Saturday, January 27, 2007

Book Snobbery - People Lie About What They Read To Appear Sexy

So, brains are sexy.

Earlier this week, Resourceshelf reported on a study by the U.K. Museums, Libraries and Archive Council according to which "A third of British adults have lied about reading a book to appear more intelligent according to a new survey".

As well:

"One in ten men said they would fib about reading a certain book to impress the opposite sex according to the poll of over 4000 bookworms conducted by the Museums, Libraries and Archive Council (MLA)".

"Most people expand on their literary repertoire to impress a new date, 15 per cent have lied about the books they have read to a new colleague and five per cent have told porkies about their reading habits to their employer".

The Council even compiled a list of the top ten books our friends across the Ocean lie about having read:

  1. The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R Tolkien
  2. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  3. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  4. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus – John Gray
  5. 1984 – George Orwell
  6. Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone – J.K Rowling
  7. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  8. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  9. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
  10. Diary of Anne Frank – Anne Frank

It would be fun to know what a Canadian list (broken down into English and French groups) would look like. I bet Margaret Atwood and Michel Tremblay would be near the top. And Marshall McLuhan - I never could figure out what he was nattering on about exactly, but I am sure he saved many a date on a cold January evening from disaster.

In a Library Boy post from April 5, 2005 entitled Great Books I Have Not Read, I commented on a related phenomenon:

"There is a twisted theory that publishing may in fact depend for its survival on printing 'famous' books everyone feels obliged to buy but that no one really ever reads or finishes." (...)

"It's gotten to the point that a fellow in Vienna one day decided to create a Library of the Unread Book. Julius Deutschbauer figured that the number of books unread probably exceeds that of the number actually read. Wise calculation, no doubt. He collected more than 400 books, all donated, that all share one thing in common: their owners would have liked to have read them, but never got around to it".

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 3:31 pm

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