Although a literary-sounding game, this certainly doesn’t require a first in English Literature. In fact, the scoring can work against those who might occasionally recognise the first line of a novel.
Players take it in turns to be the umpire and pick at random any book, from novel to travelogue to DIY manual, from the shelf. The umpire announces the title of the work and then provides a brief description of it taken from the flyleaf. The umpire then writes down the real first line hidden from other players.
All the other players then have a minute to write down what they imagine the first line to be. It’s possible to pick longer time limits, but one minute helps prevent ‘Smart Alecs’ from taking this too seriously.
The umpire collects the player’s responses and randomly reads out their contents as well as the real first line. He then reads them a second time, but this time vote are cast for the most convincing lines. The person who supplied the most voted-for line gets two points, and anybody guessing the real first line gets one.
People who pride themselves or, their appreciation of the many genres in English literature take considerable satisfaction in supplying lines that out-Hardy Hardy.