Literary enthusiasts yesterday published a list of 100 books, at least one of which will be found on every bookcase in Britain.
of classics includes a diverse mix of literary genres including everything from Harry Potter to Jane Eyre to the saucy
novel Fifty Shades of Grey.
Other titles featured include Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights and The Man Who Thought Different, the late Steve Jobs’ biography.
Autobiographies from the likes of Frank Skinner, David Walliams, Miranda Hart and even Katie Price also feature on Britain’s bookshelves.
The research was commissioned by Bookmarkyourlibrary.org.uk which trawled literary forums and websites to compile a list of books for people to select their favourites from.
The book most people are likely to have gathering dust on the shelf is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling, followed by The Hobbit.
Elisabeth Robinson, spokesperson for Bookmarkyourlibrary.org.uk said: ‘’Bearing in mind the first Harry Potter book was released just 15 years ago, it’s incredible that two of them are in the top ten books that appear on Briton’s bookshelves and it’s an incredible feat to beat classics like Great Expectations and Pride and Prejudice.”
The survey also revealed that more than one in ten said they would never read the same book twice and one in twenty said they throw books away.
And over half of Brits leave books to gather dust on their shelves, 16 per cent would take them to a charity shop and 15 pass finished books on to a friend when they have finished them.
Elisabeth continued ‘Nobody likes to see a good book go to waste and libraries have been Britain’s bookshelves for centuries giving people access to the greatest reads of all time without them gathering dust.”
‘It’s refreshing to see how varied the genres on the list are, going from classics like Little Women to Bradley Wiggins autobiography. It also goes to show that a good book, however old, will always find a new audience.’
‘No doubt literary aficionados will object to the likes of titles by Katie Price and Russell Brand appearing in the list, but our view is that as long as people are picking up books and reading that has to be a positive thing.
‘Our aim is to drive people back in to Britain’s libraries whether they are reading chick-lit, science fiction or a celebrity autobiography.’
The poll also found that more than one in ten Brits have lied about reading certain books. Of those a third said they pretend to have read certain titles to make themselves appear more intelligent than they actually are. And a quarter said they pretend to be more well-read than they actually are.
Of the 2000 adults polled 18 per cent said they regularly re-read books on their shelves, but 13 per cent said they hang on to books as they like seeing them lined up on the bookshelf.