A misbegotten meme?

I was about to post a follow on from Mododrum’s latest infectious meme, but I always like to adorn my blog posts with links, especially where making any categorical statement of an even semi-official nature. For example:

“The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they’ve printed.”

This particular statement seems to be repeated on a number of personal blogs, all without a link to any original statement to this effect (-that I can find… if you find one, please, comment, and I will update this post). Several people attribute this to the US-government National Endowment for the Arts The Big Read program, an obvious result from a Google search for “The Big Read”.

Not only does the NEA site make no mention of this choice statistic, it also lacks the associated reading list, or any vaguely similar list of 100 books.

The BBC Big Read, on the other hand, does have a similar but not identical list.

In fact, there are some very odd things wrong with the list which accompanies this meme:

  • As Mododrum observes, the list features Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
    and The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – CS Lewis.
  • It lists both Complete Works of Shakespeare and Hamlet – William Shakespeare.

It appears that I’m not the only person to have noticed the oddness of this meme.

In the end, while I hate to be a wet-blanket on such a fun meme, I think I will decline to post my own response to it. Sawry. 🙁

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