Some people will say they have read books when they really haven’t; why do you think that is?
The main reason I can think of is that they might want to appear smart and well-read and impress the people they’re speaking with, especially if it’s a really popular book, or one that has been nominated for prestigious awards. I imagine it’s also a common occurrence with required reading in school and university, since those books can often be dry or long-winded, so it’s probably easier to read a summary than the book itself.
Have you ever personally lied about reading a book? How do you feel about people who lie about reading books?
No, I don’t see the point in it at all. I’m well aware that there are several very famous titles that I have yet to read and I admit it if I haven’t read something. My overflowing TBR is something I’m quite proud of, actually, and I love discovering new books to add to it through such conversations. At the same time, I’m also very particular about reading books only if I want to, and not due to how hyped it is, so if I don’t want to read a book, I just say so.
If I ask if someone has read a book it’s usually because I’d like to have a conversation about what they liked/didn’t like about it. It becomes obvious pretty quickly if they’re lying about having read it and it’s just an awkward situation all around. While it mostly doesn’t bother me if someone wants to lie about reading a book, it does bother me if people rate or review a book or recommend it without reading it as it affects how other readers see the book too. Lying about such a thing is completely unnecessary and I can’t really sympathize with people who do.
Do you think there’s a certain type of book people are more likely to lie about reading?
People are most likely to lie about reading classics in my opinion. Having read famous works like those of Shakespeare, Charles Dickens or Jane Austen are often seen as the mark of a well-read and cultured person and people may fib about having read these in order to perhaps fit into the conversation better. This can also be the case for very popular books that have been made into movies or TV series.
Why do you think people lie about reading books? Share your thoughts in the comments below!