The books we pretend we’ve read

The books we pretend we've read with book covers background

We’re not here to harangue, berate or castigate anyone for being creatively ambiguous when it comes to reading certain books… but we are here to provide an amnesty for those books which have a tendency to turn people into literary fibbers.

From literary classics to contemporary novels, we’ve pulled together some of the most ‘popular’ titles which frequently crop up in surveys and polls of books which people falsely claim to have read. You may well have read some of these books already, but if not, this is your opportunity to embark on a journey of discovery as you explore our collection.

Browse and borrow the books (and DVDs) from our display in the Templeman Library Welcome Hall, or take a look at our Books we pretend we’ve read resources list – featuring ebooks and DVDs you can access 24/7.

We’d love to hear from you too… let us know which books have led you to distraction, or let us know why you’d encourage people to read some of the titles we’ve included. Get in touch online, or share your recommendations at the display in the Welcome Hall.

The Psychology of Abandonment - Goodreads infographic featuring top 5 abandoned books: Catch 22; Lord of the Rings; Ulysses; Moby Dick; Atlas Shrugged
Click image to view larger version

Fibbing about our reading habits is, apparently, more common than we realise, and our reasons for being less than truthful when it comes to reading certain books are as wide-ranging as the titles themselves.

Some people want to appear more cultured or intellectual, or sometimes they just want to join in a conversation about the book in question. People admit to lying about the books they’ve read to impress their friends, their dates (and even their in-laws!); and of course on social media (where no one can see their book shelves).

For some, it’s just that the book never sounded interesting, despite what everyone else thought. Some people persist but just can’t get beyond the first chapter. Check out Goodreads ‘The Psychology of Abandonment’ infographic which provides other explantions for why certain books are abandoned – spoiler alert, classic authors such as Tolkien, Joyce, Melville, and Rand feature highly.

And as a last resort, you could try Dave TV’s World Book Day celebration with their own inimitable take on what the British public think are some of the most snooze-worthy classic books – by making them ‘funnier – join Rachel Parris as she reads from Moby Dick (the Cheese and Wine edition); Wuthering Heights (the Anger Management edition); Hamlet (The TV Primetime Edition), and lots more.

We hope you enjoy our books and resources and take the opportunity to reconnect with some of the books which may have escaped you in years gone by – perhaps now’s the perfect time to turn that next page.

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