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Top 10 English Classic Books That People Have but Don’t Read

Samyak Lalit | September 24, 2013 (Last update: September 23, 2017)

Samyak Lalit is an Indian author and disability rights activist. He is the principal author and founder of projects like TechWelkin, WeCapable, Viklangta, Kavita Kosh among many others.

There is a lot of difference in possessing something and enjoying it!

“Hey! do you have that classic boo?”

“Oh yeah, I’ve got a good collection of books in my study.”

“That’s wonderful. Have you read that book, by the way?”

“er… not really. Never got time, you see”

A recent survey among “book-lovers” has unearthed a fact that is not amusing but very surprising. This survey has discovered that people usually say they have read a English classic book –but in reality they haven’t read it.

George Orwell's 1984 tops the list.

George Orwell’s 1984 tops the list.

Survey respondents revealed that they want to appear as a well-read intellectual person and that this is why they lie about reading classics. The survey was done on over 2000 people in London.

More than half of these people admitted that they showcase unfinished classic books on their book-shelves. The survey also found that among these “only for showing off” books are those classics which have been adapted into films or those which are studied during film making courses.

For sure, nowadays, reading habit is on decline and people perhaps prefer to watch a story made into a movie rather than reading a thick printed volume.

Here is the list of top 10 English classic books that people keep with them but not all of them read:

  1. 1984 (by George Orwell): With 26% people say aye, this dystopian drama tops the list.
  2. War and Peace (by Leo Tolstoy): 19% people keep it for the sake of it.
  3. Great Expectations (by Charles Dickens): 18% people show it off on their shelves but never read it.
  4. The Catcher in the Rye (by JD Salinger): 15% people never finish this book.
  5. A Passage to India (by EM Forster): 12% people just let it be there on the shelf in their drawing room.
  6. The Lord of the Rings (by JRR Tolkien): 11% people will lie about having read this book about which it is said that “the English-speaking world is divided into those who have read The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and those who are going to read them.”
  7. To Kill a Mocking Bird (by Harper Lee): 10% people decorate their shelves with this book but don’t finish reading it.
  8. Crime and Punishment (by Fyodor Dostoevsky): 8% people show it off.
  9. Pride and Prejudice (by Jane Austen): 8% people keep it unfinished (including myself!).
  10. Jane Eyre (by Charlotte Bronte): 5% people have it but don’t read it.

This survey merely confirms what many have been suspecting since long. As respondents also confirm, it is only human to be attention seeking and people would lie about umpteenth number of things in order to project themselves in a glorious way.

What’s your view on this?!


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