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March 05, 2009


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Aren't people funny? I've never lied about what I do/do not read. Knowing my luck, I'd ramble on to someone about 'that marvellous book by xyz' and then the bugger would ask me questions that I wouldn't have a hope of answering. I'd rather appear a bit thick and non-ready in my silence, as opposed to very thick and rather stupid in my lies.

Guilty reads... Jeffrey Archer. I've listened to a few on Audio Books. Thoroughly enjoyed them. Admitting to liking his stuff is a bit like admitting to liking Phil Collins.

I'll get my coat.

I read's take on this story and was alarmed, not so much by the lying, but instead at the high number of respondents who admitted to treating books rather badly. 64% said that fold over pages to mark their place. Whilst this is very practical, I am so fastidious about my books that it is not something I would ever do.

I have read "1984", "War and Peace" and lots of the Bible (though I can't quote chapter and verse references) but none of the others in the top ten that people most lie about having read. Then again, can you be sure I'm telling the truth here?

I can't think of anything I have read in recent years that I wouldn't want to own up to. I tell the world what I'm reading by listing it on Librarything. What I'm not bold enough to do there is give low ratings to well-regarded books that I did not enjoy. There's too much negativity on the web already, so if I didn't enjoy something a tend not to rate it at all. If one does feel a little embarrassed about liking a particular title then there's always that great excuse line "it wasn't great art but it was good entertainment".

I've read 1984, Madame Bovary and Midnight's Children (twice) -- oh yes, and The Bible. I have Ulysses here but I just can't ever get to starting it knowing how many people have trouble with it. I don't lie about reading books because I've actually read a lot of the big ones.

My "hidden" reads? Probably every time I re-read Gone With the Wind and my obsession with Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody series. I swear it's educational ... they're archaeologists! ;)

In David Lodge's Changing Places, there's a game called Humiliation. Academics name the books (in their field) they haven't read that they really, really ought to have read. The more important the work, the more points you get, but the more humiliated you are at not having read it. The English prof who hasn't read Hamlet, for instance, will probably be fired, but has won the game.

That said, I am a French professor, who during grad school took a class on Proust. I read the first and last volumes of Remembrance of Things Past, and nothing in between. I still got an A in the class!

There's nothing I've ever read I'm ashamed to own up to, though. No brown paper covers here.

I did The Iliad and The Odyssey as one of my special subjects in my final year and still to this day have not read all of The Iliad (both were read in translation, I hasten to add). I have a lot of literary tastes many people would think lowbrow: pony books for one, and then there's my Dick Francis habit..

I have only read 1984 from the list. I've never lied about reading a book, but then us book bloggers have probably read more books than anyone else we meet, and so never feel the need to exagerate our reading. It is probably us who are being lied to!

I've read all the Dan Brown books. They were reasonably entertaining. The only book lies I've ever told have been along the lines of 'What a good coincidence - I didn't realise there was a massive book sale here today!'

Kit - I'm shocked! Actually I have read a Jeffrey Archer too. I had forgotten that, and I can't remember which one either.

David - yes, negative reviews and ratings are a bit of a minefield. As to turning over page corners - in my job selling used books I see much worse treatment than that!

Kristen - Gone with the Wind is actually on my mental to-be-read list! I am pleased that it is so good it deserves re-reads.

Jane - is there a technical term for low brow in a horse. I too have read a Dick Francis - just one, can't remeber which but the prose was inoffensive and it was a real page turner.

Jackie - I think you're right. It is easy to be smug about admitting to not having read something if you are, over all, confident about your well-read-ness.

Jenny - I had forgotten that game. It is time for a David Lodge re-read I think. As to your Proust admission, I think most students have submitted essays on books only half read, me included I'm afraid. I hadn't thought about that as a kind of lying about what I read, more a coping strategy that tutors surely expect!

I havent read any of these and thats the truth! There arent any books I wont admit I have read, I will just gloss over them as I am going to now lol. I have a passion for Tess Gerritsen whom many people think is trash! I think its thrilling and always gets me through readers block!!

So pleased to hear a book blogger standing up for Dan Brown. I've read all his novels and enjoyed them all, including the much-vilified Da Vinci Code. I'm far too bolshy to lie about what I read - of the list I've read Ulysses (because I was obliged to for my degree), 1984 and almost all of the Bible (I balk at Revelation). I read far too slowly to read books I don't enjoy, whatever genre they belong to...

Cheeky wotsit! They are all fairly similar in my eyes. A few differences, obviously, but having listened to about 4-5, I feel fairly confident that while I'm dog walking or gardening, etc., I shall be quite 'entertained'...

I hate to admit it, Catherine, but I'm a simple soul... You probably knew that!

(LOVING the whole name thing I (don't) have to enter now... SO easy now... woo hoo!!!... See?)

I'm more uncomfortable at admitting that I haven't read Gone With The Wind, isn't that funny! I didn't like 1984 and didn't finish it, and I've never got through all of Proust, though I enjoy him - one for my retirement years, perhaps? I think Katie Fforde's books are my guiltiest pleasure, but I don't mind being seen reading them.

I have read War and Peace, 1984, Madame Bovary, two pages of Ulysses (have yet to meet anybody who says they have read the entire book) and great chunks of the Bible (I went to Convent school). I love reading Mills and Boon and used to tell great whoppers about that, but now I don't bother as I thnk they are wonderful. Not sure I would read one in public though if I am being brutally honest. I can, however, put my hand on my heart and say that I have never pretended to read a book

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