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Books Brits lie about read.

In October of last year Sky Arts asked 2000 people if they had ever lied about reading a book and if they had what books they had lied about. 56% said they had lied, 31% of them saying it was to look smarter and 37% saying it so they could be involved in a conversation. Today I wanna go through the lift of books, I think it’s rather an interesting list.

So I’ve really made an effort to try and read more classic books lately, books like to Kill A Mockingbird and the Great Gatsby, and there’s loads more on my lift that I want to read. I don’t think you need to have read classics, it doesn’t prove anything to anyone, but there are some really good books out there. So to see that most of the books on this list are classics I think is pretty interesting. 

So 12% of the 2000 people asked admitted to lying about reading the bible and I think this is the most interesting thing on this list. It’s number one and I don’t understand what position you would be in to need to say you had read the bible. Most people know at least one or two stories from the book and it’s perfectly acceptable to talk about these stories without having read it, yet people feel the need to lie and say they have. 

Number two and three on the list, both at 10%, is To Kill A Mockingbird and Romeo and Juliet. I’ve read To Kill a Mockingbird and I really love the book and I do get why people would lie about this one. I can imagine it fits into the ‘look smart’ category, people know this book is a classic and when asked ‘so what books do you like?’ this would be an easy name to pluck out of nowhere. But Romeo and Juliet is another interesting one, most people have at least some doings with Romeo and Juliet when at school. If you wanted to look smart then why say a book that most people read at school? It’s such a strange choice.

1984 by George Orwell is number 4 on the list. This is a book I personally want to read but I think it’s interesting to lie about such a book. It’s so integrated into our everyday pop culture, things like Big Brother, that this is another one to lie about when wanting to be involved in a conversation. 

Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen comes in at number 5 with 8%. Another classic and another strange one one the list. 

So this is how the full list goes:

1. The Bible 12%

2. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee 10%

3. Romeo And Juliet by William Shakespeare 10%

4. 1984 by George Orwell 9%

5. Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen 8%

6. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens 7%

7. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville 7%

8. War And Peace by Leo Tolstoy 6%

9. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson 6%

10. The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain 5%

11. A Brief History Of Time by Steven Hawking 5%

12. Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky 5%

13. The Odyssey by Homer 5%

14. The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway 4%

15. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov 4%

16. Ulysses by James Joyce 4%

17. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell 3%

18. Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari 3%

19. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath 3%

20. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand 2%

I think this list is really interesting and I would love to see a bigger breakdown of the people asked to answer the questions. Such as if they do read and are just lying about classics or if they really don’t read at all. As well as age and profession. I think the most interesting bit is definitely the bible. 


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