'Ulysses' among titles most people lie about reading


James Joyce's Ulyssescame in third behind George Orwell's 1984and Leo Tolstoy¿s War and Peace.

Not in a survey of most acclaimed titles, as might be expected, but in a list of books most people have lied about reading.

A survey, carried out on the World Book Day website in January and February, found two-thirds of people lied about reading books they have in fact not read.

Asked why they had lied about reading a book, the main reason was to impress the person they were speaking to.

Orwell's futuristic thriller topped the literary fib list with 42 per cent of people claiming falsely to have read the book.

This was followed by Tolstoy¿s historical epic which 31 per cent pretended to have perused.

Leopold Bloom¿s jaunt around Dublin came in third with 25 per cent of those surveyed claiming erroneously to have read.

The Bible was in fourth position, and newly-elected US President Barack Obama's autobiography Dreams from My Father came ninth.

Aside from a list of ten titles which respondents were asked to tick or leave blank, many admitted wrongly claiming they had read other "classics" including Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, Charles Dickens, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Herman Melville.

Those who lied have claimed to have read: 1. 1984 - George Orwell (42 per cent) 2. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy (31) 3. Ulysses - James Joyce (25) 4. The Bible (24) 5. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert (16) 6. A Brief History of Time - Stephen Hawking (15) 7. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie (14) 8. In Remembrance of Things Past ¿ Marcel Proust (9) 9. Dreams from My Father - Barack Obama (6) 10. The Selfish Gene - Richard Dawkins (6)