As I read about her as an editor, her character and personality traits became clearer than from anything I have ever read about her high-profile life. The knowledge of her through her books prompted me to look through my own reading lists to see what the books reveal about me. The countless readings of my all-time favorite young people's novel, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, reveals my love of Michelangelo (I have read The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone three times), my fascination with art history, my dream of spending a night in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Perhaps my love of Don Freeman's Corduroy says much the same about being able to stay overnight in a department store like Macy's. The multiple readings of To Kill a Mockingbird reveal my admiration for people who stand up for what is right, maintaining dignity and calm for those involved.
What do our book choices and shelves tell about us? A great deal, I think. With students, I learn their preferences and find new things for them to read and titles that will extend their interests. Take time to observe others' choices and ponder what they tell about them.