Books Coffee Shop Talk Opinion Stories

How Reading a Literary Masterpiece Makes You Smarter

And apparently, super pretentious too.

You guys, you know that I’m a huge advocate of reading on the toilet because you’re sure to get through a book in no time!

My latest read is the famous ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four‘ by George Orwell!

Oh you’ve heard of it? Me too!

Catch up with Read Me: Five Fantastic Reads and VLOG: A Review of ‘Tattooist of Auschwitz’.

If you haven’t, honestly, are you living under a book-less rock (see how mean and condescending this book has made me?)

‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ is one of those literary masterpieces that everyone should read, like ‘The Odyssey’ by Homer and Jane Ayre by Charlotte Bronte.

Neither of which I will ever read, because I prefer the cheesy romance of Nicholas Sparks and mystery and intrigue of Liane Moriarty any day of the week!

Expanding my mind

But I was determined to expand my mind and I’ve heard so much about this book that when I saw it at my friend’s house, I had to read it!

I should mention that my friend is an up and coming philosophising star.

Meaning he’s a philosophy teacher. But, like, a really good one.

Like, he’s basically the Socrates of our time. He even has a beard and sits around like this pondering life.

Socrates – Image Credit: Athens Insider

Because it’s my friend’s book, he’s written a bunch of notes in the margins that he warned might give away some bits of upcoming events, but I couldn’t help myself, I had to read those little notes.

And reading them made me feel so smart! He would underline a sentence and write something that evolved my thinking and made me sit on the toilet for ages thinking about life and the way we live it.

Certainty of Contradiction

So while the kids are climbing all over me, demanding I get off the toilet and give them attention, I’m lost in thought wondering what it all means, what propaganda can do to society, what it’s already doing to our society today.

Are the Instagram Influencers of the world brainwashing us into consuming more, wanting more? Are we really free? What is freedom…?

Bored

But then I got bored. I got bored of reading and thinking in philosophical terms the whole time. I’ve read a fifth now and nothing has happened but the guy going home and then coming back to work. And a whole lot of philosophical thinking in between.

I like twists, I like turns, I like variety. I like different characters. I love colour, murder, intrigue. You know what I like!

This is drab and boring. And I need a break.

My Virginity

So, the other day I’m at my fancy friends house. We’re standing in her divine bedroom just marveling at her sense of colour and style when something on her shelf catches my eye… rather someone.

Richard Branson.

Richard Branson – Image Credit: CNBC

The man. The legend

I LOVE Richard Branson, I have this appreciation for the dude that surpasses general interest.

He just looks like someone who enjoys life and tries new things and gets excited about the opportunities he creates for himself. And that is what I want to surround myself with right now.

…being ever the gracious host, she accepts my thievery in fine spirits and agrees to never see her book again.

So I’ve gone into a thought-vortex in my fancy friend’s bedroom, and as she’s talking about the correct alignment of her vases to make the room appear more symmetrical, I cut in and I’m like, hey, you have a Richard Branson book, I need that book, can I have that book?

NOTE: That’s totally not what we were talking about, but I wouldn’t put it past her.

Anyway, being ever the gracious host, she accepts my thievery in fine spirits and agrees to never see her book again.

Me and Richard. And yes, me and Richard, not Richard and I.

A decision has been made

And then, I did something that surprised me more than anyone else.

I made a decision to stop reading ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’.

I hate not finishing books. I HATE it.

But I felt like I was beating a dead horse a little bit. Like, I’m forcing myself to read and all that was doing was making me resentful towards the book. Going to the toilet wasn’t exciting anymore.

I couldn’t stand opening up the book every time I sat down; reading it was tiresome. I found my eyes skimming across the page to get to something exciting – but nothing exciting ever did come!

I feel like Richard is exactly the mood I’m in. I need some inspiration, some fun, and so he’s in.

Thus George, and his miserable world, are out.

Am I smarter for reading a fifth of ‘1984’?

Absolutely!

I even thought about texting my philosophical friend and asking him for a coffee so I could just discuss this book with him. I was only, like, 10 pages in, and here I am starting a book club!

I thought, I’m gonna research this and seriously and get a bunch of people who have read it together and we will all wear glasses and loafers and speak in a language far too fancy for you lot.

Until I realized that I am so tired of being smart, my Brian hurts.

Yes, my Brian, it was a joke, come on…

On that note, have you read a literary masterpiece that you loved or hated? Spill!

Adios amigos, Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered,

B.

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