I suggested a question for Booking Through Thursday back in March when I saw an article online: “2 out of 3 Britons have lied about the books they’ve read“. I am flattered to have another question of mine chosen for Booking Through Thursday.
Two-thirds of Brits have lied about reading books they haven’t. Have you? Why? What book?
I want to take the high-and-mighty road and say I haven’t, but truth is I probably have. Normally it’s because I haven’t read the book and I’m embarrassed and just kinda nod and smile in the conversation, agreeing like I have read the book. The second circumstance is where I’ve not finished and I’ll lie and say that I have. It’s a shameful thing… but I don’t know why we feel we need to lie. There are hundreds of thousands of great books out there, and there is no way we’ve read them all.
According to the article, the most commonly lied about books are: “1984 – George Orwell (42%),War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy (31%),Ulysses – James Joyce (25%),and The Bible (24%)… Many admitted wrongly claiming they had read other “classics” including Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Herman Melville.”
I’ve actually read 1984 (no lies!), I’ve not read War and Peace or Ulysses but they are both on my “Classics TBR” list. I’ve not read The Bible from cover to cover, but I have read passages from it. In fact, my copy is the copy my mom used when she was a little girl in school. I will admit that I’ve not yet read any Jane Austen, but I desperately want to. I’ve ready some poetry by Emily Bronte and I definitely want to read Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I think I started several Charles Dickens novels when I was younger (ambitious Elementary school kid) but they were beyond my reading level and I put them down. I have read a few Hemingway books though.
There are several excerpts of great works that we read in Literature 12 in high school that I would love to go back and read completely, including Beowulf and The Canterbury Tales. If you take a look at my TBR List here on the blog, I am quite honest about what I have read, want to read, and own (but not yet read).