Why Do People Lie About Reading Books – Let’s Talk Bookish

Good morning, friends!! I hope you’re all doing well. Today is Friday, meaning it is time for another LTB discussion. Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by me and Dani @ Literary Lion where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Today’s topics is: Why Do People Lie About Reading Books? (suggested by Jillian @ Jillian the Bookish Butterfly)

I don’t know about you, but that question is so fascinating to me and I’m really excited to see how everyone is going to respond. Personally, my initial reaction was “what? I don’t lie about reading books” but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that sometimes maybe I do.

So, without further ado, let’s get started!

As I said, at first I was defensive and didn’t believe that I lied about the books I read. But, that’s not exactly true because I do sometimes read books, but I don’t mention them or count them as part of books I read. I pretty much pretend that they don’t exist.

This is mostly because I don’t see them as books books that are for escapism like most of everything else I read. Usually I’m not reading them just for the sake of it or for the blog, I’m reading it because it’s required for school, or for some other classes that I do on the side. And so I don’t count them or even remember that I’ve read them.

However, I don’t lie about reading more books than I actually have. I don’t really see the point in doing that, unless you’re trying to show off that you read so many books in a certain timeframe or something like that. And you don’t have to do that. For example, in 2019, I read 98 books – so close to 100. And well, I could have easily just fibbed and inflated the number by two, or read two picture books to get to the 100 but I didn’t.

I read 98 books and that was that.

There’s no shame in not meeting a reading goal or reading “less” books than everyone else. That’s what you were able to do, so be proud of it. You have no idea what was going on in another person’s life that helped them be able to read so much, and who knows, maybe they inflated their numbers a little bit, so you can’t hold yourself up to unrealistic standards.

Some people might lie about reading a certain book because they want to stay relevant, or because they want it to seem like they’ve read a lot of books. I don’t get how that would work though, because if someone asked them questions about the book, (“what did you think of the ending”, “remember that plot twist? did you see it coming”, etc) they can’t really answer since they don’t actually have any feelings towards the book and they didn’t read it. So they can’t talk about specific moments that happened in it.

Maybe they stalk spoiler reviews so they can get all the details and help reinforce the idea that they read the book? But I think that that’s just going to so much trouble for not a really great reason. And the consequences of that outweigh the costs in my opinion.

Personally, if I found out that someone I looked up to in the bookish world had actually been lying about some of the books they read, I would feel really betrayed. I mean, these are people that you want to be like, that you consider the “ideal” when it comes to anything book related, and it turns out that the basis of it all is a scam. Broken trust like that cannot be easily repaired.

Okay, I might actually feel a little relieved at the same time because now I know that there’s nothing wrong with my inability to reach that number of books they read, since it was a fake number from the start. And I know it’s a bad thing to compare yourself to others, but we can have a discussion about that another time.

One question that was included as a prompt was:

Do you think there’s a certain type of book people who are more likely to lie about reading?

Considering that I don’t know anybody who lied about the books they read, I have no idea if there’s a certain “type” of book people that would lie about reading. And I wouldn’t think there would be a certain type: it’s just something that can happen to anybody regardless of what area they’re a part of in the bookish community.

Who knows, I could be wrong. Maybe there is actually a trend that I don’t know about. You learn something new everyday.

In conclusion, I don’t lie about reading more books than I actually have; instead, I omit some books when I’m considering everything I’ve read in a year. I don’t think it’s a bad thing because it’s not hurting anyone and I just don’t personally count that book in the same way I count all the others I’ve read.

However, as a general rule of thumb, lying is not a good thing. If a person gets caught, consequences can be huge, and losing trust is a hard thing to deal with, and even harder to regain.

So let’s all just stay on the safe side of that very dark grey line.

Huge disclaimer, I am NOT in any way accusing anybody of anything. I was talking in general terms, and me using “you” is not meant about you specifically, it’s just a general way of addressing the wide expansive audience of the world. So please don’t be offended!

As always, be sure to visit Dani’s post to add your LTB to the linkup!!

Some questions for you:

  • Why do you think people lie about the books they’ve read?
  • Have you lied about reading books before? If so, why? (just curious, you don’t have to answer of course)
  • Have you heard of a person lying about the books they’ve read? How did it make you feel?
  • Am I the only one who doesn’t consider some books as books when it comes to counting everything that they’ve read?

Chat with me in the comments below!


6 thoughts on “Why Do People Lie About Reading Books – Let’s Talk Bookish

  1. I feel sorry for anyone who feels the need to lie about having read a book just to impress/keep up with others. Most of us have probably fibbed about having read a book for school/college somewhere along the line.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s probably not worth it if a person has to lie just to impress someone else. They should be able to accept you as you are. Lol, and some people just found creative ways to not read the whole thing, but get all the info nonetheless.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “There’s no shame in not meeting a reading goal or reading “less” books than everyone else. That’s what you were able to do, so be proud of it.” So much of this. Be proud of what you DID manage to do. There’s no shame in reading 98 books that’s amazing. In fact anything over 12 is more than average! Even below that at least you’re reading!!

    Liked by 2 people

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