Social Question

lillycoyote's avatar

Have you ever pretended or claimed to have read a book that you never actually read?

Asked by lillycoyote (24835points) October 1st, 2010

This does not include books that were assigned to you in elementary school, middle school, high school, college, graduate or post-graduate school; where you have claimed to have done the assigned reading but didn’t. Or any book you were supposed to have read for a book group. I’m talking about real life.

Come on now, we’re among friends, I bet we all have, I have on occasion, I confess, and it generally doesn’t end well. Either you end up talking to someone who has actually read the book and wants to discuss all those pesky details or you end up talking to someone who hasn’t read the book either and it’s an exercise in stupidity. Maybe a book you read some of but never finished; a book you started and never got very far in; a classic you know you should have read, that everyone should have read but you never did; a book that you have been meaning to read and has been sitting on your bookshelf so long that you should at least get some credit for having been meaning to read it a lot longer than a lot of other people have been meaning to read it?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

26 Answers

Seek's avatar


I’ve caught too many people in their own lies to be stupid enough to try it myself.

I have no problem admitting that, though I’ve tried numerous times, I couldn’t get past the first ten pages of Jane Eyre, or any Jane Austen novel.

I am somewhat embarrassed that I still haven’t read “The Three Musketeers” or finished “Dune”, but hey, life goes on, and I’ll get to them someday.

poisonedantidote's avatar

As a kid at school for homework tasks, I have pretended to have read a book when I actually only read parts of it. specially if it was some boring crap like “sa sargantana” a stupid long winded nonsense about a lizard. I much rather be reading a sci-fi book instead.

EDIT: even though its not what you asked, I added my answer in the interest of generating balanced stats

I have claimed to have watched movies that i have not watched and have no intention of watching just so people would stop bugging me about having to watch them.

lillycoyote's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr At least you’re honest enough to say that it’s not so much that you’re above it but that it’s stupid, because you will only be exposed. You will only look more foolish than you might have for not having read the book in the first place. A very good reason not to. It can only end badly, as I said.

TexasDude's avatar

I pretended to have read the whole Bible once.

Then I actually did it.

YARNLADY's avatar

No, I love books and I have read every book I say I have.

Jeruba's avatar

No. I am perfectly willing to discuss a book I haven’t read, just as I had to do numerous times in college; it’s a great way to get hold of enough information to carry you into the next discussion. But I wouldn’t lie about it or make any false claim. There’d be no point in that. I’ve read enough books not to feel embarrassed about those I haven’t got to yet, even if they’re on everybody’s must-read list.

Rarebear's avatar

@Seek_Kolinahr It took me 4 tries to get through Dune—you have to give it 200 pages. Three Musketeers, though, I read in high school for fun and thoroughly enjoyed.

In answer to the question, no. I have no reason to lie about reading or not reading a book.

graynett's avatar

One of the greatest compliments I have ever received was” While at Michel Hobbs’ potters shop watching him make clay mugs“and I told him about JR Tolkien before The lord of the Rings . and the Hobbits ’’‘He should make some Hobb- bits” He SAID “You must be well read” O’ joy What a wonderful thing that is To be WELL READ

Frenchfry's avatar

Ok ok I have never read Moby Dick. I just saw the movie.

AstroChuck's avatar

I’m claiming right now that I’ve read all nine volumes of the Sibylline books.

YARNLADY's avatar

@AstroChuck—Really? Aren’t you the same person who is going to wear a postman costume on Halloween?

AstroChuck's avatar

@YARNLADY- I can guarantee that I most certainly will be wearing a postman uniform this October 31.

Brian1946's avatar

I don’t think I’ve ever lied about having read a book, but since I hang with the illiterati and not the literati, I’ve lied about athletic achievements and dating successes instead. :-p

YARNLADY's avatar

@AstroChuck On Sunday? Really?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I can’t say that I have.
I’ll even admit to not reading the articles in Playgirl XD

Cruiser's avatar

I did claim to have read “The Joy of Meatloaf” trying to impress this girl I had a crush on. ;)

AmWiser's avatar

No. I don’t see the point in pretending to have read a book and you really didn’t. There are people I could have tried to impress by saying I had read this or that, but with my luck I would have been questioned on some context of the book.;~)

JilltheTooth's avatar

In my twenties I tried to impress a guy with my erudition by claiming I’d read Proust’s Remebrance of Things Past because he said he had. Turns out he was lying, too. I have since read it, not as impressed by it as I suppose I should be.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

No, I’m not really sure that I would see a reason to do that.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Aside from school, nope. I’m stubborn about books and even if one starts out to where I don’t think it’s that enthralling, I’ll keep on reading in the hope something will click so I end up finishing.

Seek's avatar

@Rarebear The only reason I haven’t made it through Dune yet is because 50 pages in I realised the story deserved much more attention than I was giving it. I need a full day of peace and quiet to really dive into it. Then, when I’m a good 2 – 300 pages in, I think I’ll be comfortable with regular pick-up put-down reading. So, maybe when my son’s 13 or so, I’ll get one of those days. ^_^

AstroChuck's avatar

@YARNLADY- Express mail still has to be delivered on Sunday.

aprilsimnel's avatar

Nope. What’s the point of lying about it? It would only mean that I hadn’t read the book.

Jabe73's avatar

No, I have no reason to do this. I will admit I am currently reading a book or read some of it. I do not remember every little thing I’ve read however.

lazydaisy's avatar

I wouldn’t lie about it either. I will say I’ve read some of a book (if I have)
It still makes me a little bitter that Ulysses has me beat

Nullo's avatar

The closest that I’ve come to that would be The Lord of the Rings. I’ve actually read through it twice, but I’ve started it at least a dozen times and sometimes let on that I’m more familiar with the text than I really am.

I flat-out refused a high school reading assignment, once, The Bluest Eye, on the grounds that it was gross. Prof thought my prudishness amusing, apparently, because he went and assigned me The Scarlet Letter, which I also didn’t read. At least, not all of the way through.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther