Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Fiction fabrication

The Guardian reports a survey on lying about reading books.
A recent survey of 2,000 people suggests that the majority of people pretend to have read classic books in order to appear more intelligent, with more than half of those polled displaying unread books on their shelves and 3% slipping a highbrow cover on books they'd rather not be seen reading in public.
The list (percentage of respondents lying)
  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%)
Though one would ask, "Why lie?" You may end up in a conversation with someone who had read the book and show yourself ignorant of the contents. And who did they survey? Guardian readers? One quarter of all people lying about reading the book 1984 seems a little high? Further, I never assume that a book on a shelf in a house means the owner has read it. I haven't read all the books on my shelves.

Of the above I have read
  1. 1984
  2. Great Expectations
  3. Lord of the Rings
  4. To Kill A Mocking Bird
No plans on reading the others at this stage though it may be prudent to reread 1984.

Hat tip: Scribble Pad

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