I convinced her to shoot a Frankenstein movie for our English project. She convinced me to try the Robotics team in jr. high, and I roped her into a parody of The Ring for a summer school video production project.

Her book tastes, however, belie that analytical, math-loving mind. She loves Nicholas Sparks. Her recommendations to me have almost always been his books or something in the vein of contemporary fiction. I get why a fantasy novel wouldn’t be her first pick, but between the two of us, I was surprised to realize I would be the one more likely to pick up something about a near-future robot uprising. Then again, maybe the lack of realism counters any math/science subject matter that might appeal to a left-brain.

Two of my other besties have book tastes more closely aligned with mine and, wouldn’t you know it, they’re also more right-brained. One of them hates math more than I do, and the other is actually an English teacher now! The latter is more open to reading any genre, but I know some of her favorites are definitely fantasy. The former is the one I can always count on for any Game of Thrones scoop, though I’d wager she’s got plenty of sci-fi and political thrillers on her bookshelf too.

This is a very small group from which to discern any real knowledge, so I’m curious where everyone else stands. Let me know in the comments whether you’d describe yourself as left or right-brained, your favorite book genres, and which class you preferred in school: Math, Science, English, or History.

It’s not a very scientific survey, but maybe we’ll see some interesting patterns emerge! Either way, I think we can all agree it’s fun to talk about books, so there’s no harm done.

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