Thursday, 12 March 2009

The 100 books from the BBC meme

I want to kill the stupid Facebook meme that claims the BBC has made a list of 100 books that it thinks you should read, since I hate misattribution with a passion, and urban legends make my blood boil. So here goes:

1. The list is almost certainly based on an online poll from worldbookday.com, in which 2000 people nominated their top 10 titles that they could not live without. See the Guardian report and the complete list.

2. I'm guessing the average of 6 is some nonsensical urban legend added to make those sending this on feel superior, since (and again I'm guessing here) most people who like books (and thus sending on this meme) would have read more than 6.

3. Stop being so bloody credulous.



Yes it is rather unfortunate. The BBC did do a poll as part of their "Big Read" program in search of the UK's best loved novel, and that led to a list of 200 books topped by The Lord of the Rings in 2003.


I also suspect an urban legend. I found the BBC list (on a BBC website)which was from a poll asking for favorite books. There was no mention of the average of 6 books, nor any claim that these were great books or ones that people should read for any reason. Just favorites.


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