In the Reading Group Choices Newsletter I received this week, I read a fascinating story about a World Book Day survey that found that "two-thirds of people lied about reading books they have in fact not read". What I found the most interesting was that when they were asked why they had lied about reading a book they said that the main reason was "to impress the person they were speaking to".
These are the top ten titles that that those who lied had claimed to have read:
1. 1984 - George Orwell
2. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
3. Ulysses - James Joyce
4. The Bible
5. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
6. A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking
7. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
8. In Remembrance of Things Past - Marcel Proust
9. Dreams from My Father - Barack Obama
10. The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins
Personally, I wouldn't lie about reading a book to impress someone. For me, I feel like I've missed out on something having not read some of the all time classics earlier. I didn't read Pride & Prejudice or Jane Eyre until I was in my 30's. I realized that I had definitely missed out on not reading them in my younger years. Although, I may have a certain appreciation and perspective having read them at that time in my life. I'm trying to "catch up" on all of the classic literature that I haven't read and interests me. That's the beauty of the book blogging community for me as I've been reminded of all of the wonderful books that I want to read.
It looks like it's an honor system, unless someone really blows their cover...will we ever really know?!