Two-thirds lie about reading a book

We try to make ourselves appear more intelligent

Two-thirds of people admitted to lying about having read a book, an anonymous questionnaire has revealed.

The survey, released to mark World Book Day today, shows that we pretend to have read highbrow books like War and Peace to make ourselves appear more intelligent and sexy than we actually are.

George Orwell’s 1984 heads the top 10 list of books we falsely claim to have read. Others include War and Peace and Ulysses – which can both exceed 1,000 pages depending on edition – the Bible and A Brief History of Time, by Professor Stephen Hawking.

In reality most people would rather pick up a JK Rowling, John Grisham or a Mills and Boon, the poll found.

Jonathan Douglas, director of the National Literacy Trust said: ‘Research that we have done suggests that the reason people lied was to make themselves appear more sexually attractive. People like to be seen to be readers. It makes them look good.’

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