Ever pretended to read a great work of literature when all you’ve done is watch it on TV? You’re not alone.
To celebrate their latest TV adaptation of War and Peace, the BBC has commissioned a survey of 2,000 Brits to find the most common literary fib – and, surprisingly, it’s not Leo Tolstoy’s epic.
Lewis Carroll’s children’s classic Alice In Wonderland was the tome most people lied about reading, followed by George Orwell’s 1984 and J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.
Tolstoy does make an appearance with War and Peace featuring in fourth place and Anna Karenina in fifth. Other books in the top 20 included Fifty Shades of Grey and The Diary Of Anne Frank.
Top 20 Lied About Books
Alice's Adventures In Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
1984 - George Orwell
The Lord Of The Rings trilogy - JRR Tolkien
War And Peace - Leo Tolstoy
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes - Arthur Conan Doyle
To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
Crime And Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Pride And Prejudice - Jane Austen
Bleak House - Charles Dickens
Harry Potter (series) - JK Rowling
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
The Diary Of Anne Frank - Anne Frank
Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
Fifty Shades trilogy - EL James
And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie
The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
The Catcher In The Rye - JD Salinger
The survey also found that there was a very simple reason for these little, white lies: they make us seem more intelligent, and subsequently more attractive.
While we might be willing to lie about reading acclaimed novels, the BBC found that TV adaptations still encourage viewers to go and out and read the original, with nearly half of those questioned saying that they would be more tempted to buy the book having watched a series.
The final episode of War And Peace airs on BBC One on Sunday February 7 at 9pm.