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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (My Favourite Part)
Episode 1127th April 2022 • Socratica Reads • Kimberly Hatch Harrison
00:00:00 00:06:08

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After a brief hiatus, we’re starting Season 2 of Socratica Reads with a new theme: My Favourite Part. To foster and develop your love of reading, Kimberly shares her favourite parts of the books she’s reading. What are you reading that sparks your curiosity and brings you joy?

Today Kim talks about her favourite part of Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury. 

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Mentioned in this episode:

How to Love Reading (Study Tips Video)

How to Be a Great Student



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Welcome Everybody! To Socratica Reads. My name is Kimberly Hatch Harrison, and I’m the co-founder of Socratica. You may know us best from our YouTube channel, where we focus on math, science, and computer programming. We also have a kind of meta-series on How to Learn, where we teach study techniques, and I recently wrote a book about how I figured out how to be a great student. It’s called….How to be a Great Student. 

One of our most popular videos in this series is called “How to Love Reading.” We hear from a lot of our viewers that they want to cultivate the habit of reading, but for the most part it feels a chore to them. Something they HAVE to do, rather than something they WANT to do, or are even DRIVEN to do, from a deep NEED inside. I’m talking about myself right now, I NEED to read, I always have, so it’s a little hard for me to relate to this idea, that reading is a habit you need to try to develop. I’ve never had to force myself to read a lot.

So we made this video to try to bridge the gap and extend some understanding towards the people who aren’t great readers, but they see people like me doing it, I read everywhere in all situations, and I won’t stop talking about how much I loved a certain book, or how libraries are my favourite thing in the world, and…so we made this episode of our study tips series, and I think we were at least partly successful in what we were trying to achieve. 

I say we because my friend Liliana and I wrote this episode together. She’s another great reader, and we have had such fun over the years exchanging books and finding new authors to share. It’s like a very small book club. She once brought me the new Neil Gaiman book and sat with me while I read it because she loved it so much and wanted to re-experience it with me. It’s a really special thing that we share. 

So I’m thinking…this is what I’m going to do for at least a while, maybe a season or so on this podcast. It’s like a relaunch. Last year, the theme of the podcast was talking about the books that inspired our work at Socratica. And since so much of our work is about learning and trying to create the education of the future, it makes a lot of sense that science fiction books were inspiring for us. I went back and re-read a lot of the classics that were formative for me as a child and young adult, like the Martian Chronicles and Ender’s Game and Flowers for Algernon. 

I could have kept this podcast series going for a long time in this same direction, but…I’m not going to. Instead, I’m going to do a little bit of the kinds of sharing that Liliana and I have been doing. Rather than dwelling on the big important momentous insights that certain books have brought me, I’m just going to share my favourite parts. I’m reading all the time, and my daily reading habit brings me a lot of small joys. Not necessarily giant earth-shattering events, just small moments that improve my life every day. So I’m inviting you to experience a few of those moments with me. I think that will give you a more honest understanding of how *I* love reading.

I think it’s only fitting that I start with Ray Bradbury, because he’s someone I love reading, and I re-read him a lot, and I started the podcast in the first place to talk about Ray Bradbury on his 100th birthday, and anyway, it’s my podcast and I love him. 

So I just re-read Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 because I feel lucky that no one ever tried to stop me from reading it. It’s a book that’s been banned a lot, and somehow, miraculously, because of the time and place where I was born, I get to read what I want, including Fahrenheit 451. 

But I never really thought about it as a book about censorship, but rather it’s a cautionary tale, giving us a picture of a kind of society we could easily slouch towards, where people would rather not be using their brains. The main character was content, or normal in that society, until something woke him up. 

Here’s my favourite part:

One two three four five six seven days. And as many times he came out of the house and Clarisse was there somewhere in the world. Once he saw her shaking a walnut tree, once he saw her sitting on the lawn knitting a blue sweater, three or four times he found a bouquet of late flowers on his porch, or a handful of chestnuts in a little sack, or some autumn leaves neatly pinned to a sheet of white paper and thumb-tacked to his door. Every day Clarisse walked him to the corner.

One day it was raining, the next it was clear, the day after that the wind blew strong, and the day after that it was mild and calm, and the day after that calm day was a day like a furnace of summer and Clarisse with her face all sun-burnt by late afternoon.

That was my favourite part of Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Do you have a favourite part? If you want to talk about these things, we have a discussion board over on Discord that’s open to all of our Patrons. You can support our work at Socratica by going to

So…subscribe or - whatever it is you do with a podcast - and I’ll be back soon to share with you my favourite part of what I’m reading.



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