Next time someone knowledge-drops 1984 into a conversation, just know that (in addition to being extremely cliche), there's a good chance they haven't actually read the thing. According to The Guilty Secrets Survey (carried out as a tie-in to World Book Day 2009), 65% of people lie about reading books they haven't actually read. The survey also found that (this just in...) we're an impatient breed. 41% of respondents confessed to skipping to the last page to find out what happens before finishing a book. Oh, the horror!
Here's a list of books to be suspicious about (with the percentages of people who have lied about reading them).
1. 1984 by George Orwell (42%)
2. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (31%)
3. Ulysses by James Joyce (25%)
4. The Bible (24%)
5. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (16%)
6. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking (15%)
7. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie (14%)
8. In Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust (9%)
9. Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama (6%)
10. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins (6%)