How many have you read?

I think this is a pretty old list but someone sent to to me yesterday and I was surprised by the results. A BBC report reckons that people have only read, on average, six of the following 100 books:

It turns out that I have only actually read 37 of them which surprised me as I thought I would have read so many more. Mind you if you include all the one I have abandoned then the total shoots up somewhat!

The ones that I have read are highlighted in green. The ones that I have started and given up on are in grey.


1 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

 2 The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien 

 3 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

 4 Harry Potter series – JK Rowling (all) 

 5 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

 6 The Bible

 7 Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

 8 Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell

 9 His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

 10 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

 11 Little Women – Louisa M Alcott

 12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

 13 Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

 14 Complete Works of Shakespeare – William Shakespeare

  15 Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier

  16 The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

 17 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

 18 Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger

 19 The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger

  20 Middlemarch – George Eliot

 21 Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

 22 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

 23 Bleak House – Charles Dickens

 24 War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy

 25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

 26 Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh

 27 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

 28 Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

 29 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

 30 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame

 31 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

 32 David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

 33 Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis

 34 Emma – Jane Austen 

 35 Persuasion – Jane Austen

 36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis

 37 The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

 38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Berniere

  39 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

 40 Winnie the Pooh – AA Milne

 41 Animal Farm – George Orwell

  42 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown

 43 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

 44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving

 45 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins

 46 Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery

 47 Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

 48 The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

49 Lord of the Flies – William Golding

 50 Atonement – Ian McEwan

 51 Life of Pi – Yann Martel

 52 Dune – Frank Herbert

 53 Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons

 54 Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

 55 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

 56 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

 57 A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

 58 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

 59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon

 60 Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

 61 Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

 62 Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

 63 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

 64 The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold

 65 Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

 66 On The Road – Jack Kerouac

 67 Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy 

 68 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

 69 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

 70 Moby Dick – Herman Melville

 71 Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

 72 Dracula – Bram Stoker

 73 The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett

 74 Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson

 75 Ulysses – James Joyce

 76 The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

 77 Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

 78 Germinal – Emile Zola

 79 Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

 80 Possession – AS Byatt

 81 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens

 82 Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell

 83 The Color Purple – Alice Walker

 84 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

 85 Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

 86 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

 87 Charlotte’s Web – EB White

 88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom

 89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

 90 The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton

 91 Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

 92 The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

 93 The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks

 94 Watership Down – Richard Adams

 95 A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

 96 A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute

 97 The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

 98 Hamlet – William Shakespeare

 99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

 100 Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

How many have you read?

42 thoughts on “How many have you read?

  1. I also read about 37. Maybe a few more, as I’m not sure about some of the classics. I may or may not have read them in a distant past. 🙂

    It’s just a list. I’m not really worried that I don’t read enough! Or enough decent stuff. I know I do.

    I wonder which 6 books most people will have read.


  2. I’ve read 40 but there are another 6 that I’ve started and didn’t finish. I wonder why The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe appears separately from the Chronicles of Narnia and Hamlet separately from the Complete Works of Shakespeare?


  3. I’ve read 37 of these books but I dont know why this is becoming, and I dont mean by you just in general, the definitive list of books people should have read as I would say about 5 of the books I have read I struggled with and a few on the list I started and loathed.


  4. I count 37 1/2 as I’ve not read the complete Complete Works of Shakespeare and only three of the Harry Potter books.
    Many of the balance are on my to-read pile, though!

    Boof, I cannot believe you have not read The Kite Runner! This must be remedied immediately 🙂


  5. I’ve read 25; I see you didn’t finish Of Mice and Men, that’s one of my favs!, and being Spanish I didn’t read it in school like most people! :oD and I agree with Suzanne about The Kite Runner, it’s a beautiful book worth reading.

    I’ve only read 2 Harry Potter’s but I think it’s a bit silly to include 7 (I’ve lost count of how many there are) books as 1

    I’ve started but didn’t finish a couple of them and I have quite a few in my TBR list! ;o)


  6. I’m pretty surprised that I’ve read 53, as I do NOT consider myself particularly well-read, and normally get horrible results in these things 😛 I guess it helps that this list has a lot of contemporary books. Some of the ones I HAVEN’T read are really obvious picks, such as Lord of the Flies, Of Mice and Men, and all the Dickens except A Christmas Carol. I should fix that 😛


  7. Ooh, I was just writing a post on this too:) Will put it up in a few days, although I’m doubtful this is a definitive guide. But then each time a list such as this comes out we always grumble as it changes. But I love book lists!


  8. I have read 67 and have 10 on the good old TBR. There were a couple on there that I started and didn’t finish, but actually plan to go back and give another go some day. I couldn’t count Shakespeare, as I have read MOST of his work, but not all. I can MAYBE see lumping Harry Potter together, but Shakespeare?! I also find it interesting that HP is lumped together, but Narnia isn’t.


  9. Pingback: The Big Read « chasing bawa

  10. I went through this list a long time ago but I did it again recently and I got 43 with 5 on my to-read pile. Slowly getting there, lol!

    On a random note, I just wanted to let you know that I’ve given you a blogger award! You may pick it up over here. Congratulations! =)


  11. I hsurprised myself, I have read about 25 on the list. First time visitor to your blog and I am looking forward to your recommendations.


  12. Pingback: The Big Read | Page247

  13. I’ve read 36 from that list, so quite a bit of reading to go! I wondered, though, how did something like The Da Vinci Code get into the list? Not that I want to be a book snob :), but all of the others seem like they’re either “classics” or acclaimed critical works. Some of my favorites are on the list–like Jude the Obscure–and some of them, I had to be dragged kicking and screaming to finish (Heart of Darkness). I love lists like these–something fun to think about, and a good conversation starter.


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