The Top 20 Most Lied About Books

by |February 7, 2016

Let’s be honest, we’ve all lied about something – about how often we floss, how much we weigh, or how our partner really looks in that outfit. But lying about which books we’ve read? Seems like it’s a thing.

A study of 2000 Brits commissioned by the BBC Store found that one in four fibbed about reading a classic when a TV adaptation of it was shown on TV. Why? Because they didn’t want to miss out on the conversation …and because they wanted to appear more intelligent –  for 60% of Brits also admitted that a well-read person appeared more attractive.

Children’s favourite Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll is the most fibbed about book, followed by George Orwell’s 1984 and J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

alice pic

While the TV series War and Peace might be the UK’s most popular new drama, only 9% of people have read the novel – but plenty more have lied about it. That brings it to number 4 on our most lied about book list.

Here are the BBC Store’s top 20 most lied about books. Which ones have you read?

The Top 20 Lied About Books

  1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
  2. 1984 – George Orwell
  3. The Lord Of The Rings trilogy – J.R.R. Tolkien
  4. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  5. Anna Karenina  – Leo Tolstoy
  6. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Arthur Conan Doyle
  7. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  8. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  9. Crime and Punishment  – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  10. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  11. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
  12. Harry Potter (series) – J.K. Rowling
  13. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  14. The Diary of Anne Frank – Anne Frank
  15. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  16. Fifty Shades trilogy – E.L. James
  17. And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie
  18. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  19. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
  20. The Catcher In The Rye – J.D. Salinger
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About the Contributor

Anastasia Hadjidemetri is the former editor of The Booktopian and star of Booktopia's weekly YouTube show, Booked with Anastasia. A big reader and lover of books, Anastasia relishes the opportunity to bring you all the latest news from the world of books.


  • February 7, 2016 at 10:24 pm

    Reblogged this on Love Lines and commented:
    The 20 books people lie about reading most in order to look more intelligent.

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