Cáit Moloney has decided to become ‘cool’ and permenantly eschew reading books or literature of any kind.
As part of my inauguration into college life, I have decided to become cool. Apparently, by choosing this new way of living, I have a whole new set of rules that I now must adhere to at all times. For example; no longer am I allowed to quote ‘The Inbetweeners’ by shouting ‘’feisty one, you are’’ at random boys.
Also no longer is it acceptable to jump along pedestrian crossings Will Ferrell style. Wearing my dad’s old hoodies and declaring them ‘my style’ is unquestionably verboten and I must not think that by adding MiWadi to everything, I am getting my five-a-day. Most pressing though is that no longer am I allowed to publicly admit to reading compulsively, because reading is now ‘’not cool’’.
Passing an hour engrossed in a book is not a form of social sophistication; instead I must at all times appear as if I am suitably content with compulsive texting, even if I’m just updating my Mom on my dinner preferences.
Google searching ‘books’ and finding Facebook as the fifth link cannot strike me as outrageous, and never again can I utter the phrase; ‘’Library?’’ with any form of enthusiastic gusto. This is my new way of life as a cool kid, and obviously, appreciation for fine publishing is not part of it.
New Cool Cáit wonders how people dare to be excited about literature. What are they, elderly? We have Youtube, Facebook, gosh; even Bebo has to be better than sitting down with a dusty, old copy of Jane Eyre. Inspired by a storybook? Have you not looked around you to see the glowing face of your friendly neighbourhood monitor? Books, along with all forms of written tedium, belong in the past, with all things unsavoury, like that ad with the dancing babies or Charlie the Magic Unicorn.
We must take defensive action and in haste, to prevent any further interactions with the written word! We must make like an organised riot on boredom and burn any tomes left in modern day civilisation! Quick to the furnace!
While feminists burn their underwear in protest against misogyny, we shall burn newspapers in protest against intellectual stimulation. No longer will ideas of culture, perception or imagination haunt our children’s dreams, we must act now for them later, or soon they too might fall in love with the classics and be lost to the depths of the alphabet forever.
As he gets up to leave, the old gent across from me on the train gestures at me to indulge in his paper. I of course scowl (that’s what us cool people do, act like hormonal thirteen year olds, it‘s AWESOME). For that last hour, the paper just stares at me, begging me to read it. No, I must resist, this is a test, a trick, do not give in to temptation…resist, resist…
I start to sweat profusely, I’m jiggling my foot like no ones business, my eyes keep darting to the front page, straining to catch a headline before I realise what they are at and pull them away. My pulse is racing, they were right, absence makes the heart grow fonder. Just one word, a little word can’t hurt.
A pronoun even, those crisp white pages have all the authenticity that a screen lacks. One hit, and then I’ll quit for good, it’s nothing, I can handle this. A woman is staring at me, quickly she picks up her child and drags him to another carriage, why is that baby crying so loud…I’m getting dizzy, my vision has started to cloud, it’s not worth it, just give me the page.
Suddenly I’ve lost control of my bodily functions, my arm reaches out and grabs the crumpled up paper, and then…life returns to its tedious, mundane familiarity, and I return to the bottom of the social heap.