Bible is the book Brits are most likely to pretend they have read

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The Bible is top of the list of books that Brits are most likely to lie to others about having read, according to a survey conducted by Sky Arts.

The broadcaster polled 2,000 people to coincide with its broadcasts from the Cheltenham Literary Festival. 

The Bible ranked highest (12%) when people were asked which books they had pretended in front of others to have read.  This despite the Guinness Book of Records claiming that the Bible is the bestselling book of all time. 

It was followed jointly at 10% each by Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and To Kill a Mockingbird, the 1960 classic by Harper Lee that was once a school curriculum staple in the UK before being dropped by Michael Gove in 2014 in favour of British texts. 

Other books in the top 10 included Jane Austen's oft dramatised Pride and Prejudice, Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace, and the frequently quoted 1984 by George Orwell. 

Overall, more than half of those surveyed said they had lied to others about reading a book, with nearly 40% saying they did so to join in a conversation, The Times reports. 

Nearly one in five admitted that they had, in conversation with others, fallen back on what they had seen in a dramatised version on the TV or in film to keep up their pretence. 

Commenting on the results, Phil Edgar-Jones, director of Sky Arts said: "We say we are a nation of readers but it turns out we're also a nation of fibbers when it comes to getting stuck into a book."