What Do Lolita and Freakonomics Have in Common?
A Cal Tech grad student put together a list of the most popular books across college campuses and then correlated those book choices with S.A.T. scores at those schools. His results reveal that the five books with the highest average S.A.T. scores are Lolita, 100 Years of Solitude, Crime and Punishment, Freakonomics, and Atlas Shrugged.
Among those five books, I have to admit that Lolita and Freakonomics are the only two I have read from beginning to end. I started the other three but didn’t manage to finish reading any of them.
The lowest five books in terms of S.A.T. scores are Zane (who is an author, not a book), The Color Purple, Fahrenheit 451, The Outsiders, and Addicted. The Holy Bible almost makes this category.
So which way is the causality running here? Does reading Crime and Punishment make you smart or do smart people read Crime and Punishment?
Unfortunately, I fear that it is the latter. Otherwise, can you imagine how many copies of Freakonomics we could sell? Every teenager needing a little S.A.T. score boost would make a trip to the bookstore and see that Freakonomics is 207 pages long and Crime and Punishment is over 700 pages. The choice would be easy.