A Literary Edventure
I admit the last time I read anything of great political, spiritual or philosophical importance I was 17 and thought I would impress my sociology tutor if I memorised an entire chapter on Goffman’s theory.
These days I am guilty of reading only material that is worthy of creating a magnificent flat lay image on Instagram, even then if I don’t get at least 10 likes in 10 minutes I feel compelled to give up my latest read for something that looks more aesthetically pleasing on my coffee table.
“But that two page article on body dismophia in Elle Magazine was totes engaging” said any daft gen y girl.
Sure, sometimes the contents of glossy mags have the ability to educate and entertain us for as long as it takes our colourist to work their magic on our regrowth. However, when was the last time you actually read something that not only held your attention for more than one sitting but forced you to question your core beliefs and even your existence?
For me it was last weekend with Noosa boy.
‘Have you read this?’ he asked holding up a second hand book with a hideous blue and orange cover.
‘Nah’ I replied flicking through the pages of a love and relationship astrology guide.
‘Well you should’ he said thrusting the book in front of me.
I took the book and ran my fingers over the worn edges before putting in back on the shelf.
“I think my mum has it, I’ll borrow it off her.”
I pretended not to notice him rolling his eyes and then pointed out a stack of healthy recipe books as a reason to walk over to a different part of the store.
We found each other 10 minutes later at the entrance. He took my hand and led me out onto the street, his other hand was hidden firmly behind his back.
“What you got there Mr?” I asked in a girlish manner.
He handed me the book he’d shown me previously, though it was old and ugly I was happy that he’d gotten it for me, it was the sweetest gesture I’d received from a guy in a while.
“Read it, It will change your life.”
It’s a no brainer that if a girl wants to impress a guy she much first delve into his mind to find out what he likes. So when a cute guy not only tells you how much he likes a book but secretly buys it and writes in the front page you sit yo ass down and read it!
As soon as I got home I lay down in the sun chair and began to read. Four hours later I emerged with a brain full of thought and a very sunburnt belly.
“Mum have you read this book?!” I said as I flung open the back door.
This question was mainly just for theatrics as I vaguely remember her boasting about it when I was in school. She looked up from her laptop and glimpsed at the cover.
“Yes, I have all of the books” she said.
“Why didn’t you get me to read it sooner?” I asked adjusting my bikini that had somehow got lost up my butt in the last few hours.
“I did” she replied giving me that look.
“Years ago but you didn’t care”.
“Well, I would have cared if you’d told me inside this book was the fucking secret to life”. I cried thrusting the book into the air with one hand like in the scene from The Lion King when Rafiki holds Simba in the air.
She gave me that look again (the look that says I can’t believe I created and birthed such a massive dickhead) and went back to work. I walked off into my bedroom where I proceeded to read the rest of the book.
That night I lay in bed awake at 3am thinking about what I had just read. Summarising the chapters over in my head.
There were so many concepts in this book that I could relate to but the best part was that it extended beyond my ideas and challenged me to think differently about everything.
Sometimes the ‘any daft gen y girl’ quoted above is me. I take great pleasure in flicking through the elleaus hashtag and enjoying the visual feast of flat lay images, I have read all of Jackie Collins books and don’t even get me started on Candice Bushnell but it’s been way too long since I’ve read something that has actually challenged me.
Just in case you’re wondering which book I’m talking about here it is…
The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfeild. Some of you may have already read it and agree with me and some of you for whatever reason may disagree with me completely, either way you need to experience it.
Don’t wait for a cute boy to buy it for you, take this as the coincidence you need to go out and buy it yourself (after you read it you’ll understand what I mean).
More suggestions for great books you can read while waiting for the next issue of Elle?
1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
2. Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
3. Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks
Special thanks to Noosa boy for encouraging me to read again! You’re not just a pretty chest.