What Straight Boys’ "Favorite Books" Say About Them

You haven’t read that, bro, so don’t put it in your dating profile.

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Tuesdays With Morrie doesn’t actually like to read.”
“Best friends with his mom.”
“Thinks it says something about his emotional depth, which he does not have.”
“Knew somebody distantly who died once and now he really understands ~mortality~.”
“Thinks that all ladies like Oprah.”

Fight Club just, like, really understands the struggle, man.”
“Douche fucking alert.”
“Hasn’t actually read the book but believes he can pass it off like he has because of the movie.”
“Edward Norton’s depression without Brad Pitt’s abs.”
“Bedside anarchist.”
“So over consumerism, so over society, so over being an actual pleasant human being.”
“Is a mansplainer.”

Tao Te Ching was a business major in college.”
“Also doesn’t actually read.”
“But at least he tried?”
“Has used the word ‘Oriental’ or phrase ‘East-meets-West’ in actual unironic conversation.”
“Was one of those guys who wore suits to class presentations.”
“Has a tattoo of a Japanese character, thinks it says ‘freedom,’ actually says ‘soap.’”

On the Road has never actually done drugs.”
“I actually think there is something kind of cute and earnest about liking this book.”
“But in sort of a puppy-dog way.”
“Constantly misses the point. Probably lives in Colorado.”
“Drunk.”
“Is more likely to puke in your bed than impress you in bed.”
“This guy doesn’t understand why Into the Wild is a horror story.”

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Into the Wild is white and wealthy.
“Has a victim complex where he thinks he has problems but they’re 100% self-made.”
“Loooooves nature, but actually nature = weed.”
“Lots of polar fleece.”
“Has probably never actually been camping.”
“Cannot grow a beard. Wishes he could grow a beard.”

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People uses SO MANY HASHTAGS.”
“Good relationship with his dad. Knows what the Six Sigmas are.”
“Will ask you earnestly if you’re realllllllly thinking about your personal brand enough.”
“Was really into his frat.”
“Will give you a Sharper Image gift card as a month anniversary gift.”
“Still wears his frat shirt when running in the park.”

The Hobbit will probably take you on lots of fun adventures.”
“Awwwwww. Lovvvvvve it.”
“Like, I would go to second base with him.”
“Truly likes reading and would be chill reading for an entire weekend with me.”
“He definitely goes down.”
“But also maybe wants credit for it?”

Lord of the Rings would probably spend at least $70 on a replica ring.”
“Loves Reddit.”
“Masturbated to the Lady of Rohan character.”
“There are definitely some fetishy undertones.”
“Smells bad.”
“Musty.”
“Which is not necessarily bad, IMO.”
“Big feet.”
“Yes, some big penis action. But maybe didn’t kiss a girl until the age of 22.”

Infinite Jest is a self-identified feminist who mansplains feminism at you.”
“Fake deep.”
“I want it and I HATE that I want it.”
“Pissed when I ask him questions about it and/or avoids them entirely.”
“Tells me race isn’t real.”
“This guy actually just read Consider the Lobster in comp class and puts Infinite Jest down instead.”
“Mad at his parents for being rich.”
“Calls soccer football, but is American.”
“THIS IS THE KIND OF GUY WHO THINKS FINGERING IS JACKHAMMERING.”

The Catcher in the Rye stopped reading after high school.”
“Is still 13.”
“I’m actually on board with this being sort of endearing?”
“My type :( ”
“It’s a good book and I liked it. I want him to read more but I can show him some books.”
“~Show him some books~.”
“You guys.”

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One Hundred Years of Solitude studied abroad in Seville.”
“Good.”
“YESSSS.”
“Yaaass.”
“My pants DROP.”
“Yep into it. Shows stamina.”
“One Hundred Years of Doing It, amiright?”
“Very ‘the best mistake you’ll make at 3:12 a.m. on a Saturday night’ vibe.”
“Only actually impressed if he likes Love in the Time of Cholera more.”

Brideshead Revisited and you can def. share jeans.”
“Thinks you’re too beautiful to touch.”
“Will one day open a bed and breakfast.”
“Would compete with my fragility.”
“Looks like a young Jeremy Irons.”
“OK, that is just wishful thinking.”

White Teeth is shouting, ‘I RESPECT WOMEN!’”
“Hasn’t read it.”
“Has it on his shelf. Like, two copies in the two different colors that it comes in.”
“Because he thought it was a sequel.”
“Boys LOVE to love Zadie Smith.”

Anything by Alice Munro is a total feminist.”
“Yeah like an ACTUAL not performative feminist.”
“He gets five dates minimum.”
“If you say Alice Munro I am going to marry you and have all of your children.”

White Girls is hyperaware of using words like ‘intersectionality.’”
“Has actually read it.”
“WHITE GIRLS LOVE DUDES WHO READ WHITE GIRLS!”
“I like this guy though. He’s trying.”
“Scrappy dude.”
“Gets in Twitter fights with people with way more followers than them.”
“Has probably kissed a dude or two but ain’t afraid to talk about it (maybe talks about it too much?).”
“Thinks Hilton Als is a white girl.”

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1Q84 is up for a challenge.”
“Shops at West Elm.”
“Wishes he had gone to film school.”
“Pretty cover. Both the book and the boy.”

A Farewell to Arms is so brooding.”
“Still into Conor Oberst.”
“Will break up with you 19 times and say ‘I’m just so fucked up right now’ before each.”
“Has a Moleskin.”
“Spent time ‘volunteering’ overseas. Says ‘when I was in country’ way too much.”
“Talks shit about Facebook.”
“But totally hot.”
“So hot you don’t know why he’s single…until you do.”

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao can get it.”
“He can get it all over Jersey.”
“Ten dates minimum.”
“I LIKE THIS DUDE.”
“I know we’d at least have ~something~ to talk about.”
“Probably considers perspectives other than his own.”
“Has a whore-y past.”

Anything by John Updike will never let you break up with him.”
“Writes complicated emails.”
“Misses ‘chivalry.’”
“White dude only.”
“Whiter than Casper eating granulated sugar in a KKK uniform.”
“Fetishizes your ankle.”
“#LiteraryRobinThicke”

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The Color Purple would be a good pen pal.”
“How does this dude actually talk about The Color Purple?”
“Yeah, framing is very important here.”
“Not enough to make me ask to meet up, but a good way to determine how much of his persona is posturing and how much is genuine.”
“I think my instinct is to not believe him but I’m a brat.”
“I’d pour syrup on him and sop him up with a biscuit.”

Lolita is Woody Allen.

Slouching Towards Bethlehem knows deep sorrow and has learned from it.”
“HELLO.”
“TAP THAT.”
“Joan Didion = panty dropper.”
“Slouching Towards Bedlehem’s more like it.”
“What dat booty do?”
“IDK to me this is the exact same guy who also lists Into the Wild.”

The Great Gatsby describes his exes all as ‘crazy’ and doesn’t know the historical context of the word ‘hysteria.’”
“Not as bad as Catcher.”
“I think I might actually like boys who at least admit they liked books from high school.”
“Depends on whether or not they see Gatsby as a tragedy.”
“Ugh he probably wants to go to the Jazz Age Lawn Party tho.”

The Fountainhead cheered for Hobby Lobby.”
“*pulls panties back up*”
“But — and maybe I’m wrong here — but maybe he’s good in bed? Like, in a bad way?”
“The worst way.”
“Wouldn’t get there to find out.”
“Hate-gasm.”

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Ulysses has a weird special language for you and you alone.”
“I like this guy.”
“Sweaters with elbow patches.”
“I will borrow his Warby Parkers.”
“Self-deprecating in a charming way.”
“Curls into his own body when nude.”

Where the Wild Things Are really loves his mom and also puts that in the profile.”
“????????????????????????????”
“His ‘You should message me if’ section probably says ‘You love to laugh!’”
“Wants a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.”
“Is into, like, whip-its.”

Harry Potter love whimsy.”
“Gonna go with a hard pass.”
“Like, I like these books, but what are you saying about yourself?”
“I think this boy is delightful. Maybe he will get lost. He may be bad at laundry. But he is delightful.”
“Does he identify as Slytherin? That changes things.”
“I think Slytherins are sexy as fuck.”

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The Road will judge you for liking fun things like The Bachelorette.”
“Drinks whiskey.”
“Doesn’t use adjectives. Or apostrophes.”
“Calls it the ‘film adaptation.’”
“Is always thinking about why the relationship might have to die just like that dad was always worried about having to kill his kid.”
“…”

The Sound and the Fury is either straight-up lying or getting his Ph.D.”
“I can get into Faulkner guys.”
“Fuckner guys.”
“Especially if they are actually from the South.”
“I would fuck that second guy. Has a primal scene.”
“Would probably not make a ‘fuckner’ joke.”

Women is …”
“Skip.”
“Pass.”
“Byeee.”
“[indescript vomiting sound]”

Any Serious Biography of a Dude is already making 100K and says it like that.”
“Dad.”
“Dadbro.”
“Normcore.”
“Is the subject only famous because of WWI?”
“Dockers.”
“Pleated Dockers.”
“Wants you to see him as a decider and a dude who would fight for you but then when you’re out he actually does fight for you and it is awkward at best.”
“Nice bedding though, I think.”

Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is not working the job he secretly believes he would be the best in the world at.”
“I have a soft spot for this guy.”
“Me too.”
“Because he’s kind of a mess, but will take care of his little brother the best he knows how.”

Anything by Margaret Atwood is precise in bed.”
“GET ON IT.”
“100%.”
“Ow ow ow ow ow ow ow.”
“HELLO.”
“Because he’s genuinely interested in things outside himself but also just enough of a weirdo.”
“Yep. Especially if he’s into any of the sci-fi ones.”

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“Be honest. We can tell.”
“LIST NOT JUST DEAD STRAIGHT WHITE DUDES. And by ‘list’ I mean ‘read’ and ‘consume’ and ‘shut up and listen every so often.’”
“Show me that you read books by people who don’t share your perspective.”
“GENERAL TIPS FOR GUYS IN LIFE: READ FEMALE AUTHORS.”
“But don’t list anyone just for cred, just to have a woman as your fave.”
“Read a book that she lists as her favorite before your first date.”
“Use specific book titles rather than authors.”
“General tip for guys who want to date interesting girls: READ LOTS OF BOOKS; THUS BE INTERESTING.”

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