A new survey from The Reading Agency, a British organization dedicated to promoting reading among people of all ages, has confirmed something all of us have known forever: a lot of people lie about their reading habits. The study polled 2,000 adults in the U.K., 41 percent of whom admitted to having lied about the amount and kinds of books they’ve read. (Plenty more, we assume, lied about never having lied.) Adults between the ages of 18 and 24, the perennial whipping-boy demographic of pollsters everywhere, were the most likely to have stretched the truth, with 64 percent confessing to their literary fibs.
Getting even more granular, 25 percent of those young Britons admit to claiming they’ve read J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord Of The Rings trilogy when in actuality they’re just shield-surfing by on having seen the movies. But LOTR is only the second most lied about book-to-movie among all age groups: The top offender was Ian Fleming’s James Bond books, withThe Chronicles Of Narnia, The Da Vinci Code, and The Hunger Games rounding out the top five.
The research was commissioned to mark The Reading Agency’s annual World Book Night event, which calls upon people to share books and recommendations with friends and family in attempt to get more people reading. The survey’s results show that’s a pretty worthwhile goal, as 67 percent of responders say they’d like to read more than they do and nearly half said they just plain don’t have the time to read.