The Test

This was mentioned a week or so ago on Mamamia. It’s basically sharing a book which means a lot to you, or reflects who you are, with a loved one. People  mentioned the books they shared with their potential love interest, or which they were implored to read by their own loved one.

Apparently the Test determines how much you ‘get’ the other person, and can be a barometer to the success or failure of a relationship.

Reading it, I was comfortably smug in that I had never inflicted the Test upon any of my loved ones. The closest I remember coming to it is a perusal of bookshelves to ascertain their taste (which is what I do with everyone *guilty look*), and when Mr BG came to my flat for dinner for the very first time, he looked at my CD collection. He managed to overlook my  U2 collection (as a Nick Hornby fan, he is a firm believer in U2 being one of the Top Five bands/musicians who Will Have To Be Shot Come the Musical Revolution) and focused on my New Order and Everything But the Girl CDs.

How wrong I was! We both did the Test on each other- Mr BG gave me a copy of Catcher in the Rye, saying it changed his life when he read it at age 16. I in turn, gave him an English translation of The Little Prince, saying I read it for VCE French when I was 17 and loved it. I also gave it to him as a memento of our first date, when I read it to him in French (yes, I am a shameless showoff :)).

The result was  I read Catcher in the Rye and realised I wasn’t a 16 year old boy and while appreciating it, didn’t quite get it. Mr BG never really got around to reading The Little Prince.

We will be 15 years together this year in October.

You could assume that The Test is a crock and doesn’t really mean a jolt. But then again, neither of us were 16 or 17 when we first started going out with each other, and we weren’t the same people who had read these books which resonated with us so deeply. Our books meant a lot to us at that time, but I don’t think we would get the same meaning from them now.

Meanwhile, he also recommended High Fidelity and James Ellroy, which I read and loved. He has sat through Pride and Prejudice, both the Colin Firth and the Keira Knightley versions, Bridget Jones’ Diary and Persuasion. We visited Bath on the basis of my obsession with Jane Austen and Orkney on the basis of his obsession with Neolithic structures.

Our choice of reading material can reflect in part who we are, but it’s not the whole story of us.

Are there books which have defined you in the past?


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