Two-thirds of Brits have lied about reading books they haven’t. Have you? Why? What book?
I think it is sometimes tempting for any of us who suffer from pretentiousness to fib a bit about what we’ve read. In some circles (read: Hanging out with hipsters or college students will force you into those sorts of braggadocio contests), people are judged entirely on a basis of whom they know, what they listen to, the films they watch, and the books they enjoy. In such circumstances, it is not unheard of for some little white lies to come out. And many of us have written papers on books we never quite finished …
However, I try very hard to not succumb to those interior pressures. On occasion, I do struggle to remember whether I actually read something or not; it has sometimes been so long since I read something, that it requires careful thought. But since I was a child, I have placed inordinate importance upon my reading matter, and refuse to either deny having read something, or to pretend to have done so. When I’ve started a book, I try to be straight about the fact that I well, never finished it. But because I am such an amazingly good liar (and I really am, I’d explain in greater detail, but it might disillusion certain longtime associates or relatives who read this), it is a difficult temptation to resist.
It’s a matter of pride for me to be honest in little ways. And I feel like blogging about my books helps keep me on the straight and narrow, it gives me some accountability. It reminds me that I have no reason to lie; something that can be difficult for a lot of people when it comes to matters of pride or one upmanship.