Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Eight out of ten ain't bad

Apparently the 'majority' of people pretend to have read classic books in order to appear more intelligent.  This is based on a survey of 2,000 people, it seems.  I can't say I've ever met people who claimed to do this...most admit quite happily that they couldn't finish such and such a 'classic' book, and give good reasons for not doing so. 

Here's the list of the top ten books people claimed to have read, but hadn't, in fact.

1 1984 by George Orwell (26%)
2 War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (19%)
3 Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (18%)
4 The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger (15%)
5 A Passage to India by EM Forster (12%)
6 Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien (11%)
7 To Kill A Mocking Bird by Harper Lee (10%)
8 Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (8%)
9 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (8%)
10 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (5%)
 I not only claim to have read but actually have read:1984, Great Expectations (twice), A Passage to India, Lord of the Rings, To Kill a Mockingbird, Crime and Punishment, Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre. I've never got near Catcher in the Rye, for some reason, and I've tried twice to read War and Peace, and given up both times.

Finnegan's Wake and Ulysses, both by Joyce, didn't appear on the list, which is interesting, even though they're both touted as 'classics.' I've never bothered with the first, and couldn't get far into the second.  The movie didn't help to encourage me. And where's Moby Dick?  I've twice started this too - the second time I didn't even get as far through as the first.
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