BBC’s Top 100 Books

Via Loth (who I came to via her comment in XUP‘s blog), I came across the BBC’s top 100 books, a survey from April 2003 to determine the nation’s best-loved novel (the nation being the UK, of course). The initial survey resulted in a top 200 list, a top 100 list, a top 21 list, and a final single winner, The Lord of the Rings. A total of approximately 750,000 votes were received over the course of the search for the top book.  (Note: this survey is not to be mistaken for the Guardian’s Top 100 Books of All Time from 2002 or subsequent surveys by other groups.) 

The list below comes directly from the BBC page — some of the entries vary slightly from those in Loth’s post and the books are in a slightly different order, but otherwise are essentially the same. She says (quoting the post that inspired hers) that “The BBC say the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books on their list.” but I haven’t yet come across a news article that actually says that. The original BBC page linked to above certainly doesn’t mention it and none of the people perpetuating this meme link to any source page. Unless otherwise corrected, I’m going to presume that the originator of the meme made up the statistic out of whole cloth, as it reads like your typical email meme. Continue reading “BBC’s Top 100 Books”