Do we become what we read?

Don’t we?

You become what you read. You write what you are. Is it really so? My thoughts are quite reluctant to agree with it. In fact, they, my thoughts, are red-blooded to hit the trial box of courtroom to justify themselves. So, the subject in question is ‘Does what we read shape us? And what we write reflects us?’ Let the trial process begin.

There had been times when I splurged my time on romantics. Yeah, I used to be a die-hard romantic. I still am but other stronger feelings and emotions have taken precedence over it, the romance. So, well, with the genre of romance, one of the most common names that run across one’s mind is of Nicholas Sparks. If you have read his work, you probably couldn’t disagree with me. ‘A walk to remember’, ‘The Notebook’, ‘The Wedding’, all had been amazing. Okay, I mentioned only these names as my pocket and time could allow only these many at that time. I still remember having happy tears by the end of ‘The Wedding’. At least, Sparks knows how a man should love. (Guys, learn something from him – A desultory advice.)

So does that mean reading him has made me fall in love with love? As per my memory, those were the last few romance genre’s books that I read. This I am talking about around 2015 or 2014. And after that I have not touched a lovey-dovey till date. My calendar shows this time of year as 2017. So, on the contrary after reading romance, I have been maintaining a safer distance from romance, an unintended maintenance of distance though.

Suspense, murders, thriller, crime have been more intriguing for some time. Does that mean I am going to turn into a psychotic serial killer or a virtuoso investigator or maybe a skilled deceased (this one is absurd, I know) or how about a diplomatic witness of the crime? Such things might seem tempting to kids. But I am an adult now, and I know, at least for me, I am going to turn into anything but them.

And books allow you to become whatever you want to be, though only momentarily.

But how come this transition from romance to thriller? Answer is simple. Change, maybe. Appetite for variety, another maybe. There is no specific reason that I can state why I love dark genres (I am yet to delve deep into many untouched categories of darkness), but they demand my attention just like blood demands a vampire’s.  So, I don’t believe what we read in ‘Fiction’ genre can shape us but ‘Non-Fiction’ – Yes, it has a tendency to mould you, your thoughts, you can even experience a paradigm shift. Such power it has as it is based on facts, unlike figmented fiction. What non-fiction states is poured out of reality, is out of the real living world, nothing sort of cold vampires falling in love with a warm human, or a fictional wife savaging over her fictional husband. Whatever you read has the backing of facts. So, choose wisely when heading towards a non-fictional journey.

But. There is always a ‘but’. In my case, quite a lot of butS. Anyhow, reading a fiction can mould you too. Not you as person, but as a writer. The quality of stuff you read is the kind of quality you are preparing yourself to bring into your work.

Moral would beWhile story of a fiction can swell a sponge with water which is momentary, the narration and style of writing of same story can affect your own writing greatly. And non-fiction is something that can turn a rectangle into a circle, forever. So, Be Cautious!

But we are left with another subjected question. Aren’t we? Yes, we are. Okay, we know we have crossed the limit of 600 words way back, and now heading towards crossing 750, but what we started has to be marked with a consummated ending. Avouching such dreaded faces, we can excuse you for next four days, after which we, the thoughts of the writer, will be back in the trial box accounting for another debatable affair ‘Does what we write reflect us?’


“The court is adjourned until next time”, declares a discreet judge.

Not a very realistic courtroom. But I, at the first place, never said that this will be a real one.

PS – The idea of courtroom might have got inspired from the book I am currently reading, ‘The Client’ by John Grisham. Probably because ‘What we read affects us.’

For next hearing, please visit – Does what we writ reflect us?


                   No credits for the Images used
Copyright © 2017 by Idle Muser. All rights reserved.


45 thoughts on “Do we become what we read?

  1. Oh you took the name of Nicholas Spark…the one who is inspiration behind my writings although P.S.I Love You is my favourite i guess why i have less likes on my posts from Idle Muser😉😉
    I tried to write on other genres but ended up with lovey dovey but yes i agreed to you on the core subject that we become what we read & we are what we write(a lil contrary on my case)To end up i would like to read nice romantics from your pen some day.
    Have a great day ahead.Keep writing!☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😁You caught me red-handed, it seems. I actually like reading variety, so hesitation pops out when it comes to read same genre time and again. But yeah, I do read your posts, Prashantt, even if not each and every of them.😁
      Reading affects us the way we want it to. So yeah, it is very subjective to each and every reader.
      Point noted. I would definitely try my hands on some romantic stuff, some day.😛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I also read different genres but wjen it comes to writing i don’t know ended up with this although i like reading ignitive stuffs like you usually writes based on subjects that is much needed for the society.
        I hope some day i’ll have some romantic stuff to read from your pen & keep continue to write like this except read my posts too😛😛
        Keep writing & have a great day ahead tommorow☺

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Here my view differs from yours Shreyans. I believe what we read hardly depends on with what kind of person we are. This is the case, at least for me.
      I prefer to read what enriches, at times my mind and other times my soul, and sometimes both too. Yeah, when we read what reflects us as a person, those are the times when we might feel that we prefer reading what we are.
      But again, all this varies from reader to reader. And I am glad I got aware of a perspective other than mine.☺️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Glad to know your perspective..
        What i mean is that there is a reasoning behind every character you associate with yourself. I can even relate with a criminal, because he has been through a life, due to which he is now in that state. And that is the main reason why i read. I find myself extremly luck to have been in conditions, which brought me to where i am today. I also may have ended up as a criminal if the conditions were different. The point being that when i like a novel or a book, it directly says about me, even if i am not that person, but it tells me that i could have been that person. And lately i have realized that there are no extremes for emotions and capabilities, you can fit in every shoe if you want to.
        And sometimes even your desires define you. So if like something that you read then surely you are relating it with yourself in some sense. You may not agree with me. But i just wanted to make myself clear. Your post made us philosophers…🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I never realized if my write-ups hold the capacity of turning somebody a philosopher. No pun intended.😁
          But yeah, I somewhat agree and disagree here, again. Let it be. It’s just I got to see a clearer picture of what you actually wanted to convey, and that is all I care about here.😊

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Do we become what we read? – NOPE ! Because saying “we are what we read” is like telling we are an empty vessel waiting to be filled. It involves such passivity… Problem with vessels is they don’t do any critical thinking. Of any kind. Of course, there will be books that will pour something new on ourselves, books that will fill a little hidden crevice we didn’t know we had, but that doesn’t mean that we arrive as pure beings (or that we become such beings, as a matter of fact) when we read a book. We start our readings colored by ideas we already have, maybe by the words of the friend that lent us the book, maybe by the gazillion reviews we have read in the Internet. If we are what we read, we are constantly filled by new things, and it naturally follows that at some point everything is overflowing out of us. The point of reading, I think, is not getting things to fill the vessel until it doesn’t really matter what you read first and what you leave for later. The point of reading is growth, so we can grab bits of what we read and build little by little a different (and perhaps more complete, though not necessarily better) self.

    Can a book become a part of ourselves? Sure thing. Can we become a book, where the book substitutes our identity and replaces it with its identity? No way.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. And I would say this comment could have been turned into a full-fledged post alone.😃 No pun intended.
      I really loved this idea, Neal. Idea of being an empty vessel. The way you ended it, summed up the entire thing.
      And there was nothing in your comment that I couldn’t agree with.
      Thank you for sharing your views. This comment is really much appreciated.☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Kinda like the way how simplistically you putting things here around in such simplistic words. Gotta… MUST agree with “twinkle” (twinklingwords) as well. We prolly become what we read, and here it makes me NO wondering to feel, like, why half of today’s youth are being indulged into adultery. The fascination has ’em already so drained into the goblet of infatuated nights that they’ve almost forgotten what they’re goin’ throu’. Hopefully they’ll learn much from “Nick” (Nicholas Spark), perhaps, such a shame to say… they’ve already learned allot from him, but in an illegal or not-so “illegitiate-d” way. You know, “The Notebook” … not in words or pages, but on the big movie screen-bold-screens. (Opps! Butter-fingers. xoxo)

    Nevermind, I believe, readin’ helps us all being what we are, but sometimes, it may drag us all wrong. Au fond, if you read anything vulgar, you’ll get vulgar. And if you read anything or something inspirational, you’ll URGE to get to meet more aspiration from around the world… so yeah.. it just depends ‘pon the frequency of one’s thoughts’ what exactly one’s mind craving to give a damn ’bout. For instance, Aditi used to get tucked with “romance” in her prime age, but now she’s much into, like, crime? thrill? or prolly into non-fic. stuffs which’s quite intriguing itself. I ev’n myself adore non-fiction, may be, cos the least, they ain’t so fully non-fictional at all, undisguised. wink

    Sorta liked it when and what you say…
    “In fact, they, YOUR thoughts, are red-blooded to hit the trial box of courtroom to justify themselves.”

    Very intriguing choice of words here. Much admire ya for cracking such goblets of phrases around. A very worth reading post you’ve come up with, of course, as always.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. First of all thank you very much Shivam for devoting your time in reading my work.😊
      Secondly, I will confess that it takes a huge deal out of me to read non-fiction.😁 If a piece is non-fiction but has even a small chunk of fiction somewhere in between, that would help me. I don’t know, but fiction is something I love.❤️
      And well, as they say – Every source of information or knowledge or energy has ups as well as downs, or a better way to say it-pros and cons; all it takes is one’s personal interest in learning from certain part and let go of what is better if stays in book only.
      A big thank you for specifically pointing out what you liked. Thank you so much.☺️😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Brilliant post, Aditi. It’s spot on, reading definitely has a profound effect on us, I love how you made a distinction between fiction and non-fiction, quite original.

    Also, I probably shouldn’t say this (being a guy), but I loved the movie versions of “A walk to remember” and “The Notebook”. Erm… lol ok, have a great day!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. You are a fabulous narrator and when you throw clever lines here and there, they make your article so much more appealing. It’s difficult to keep your readers engaged in long posts but you’re a pro, Aditi!
    As for if we become what we read, in my case it is sort of true, if I like a character for whatever reason, I unconsciously end up picking up their traits. Sometimes over the course of time they get evaporated but mostly they become a permanent part of my self.
    That passing suggestion to boys, lol that was amazing!😂😂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. How can such a beautiful comment not brighten up my day (though technically night now). Thank you so much, girl.😘😍
      What you said about unconsciously picking up a character’s traits, I myself have never experienced that but it seems possible. We might end up picking a few things from some fictional characters (not fantasy), which definitely have an essence of some real-life characters, and ultimately we humans do get influenced by other humams then why not those fictional characters?!
      That suggestion to boys idea just came from nowhere.😅

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Each phase of life, we enjoy reading different genres of books. From mystery,romance,thrillers, non fiction and then spirituality ……of course the list varies with each person. To a great deal what we read, infuences our behaviour and thought process. With writing, our style does reflect our personality a fair bit. But there have been writers whose personality and the stuff they write are poles apart.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. True
      A person changes, or evolves with time and so does his/her reading choices. What I dread most reading now might become my favorite in future, you never know.
      And yes, reading does influence us. It definitely does. You cannot expect a person who has just finished a crime thriller to talk about love and romance. But this influence is momentary, unlike the almost permanent ones or longer ones that non-fictions can have.
      As per writing, I stand by you.
      Thank you for sharing your views, Radhika.☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thus was a very relatable and apt post. I agree with the title…. It does change you in some ways. From the earliest time I can recall reading, I have been impressed with books on strong characters, the kind you see in Gone with the Wind or The Count of Monte Cristo, and I’ve always tried to channel their strength in my character as well as my writing. Of course the kind of books you read also affects your writing like you pointed out because your thought processes and your vocabulary start picking up that genre’s nuances. Good article, as usual 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Pradita.😘
      If a particular read will change you, it depends on the kind of genre you have picked. Fiction or non-fiction. With what state of mind you are reading. So yeah, it does affect you but does it change you from inside out? A straight No.
      From the perspective of a writer, reading has one of the most influential impact on one’s writing. Rightly as you mentioned.😊

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Aditi.. I think reading effects us greatly.. Even fiction holds the capacity to mould a certain part of us,I think.. Yes, non-fiction puts more rationality in mind.
    Does our writing reflection our thoughts?? Well I think. Yes. I mean it’s not like whatever we write will reflect us but just a part of the written piece resembles to a part of us..
    You’ve beautifully written ♥

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much Kiran.😊😘
      Well, we never realize but everything around us holds a capacity to affect us, moulding would be quite an exaggeration to it.
      I totally get along with you on reflection of us through our writing.☺️

      Liked by 1 person

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