The Books We Say We’ve Read

Have you ever lied about reading a book? Well, if so, you’re hardly alone. According to The Guardian, 65% of people polled in a survey admitted to having made such a lie. And what books did they claim to have read? George Orwell’s 1984 ranked #1. Then the order went something like this: Tolstoy’s War and Peace, James Joyce’s Ulysses, and the Bible

I was reminded today that 1984 was first published 60 years ago. You can get the 60th anniversary edition here, or you can always download a free, high quality audio book from And, for more free audio books, visit our large collection.

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  • Hannah says:

    I did read 1984 – I’m a bit sursprised about that one, I thought everyone read that, most people in their teens. It’s not even very long or “hard”, why wouldn’t you just read it if you’re interested enough to PRETEND you’ve read it? Strange!

    I have lied about War and Peace though. I struggled to page 900 of 1000 and then just gave up. I didn’t like the way things were going and wanted to read something else. Stupid! It was enough to get me through the exam, but I don’t think I’ll ever have enough courage to start it all over again…

    I haven’t read Ulysses or the Bible, and I’d never lie about that. Why would you? I just don’t see the point.

  • Dan Colman says:

    If you’ve read 900 pages of W&P, I wouldn’t call it a flat out lie. It’s 90% truth, 10% lie. Not too shabby.

  • Hanoch says:


    One reason to read the Bible might be to gain a better understanding of the foundation upon which all of Western Civilization was built (not to mention the profound impact it had on Tolstoy’s views). Hardly insignificant stuff.

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