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Stats SOP: Mentioning reading you've done


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Does anyone know whether it's a good idea to list specific books or papers you've read in your Statement of Purpose?  I'm describing my interest in Bayesian statistics, and am inclined to mention the big influence three books on this subject have had on me.  I don't know whether this is a nice detail which demonstrates interest and motivation, or if it is heavy-handed.

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I would focus more on why you are interested and what interested you in terms of the content and not so much the sources.  There is no value in mentioning a name of a book unless it was written by one of the top faculty in the department.  But then it likely would not sound genuine and they might suspect you of exploiting it in attempt to impress them.

The statement should be about what you hope to gain and how the skills and knowledge will help you influence and add value to industry, government, or quality of life.  Theres many guides to writting SOP on the net.

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