Reading Between the Lies

by Robert Pondiscio
March 10th, 2009

I’ve been carrying this guilty burden for 25 years and now it’s time to set it down:  I never read Middlemarch or Thackeray’s Vanity Fair for my Victorian literature class in college. 

I’m not the only one. An anonymous questionnaire for Britain’s World Book Day shows two-thirds of people in Britain admitted to lying about having read a book.  George Orwell’s 1984 is the most lied about book, according to the poll, followed by War and Peace, and Ulysses.  Also gathering dust on a high shelf: The Bible, Madame Bovary Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time.

The results show the lengths to which people will go to appear intelligent and well-read, Jonathan Douglas, director of Britain’s National Literacy Trust tells the London Telegraph.  “Research that we have done suggests that the reason people lied was to make themselves appear more sexually attractive,” he said.

Yup.  Middlemarch, the ultimate babe magnet.