Crunching the Numbers in My Ideal Bookshelf


What do Stephen Merritt, Hilton Als, and Tony Hawk have in common?

According to Fred Benenson’s data, nothing—not even the books on their shelves.

Benenson’s “girlfriend/lady partner” Thessaly La Force is one of the two minds behind My Ideal Bookshelf (the other is Jane Mount), and he used the data from that book to create graphs that are as cool to look at as they are interesting.

Click through to find out which book was chosen most often, the most popular profession of contributors, and whether you share any ideal-bookshelf picks with James Franco.

Lauren O'Neal is an MFA student at San Francisco State University. Her writing has appeared in publications like Slate, The New Inquiry, and The Hairpin. You can follow her on Twitter at @laureneoneal. More from this author →