The Folio Society offered its fifty thousand members a list of fifty books and asked them to say which had exercised the most significant influence on their lives. When the votes were counted, pride of place went to J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy, The Lord of the Rings, which was judged the most influential book. The Bible came in at number thirty-five, sandwiched between Don Quixote and Flaubert’s novel of provincial adultery, Madame Bovary. Writing in the Bible Society’s magazine, TransMission, Dan Beeby commented, “Ironically, rejected by many as legend and myth, the Bible lost out to fable, fantasy and fiction. From being the Book of books around which Europe was fashioned, it now ranks below The Wind in the Willows and Cold Comfort Farm.”
Coupland, Spicing up your Speaking, p129.