My conscience compels me to say at the beginning that this is a bit of satire. We at the Edge think that reading is an important part of your intellectual health, and carrying a particular book around will in no way benefit your public persona.

Have you ever wished you could make yourself look smarter? Cooler? More refined? Do you need a quick way to get that special someone to look your direction? Maybe spraying too much axe didn’t draw them in. Or maybe the “I’m-interested-but-I’m-playing-hard-to-get” hair flip didn’t get the second glance you wanted. You have come to the right place!

After several intense minutes of research, our educators here at the Edge have put together a list of the classiest books to add some pep to your step. These simple pieces might be just what your outfit needs to win some hearts.

The best part of this list is: You don’t even need to read the books! People your age talk about reading, but it won’t be until college that people actually open any. All you need to do is glance over the back cover thoroughly enough to have a conversation that lasts the few minutes you need to draw it back to Fortnite.

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - If you need to look elegant in a flash, Jane Austen is a must. This book stands as one of the first romantic-comedies ever published. To our modern English, it is often perceived as highly intellectual and filled with wit, but you don’t need to spend time figuring that out for yourself. Just throw this 539 page book under your arm and even that friend who ties his own bow-ties will be blown away by your new-found sense of “class”.


2. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien - Remember those three movies that combined are close to 12 hours? Everyone seems to be familiar with the movies, but far fewer people have read the three similarly massive books. Only true purists and fantasy fanatics will be able to digest this intricate work of fiction, so you’re not alone if you’re overwhelmed. These books are so large that they’re bound to stick out from your backpack or purse. As soon as someone spots the “One Ring” that’s on the cover, they are sure to fall for your adventurous nature and notice your previously unremarkable valiance.

3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - Don’t be put off by the tragic story-line the self-destructive relationships that fill this book. Leo Tolstoy talks about grace and forgiveness through some intensely sad characters. Usually the cover of this book alone is enough to earn you points as an intellectual, but the daunting 864 page-count is sure to leave an audience impressed by your muscle mass. If that’s not enough, if you order the original Russian version people bound to gawk.

4. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - The cover of Fahrenheit 451 usually has the picture of a book being caught on fire. That’s just the ironic take that might convince your friends of how rebellious you truly are. I hesitate to add this book because it is so readable. Bradbury’s hopeful take on a dystopian future might have the unwanted effect of convincing you that reading is still worth your time. If you add this to your outfit, be sure never to open it unless you want to spend several hours expanding your vocabulary and learning in a way that you’ve never done before. There is too much to be learned from this entertaining read, so use it at your own risk.

5. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery - Anne of Green Gables is the heartwarming tale of an overdramatic girl named Anne Shirley. This is the perfect addition to any wardrobe that lacks a childlike simplicity. This book would be best used by weightlifters, football players, and anyone who needs to prove to the world that they have a gentler side. If you were to read it, you may find that you laugh out loud and enjoy life a little bit more, but as I said in the previous book: you run the unwanted risk learning something new.  

6. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy - This is one of the longest novels ever written. You don’t need to know anything about the contents since it’s almost guaranteed that nobody you know has ever read it. If someone asks you about it while you’re carrying it around, you can probably make something up; but be sure not to make up a plot so interesting that people would want to read it. If anyone ever opens the book up for themselves, your cover will be blown!

Conclusion. As I'm sure you know, we spend a lot of time watching movies and playing video games. Those are both things that we can learn from and even grow in, but it’s important to remember that we are influenced by everything we interact with. The best part of books is that it forces you to slow down and think about the things you’re facing. Carrying a book won’t really change the way that you are perceived by others; but opening one and reading it for yourself might change the way that others are perceived by you. When we read, we learn to relate. When we can relate, we learn to empathize; and the ability to empathize is part of what makes us human.

Warning: do not try to fake having read Harry Potter. There is nobody who simply “likes” Harry Potter. Anyone who has spent the hours to read all 7 of these oversized books probably did so in a matter of weeks and subscribes to at least two convoluted theories about how timeturners work, how horcruxes are made, and whether or not Dumbledore is Ron from the future traveling back in time to save his Harry.