Being brutally honest about books

Monday, 12 September 2016

Lying about reading a book

I've read and watched a lot of things in which characters lied about having read a specific book (and eventually having it backfire). I've also come across people on the internet who say they've lied about reading a certain book. The books people lie about reading are usually classic literature and popular fiction.

I want to know why this happens. Why lie about reading a book? Do these people honestly think we care that much about what they read? That if someone says, "No, I haven't read Jane Eyre or Hamlet," we'll think they're unintelligent? 

Because we won't. One of the best things in the world is when you can talk about your favourite book with someone who has also read it. But that doesn't make you both more intelligent. Reading a particular book does not make you smarter than someone who hasn't read it. (Unless it's a textbook, which is designed to make you smarter.)

I have no problem telling people that I've never read and never want to read Harry Potter or 50 Shades of Grey. That I read all of Jane Austen's works by age 16. That I will probably never read The Silmarillion or Charles Dickens. Or that I'm currently reading War and Peace, one of the longest novels ever written, and am loving it.

Not every book is interesting to everyone. Not every book is accessible to everyone. It's okay to have your own taste in books. It's okay to not read at all. Just be honest. People will dislike you more for lying about it than for just admitting to not having read it.

Talk to me...

Have you ever lied about reading a book? Has someone ever lied to you about reading a book? How did it make you feel?
I'm Alexandria, a 19-year-old reader/writer/blogger from New Zealand. I love language, history, and sci-fi. Hi! I'm always around if you want to talk, which you can do via comments, the contact form, or Facebook.

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