How many books have you lied about reading?

I have a confession; it’s months and months since I read a classic book. PLEASE DON’T ATTACK ME.

I went through a stage of really getting into classic books; I read them in the bath, on the floor of
img_1961 trains, on buses and snuggled up in bed. I checked them off my list of books I really should get read list. I think I might have made it through half the list I promised myself I would read and then for some reason I stopped. I put down all the classics and pretty much have only been picking up crime and thriller books since. I’m not sure why – oddly I’m often terrified by crime books but it’s all my tiny mitts have wanted to read recently.

I clicked onto Facebook this morning (#PRODUCTIVITY) and this post flashed up; How Many Of These Books Have You Lied About Reading?

I love Buzzfeed and their click-bait titles, and I thought what the hell. I ended up with this answer.

You checked 5 out of 52 on this list! 

You’re not bothered about how cultured you’re perceived to be. You’re not into the
classics and don’t mind who knows that. Lying about the books you’ve read is a slippery slope that you refuse to fall down.

So, these are the books that I might have white lied about reading and to be completely honest with you, I’m not even that ashamed.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Gone with the wind by Margaret Mitchell

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I feel many readers, as like myself might have at some point said a tiny porky as to whether they’ve read someone’s favourite classic. Maybe in this situation:

Person in Love with the book: “Oh god, everyone has read Gone with the Wind! Seriously, it’s an honour to have been born in a time where it was written.”

Lizzy (awkwardly) “Oh, never read it myself – cover put me off. Think I might have heard good things but not put my mind to it yet.”

Person in Love with the book: “Well, right, bye.”


Okay, maybe not as extreme as that but it’s how I’ve felt on numerous occasions. It’s kind of when you meet a boy and they ask you whether you’ve heard of a certain band and suddenly they are your favourite band despite the fact you’ve never heard of them.

“Oh, didn’t they do a secret gig in Manchester 4 years ago – yeah I was there. Wore a band tee and they picked me out from the crowd. Pretty cool tbh with you. Oh you didn’t hear of that very secret gig, well can’t call yourself much of a fan can you.”

So, I thought today we could all be very honest and come clean about the classic books we haven’t quite got round to yet but might have lied about reading. In the spirit of positivity let’s not get down that we never made it through Oliver Twist or that we found Pip’s journey a massive let down (Great Expectations is not a book I own up to have read – I despised it.)

PS: I just want to point out Buzzfeed it’s not that I’m not into classics ie your statement “You’re not into the classics and don’t mind who knows that.” It’s just there were quite a few on the list I did actually read and enjoy and there are a few on there I haven’t read YET.

If you want to take the quiz (I know I just slated it a little but you might be intrigued here’s a cheeky link,) and let me know which bookish white lie reads you want to get off your chest in the comments.




6 thoughts on “How many books have you lied about reading?

  1. alittlebookproblem says:

    I agree that the conclusion of the quiz doesn’t correlate to the question. It asks ‘How many of these books have you lied about reading?’ I answered 4 so it also said I wasn’t bothered about the classics. However, I have read most of the rest, so I haven’t lied about reading and enjoying those. Ergo, I LOVE the classics!

  2. scarlett1000 says:

    I have just written about this very topic on my own blog a couple of weeks ago. I was inspired by Andy Miller’s book ‘The Year of Reading Dangerously’ which I highly recommend. I am following his lead and reading 10 classics next year which I have listed and will blog about (he read a lot more!) Happy Reading!

  3. sjhigbee says:

    I don’t lie about books I’ve read. Two reasons – one, I’m a Creative Writing tutor, so it is a really stupid move on my part to claim I’ve read a book when I haven’t as it completely undercuts my credibility; two, I’m allergic to the kind of pressure that dictates that some genres are ‘better’ than others. There amazing, life-enhancing books in every genre, as well as real clunkers that have you tossing them across the room halfway through page 2. Or wishing you had…

  4. hollykerrauthor says:

    I’ll be honest, I’ve lied about reading 3 books on the list, one being Alice in Wonderland. And since I am being honest, I sometimes fib about movies I’ve seen! If you watch the trailer and read a review you can get the gist of the plot. I’ve had whole conversations with people about movies I’ve never seen! There – I feel better now. 🙂

  5. doddyaboutbooks says:

    I love the classics, – I haven’t read 14 of the books on that list and for the most part have no intention of doing so. I may get around to Victor Hugo one day, but John Le Carre? Pass. I’m also a bit curious about what they are referring to as classics. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is one of my favourite books of all time – I’ve read it more times than I can count. I wouldn’t call it a classic though.

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