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BBC Book List? Hardly.

22 Nov

The BBC Book List meme is making its way around the Facebook circuits again.  Haven’t seen it?  You will.  It asserts that, “The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here.”  It then lists 100 books, and gives instructions on how to mark ones you have read or have started in order to stick it to those BBC bastards.  Oh, kiddos.  I love being righteously literate, too, but did any of y’all notice the sloppy choices and obvious redundancies in the BBC book list meme?  Anyone think that was strange?  I’m sure you did, because you are clever cookies.  It is because the list and the challenge aren’t from the BBC.

In 2003, the BBC went on a quest to find its readers’ favorite books.  It was called, “The Big Read.”  The website, last updated in 2004, can be found here.  In 2007, the World Book Day organization released a news story about the top 100 books as voted by 2,000 participants.  This story was carried by the BBC, as well as other news outlets (as seen here.)

The 6/100 meme, from my research, was first seen as a viral phenomenon is 2009.  The meme doesn’t seem to have any actual connection to anything endorsed by the BBC in terms of doubting competency of vast numbers of people or any sort assertion of a challenge.

Check out this blog post for some more research into the matter.

Anyway, I love stupid memes and proving I’m clever, but I don’t love maligning a decently well-respected media organization based mostly on fake nationalistic pride from a meme clearly created to evoke cultural clashes and a sense of elitism.

ETA: I didn’t mean to imply that y’all truly thought this was by the BBC, either.  I figured most of you had doubts (like I did) and therefore I’d go ahead and look into it.