Our Literary Lies

Jul 23 2013 @ 3:02pm

dish_books

According to Book Riot’s survey of books readers pretend to have read, the chart-toppers are Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and James Joyce’s Ulysses. Sadie Stein comments:

While the usual lengthy suspects—Ulysses, Moby-Dick, Infinite Jest—are represented, Pride and Prejudice is a surprise dark horse number-one. (Maybe after investing six hours in the BBC miniseries, people feel they’ve got the idea?) Other surprises include the relatively short To Kill a Mockingbird and Great Expectations—perhaps purely due to their inclusion on hundreds of syllabi?—Harry Potter, and, somewhat mysteriously, Fifty Shades of Grey. And this prompts several follow-up questions: When you listen to a book on tape, does that count? Is there a point at which, via osmosis, adaptations, and self-delusion, one can actually begin to believe he has in fact read a book, and is there a German compound word for this phenomenon?