Books can be intimidating, and sometimes even when we own them, and want to read them, something about them is intimidating. If a book is intimidating, it just gets harder and harder to pick up off the shelf. Here are some of the books that intimidate me –
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson: This book is intimidating for a couple of reasons. One – it’s the first in a four-book series of pretty hefty books. Two – it’s a genre that I know I’m not a huge fan of, so I don’t really know if I’m going to enjoy it. Three – I’ve owned the full series for over three years, and I still haven’t picked it up yet, so clearly the excitement I had initially surrounding this series has died down quite a bit. I honestly plan to pick this one up eventually, but I’ve allowed myself the courtesy of not committing myself to the full series, if I end up not liking the first one.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy: This book is massive. And it’s a classic. With a Russian author. What about it isn’t intimidating? While I’ve heard great things about this book, I’ve also heard that it can be extremely slow, and difficult to tell many of the characters apart. I’ll probably end up listening to this one on audiobook, though I’ve heard the audiobook is over 30 hours long. I made it a goal for myself to pick this one up some time in 2017, so hopefully I can check this one off my list soon.
The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien: I actually read this book once before years ago, but I never continued on with the series. I love the LOTR movies, and I loved the Hobbit both times I read it. So why haven’t I just gotten these over yet? I’m not really sure. I think they’re just a lot slower reads than the Hobbit, and the world gets a lot more complex as the story goes along. While this one isn’t on my TBR goals for this year, I would like to at least try to get through this first book at some point this year.
The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simons: This is yet another large book, which seems to be a common characteristic for intimidating books. The first in a trilogy, this book is not only big, but is historical fiction. While I do love historical fiction, books of this genre tend to take me a really long time to get through, particularly when they’re over 500 pages long. I do want to read this one soon, though, because I’ve heard amazing things about it.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe: I actually got about 1/3 of the way through this one during my junior year of high school. I had to read it for a class and majorly procrastinated, and ended up having to read the whole thing in one night. On top of that, I was supposed to write an essay about it as well. Obviously, that didn’t happen. Spark Notes happened. I got an A on the paper, though. I do want to pick this one up again eventually, but the language is fairly difficult, as is the subject matter, so every time I see this on my shelf it just gets harder and harder to pick up.
Under the Dome by Stephen King: I think this is the largest book I currently own, and I’m honestly not sure I’m ever going to read it. I picked it up at a garage sale just because it was written by King, and I’ve never read any of his books before. Looking back, I think this might not be the book to start with, and I’m not sure his genre is for me anyway. I may pick this one up eventually, but I have no serious attachments to it, and its intimidating size is certainly not encouraging me to have a go at it.
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes: I recently got a copy of this book, and while I am really excited to read it, I am also incredibly intimidated. I love Man of La Mancha, but this book is bound to be a completely different experience. On top of that, it rivals Under the Dome in size. I’m not pressuring myself to pick this one up any time soon, and I’m not going to push myself to read it very quickly.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon: This series has some hardcore fans behind it, but I just can’t bring myself to do it. I’ve heard great things about the tv show, but the things I’ve heard about the book series have been much more mixed, and I’m not sure I’m willing to make that kind of commitment to such a big series. I don’t own a copy of this book, so I’m honestly probably never going to pick it up. It’s too intimidating.
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi: This book is intimidating for a completely different reason than all the books I’ve listed so far. The reason it’s intimidating is that I know if I read it, it’s going to make me an emotional wreck. A memoir written by a 36 year-old neurosurgeon who gets a diagnosis of terminal lung cancer. He died in the process of writing the book. While the story sound incredibly moving and beautiful, the idea of reading a book written by a man who was taken far too soon is pretty intimidating. I don’t own a copy of this one, but I’m hoping to pick this one up eventually.
A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara: I’ve wanted to read this book for quite a while now. But, like When Breath Becomes Air, I know this one is going to emotionally destroy me. I’ve heard amazing things about this book, but I feel like I need to do some serious emotional preparation before I go buy myself a copy of this one. In addition to being a pretty heavy book, it’s also over 700 pages, meaning it’s a pretty big commitment overall. I’ll hopefully get to this one eventually.
What books intimidate you the most? What makes them intimidating? How do you push through that intimidation and read them anyway? Tell me in the comments!