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Survey: How people fake it, with books

Kolkatans are the biggest fakers, while Mumbaikars choose coffee shops to fake it. The recent Landmark Fakespeare Survey 2014 throws a bunch of fun data on how Indians across major cities fake their reading habits to impress people

If you've ever felt daunted by people reading impressive tomes at cafés or had a complex looking at people's book shelves, take heart. The recently-conducted Landmark Fakespeare Survey 2014 offers interesting anecdotes on people who claim to read with the sole purpose of showing off.

The survey indicates that coffee shops and airport lounges are the preferred public space for literary tricksters
The survey indicates that coffee shops and airport lounges are the preferred public space for literary tricksters

It tracks the popular genres that people fake reading in public for reasons that could range from trying to impress their prospective partners, employers, interviewers and even people who use books as fashion accessories or as decorative items for the home or office.

The light-hearted online survey was commissioned over a period of three months, across major cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata. They quizzed 1,000 respondents in all through an anonymous questionnaire.

What the findings revealed:
>> 25.82% of participants choose Economics and finance-related books to fake it. 21.87% of respondents would choose Classic English Literature to pretend reading.

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 27.55% respondents would choose airport lobbies to fake-read followed by 25.98% who would fib in a coffee shop.

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 3 out of 10 people admitted to fibbing about having read a book.

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 Among seven of the top cities, airport waiting lounges and coffee shops are the preferred public space for the literary tricksters whose motivations range from seduction (23% would fake reading to impress a potential partner) to aesthetic (13% would purchase books to decorate their homes). The other places where people would fake read are trains, buses or aircrafts, at a party, in the library and at the workplace during lunch hours.

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 Others who have admitted to faking have categorically said that they have done it to fit in. The reasons could vary from peer and performance pressure at work and also amongst friends.

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 Among the seven cities, Kolkata has the most number of people who would fake read in public to impress (31.8%), while Chennai ranks the lowest (15.4%). This is followed by Bangalore (17.6%), Delhi (18.5%), Mumbai (19.6%), Pune (24.4%) and Hyderabad (21.3%).

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 While the most favourite genre of Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune to fake read is economy and finance (31.8%, 32.6%, 30.8%, respectively), Mumbaikars' least favourite books fall under the philosophy and spiritual genre.

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 Mumbai's (26.1%) fake readers choose coffee shops as the best place to undertake fake reading. The other places where people fake read are in the train/bus, in the aircraft, at a party, in the library and the workplace.

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 Tweens (between the age group
of 19 to 24) are most likely to fake read in public just to impress (highlighted by 27%) and respondents aged 35 and above are least likely (12%).

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 Men fake read more in public to create an impression (24.2%) as opposed to women (15.7%).

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