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Dead Discussions > Did/do you hate being forced to read books in school?

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message 1: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Stroube | 2393 comments Mod
I hated it! I didn't begin to enjoy reading until I was in junior high for this reason alone. By being forced to read boring books in school, I thought that my negative reaction was because I didn't like reading at all... Then I found out that I just hated being forced to read BORING books. LOL

Thanks to Lisa Anne for making me realize that not all books are as boring as the ones that you read when you are young! LOL If it weren't for you I wouldn't be a bookworm! Yikes! LOL


message 2: by Eastofoz (new)

Eastofoz I hated reading books that weren't age appropriate or that the teacher managed to kill. Or ones that were just so horribly boring it's a wonder they were included in the curriculum at all :-/ Of course you don't find out any of this until you've read the book (lol!)


message 3: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Stroube | 2393 comments Mod
I hate it when schools add a book to the curriculum based soley on the fact that they were classics. I also hate that schools do not ever add books that are actually FUN.
I remember when I was younger that I constantly wished the teachers would require us to reach something that was more along the lines of Harry Potter. If they did that, I bet more kids would enjoy reading...


message 4: by Eastofoz (new)

Eastofoz I think if a book is presented in the right way even some of the more tedious classics can be enjoyed but not all teachers have that knack unfortunately.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) I didn't like reading books I wasn't interested in. That was the biggest issue with required reading. There were quite a few that I enjoyed to my surprise. There were a couple I didn't finish and I just decided to take the consequences in case I was tested over them. By and large, I enjoyed a lot of books from my last year of high school. More than I thought I would. I'm a bit of a reverse snob. I love genre books and tend to turn my nose up at literary fiction. It was always cool when a genre read got snuck into the curriculum. :)


message 6: by Lauren (new)

Lauren | 244 comments I hated to read in school. Everything was so boring. It really put a damper on reading in general for me. After Highschool my friend was into romance books and she gave me one. It was so cheesy and boring, I was like this is what reading is like ugh forget it. Until I found a romance story that has some steamy scenes and then I was hooked heheheh


message 7: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 617 comments I didn't love reading every book that they made you in school and I believe that a "fun" one could be thrown in every now and then and that the list should be reviewed every few years. However, looking back I can see the reason for many of the picks (even the ones I didn't enjoy).

Unfortunately it is still school and the books they choose are to make you really think about things outside of the book and also teach you how to critical look at and analyse things. I think books, such as Harry Potter, can be put in to do that in a way that may appeal more to high school students, not all "fun" books would provide substance for an English class.

I also agree that the teacher has a lot to do with it. There were several English classes I took in high school and I college that I loved even though I really wasn't a fan of the time period/classification of the novels we were reading in general, specifically early American Literature.


message 8: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 617 comments Sorry I was an English major and felt a need to defend those books. :)


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) What you are saying makes a lot of sense, Lisa Anne.


message 10: by Rane (new)

Rane (ranearia) Lisa Anne wrote: "I didn't love reading every book that they made you in school and I believe that a "fun" one could be thrown in every now and then and that the list should be reviewed every few years. However, lo..."

I agree with you 100% Lisa Anne,
Till this day, few books I was forced to read in school still haunt me, from their emtional impact of looking outside the box and showing life isn't a bucket of apples. I still remember crying over the killing of gentle Boxer in Animal Farm.
Sadly, we now take these things for granted, as kids in school are forced to learn nothing else but to pass a stuipd test. Missing out the chance to see beyond the box their in.


message 11: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I didn't mind reading whatever was assigned. I loved reading and whenever that was homework, bonus for me! What I didn't enjoy, was the disection of everything I read. I hated taking apart every sentence to find a different meaning. That took the fun out of reading it for me.


Jael ~ *~ Syhren ~* ~ (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejael) I didn't like reading assigned books in school just for the simple fact that I hated being tested on them or having them dissected after every couple of pages. As an adult I have gone back and re-read some of those books and have loved them, especially 1984.


message 13: by Ann (new)

Ann Noell (FantasyAnnie) I hated it lol... I was in high school before I started to love reading. But I must admit I still don't like to be assigned a book to read. I guess that is why I have trouble with book clubs, I want to read what I want to read not what I'm told to read.


message 14: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Stroube | 2393 comments Mod
Lisa Anne wrote: "I didn't love reading every book that they made you in school and I believe that a "fun" one could be thrown in every now and then and that the list should be reviewed every few years. However, lo..."

LOL I do see the point of some of the books, but I think some schools take the curriculum too seriously, and forget that kids need to be shown that reading can be fun as well. I think that a lot of people have a tendency to hate books, because they were never given the chance to read something "fun" in school...
When I was in elementary school, one of my teachers would bring in fun books and place them on the counter. Every month we were supposed to pick one to read. That was way more interesting for me. However, most teachers don't seem to keep in mind that children/teenagers need to have some fun in school...(sigh)
At least I know you'll be a FUN English teacher, Lisa! LOL




message 15: by new_user (last edited Jul 01, 2009 12:35PM) (new)

new_user Well, whether we liked it or not (and I was always curious and loved to read, so I never minded), I think we can all agree that reading those books was valuable. Critical analysis is possibly one of the most useful skills you'll get from your education, considering our culture's media-based, so I'm all for it. Otherwise, we're grooming sheep. Besides, your education's designed to help you grow (outside the box, as someone else said), rather than maintain a comfortable level of mediocrity, LOL.

We read age-appropriate books until high school, in our district, and there were tons of Accelerated Reader programs or weekly programs where students could pick any book of their choice, so there were a lot of opportunities, thankfully. I did find the books that interested me this way. Then they busted out the classics in high school, and by then I was well-read enough to see why they were classics. ;) Impressive stuff.


message 16: by Karyn (new)

Karyn (HonestbutEvil) | 37 comments I didn't mind reading the syllabus books and it introduced me to some great books that I probably would have ignored otherwise. It was the constant disecting of every phrase and punctuation mark that drove me crazy.

There was one book from my first year that I loved but can't remember the name of anymore. It was about a writer in Nazi germany whose characters were coming to life. The teacher for the first half of the book was one of the wrost english teachers I ever had. She didn't understand the book nor did she care to try to, but as long as we understood why the author had put the exclamation mark after that sentence, everything was fine. Fortunately, she went on holiday or something and the substitute not only understood the book but loved it. If anyone knows the name of that book, please tell me I'd love to read it again.

In some cases I think having a bad teacher can make even the greatest books seem like meaningless drivel.


message 17: by BK (new)

BK Blue (paradoxically) Not at all. If it wasn't for English class, I may never have read:

Animal Farm
1984
A Tale of Two Cities
any other Dickens
Jane Eyre
any of Jane Austen
Shakespeare
Their Eyes Were Watching God
anything by Ernest Hemingway
The Great Gatsby
To Kill A Mockingbird

Don't get me wrong, I am sure there were crappy books too, but I don't remember what they are.

...Except for To The Lighthouse. Which is my fault. From the list of books she gave us, I'm the one that chose it to write a paper on.

Back to the subject. There's always going to be a book or two (or even 5) that you're assigned to read that you won't like. The teacher just wants to make you think and open up your mind a little, or at the least broaden your horizons and let you know that those books are out there.

This is what I tell myself whenever I have "To the Lighthouse" nightmares.

<>


message 18: by new_user (new)

new_user LOL. I have those nightmares for Atlas Shrugged. D:


message 19: by BK (new)

BK Blue (paradoxically) new_user wrote: "LOL. I have those nightmares for Atlas Shrugged. D:"

Lol. I have picked that book up several times to take home and read, and then ended up putting it back on the shelf because it gives me "To the Lighthouse" vibes.

Virginia Woolf is popular and gets good reviews too, but we see where THAT got me (j/k Please don't hurt me Woolf fans).

I should just get this out in the open and mention that I also hated Catcher In The Rye. There. I said it.




message 20: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Stroube | 2393 comments Mod
I really hated "Lord of the Flies". Although, I understand the meaning behind the book, and why we were supposed to read it. Still, that was one horrible book to be forced to read! Blah!


message 21: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Joy wrote: "I really hated "Lord of the Flies". Although, I understand the meaning behind the book, and why we were supposed to read it. Still, that was one horrible book to be forced to read! Blah!"

That's so funny because that was one of my favorites of all time! What does that say about me? Hmmm.


message 22: by J.D. (last edited Jul 03, 2009 07:48AM) (new)

J.D. Stroube | 2393 comments Mod
Melissa wrote: "Joy wrote: "I really hated "Lord of the Flies". Although, I understand the meaning behind the book, and why we were supposed to read it. Still, that was one horrible book to be forced to read! Blah..."

I couldn't stand that book. It was one of the few books I was ever tempted to throw away.

I also read
Island of the Blue Dolphins-Scott O'Dell in school. I ended up loving that book!


message 23: by gina~* (new)

gina~* | 39 comments I never liked reading books for school because I would rather read romances. In tenth grade I went to an alternative school instead of my regular high school and for english we were able to read what we wanted. The way he graded us was half of the points came how well we recorded our reading and the other half was a critical lens we would write siting 2 books we had read that marking period. So I was able to ace English by reading my smut lol. The class was perfect for me because I love to read and thats all I really had to do to pass.


message 24: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Stroube | 2393 comments Mod
YoudontGnomie wrote: "I never liked reading books for school because I would rather read romances. In tenth grade I went to an alternative school instead of my regular high school and for english we were able to read w..."

I am completely jealous right now! I loved english, but I hated their choices for our reading curriculum. If I went to your school, I would have been in heaven!




message 25: by gina~* (new)

gina~* | 39 comments That school was awesome in general. For all 4 grades there were about 50 kids total and 4 teachers. my best friend in that school was my english teacher in fact. (he was still in grad school and very hott to boot) Another cool thing he did was we would suggest songs and he would pick one then we would analyze the lyrics in class. It was a blast. I think alternative schools are such a wonderful thing to have. Alot people think that there just for bad kids but their not, some of the kids are bad but others just don't fit in or can't handle a big school setting/preppy assholes (my reason). We also had a "finish program" for pregnant girls. They got free daycare and were able to graduate out of the 15 or so girls we had only about 3 and myself weren't mothers.. My graduating class was 5 people and teachers didn't want me to go. I would've liked to work in such a setting but in NYS we are flooded with teachers and I would never want to teach in a regular high school and its super hard to get in an alt. school & the teachers get paid less.


message 26: by gina~* (new)

gina~* | 39 comments anyway sorry to go on about it but it really changed my life. without it I would have dropped out for sure.


message 27: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Stroube | 2393 comments Mod
YoudontGnomie wrote: "anyway sorry to go on about it but it really changed my life. without it I would have dropped out for sure."

LOL Not something you need to apoligize for...I thought it was interesting. It sounds like some schools should take a lesson from yours! :)



message 28: by Jackie M (new)

Jackie M | 452 comments I didn't really mind it. Some of the books I didn't like but for the most part I like the books I had to read.


message 29: by new_user (new)

new_user Yes, very interesting. I've never heard of a high school like that. Sounds pretty useful. I wonder if we have those in our state.


message 30: by gina~* (new)

gina~* | 39 comments It's very useful... under funded and expensive for schools to send students there but useful. In the same building there was another achool program similiar to mine except the kids work a week and go to school the next. Either at their regular job or at other schools doing janitory (sp?) work for peanuts but still good for kids that need to support themselves or whatever.


message 31: by Tricia (new)

Tricia Schneider (TriciaSchneider) | 18 comments When we were given the reading assignments in school, I always groaned thinking...'why would I ever want to read that?' But after I finished the books, I really tended to enjoy them. Most were literature classics, so I'm glad I was forced to read them. Now, as an adult, I read literature for enjoyment!


Michelle (In Libris Veritas) (Shadowrose) I didn't hate them most of the time, usually they were good books or I had already read them. However there were a few that made me groan but they didn't last long, and they were outnumbered by the amount of good books I was forced to read.


message 33: by Lynda (new)

Lynda Actually, I loved it. I went out of my way to read more by the authors that I liked. Of course, there were books I didn't like. I also hated Lord of the Flies. It wasn't till college that I read any 20th century literature, and truthfully, I still prefer 18th and 19th century to 20th century literature.




message 34: by Pamela(AllHoney) (new)

Pamela(AllHoney) (pamelap) I love to read but I hated to be forced into reading some things that just didn't appeal to me.


message 35: by Jo (new)

Jo I hated reading books at school and thats the reason i didnt do A level english which i wish i had done now that i have got into reading lots of books


message 36: by J.D. (new)

J.D. Stroube | 2393 comments Mod
It'd be nice if schools gave the students a reading list, and the students could pick which ever books that they want as long as they are included on that list. It would be a nice way to ensure that they were not being forced to read something that didn't interest, while still ensuring that they read the classics. It would have made it a lot more tolerable! :)


message 37: by Jo (new)

Jo i agree!


Michelle (In Libris Veritas) (Shadowrose) Joy wrote: "It'd be nice if schools gave the students a reading list, and the students could pick which ever books that they want as long as they are included on that list. It would be a nice way to ensure tha..."

My lit teachers in high school did that, that may be why I actually loved most of them. They always gave us a choice between at least 3 books, and in some cases 6. So people were willingly delving into Charles Dickens, Jane Austin, and the Bronte sisters. The only people who hated it were the ones who decided not to choose till the end



 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) YoudontGnomie wrote: "I never liked reading books for school because I would rather read romances. In tenth grade I went to an alternative school instead of my regular high school and for english we were able to read w..."

Wow! I wish I had that English class. We had to pick a book for third year English and I picked White Fang by Jack London. The teacher wouldn't let me read it. He said it was too young. I disagreed with that. It was a great book.




message 40: by new_user (new)

new_user Lynda wrote: "Actually, I loved it. I went out of my way to read more by the authors that I liked. Of course, there were books I didn't like. I also hated Lord of the Flies. It wasn't till college that I read ..."

Yeah, same here. I ended up reading some classics on my own out of curiosity. It's interesting. :)


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) I read some classics on my own as well. There are classic authors I love just because, such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allen Poe, Charlotte Bronte, and others. I love classic horror and a lot of the writers known for their serious works also wrote short horror stories that I am slowly but surely collecting and reading.


Michelle (In Libris Veritas) (Shadowrose) I too read most on my own, so I have hard coming up with a list of the required reading I loved.
Books like Frankenstien, Dracula, and Jane Eyre I read on my own. Plus Edgar Allen Poe and Shakespeare.


message 43: by Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (last edited Jul 09, 2009 12:26PM) (new)

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) Why is is that so many of us love Poe? He's always spoken to me in his writing. Annabel Lee is one of my favorite poems. I just read Jane Eyre a few months ago. I am surprised it took me so long to get around to reading this wonderful book. I am now obsessed with the Bronte sisters. :)


message 44: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 617 comments Jane Eyre is one of my all time favorite books. Such a good story, I should reread that one again soon. I never actually had to read her for school though, but I did have to read Emily and Anne Bronte, Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey. Didn't really care for Agnes, but Wuthering Heights is growing on me the more I think about it.


message 45: by new_user (new)

new_user I think Wuthering Heights is one of those that the more times you read it, the more you appreciate it. Actually, that's probably true of a lof of these books. You can't pick up everything in the first pass.

Poe is great. I think it's that he wrote about the savage nature of man. It's disturbing. He was all about the psychology too.


message 46: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 617 comments new_user wrote: "I think Wuthering Heights is one of those that the more times you read it, the more you appreciate it. Actually, that's probably true of a lof of these books. You can't pick up everything in the fi..."

I think that's one of the reason so many people get turned off by books you have to read for school. The best way to go would be to read it once purely for the story and then go back and read it again to get all the little details and do all the analysing. Unfortunately it would be very difficult to get that into a school year or encourage kids to do that when they have loads of other homework to do as well.




 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) Lisa Anne wrote: "new_user wrote: "I think Wuthering Heights is one of those that the more times you read it, the more you appreciate it. Actually, that's probably true of a lof of these books. You can't pick up eve..."

Very good point, Lisa Anne. And the time issue is a factor. There are some books it takes me a good while to read because I need to think about them or read when I'm in the mood. Not really conducive to a classroom type assignment.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) Lisa Anne wrote: "Jane Eyre is one of my all time favorite books. Such a good story, I should reread that one again soon. I never actually had to read her for school though, but I did have to read Em..."

I have heard people don't like Agnes Grey as much as Jane Eyre. I'll have to see what I think of it. I'd like to read Vilette and Shirly soon as well. I think I'll work my way up to Wuthering Heights.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books) (Gatadelafuente) new_user wrote: "I think Wuthering Heights is one of those that the more times you read it, the more you appreciate it. Actually, that's probably true of a lof of these books. You can't pick up everything in the fi..."


I think you're right about Poe. I also think that he was able to 'see into the dark' so to speak. And what he saw was what most of us fear.



message 50: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 617 comments I'd recommend not going into Wuthering Heights expecting to love it, but then set it aside and give it a reread, which is something I think I should do. I remember not really caring for it in school, but it is one of my mom's favorites and she said she had to read it more than once in order to fully understand and love the story.


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