Friday, March 06, 2009

More on Britain's Dishonest Readers

Tut tut! A survey carried by Spread The Word in conjunction with World Book Day yesterday revealed some of UK readers' guilty bibliosecrets. According to The Bookseller..
.. two thirds of people have claimed to have read a book they haven't. The most popular book to have lied about reading is 1984 by George Orwell, with 42% of surveyed people saying they had said they had read it even if they hadn't.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy came second with 31%, and Ulysses by James Joyce was in third place with 25%. When asked why they had lied the main reason was to impress the person they were speaking to.

J K Rowling was the most popular author, with 61% of respondents saying that she is the author they really enjoy. John Grisham came second with 32% and Sophie Kinsella with 22%.

41% of respondents confessed to having turned to the back of the books to read the end before finishing the story. Additionally, 48% admitted to buying a book for someone else and reading it first. Many respondents, 91%, said that they had stayed up late at night to finish reading a book.

The survey also found that people can't bear to throw their books away, with 77% of respondents saying they buy extra bookshelves when they fill up.
Another poll conducted for WBD, this time by Sky News' The Book Show, showed an increased appetite for reading at in all age groups.

Anyway, we already knew that the Brits lie about the books they haven't read. Malaysians, of course, would never do that.

Postscript :

Melanie Macdonald in The Telegraph reckons it's not such a bad thing that people lie about books they haven't read :
... the great thing about knowing that there are books that you ought to have read is that one day you get round to reading them. It usually turns out they're worth it.

11 comments:

Drachen said...

Looking at my LibraryThing, I've read about 75% of the books there. 25% I have not completed but do go back to now and then. There is one book I have not read but whose author (Chalmers Johnson) is so impressive I stuck it in as well.

Anonymous said...

I haven't read 1984.. but I've read Animal Farm. I have Ulysses here, and it's fuin to read, but wow I need a dictionary lol :)

Damyanti said...

I have read quite a few books as a teenager, which I barely remember now.
When I say I have read those books, I have a feeling I'm cheating, and have this urge to run and buy those books to read again.

I have Ulysses at home as well, but have never gone beyond the first few pages.

bibliobibuli said...

Damyanti - same with me ... and i am a couple of decades older than you, so the feeling is even worse. i guess it goes back to what does it really mean to have read a book ... and how even if you have read them you never really take possession of them.

i am telling people i have read "the great gatsby" but i honestly can't remember if i have ... must read it all over again

Chet said...

I just found two books from Project Guttenberg that were probably the first books I ever read - Mill on the Floss and Silas Marner by George Eliot - probably abridged. Have downloaded them to my Palm TX PDA and look forward to reading them again.

And I know for sure I read The Great Gatsby, thanks to the movie version starring Robert Redford and Mia Farrow.

Damyanti said...

The Great Gatsby...I read that in college, and the story hasn't stuck. I was so embarrassed when Jeremy Sheldon kept quoting from it and analyzing it at the workshop and I just could not remember it that well!

Yusuf Martin said...

Well I really did read 1984, Ulysses and did attempt War and Peace but gave up.

I can't stand Rowling and much prefer the films to her writing, never consciously read any John Grisham or Sophie Kinsella and parting with a book is like leaving your child destitute in the rain in a back alley known for its child molesters, pimps and drug pushers.

bibliobibuli said...

" .... parting with a book is like leaving your child destitute in the rain in a back alley known for its child molesters, pimps and drug pushers."

oh i have to engrave that quote on my heart! you're so right ...

Anonymous said...

I have given away and sold for a pittance hundreds of books since the 1960s and I am still left with more than enough....can you take books to your grave?

Anonymous said...

I suppose you can.. bury them with you or something.

Anonymous said...

What a feast for the worms!