Whilst perusing through my friends' facebook pages I came upon this gem of a link: 13 Books Nobody's Read But Say They Have from the Huffington Post. Of course my Internet ears stood at attention and I quickly clicked over to that story. I won't share the list even though it's brief (with pictures) because you should be surprised (?) with each click as I was.
I will share that there are two books on the list that I have read, and dare I say, ENJOYED. But enough of that. The post got me thinking - *gasp* and this is even pre-cup of coffee (I do have my cup now, thank you very much).
Why lie about books that you haven't read?
(Okay, okay, little secret. I've lied myself. IN THE PAST though. I promise. At least intentional lying. I do think that there is a difference if you THOUGHT you read a book because sometimes I do get confused. I also get confused thinking I HAVEN'T read a book only to realize half way through that I did).
But, back to the lying about books you've read but really haven't. In college I felt almost compelled to lie. Let me tell you what, the literature department of any college (me thinks) is the central station for a bunch of pretentious snobs. I should know, I was one. But here's what I didn't really UNDERSTAND back then - IT'S IMPOSSIBLE TO READ ALL OF THE BOOKS OUT THERE. But, oh no, if the pretentious snobbish group was discussing Camus and I hadn't read the book I'd know enough Camus to bs my way through the conversation, holding my own, implying or claiming I read what they were debating. (I think I read The Plague while everyone else in the department read The Stranger).
And OF COURSE I have read all of the sonnets by Shakespeare and his plays....btw, can you see my nose growing? Yes, life in the literature department was a doozie. Taking three to four lit courses a semester already put me in the predicament of sleeping, reading, working, reading, sleeping.
As I grew up I slowly realized that there was no way any of us in the lit world had read every single book that we discussed passionately. But we still felt compelled to lie rather than to say, "no, but it sounds interesting...what was it about."
As a reader in my thirties, I have a long list of books I want to read before I bite the big one. (And hopefully it is decades away before that day comes because it really will sadden me not to read half of what I want to in my lifetime). I ADMIT there are PLENTY of classics I have overlooked in my time. Dickens? I've only read two of his books (A Tale of Two Cities and Hard Times). Hemingway? Two and a half (I can't remember if I've read The Old Man and the Sea...I think that I did). I don't feel shameful or lacking any intellect because I haven't read more. I'll get to them. Someday. But intentionally lying about it seems silly.
So what are your thoughts about lying about books?