Literary Clout

Words by: Caitlin Cefai
Art by: Victoria Loizides

Commuting is one of the most universal human experiences: bumper-to-bumper in early morning traffic jams, stumbling while standing on a moving bus, or the sweat on your brow after a cycle to work. What is even more human is being nosey — and there’s nothing quite like peeking at what other people are reading while sitting on the train. 

What someone is reading can tell us an awful lot about them, and so below we’ve decoded some of the most popular books you might be caught reading, and what it tells other people about you. 

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

The GOAT enemies-to-lovers novel, Pride and Prejudice exposes you as somebody that craves intellectual debate — maybe with some steamy eye contact thrown in. You’ve definitely had a crush on the tall, handsome, silent guy in your tutorial who wears wool sweaters and loafers, and secretly hoped you would be paired together for the group assignment. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say you love a cup of Earl Grey tea while watching the second season of Bridgerton for the third time in a row. And can we suggest you stop saving wedding dresses to your Pinterest board…? You’re still single!

The Storyteller by Dave Grohl

You had an emo phase in 2011, and you’re okay with admitting it. Dave Grohl is an undeniable drumming genius and, inspired by his epic musical prowess, you definitely attempted to play the guitar between the ages of eight and 12. We’re willing to bet that you’ve dated a bassist and regret it; now you get irritated when people say Tame Impala is indie. If you say you don’t own a vintage ’90s leather jacket, you’re lying. You could name every bartender in Fitzroy at this point, and you’re everyone’s first port of call when they need a playlist for their next party. 

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

You radiate main character energy. With the latest tech and whitest sneakers, you’re all clean crisp lines and perfect contour. If your friends lose you in Chadstone, they check Sephora before even bothering to call you. Ms Collins is your Friday night go-to, and you’re drinking nothing but espresso martinis. You’ve always wanted to go to Singapore, and you’re feeling extra wanderlustful now that you’re six chapters in. And don’t forget to update your close friends list that brunch is still on for Sunday at 11.

1984 by George Orwell

You use a VPN when streaming Black Mirror, because who knows what the government is doing with all the data they mine. George Orwell was right, wasn’t he? They’re monitoring your every move… but not when it comes to crypto! No! The blockchain is different! Maybe it’s time to unfollow Elon Musk on Twitter because of the conflict of interest, instead of worrying about Logan Paul’s NFT drop. In all seriousness, you have a healthy respect for those who question authority. You are the first to call out political bias and will stop at nothing to knock the local conservative craphole down a peg. By the way, how’s your engineering degree going?

Becoming by Michelle Obama

You resent the Girlboss label unless, of course, someone mentions Jacinda Ardern. You shop almost exclusively at Zara and Uniqlo. Don’t stress, your Acne Studios wishlist is already being shared in the group chat for your surprise party at the local pottery studio. You’ve tried “That Girl” TikTok trends like meditating in the morning and buying a pastel mechanical keyboard, but in truth you work at your best when you procrastinate until the 24 hours before the assignment is due. We’re sorry to be the ones to tell you: the deep, environmentally conscious regret for buying the new Volkswagen Golf instead of the pre-owned Toyota Prius never goes away.

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Well, if it isn’t the coolest guy in the whole Law Library. With a heart of gold and a passion for human rights, you’re everyone’s ideal uni bestie. We’re waiting for a new Frank Ocean album too, not that you’re stressed about it. You’re cool, calm and always well-rested, thanks to a few daily hours at the gym (and a couple of melatonin gummies before bed). We just know you’ve never been caught without your concession card on PTV, it’s in your wallet right next to your local library card and the polaroids you took with your partner at that little booth down Flinders Lane. Oh, and what else is in your wallet… five of the free one-per-person condoms from the MONSU stall in O-Week. Yikes. 

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