Columns > Published on February 26th, 2016

Here's How Much Buzzfeed Book Quizzes Know About You

Hi, I'm Pete. I'm a Mario Bros. Master, I'm 35% teenager, Chris Pratt should be my celebrity boyfriend, I only need one hour of sleep every night, my worst habit is that I can't accept compliments, I'm more of a Shamrock Shake than a Mint Oreo Blizzard, and my soul has been 0% destroyed by working in retail.

This is what I've just learned from BuzzFeed quizzes.

Some of these results are accurate. I would call myself a Super Mario Bros. Master, even if I'm not that great at playing the game. I sat and thought about whether Chain Chomps were introduced in the second or third installment of the series for a good five minutes. This is more time than I spent on any SAT question.

Some of the results are less accurate. I need more than 1 hour of sleep per night. I'm not some automo-man who can charge up in 60 minutes.

And there's some stuff in between. My soul probably has been destroyed 0% by retail, but only because there was nothing left to destroy by the time I entered the world of retail.

It's hard to know how accurate BuzzFeed is because it's hard to really know yourself, right?

Unless...unless you could find something you're an expert on, and then evaluate that way. Unless you could take every quiz on that topic you could find.

And wait a second. I'm a degree-ed librarian. I read a buttload, enough that I should have been able to come up with a better word than "buttload."

If I took every BuzzFeed book quiz I could find, what would I learn?

How much does BuzzFeed know about me?

Simple Steps

Let's start with the easy stuff. There's some stuff that is provable. I might have a tough time definitively proving that if I were a sandwich, I'd be a pizza bagel. I'd also have trouble proving that a pizza bagel counts as a sandwich. But if we go basic to start, we'll have a good baseline.

My Age Based On My Taste In Books

22! I take this as an insult, by the way. If this were based on my taste in something silly, like music or some such shit, I'd be flattered. If I LOOKED 22, a decade younger than I am, then I would feel pretty good about myself right now. Instead, I've been reduced to a quivering mass of disappointment in myself.  

How Old Are You Based On Your Reading Habits?

23! Well, shit. After a few questions about preferring physical books to eReaders, I thought for sure I'd skew older on this one. But apparently, like a Mel Gibson romance movie in which cryogenics play a surprising role, I'm Forever Young.

Where Do I Live, Based On Taste In Books?

New York City. Not even close. The place where I live has been featured in one book that I know of, and the author referred to my hometown as a "rural ghetto."

Do I Prefer Books or Music?

You don't have to know much about me to know that I'm far more book lover than I am music lover. Case in point, my car. I have about a dozen books in my car. My car stereo? A portable speaker plugged into the cigarette lighter outlet, held in place by Velcro strips. And I mostly use it to listen to podcasts.

BuzzFeed got it right this time. 

Score Check:

Four quizzes in, BuzzFeed is 1 for 4. I'd like to punish them further for being so drastically off on my age. If this were a carnival and I was at that age-guessing booth thing, I'd win a stuffed Minion, for sure. Or a mirror with Guns N' Roses printed on it. But we'll settle for 1 for 4 and move on.

Potter More

If there's one thing BuzzFeed quizzes love, it's Harry Potter. You can take endless Harry Potter quizzes. Let's do this.

Which Harry Potter House Should You Not Be In? Hufflepuff 

Which SHOULD You Be In? Also Hufflepuff.

For a third shot at this, I took a quiz to see what percent Hufflepuff I am, and it's 20%. This is getting confusing.

Maybe indecisiveness is a Hufflepuff thing, and therefore these are accurate results? I don't really know enough about these houses to say for certain, but I would have guessed Hufflepuff for myself from the get-go. So let's just assume that this indecisiveness IS a Hufflepuff trait. Also, while we're just assuming things, let's assume people in Hufflepuff really know how to fuck.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets matches my personality, I'm more Dumbledore than Snape, my favorite spell is Reparo, blah, blah blah.

Most importantly, if there's a Harry Potter character I should get it on with, it's Dumbledore. a bit of a problem. He's a bit of the older persuasion than I am. And to put it delicately, a bit more of the penis-having-persuasion than I'm used to. And even if I were to go that way, I'm more into Hagrid, the most magical bear ever.

Once we got through Harry Potter quizzes, I'd put the score of BuzzFeed's quiz masters at 3 for 11. Not abysmal, but not great. 

Going Young Adult

If there's one YA Heroine I should be, it's June Iparis of Legend. According to BuzzFeed.

I'm going to have to disagree. I just don't think I'd be good in a dystopian situation. My plan, in the event of worldwide trouble has always been to forget my moral compass completely and see what happens.

I'd say I'm more of a King Dork. Okay, okay, King Dork isn't a heroine, nor is he heroic at all, really. And that's why he's the perfect choice.

A woman who nailed a perfect score on some kind of standardized test? No.

A guy who renames his non-existent band every week? Yep.

Which Book Should I Date?

Catcher in the Rye. Well, I bought the appropriate bit, and I'm drilling a hole in my copy of Catcher In The Rye right now. I'll let you know how it goes.

Listen, like many of us, I have an abiding love for Catcher in the Rye, but it's also a book I'd be a bit embarrassed to carry around with me. Also, if dating Catcher were possible, I feel like we'd have a lot of discussions about being against the establishment and stuff. Which is something I would be totally into when I was 22, and if I really was that 22 year-old BuzzFeed speculated I am, this would be perfect. But I'm way too old to talk about anything remotely establishment. The only establishment I care about is establishing a sweet dent in the couch.

Which John Green Novel Are You?

Let It Snow? I've never heard of...oh, a collection of three holiday romances? Well, that's a combination of two things I loathe. Maybe I could read it while combining two foods I hate, Hawaiian pizza dipped in Hawaiian Punch (sorry, Hawaii). 

But wait. It's which book I AM, not which one I should read. And I DO hate myself...

You win this round, BuzzFeed.

BuzzFeed's Score: 4 for 14.

Which Book Should You Read This Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall?

There's a quiz for all the upcoming seasons. A whole year of predicted reading. 


We Love You, Charlie Freeman follows an African-American family who is hired by a New England research institute to raise and teach sign language to a chimpanzee — only to discover that the institute has a shockingly dark past.

I normally have a rule that applies to books and movies. No monkey/ape-centric stuff UNLESS space is involved or there is a monkey uprising. Planet of the Apes? Yes! MVP: Most-Valuable Primate? Hell no. 2001: A Space Odyssey? Yes. Any Which Way You Can? No, but WILL totally watch the last 15 minutes when drunk.

However, one review for We Love You Charlie Freeman said this book features some sections that seemed to be less about plot, more about just making it weird. Combine that with a chimp, that's a win in my book.

Spring: To Rise Again At A Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris

Joshua Ferris, finalist for the National Book Award, delves into the life of Paul O’Rourke, a dentist whose world is turned upside down when someone begins impersonating him online. Paul becomes even more disturbed when he begins to wonder if this “fake” version of himself is better than the “real” one. Read this complex tale of internet identity and self-perception on your iPhone as spring is sprung all around you.

A previous Joshua Ferris outing didn't work out too well for me. Maybe because what some people see as outrageous cubicle culture, others see as a typical day at the office. Pass.


The Beautiful Bureaucrat follows a young woman named Josephine who, after a lengthy unemployment, does not question her new job entering numbers into something called “The Database.” But as her feelings of unease and anxiety grow, she begins to figure out just what the numbers mean and must make a terrifying decision.

It sounds okay, but Karen, who makes me laugh as much as just about anyone online, says it's skippable for some pretty compelling reasons. I trust Karen with my life. And collection of monster porn. Pass.


Ben Lerner’s 10:04 takes place in an increasingly chaotic New York as seen through the eyes of a narrator grappling with his own mortality and the implications of fatherhood. Throughout the novel, Lerner skillfully captures the essence of what it means to be alive. Complex and provocative, “10:04” is the perfect read for feeling revitalized this season.

Here's an excerpt:

So this is how it works, I said to myself, as if I’d caught an ideological mechanism in flagrante delicto: you let a young man committed to anticapitalist struggle shower in the overpriced apartment that you rent and, while making a meal you prepare to eat in common, your thoughts lead you inexorably to the desire to reproduce your own genetic material within some version of a bourgeois household, that almost caricatural transvaluation of values lubricated by wine and song.

I'm less into the $10-dollar words, more into spending about a buck-fifty on a word and using the rest to buy bourbon and Pez. Pass.

For my 2016 reading list, BuzzFeed scores an abysmal 1/4. 5 for 18 as we move forward.

But Who ARE You?

Let's get into the big question. Who am I, really?

Which Roald Dahl Character Are You?


Some may mistake your calm, quiet nature for weakness, but you have them all fooled. One day you’ll be running the show and they will all wonder what hit them. Even if you fall on hard times your heart of gold will get your through.

At first I was pissed. But I like this one. Not because I'm a big fan of Charlie. Everyone knows Mike TV is the best guy. But I can dig this answer because it involves being virtuous for the purpose of coming back and rubbing it in everyone's face that they suck. Score one for BuzzFeed.

My Personality Based On My Taste In Books

The Classic. You love nothing more than curling up with a classic novel and getting lost in it. Whether it be romantic, gothic, or modernist, the best part about classics is that there are so many to choose from, and you’ve read an awful lot of them! That’s why people always come to you for book recommendations.

Haha, whoa. This is pretty far off. If there's one thing I don't like in the book world, it's classics. If there's two things, the second one is people who really love to tell you how much they love classics. Frankenstein was alright, but there were some real third act problems. What's with the Arctic Ocean stuff? Did Mary Shelley just want to take a vacation and write it off as a business expense? 

No points on this one.

How Much Of A Book Addict Are You?

28 out of 77 symptoms on display. Which means I'm doing fine. I'd give that one to BuzzFeed. I like books, but I can quit any time I want to. I just don't want to.

Which Superhero are you?

Luke Cage. I love everything about Luke Cage. Nothing would please me more than to wear a yellow pirate shirt open to the navel. But while Luke Cage is cool, I'd say I have a more sniveling weakling quality. While Luke Cage's catchphrase is "Sweet Christmas!", I hate Christmas and would be much more likely to go with "Oh My Halloween!"

As much as I'd like to be described as "Luke-Cage-esque" I think I'm more like a certain cigar-chomping fowl, trapped in a world I never made.

Score Check:

BuzzFeed clocks in with an 7 out of 22.


I'm the book of Revelations. I'm a committed companion. I should read Angry Man Pounded By The Fear Of His Latent Gayness by Chuck Tingle (agree! Although I've already Tingle'ed this month). Of Donkey Kong Country characters, I'm Donkey Kong. Okay, that one has nothing to do with books. Life's not all books, you nerds.

With all of this in mind, the final score for BuzzFeed is 9 out of 26. Not great, BuzzFeed.

Some might say it's the journey, not the destination that makes these quizzes fun. But if that's the case, hoo boy.

Some of these quizzes were blindingly hideous. Look at this!

I apologize if that has burned holes in your screen. For reference, if you'd like to include this color in an upcoming project, the hexadecimal code is #hailFFSATAN.

Some quizzes didn't really provide options that had a single relevant choice to me. One quiz even forced me to pick between two Kardashians and the Knowles sisters. I went Kardashian because I had to pick something, and "Solange" sounds like the medical term for when you feel an itch, go to the bathroom, wipe, and there's matter on the paper. That matter is "solange."

Ultimately, I think there's a chance that these quizzes could be designed to work, but they're created by individual BuzzFeed users online, and therefore the options tend to skew towards the cultural preferences of BuzzFeed power users, who we normally refer to as "That annoying dork who should consider getting a full-time gig."

Final Judgment?

BuzzFeed: You don't KNOOOOOOOOW me!

About the author

Peter Derk lives, writes, and works in Colorado. Buy him a drink and he'll talk books all day.  Buy him two and he'll be happy to tell you about the horrors of being responsible for a public restroom.

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