Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Reading Lies

Do you ever lie about the books you read?

I fudge. If I get more than a third of the way through I say I've read it. I've read the first half of The Horse of Pride three times but never finished it.

Well, readers in Britain lie a lot! This article about a survey in The Guardian says that 61%...SIXTY-ONE PER CENT!...admit to claiming that they've read a book when they haven't even cracked it open!

I'm too chicken to be that blatant. I hate getting caught in a lie more than I hate looking dumb. But I'm not a Brit.

However---11% of those folks in the survey said they'd written a book. They'd finished a manuscript, but not gotten it published. Wonder if they're telling the truth?

The paper published a list the books folks are most likely to lie about, and 1984 by George Orwell is at the top. 42% of the folks in the survey said they'd fibbed about reading it. How silly--it's a good book. It's not overly long. I can understand no. 2: War and Peace. That's a hefty tome, and I don't know anyone who's read it.

Some of the others on the list surprised me: The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. Why would anyone bother to lie about reading that? And The Bible came in at #4, with 24% saying they lied about reading it. Um...doesn't that double your time in purgatory?

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