Have you ever lied about reading a book?


George Orwells 1984

This is an interesting question I spotted on the Guardian Books website a while ago. It seems there are certain books that we like people to think we have read, when in fact we haven’t. These tend to be classics; books that we think make us seem more intellectual if we profess to have read them. These titles are often ones that sit on our bookshelves and glow like a beacon of intellect, but whose cover will never be opened. No doubt they were picked up while at school, though never finished, or handed down by an elderly relative as an example of what people should be reading. Here is the list of the top 10 books people lie about reading:

1 1984 by George Orwell (26%)

2 War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (19%)

3 Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (18%)

4 The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (15%)

5 A Passage to India by EM Forster (12%)

6 Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien (11%)

7 To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee (10%)

8 Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (8%)

9 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (8%)

10 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (5%)

I don’t think I have ever (knowingly) claimed to have read a book that I haven’t. But there are some classic stories that I know so well and love so much, after either studying them at school or watching screen adaptations, sometimes I forget that I haven’t actually read them. I have never read A Christmas Carol, for example, but know the story inside out. One from this list would be Jane Eyre (which I really want to read and really should read, I know). But I’m happy to report that I have actually read the number one lied about book – 1984 – honest!  Remember, Big Brother is watching you…


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Anji Dawson says:

    I lied to my friend Laura about reading a book she lent me. She went on and on about how it was good even though it was by Katie Price (yes, Jordan!). So i kept it for a month then gave it back and said ‘ah yeah i liked it too’ but i couldnt get past the first page. Horrible book by a horrible woman. Not that i believe for a second that she actually wrote it herself, which is even worse!


    1. If someone lent me a book “written” by Katie Price I think I would just have to tell them that I would probably never read it. But well done for trying!


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