50 books to read before you die discussion

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50 Books to Read BYD General > what to do if you hate the book?

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message 1: by Shmuli (new)

Shmuli Cohen I like plot driven novels which say something. I am not enjoying Pride and Prejudice but realize that to regard myself as a well rounded reader,it is necessary to grit my teeth and get through It. The rewards are long term.


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

I spent more than a decade teaching English and people expect me to be able to make intelligent comments about classic pieces, so I'm constantly trying to add to my repetoire as a way to avoid feeling like an idiot.
I also try to motivate myself to get through books that are not my cup of tea by trying on different perspectives. For example, how would Catcher in the Rye be different if it were told from the point of view of Holden's sister or parents?


message 3: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth White | 54 comments Depends on the book really for me. Some books if I really don't like them I will give them 100 pages or so and then quit it. Other I struggle through and finish. Some books that I like I sometimes wished we're shorter. For example The Hunchback of Notre Dame. I do like the meat of the story but feel that it easier could have been about 25% shorter.


message 4: by Irissska (new)

Irissska | 12 comments Life is too short to spend it on reading the books you "really hate".
I think that probably sometimes it is better to give up. What will you have after reading such a book? Ok, you will tick it off, you will say to others you read this famous book, etc. But is it worth reading only because others read it, because others say it is a "must read" book? Probably it would be better for you to spend this time reading the book which you like and enjoy?
As for me I read a lot of boring and stupid books just because I couldn't stop at the right time. What do I think after I finish such a book? - "Why did I read it???" - that's all.
And there is the difference between the book which was just worthless and the book which you didn't like but it made you THINK about something, which influenced you somehow. These books should be read even if you "really hate" them.


message 5: by Bethany (new)

Bethany Griffith | 2 comments there are some books which i really didn't like but had to read for school. wuthering heights was one of them. it just leaves you in a bad mood after you are done reading it. my suggestion is to try reading books you hate with the viewpoint of others that really like the story. for example, as much as i hated wuthering heights because heathcliffe is awful, i reread it keeping in mind their love for each other and the tragicness around it. i ended up loving the book and it's one of my favorites.
with other books i don't like i look at whether it's worth reading. is it just one of those modern quickly written books? then i just leave it and don't bother. is it one of the classics? then i usually push through and look at the literature techniques used in it and how the book impacted society and the life of the author and what impacted the book. (i may be a bit of a nerd, hey that's homeschooling for ya) looking at the author's life and what was happening at that time usually helps me understand the book a bit.
sometimes i read through a book i hate and end up liking the story after i find out what happens. other times i just forget about it. another thing to do when you hate a book (whether you have finished it or not) is to wait and read it a few years from now, or many years from now, and perhaps you'll like it better then or at least appreciate it a bit.


message 6: by Aileen (new)

Aileen Martin lengel | 1 comments Michelle, I dislike Wuthering heights! I thought it was so boring and dry. read if for book club. I think if a book is that dull it's good to just stop reading it. you have to be ok with not finishing boring books.


message 7: by Donna (new)

Donna (donna64) | 4 comments I used to keep reading until I finished the book. I decided that I don't really have to do that to myself and am much happier! There are too many good books out there to suffer through one that I am not enjoying.


message 8: by J-Reads (new)

J-Reads (jamsbooks) I will have to learn this to ever get through pride and prejudice


message 9: by Barb (new)

Barb (barbtrek) There have been a few books I couldn't get through while reading myself but that I thoroughly enjoyed as audiobooks. I'm plugging through a bunch of books while washing dishes, folding laundry, etc. and many are books I might otherwise have not taken the time to read. Plus, you can find many of the classics for free.


message 10: by Beth (new)

Beth (k9odyssey) I enjoy audio books as well. I try to read some of if. My kindle syncs with the audio so one starts where the other left off. I like this for the more difficult reads and it helps pass the time when I am travelling.


message 11: by Pamela (new)

Pamela (pammyknits) | 1 comments I will also listen to audio books. In school I also read the Cliff Notes versions. Especially for Wuthering Heights!


message 12: by Mayra (new)

Mayra (kaligurl_7) | 371 comments I think sometimes you just need to put it down and maybe come back to it later. Thats happened to me and ive ended up enjoying the book. Most of the books that i have read off the list i read in school and didnt really enjoy them, but i find myself wanting to reread To kill a Mocking Bird, its been mentioned in a few books ive read lately and i wonder if i'll enjoy it more now that i am older.

But yeah life is to short and there is way to many books out there my list keeps growing so, i dont really want to sit through someting im not enjoying while there is something else i would rather be reading. :)


message 13: by Amanda (new)

Amanda Carrier I try to push through and keep reading the books even if I've found millions of things wrong with them. I just knew I wasn't going to like Lolita because of the contents of the book but I pushed through and surprisingly enough it's became a favorite of mine. I don't finish books I dislike just to say I've read them. I want to give each book a fair chance.


message 14: by Janet (new)

Janet (jangoodell) | 43 comments I generally finish books I start because I am very choosy about what I start. I have read a few books that I didn't like and only finished because I thought a)it must get better and b)I simply must finish what I started. I won't do that again because I have gotten so choosy.


message 15: by Janet (new)

Janet (jangoodell) | 43 comments Amanda wrote: "I try to push through and keep reading the books even if I've found millions of things wrong with them. I just knew I wasn't going to like Lolita because of the contents of the book but I pushed th..."

I have read some just to say I did (see other post). I now look at reviews of many others to see if there is some reason to finish (slow starter, surprise twist, etc.)


message 16: by Mandy (new)

Mandy I think if you give a book a genuine go and you don't like it then find another you do like - especially if it is reading for pleasure. I often think of it like food - some people love carrots some loathe carrots. I loved Wuthering Heights the second time around, but thts whats great about reading - we can all find something that we enjoy.


message 17: by James (new)

James Hadfield (jamesh81) | 13 comments I f**king hate Lolita !


message 18: by James (new)

James Hadfield (jamesh81) | 13 comments I rarely fully read books, they drain my energy, skim through them, is that the same for others ! :-) ! ....


message 19: by Katelyn (new)

Katelyn Broad (katelynb) I generally use audiobooks if I don't like them. Another thing that helps me is reading it at face value-highlighting good lines/quotes in the book.
For the record: Wuthering Heights is the one I had the most trouble getting through. I hated reading it, gave up and listened to the rest which helped.


message 20: by Jack (new)

Jack D. (anthonyburgess) | 5 comments it honestly depends on the individual book. If I'm halfway or more through and not enjoying the book, I usually try to finish it anyway, especially if it is a classic or something I have always wanted to read. If it is incredibly long though and I have several hundred pages left, there is a good chance that I'll stop. I HATE not finishing books though!


message 21: by H (new)

H Hunt | 3 comments What an interesting topic & interesting posts, y'all make me c things from a completely different standpoint which is great. Personally as I am a constant reader & word junkie, if I commit 2 a tale I c it thru. Even if it borders on pain. I respect the written words I guess but then again I read 4 pleasure. Just 2 name a couple I suffered thru was "Moby Dick" & "Vanity Fair". Writing 2 me is an exceptional craft & even if its not 4 me I still slog thru. But now that I've read y'all's posts I'll do it anew-_-


message 22: by Jack (new)

Jack D. (anthonyburgess) | 5 comments Marc wrote: "I never usually stop short on a book, it's a necessity to me to finish a chapter, which in turn makes me finish a book. But I found myself two-hundred pages into Moby-Dick, and I found it insuffera..."

I almost quit on Moby Dick multiple times. That is a really tough book to get through. Not only is it long, but there were so many references to things not well-known or relevant nowadays


message 23: by Jane (last edited Jul 23, 2013 06:06PM) (new)

Jane Anne (rubyparchment55) | 2 comments Amanda wrote: "I try to push through and keep reading the books even if I've found millions of things wrong with them. I just knew I wasn't going to like Lolita because of the contents of the book but I pushed th..."
Ya, Amanda, I did NOT even want to read Lolita. Kept it in living room 10 yrs.+, used to set coffee mugs upon, cover got ruined. But did love it. Most chilling scene was where Humbert sitting on porch hotel imagined other man speaking to him as if a fellow child molester. Other good one was dark revelation of Humbert's true thoughts about his supposed love interest, Lolita's middle-aged mother.


message 24: by Savannah (new)

Savannah DeFreese (sdefrees) Oh my gosh Wuthering Heights and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo were both like this for me. I'm no quitter when it comes to books but there have been a few close calls. I usually just get through no matter how miserable I am.


message 25: by Patty (new)

Patty | 10 comments I think it depends on the book. I did the same thing with Wuthering Heights - I kept waiting for the happily ever after. It was NEVER happy, but after I finished it, I would find myself thinking about it. I tend to put myself into every book - I wonder how I would act or react in the situations. I was happy I slogged past the uncomfortable parts of Catcher in the Rye and Ethan Frome because I ended up feeling such compassion for the characters; and occasionally I could relate to their pain. But I have and will continue to stop reading the occasional book - because as others have said - there are plenty of others to read & enjoy.


message 26: by Patty (new)

Patty | 10 comments Well, our differences are what make the world go around, huh?


message 27: by Sam (new)

Sam Funderburk (1sam1) | 2 comments “Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.”

Kurt Vonnegut

That being said, I have to agree with you. "Catcher in the Rye" has to be one of my least favorite books ever.


message 28: by Renate (last edited Aug 04, 2013 08:39AM) (new)

Renate Generally I try to finish books, but if I really - really - hate them, I just put them aside. With so many interesting books still to read, I don't want to spoil my time reading books I hate. I love reading and I'd like to keep it that way. I've done my share of required reading in school and I'm glad that's over. Although, I must admit that I gave several required books I didn't like back then another chance. Some books just feel different when there is no time pressure and you're ten years older!


message 29: by Angela (new)

Angela (angieerickson) | 6 comments When I read a book that I'm not enjoying, I usually set it down and pick it up again, while re-reading a favourite at the same time.

If I'm reading a book that I really can't stand, I try to just push through and get it over with. I have never walked away from a book. I just can't.

I review every book I read. If I don't finish reading the book, I can't review it...it just wouldn't be fair or honest. I also can't count the book as having 'read it' on my challenges or stats, and I never want to waste a book. I know, I know, I'm just weird.

When I review the book, I am honest in how I feel without being disrespectful to the author or those who enjoyed it. I explain WHY I didn't enjoy the book.


message 30: by Buck (last edited Aug 05, 2013 02:17PM) (new)

Buck (spectru) Angie (Mind Malfunction) wrote: "I review every book I read. If I don't finish reading the book, I can't review it.."

I do abandon a book occasionally. My review then will consist of an explanation of why I chose not to finish it. Other than an obligation to write a complete review, there's really no good reason to read something you despise. One needn't finish a meal to say the food was bad.


message 31: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth White | 54 comments I usually give the book between 100 pages to 25% of the book and if it still is bad then I stop. If its a classic that I've always wanted to read I might give it a bit longer but I have chucked out some books without finishing them no matter how "popular" they are.


message 32: by Angela (new)

Angela (angieerickson) | 6 comments Buck wrote: " there's really no good reason to read something you despise. One needn't finish a meal to say the food was bad...."

I understand that. If you write why you didn't finish the book in your review than its certainly fair.
Personally, I can't leave a book unfinished. I just can't do it.


message 33: by Renate (last edited Aug 06, 2013 01:25AM) (new)

Renate Buck wrote:I do abandon a book occasionally. My review then will consist of an explanati..."

Good point! Though I always try to finish a book, I sometimes stumble upon one I just can't get through. In that case that won't stop me from reviewing it. Like you, I just explain that I couldn't finish it, because I really didn't like it.

@ Angie: I don't think you're weird for wanting to finish every book. Respect for your persistence!


message 34: by Sam H (new)

Sam H  Arnold (samharnold) I used to try and plow my way through but have to admit I now agree with those that say life is too short. If a book doesn't grab me I tend to leave it and move on to something else. Although I do sometimes go back at a later date for another try.


message 35: by Angela (new)

Angela (angieerickson) | 6 comments Renate wrote: "@ Angie: I don't think you're weird for wanting to finish every book. Respect for your persistence!..."

Thanks Renate, I like your version 'persistence' better than mine 'obsessive'. :)


message 36: by Renate (new)

Renate Sam wrote: "Although I do sometimes go back at a later date for another try. "

I do that too, Sam! But I will give up after a second (in rare cases third) try. Just because there are so many other books...

You're welcome, Angie ;)


message 37: by Dalila (new)

Dalila Zardiashvili | 1 comments well books and reading is really important thing in my life. i can't imagine what can i do without readig. for me it's impossible thing :)


message 38: by Brittany (new)

Brittany Rouse | 2 comments Yeah, I'm the person that has to finish what they start. I painfully finished Pride and Prejudice. I just kept telling myself the sooner I finish this, the sooner I can read a good book! Plus, if it's a classic, cliff notes helps. That enabled me to understand Pride and Prejudice.


message 39: by Psychotic (new)

Psychotic Saeeda I LOVE PRIDE AND THE PREJUDICE!!! (I LOVE Darcy!!!!)
However, if I hate a book I don't waste time reading it, I always have a healthy stock of unread books or books that deserve to be read again, therefore I read another book.
I have, however come across a book I hated before and reread it- sometimes I don't hate it as much the second time. :)


message 40: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Roycroft | 6 comments I'm a rule of thirds man. The book gets a third to get over the line. I will die with a thousand great books unread. Why use my life with anything less. Catch 22??? How many prefab crazies can I process in a contrived row? Didn't even make the third...


message 41: by Steve (new)

Steve mitchell | 51 comments Angie (Mind Malfunction) wrote: "Buck wrote: " there's really no good reason to read something you despise. One needn't finish a meal to say the food was bad...."

I understand that. If you write why you didn't finish the book in..."


agreed, I have to finish and there are a few that feel painful, but its weird how one persons painful is another persons favorite?????

Someone said pride n prejudice, I didnt absolutely lose my cookies over it like most gals, but its still pretty good.

And I haaaaaaaaaaated wallaces infinite jest, and one friend of mine stopped talking to me because I told him it sucked and was pretentious/pedantic and boring, mixed with a few amusing episodes, but man I disliked that baby.


message 42: by Steve (new)

Steve mitchell | 51 comments Stephen wrote: "I'm a rule of thirds man. The book gets a third to get over the line. I will die with a thousand great books unread. Why use my life with anything less. Catch 22??? How many prefab crazies can I p..."

how man prefab crazies can I process in a contrived way?

that is my favorite line, I am using that baby:)


message 43: by Buck (last edited Dec 02, 2013 05:28PM) (new)

Buck (spectru) Steve wrote: "And I haaaaaaaaaaated wallaces infinite jest, and one friend of mine stopped talking to me because I told him it sucked and was pretentious/pedantic and boring, mixed with a few amusing episodes, but man I disliked that baby."


Oh my. I have Infinite Jest on my library wish list, based on its rating and reviews - it's next in line. I haven't abandoned a book lately, and it's such a long one. I haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate it when somebody hates a book I have planned to read.


message 44: by Steve (new)

Steve mitchell | 51 comments Buck wrote: "Steve wrote: "And I haaaaaaaaaaated wallaces infinite jest, and one friend of mine stopped talking to me because I told him it sucked and was pretentious/pedantic and boring, mixed with a few amusi..."


Do not let my terrible taste ruin it for you, like I said my friend was very mad at me for having the gall to say it stunk, plus I love Franzen and thats why I got infinite jest, he honked wallace up and down, I thought there is no way I wont like this uhhhhhhh well, the best laid plans of mice and men:(


message 45: by Jane (new)

Jane | 1 comments Unfortunately I really disliked (I rarely hate books) The Great Gatsby. And I'm so sad about it, because I heard so many good opinions about this book that I really hoped I would love it and read it over and over again. But I really did not like it :( If it's a "new" book it's easier to accept that, but when you are holding a worldwide classic and you are thinking "Well, that was not good" you start questioning yourself.
I think you really do have to keep in mind that everybody has a different taste and there are so many other books out there. You have your own opinion and it's important not to go mainstream and just like what everybody else likes. Stay true to yourself and just read another book.


message 46: by Psychotic (new)

Psychotic Saeeda I didn't like Great gatsby either!!!


message 47: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 08, 2014 10:27PM) (new)

If I really dislike the book I will put it down, because if I don't it will take months for me to reach the end of the novel. But if it is compulsory for school I will push through, I often try to finish the book as quickly as I can if I am in that situation. But I do not often come across a book I hate/dislike :)


message 48: by Janet (new)

Janet (jangoodell) | 43 comments I hardly ever quit a book because I choose very carefully. I did finish Sons and Lovers and Portrait of an Artist.... but found them tedious. NEW RULE: If I don't care what happens to the protagonist by the time I am to pg. 100, I will quit. Life is too short. Movies: I will give 1/2 hour.


message 49: by Steve (new)

Steve mitchell | 51 comments Psychotic wrote: "I didn't like Great gatsby either!!!"

My son told me that same thing today, and I nearly slapped him!!!!! Maybe its a generational thing? Although I dont know your age so, that is a bit of a guess.


message 50: by Andrea (new)

Andrea Leoni | 17 comments It happened to me with a whole series.....I used to be a huge Kay Scarpetta fan..then I grew weary of the characters and the plot...but mostly the character, each passing book the were always more obnoxious. Yet it took me at least three or four books of deep loathing to take me to the point to dump 'em


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