Thoughts From Guys On Our IM: What He Thinks About What You’re Reading

What you read says a lot about you — and to the dude you’re trying to date. We asked a bunch of our guy friends about what they love and loathe seeing on your bookshelves, and they had a lot to say. We’re not advocating that you alter your reading habits to make some guy happy (no friggin’ way), but this is what dudes might be thinking about you when they see what’s on your book shelf…

Books Dudes Love

Books About Sports They Enjoy: “If you happen to have read any cool soccer books, such as Brilliant Orange or The Glory Game, I think I’d be weirdly turned on.”

Your College Reading Materials: “I like seeing college/grad school reading materials.  Gives me insight into what she studied and may have a passion for.”

Rivka Galchen: Atmospheric Disturbances by Rivka Galchen is very funny and very weird yet somehow refreshingly non nerdy.  It also shows a lady who’s up to date with her fiction without having to carry the Strand tote to prove it.”

2666 or Any Other Roberto Bolano: “I’ve come to realize that Thomas Pynchon is asking way, WAY too much, and this is Pynchon stripped of all the obtuse geekiness anyways.  Tremendous scope/vision, multicultural highs and lows, and creeping suspense that slowly pulls you in.  All Sr. Bolano’s lengthiness just proves that you’re intellectual curious and that you actually do love to read.”

Sociological Stuff: Like Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha. “I’m interested in what’s behind the codes of conduct culture has prescribed for itself, from dress to religion to art to sexual conduct. Books on on all these topics interest me. Why we follow and attempt to follow the rules of society? Why and how were these rules thought up? We are animals and it intrigues me to deconstruct us for a better understanding, an objective view of what we are. If I saw a girl reading Sex at Dawn, I’d think, hmmm, that’s neat.”

Variety, Variety, Variety! “A nice variety of books is good to see. If Malcolm Gladwell was next to Steinbeck which was next to a fashion photo book which was next to Philp K. Dick.”

Philosophical Musings or Mysteries: “Some good Continental Philosophy or comp lit (say Foucault or something) would be intriguing, and there’s something about a woman who likes good mysteries or thrillers. If lady has any of Patricia Highsmith’s Tom Ripley books or John Le Carre laying around, sign me up.”

Whatever He Wants To Borrow: “There’s nothing specific. I’d like to see something I had read, good or bad, because anything to talk about is a prized dating possession, or something I’d like to borrow, because then I can save money.”

Lonesome Dove, obvs: “I once saw a woman reading Lonesome Dove on the subway and for that reason alone I became aroused.”

Game of Thrones and Other Sci-Fi/Fantasy Stuff: Game of Thrones is a turn on ’cause she is  probably into metal as well. Also, sci-fi is a big yes. It means she has an imagination and probably has a thing or two to say about science and philosophy.”

“Sci-fi/fantasy stuff I nerded out to as a kid would probably make me warm to her. Narnia books, or Wrinkle in Time, or the White Mountains. Or the His Dark Materials books (which I nerded out to not as a kid.)”

Books About The Sausage Industry:All About Sausage by Ellen Edwards & Oscar Mayer.” 

Anything, Really: “Frankly, I’m happy to see any books on a woman’s shelf/bedside table/wherever. It’s appalling how little people read. I’d rather see a girl read something as awful as the Twilight series before bed rather than be forced to watch a ‘Real Housewives of Wherever.'”

Books Dudes Hate

Nicholas Sparks: “I wouldn’t leave anything by Nicholas Sparks out on the coffee table. We know you are all hopeless romantics who wish we were Ryan Gosling — you don’t need to call extra attention to it.”

Harry Potter: “Hate seeing Harry Potter or Twilight. Grow up. Or store that stuff with the other things you should be embarrassed to display in public.”

“I don’t want to see any Harry Potters. Not because I have problem with a grown up reading it but if it’s on the shelf, I feel like she’s going to want to talk about it, which sounds like a whole thing.

Super Obscure Stuff. Or Twilight. “If a bookshelf was full of super obscure books it could be seen as pretentious? Intimidating? On the other hand, if it was full of Twilight/teen saga books I dont think I could take her seriously.”

Ayn Rand: “I’d be really disappointed to see any Ayn Rand on a lady’s nightstand. Intellectual sociopathy is NOT a turn on.”

Continental Philosophy: “I like Sartre but if I see a girl reading him I usually think she’s a bummer.”

Ann Coulter: “Saw a woman reading a book by Ann Coulter called Demonic. Immediately makes me think someone is a dick and very, very high maintenance.”

Kid Books: “I wouldn’t necessarily be put off by Twilight or 50 Shades of Gray. Sometimes you just want to read what other people are talking about to see what the deal is, and sometimes you just need an unchallenging distraction for a few weeks. But if her bookshelf was all super mass market guilty pleasures written at a sixth grade reading level, that would be pretty bad news.”

Eat Pray Love/Devil Wears Prada/Nearly Anything with Wedding or Chocolate in the title: “Contrary to appearances these are not books.  Just very long, self involved Cosmo articles that make me think you as a lady reading them still believe you be swept off your feet by a slightly more broad shouldered version of your best gay friend in high school.”

Charles Bukowski: “Your daddy issues are showing and you clearly think you should be dating an alcoholic mountain gorilla.”