Just one of the reasons reading is so awesome: you get to live in the shoes of characters who are usually infinitely more talented than you are. This is why The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is, this week, another great one. Today they’re asking what books have made you want to learn or do after reading them.
Top Ten Things Books Have Made Me Want To Do or Learn
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling: I’ve always wanted to learn to pick locks, and Chamber of Secrets is the first time I remember reading about a character doing just that. Who else but the Weasley twins would have mastered this useful trick?
- The Museum of Innocence by Orhan Pamuk: visit the Museum of Innocence in Istanbul. I’m pleased to say this is one of the few things on my list that I’ve actually done. When I read that Pamuk had established a museum based on his 2008 novel, I knew I just had to see it for myself.
- Eragon by Christopher Paolini: I’ve read about so many characters in books who learn how to skin and cook rabbits without freaking out. I’m pretty sure I remember this happening in Eragon, as it does in most fantasy novels, and somehow the authors always manage to make it sound so matter-of-fact. In reality, it’s a little more gag-inducing than books had led me to believe.
- Tracks by Robyn Davidson: learn how to survive in the desert. This is one of those things that I’d love to do in theory but would never actually do in reality. I read this book two years ago, and I still get goosebumps just thinking about the snakes in the sleeping bags.
- The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy: learn the art of elaborate disguise. At least fifty per cent of my interest in this is so that I can sneak into cinemas and theatres undetected.
- Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: learn how to time travel. Mostly so I could go back in time and get back the five hours I wasted reading the first three hundred pages of Outlander.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling: there’s simply tons of spells and potions from the Harry Potter series that I think would come in handy, but personally I’m quite a big fan of both Expecto Patronum and Accio. The first because having a big silvery creature to protect you from evil sounds pretty handy when you’re walking home at one am in the morning, the second because sometimes I’m too lazy to move my body a few inches for simple things like the TV remote (don’t judge, you’ve all been there). Tarantallegra also sounds pretty fun, if like me you enjoy the thought of sadistically forcing your enemies to dance like elderly aunts at an Italian wedding.
- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll: learn how to disappear á la the Cheshire Cat. The Cheshire Cat is a smug bastard who can turn invisible, and seeing as I’m already halfway there on the ‘smug’ front, adding ‘invisible’ to my list of skills seems like a pretty good treat. Also, I’d love to sneak up on people and freak them out by levitating tiny objects. What can I say? I have small dreams.
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams and Cosmos by Carl Sagan: what else, but learn how to hitchhike across the universe? Because as a single woman, hitchhiking can be a risky and irresponsible way to travel across the globe. But when it comes to seeing the stars, I’ll take my chances with whatever Vogon fleet happens to be passing. The poetry can’t honestly be that bad, right?
- Ivanhoe by Walter Scott: learn archery, particularly that nifty Robin Hood shot where you split your opponent’s arrow in two. This isn’t a particularly useful skill, (unless you happen to take part in a lot of life-or-death archery competitions); I just think it makes a good party trick.
What kooky skills have books made you want to learn?