Which books have you lied about reading?

The BBC reports on a poll conducted to mark World Book Day in which people confess to having lied about reading particular books…

…to impress someone.


Here’s the toppermost of the poppermost:

  1. 1984 – George Orwell (42%)
  2. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy (31%)
  3. Ulysses – James Joyce (25%)
  4. The Bible (24%)
  5. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert (16%)
  6. A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking (15%)
  7. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie (14%)
  8. In Remembrance of Things Past – Marcel Proust (9%)
  9. Dreams from My Father – Barack Obama (6%)
  10. The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins (6%)

I love the King James Bible. But, as an atheist, I must add: not in that way, vicar.

Nobody would impress me by claiming to have read Midnight’s Children. Indeed, I’d try to get in first by impressing upon them that I virtually threw it out the window after fifty pages of self-important gobbledegook.

Then the person would back away from me, nodding, and find someone less creepy at the party.

BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Arts & Culture | Poll reveals UK’s reading secrets

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Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

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