I read it somewhere.

Stephen Fry tells a story of a rather plodding acquaintance at his prep school, who suddenly realised that the reason that Stephen Fry comes across as intelligent is that he enjoys reading, and does it a lot. Upon working this out, his plodding colleague decided that he, too would plough through as many books as he could, and went on to achieve great things, despite a decidedly pedestrian intelligence. With that in mind, allow me to share a quotation with you:

“It is no more necessary that a man should remember the different dinners and suppers which have made him healthy than the different books which have made him wise. Let us see the results of good food in a strong body, and the results of great reading in a full and powerful mind”

Sydney Smith

I was asked recently by a pupil, “Sir, what should I read in order to improve my vocabulary?” I answered, “Anything.” And it’s true. Read what you enjoy reading. Read just for the hell of it. Read to find out some information, and read simply to get your neurons firing. Read the back of cereal packets, read the agony aunt columns in newspapers, read Hemingway, read Dan Brown.

Just read.  You won’t regret it, and there will come a point where people will marvel at the breadth of your knowledge. They will ask you, “How on earth do you know that?” And you know what? You’ll have no idea.

You’ll just say, “I read it somewhere.


~ by mrprestney on February 9, 2009.

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