Day 18 – A book I tell people I have read but haven’t

Pride comes before a fall…

I have a confession to make. I haven’t read any Jane Austen books! I know, I know, I can already hear your jaws hitting the floor, but it’s true. Well not entirely true actually…..I have attempted to read Jane Austen but haven never finished (is that even worse?).

Maybe I am missing something here as pretty much everyone I know (bloggers or otherwise) love Austen books and the funny thing is that I love a) the classics (Victorian fiction in particular which is only one era away from Austen), b) I love a bit of romance and wit (I mean chicklit-types, not bodice-rippers) and c) Colin Firth as Mr Darcy is HOT! (OK, I digress…)

Maybe it is precisely that – I have seen all the TV adaptations – that I know the story lines and don’t feel the need to read the books (where’s the surprise?) but I’m not even sure it’s that. Several years ago I did start reading Pride & Predjucide (hence my teensy fib about having read the book) but I only got half way through. It wasn’t because I hated it (I didn’t) or because it was badly written (it wasn’t) so why then? I just got distracted by something new and shiny and P&P didn’t have enough pulling power to force me back.

If you’re still my friend after reading this post, should I persevere? Which one should I try and why?

Β  Which books have you fibbed about reading?



27 thoughts on “Day 18 – A book I tell people I have read but haven’t

  1. Thanks God, another blogger who doesn’t like Jane Austen! I study English literature so I slightly recognize her historical importance… yet I read Pride and Prejudice and hated it. It took me longer to read it than any other book and I found the “love” story non-sensical…


  2. I could have written this post, Boof. I’ve never read any Austen either. I tried P&P a couple of years ago but didn’t get much beyond a 40 or so pages before abandoning it.

    Life is simply too short to read things you think you ought to have read.


  3. I would say yes, you should persevere. But I am a devoted Austen fan, so I am a bit prejudiced. As for a book I claim to have read . . . Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo. I read about half of it (which is a lot, given how long the book is!) but got bored and gave up.


  4. Oh well, if you don’t like the book why punish yourself… I’ve read Emma (it was a school assignment) and didn’t impress me much but I would like to give Jane Austen another try. Experience has taught me that a different book by the same author can make you change your mind.
    I don’t remember having fibbed about reading certain books, why should I? There’s really no point. Life’s too short and we are too different, and so are our reading preferences. No shame in that.


  5. Definitely perservere!! I disliked Austen the first time I read her (2010, with Pride and Prejudice), but I tried again earlier this year. Now I love her! You might get a lot more out of P&P on a second read. That’s what happened to me. Or maybe try Persuasion this time? The main character in Persuasion is very poetic — not like Elizabeth Bennet at all. Austen’s books are very different. Pride and Prejudice is unlike Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion, partly because the main characters are so different. Anyway, good luck! I hope you give Austen another try. πŸ™‚


  6. I love Jane Austen, but I can quite accept that others may not. Different books speak to different people at different times, and there are too many books out there that you will love to spend too much times with ones you don’t.

    Applying that principle I can’t think of I book that I claim to have read that i haven’t, but I do let my family think that I have read a much larger proportion of the books I own than I have, to keep protests down when more arrive.


  7. Boof, you have made my day! I have been walking around carrying my sordid little secret of never having read a Jane Austen book and feeling like an imposter. People assume I’ve read Austen because I’m an avid reader and knowledgeable about her books. I’ve seen the movies based on her books, read numerous book excerpts, and have even blogged many Austen quotes but have yet to read one of her books. I even have all her books on my bookshelves. Oh, the shame! πŸ˜‰ Nice to know I’m not alone. By the way, I intend to read at least one of her books before the year ends. Time to stop living a lie. πŸ˜‰


  8. Being a big fan of Austen, I would recommend giving P&P another go (it’s not my favourite by her though – that would be Emma, but P&P is definitely more accessible).

    But I always think that you should only read a book if you want to, never because you feel like you should. If it doesn’t appeal to you, then don’t read it and certainly don’t worry about it πŸ™‚


  9. I am not going to tell you to persevere, because I know Austen simply isn’t for everyone. And I won’t dislike you for it if that happens to be you. I would like to add that Persuasion may be the book to start with: it is my personal favourite, it is shorter than P&P and takes less concentration (something S&S does require). Or perhaps Northanger Abbey?


  10. I’m a huge Austen fan but I’ve actually only read most of her books once — I do them on audio every so often, and that’s not quite the same. I’m actually rereading Persuasion right not, the annotated version which is wonderful. But it’s not for everyone. There are some wonderful audio versions, I just ordered one from Amazon narrated by Juliet Stevenson who played Mrs. Elton in the Gwyneth Paltrow version. She’s just great.

    I tell people I’ve read War and Peace but I actually never finished the last 50 pages! It was for a class in college. The narrative of the story ends (about 1000 pages in) and in the last 50 pages Tolstoy goes on and on about philosophy and history and blah blah blah. I gave up — luckily, none of that was on the final exam!!


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