Culture

Are you lying about having read the 'Lord of the Rings' books?

One-quarter of millennials surveyed say they've read the Tolkien saga when they've only seen the Peter Jackson films.

legolascrop.jpg

This is what happens to people who lie about their reading history.

New Line Cinema

Remember George Costanza on "Seinfeld," pretending he'd read "Breakfast at Tiffany's" when he'd only seen the movie? Yeah, a lot of us are George Costanza, according to a recent British survey.

British organization The Reading Society is putting on the seventh annual World Book Night on Sunday, celebrating reading and books and working to get books into the hands of those who might not ordinarily read. The group surveyed 2,000 UK adults, and discovered that 41 percent confessed they'd "stretch the truth" and falsely claim to have read books they haven't actually opened.

"One quarter of 18- to 24-year-olds admit to having lied about reading (J.R.R.) Tolkien's 'Lord of the Rings,' when they have in fact just watched the film," the survey reports.

But the Tolkien saga is only No. 2 on the list of lied-about books. Ian Fleming's James Bond series tops the list. Which, really? Come on, people, those books are slim and full of sex, violence and martini recipes -- you can get through one or more of them!

Filling out the top five lied-about books are a bunch of other titles you can possibly Costanza your way through if you've seen the film: Dan Brown's "The Da Vinci Code," Suzanne Collins' "The Hunger Games," CS Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia" and Irvine Welsh's "Trainspotting."

Also making the list are "The Wizard of Oz," "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," "Bridget Jones' Diary" and "The Godfather." Hint to those lying about "The Godfather" -- you're missing out on a juicy one -- there's an infamous wedding sex scene early on, and Luca Brasi masterminds a really nasty murder. Find yourself a copy; it's an offer you can't refuse.

Crowd Control: A crowdsourced science fiction novel written by CNET readers.

CNET Magazine: Check out a sampling of the stories you'll find in CNET's newsstand edition.