Booking through Thursday: Would You Lie?

October 1, 2009 at 2:11 am (Memes) ()

btt2Suggested by Monibo: Saw this article (from March) and thought it would make a good BTT confessional question:

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.



  1. Novroz said,

    I like your answer 🙂

    people do sometimes like brag…fortunately I am not 1 of those people. I don’t care if I am the only in a group of people who haven’t read a certain book.

  2. Nise' said,

    I want to share the love of reading not make people feel bad because they have not read this book or that one or have them make me feel bad for the same.

  3. Mae said,

    I remember those uni days where I’ll be in a tute sometime and everybody would have read something I’d never even heard of but I’ve never lied. There’s no point.

  4. Jenny said,

    At first I thought, No! I never lie about reading books! And I don’t exactly lie – but when people try to get me to read authors I don’t like and don’t want to read, I do sometimes make it sound like I’m more familiar with those authors than I really am. Like Toni Morrison and James Joyce. I have allowed people to believe that I am well-versed in their writing, though actually I have only read Beloved and a couple of Joyce’s short stories.


  5. alitareads said,

    Hmm, you’re an amazing liar?

    I have trouble remembering how much or even if I read books assigned in High School, so sometimes I just count those as books I’ve read. I know, not so truthful.

  6. lilly said,

    I am a person who avoids limelight and attention like a fire therefore bragging about anything (whether true or made up) was never in my mind. The last thing I want is people paying any attention to me. Another thing is, I also don’t really care who I impress or disappoint as far as reading goes.

  7. Schatzi said,

    Nise’: Hear, hear on not making people fell guilty or inadequate. Unless they haven’t read the Chronicles of Narnia …

    Mae: I see it a lot with college students.

    Jenny: I am shocked. Shocked!

    Alita: Yes. I also tell fantastic tall tales, some of which are WAY out there, but somehow I remain very convincing. I don’t know whether it’s a blessing or a curse.

    Lilly: I think some people do it to fit it, not just to stand out. But that’s a fair point.

  8. Tina Kubala said,

    In real life, I don’t know many people to read more than a few best sellers a year, plenty that haven’t read anything since school and maybe not then. So lying to be hip and intellectual is just pointless. Now, sugar coating my thoughts on Twilight because everyone is gaga is a different story.

  9. Nymeth said,

    The pressure is definitely there, but I also try not to succumb. During my last two year of college I actually began to take some perverse pleasure in being shamelessly honest about what I read: both the “hip” authors I have no interest in, and all the fantasy, children’s books and comics people judge me for loving.

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