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Most Britons have lied about reading, poll says

Many say they lied about having read some books to impress people. Orwell's '1984' tops the list; Obama's 'Dreams From My Father' is in the top 10.

March 06, 2009|Reuters

Two of three respondents to a British poll have lied about reading books they have not, and George Orwell's "1984" tops the literary fib list, according to results published Thursday. Commissioned by the organizers of World Book Day, an annual celebration of reading in Britain, the study also shows that the author people really enjoy reading is J.K. Rowling, creator of the bestselling Harry Potter wizard series. The main reason for lying given by the 1,342 people surveyed was to impress others. Those who lied have claimed to have read:

1. "1984" by George Orwell (42% of respondents).

2. "War and Peace," Leo Tolstoy (31%).

3. "Ulysses," James Joyce (25%).

4. The Bible (24%).

5. "Madame Bovary," Gustave Flaubert (16%).

6. "A Brief History of Time," Stephen Hawking (15%).

7. "Midnight's Children," Salman Rushdie (14%).

8. "Remembrance of Things Past," Marcel Proust (9%).

9. "Dreams From My Father," Barack Obama (6%).

10. "The Selfish Gene," Richard Dawkins (6%).

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