Many Britons are fibbers when it comes to their reading habits, failing to tell the truth in a bid to impress, a poll suggests.

Around two-fifths (41%) say they would stretch the truth when it comes to what, or how much, they have read, with young people (18 to 24-year-olds) most likely to do so.

A job interview was the most likely place for people to lie about books, the Reading Agency survey found, followed by on a date and when meeting the in-laws.

And given a list of books that were turned into films, Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels are the books people are most likely to claim they have read when they have, in reality, just seen the movie, the Reading Agency concluded. In second place was the Lord Of The Rings trilogy, followed by CS Lewis’s Chronicles Of Narnia.

The poll of 2,000 adults does reveal that two-thirds (67%) would like to read more than they currently do, while nearly half (48%) said they are too busy to read more.

Around 38% said they are rarely in the mood to read, while around a third (35%) said they find it difficult to find books they really like. The survey comes before World Book Night on Sunday.

Christopher Lee during a signing of the Lord Of The Rings DVDChristopher Lee during a signing of the Lord Of The Rings DVD (Andy Butterton/PA)

Reading Agency chief executive Sue Wilkinson, said: “It’s great to see from our research that Brits still love to read, but not surprising that some people feel they are too busy to do so.

“Finding the right book can be key to getting back into the reading habit, and our research shows how influential book recommendations and book gifting can be. So on World Book Night, we are urging keen readers to give a book to someone they know who doesn’t currently read for pleasure.”

List of books adults are most likely to claim they’ve read, when they’ve actually seen the film, in order of popularity:

1. James Bond books, Ian Fleming

2. Lord Of The Rings, JRR Tolkien

3. The Chronicles Of Narnia, CS Lewis

4. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown

5. The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins

6. Trainspotting, Irvine Welsh

7. The Wizard Of Oz, L Frank Baum

8. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding

9. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Stieg Larsson

10. The Godfather, Mario Puzo

11. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey

12. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

13. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini

The online survey questioned 2,000 British people in March.