Five books to pretend to read while thinking about how clever you look holding a book

READING a book in a cafe, on the Tube or at the wheel of your car makes you look wise and mysterious, even if you’re just posing and not taking in a word.

Here are five books to skim while feeling really smug about how clever other people must think you are.

The Power by Naomi Alderman

This dark dystopian tale of a world where women are suddenly more physically powerful than men will completely pass you by as you glance up from it every five seconds to see who’s looking approvingly at your cutting-edge choice of contemporary literature.

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Ideal for feigning knowledge of literature because hardly anyone has actually read it. The pigs are the bad guys and communism is a bit shit, is really all you need to know. Now you can get on with thinking about what you’re having for tea.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

You’ve seen the movie(s) or the TV adaptation(s), and the story’s the same as Bridget Jones’ Diary, so you can just let your eyes glaze over for this one and sporadically turn a page for effect.

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Everybody wants to look like they’re emotionally stable enough to read The Bell Jar, so now’s your chance. Just make sure not to actually read it, it’s a real bummer.

Any Harry Potter with a fake dust jacket by JK Rowling

On the off-chance you do actually want to read a book, you can’t go wrong with any of the Harry Potter books. Just pinch a Tolstoy dustjacket from Waterstones, stick it on The Goblet of Pixies or whatever and you’ll look like a proper intellectual.

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Man's first meditation session instantly derailed by erection

A MAN’S first attempt to find a more spiritual way of life was scuppered by the almost instantaneous arrival of an erection.

Trainee accountant Tom Logan was hoping to use meditation to combat work stress and prove how deep he is, but was unable to close his eyes without conjuring a sexual scenario.

Logan said: “How can you not think about sex when it’s quiet and candlelit and sort of romantic? Also you’re meant to empty your mind, which just leaves more room for tits.

“No wonder the Buddha is always depicted with his eyes closed and a wry smile. I guarantee you he’s imagining some pretty hot fantasies with sexy lady monks.

“He clearly had meditation boner problems like me, because why is he always wearing loose robes and sitting down?

“Next time I’m going to try meditating with some of that weird yoga music. An erection is no match for the endless wailing of a muesli-munching hippie with a pair of bongos.”