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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 March 2007, 00:28 GMT
Pride and Prejudice is top read
Pride and Prejudice
Keira Knightley stars in the film version of Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice has been voted the book the nation can't live without.

A survey to mark World Book Day puts Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien in second place, followed by Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre.

The Bible is ranked sixth in the list, two places above Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy - considered by many to carry an anti-religious theme.

The results were from an online survey of more than 2,000 book lovers.

JK Rowling's Harry Potter books came fourth, ahead of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.

Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights was voted seventh, while His Dark Materials and George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty Four tied for eighth place.

1. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (20%)
2. Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien (17%)
3. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte (14%)
4. Harry Potter books, JK Rowling (12%)
5. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (9.5%)
6. The Bible (9%)
7. Wuthering Heights , Emily Bronte (8.5%)
8. Nineteen Eighty Four, George Orwell (6%)
8. His Dark Materials , Philip Pullman (6%)
10. Great Expectations , Charles Dickens (5.5%)

The top 10 is completed by Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

Pride and Prejudice was chosen by 20% of those surveyed. It proved popular with every age group - only the under-18s voted it second to Harry Potter.

While the The Bible was ranked fourth by both the 43-60 and over 60s age groups, it was placed 19th by the under 18s.

More contemporary books that feature in the top 100 list include Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong (17), The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffeneger (19) and Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code at number 42.

Celebrity biographies fail to register in the top 100.

Bridget Jones's Diary is at number 68 - one place ahead of Salman Rushdie's Booker-winner Midnight's Children.

Men voted The Lord of the Rings their favourite book, with Pride and Prejudice at number six. Pride and Prejudice was the top choice for women, who voted The Lord of the Rings fifth.

Classic texts

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA) said the top 10 demonstrated the importance of reading classic texts at school.

Sue Horner, the QCA's head of English, said: "All these top 10 books have a timeless quality, whenever they were written. It is likely that many of these books are lasting favourites, first encountered at school."

Last year, a survey of librarians for World Book Day found out that Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice was the nation's favourite happy ending.

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02 Mar 06 |  Entertainment
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16 Feb 07 |  Education
Children 'should read classics'
31 Jan 06 |  Entertainment


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