Lying about the classics

teens-and-booksSeptember 9, 2013 – A new study from the United Kingdom reveals that 62 percent of Brits lie about reading classic novels to appear more intelligent.

Instead of actually reading the book, the majority polled say they rely on film and television adaptations, or summaries found online to fake their knowledge of the story. Almost half admit to displaying the books on their shelves without having read them.

The top ten books people say they have read, but haven’t included:

1984 – George Orwell
War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
A Passage to India – EM Forster
Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

Reading isn’t the only tactic people lie about to appear smarter. According to the poll, they also change their appearance, correct other people’s grammar, drop famous quotes into conversations, and claim a higher level of fluency in a foreign language.

Chances are these tactics aren’t exclusive to those in the United Kingdom. How many of the top ten classics have you read? Be honest…


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A girl trying to live the dream.

4 thoughts on “Lying about the classics”

    1. Yes, you do get extra credit! I’ve only read two: The Catcher in the Rye and 1984. I may have read To Kill a Mockingbird in school, I don’t remember. I may only know the story because I’ve seen the movie several times.

  1. I’ve only read five… 1984, Catcher, Lord of the Rings (all 3), Crime & Punishment, To Kill a Mockingbird (my favorite ). I guess I’m only half as smart as I think I am.

    1. Five isn’t bad at all! It’s actually impressive. And like Patti, you get extra credit for reading all three LOTRs.

      By your standards, I am only 20 percent as smart as I thought I was… 🙂

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