Books I own that I’m avoiding

This year, I’m trying to read more of the books I own and I’ve discovered recently that there are just certain books, or certain types of books, that I avoid. Maybe it’s because they are just so long, but more often it is for random reasons. But I’ll get into that. Let’s get into the books.

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The first book is actually a type of book I own, and that is books in Chinese. I have bought several books to practice my Chinese, and I have yet to read any of them. This particular one is on Tang Dynasty poetry.

There are a couple reasons I’m avoiding these types of books. First, there are so many Chinese characters I can’t read, so when I’m reading Chinese books I literally have to look up 75% of the characters, which makes it not to most fun reading experience. Second, with me still studying Chinese in school, I honestly don’t have time to study more Chinese. However, with my Chinese class finishing next week, maybe I can start reading some of my Chinese books for fun.

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Honestly, I avoid reading any book by Neitzsche, despite owning two. He’s just a very…unique philosopher. Don’t get me wrong, he’s brilliant, but he’s also completely insane.

But I do really want to read his books someday! I just haven’t worked up the courage to force myself to read through any of his books, including this one. I started Thus Spoke Zarathustra a couple years ago, but I only got about a chapter in. It’s kind of like a retelling of Genesis from the Bible but with Zarathustra as God. It’s just…a bit weird to read. But someday!

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I feel like this might be a mention on most “avoiding books” lists. I mean, this gigantic bad boy is like 1300 pages! The most I’ve gotten through it is 262 pages. It’s just really boring at times, even if it is a beautiful documentation of the Napoleonic wars in Russia.

Luckily, I’m taking a Russia and Napoleon class next semester and, according to my teacher, we may be reading all of War and Peace. So maybe I’ll get through it in fall!

I feel like the reasons I’m avoiding this book are obvious, because of its length. It’s just harder to stay motivated when reading really long books like this, especially one which is pretty slow-moving. But someday!

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Next, I have a few non-fiction war books that I’m also avoiding. This one by Eisenhower is on his campaign to defeat Germany in Europe during WWII. While in theory I’m interested in war, I find myself less interested in it than in other aspects of history.

Because of this, I have avoided most of the books I own which fit into this genre. However, I’m taking US Military History next semester and I’m hoping it gives me a spark of interest in reading more war histories. I also own a war history on the Korean War, and some Russian wars. Honestly, I have a lot of nonfiction histories I’m avoiding…

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I really have a bad habit of avoiding short story collections. This is only one of many examples of books I own which are short story collections.

My main problem with reading these collections is that I like to take a break after each story I read. For a novel, that means taking a break after 300+ pages. However, for a short story, that means about 20+ pages. This inevitably leads to me reading less pages of short stories than I would of a book because I don’t want to read multiple stories in one day.

What I really should do is to force myself to read one short story a day, but honestly some days I only have time to read 20 pages and I don’t want to use that up on a short story. Maybe someday…

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Next, I own a complete collection of Douglas Adams’ books. I read the first book several years ago, and I think I gave it only two stars. The humor and the world was quirky, but the plot was nonexistence and the characters fit into pretty simple boxes. Since I didn’t like the first book that much, I’ve had trouble motivating myself to pick up the rest of the books, though I do really want to finish the series someday, which is why I’m still holding onto this book.

I’m also curious to those who have read all these series, did you enjoy the sequels more than the first book? Do you think it’s worth it for me to read the rest of the books even if I didn’t like the first book?

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This kind of goes along with my war histories, but another genre of books I own that I avoid is Chinese history books. I have three massive books on Chinese history and a few small ones. Maybe its because of the length, or maybe its because nonfiction histories are a lot more time consuming to read than fiction.

For whatever reasons, I haven’t read most of these and I really want to. Asian history is by far my favorite, and yet I never seem to fit time in to read more about it because of college and fun reading. But someday I’ll read all these!

What are some books or genres you own that you avoid reading? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments, thank you so much for reading, follow my blog for more musings and, as always,

Best wishes in your life full of adventure,

Anne

17 thoughts on “Books I own that I’m avoiding

  1. I don’t blame you for avoiding these, I would too :/ Except for Hitchhikers, which I like a lot! I have to say, if you didn’t like the first one, you won’t like the rest of the series. They are all the same style, although I remember the last 2 are more serious in tone. The plots are quite silly, I read them for the humour and randomness.

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  2. I remember flying through War and Peace and really enjoying it. But I reckon classic novels are just like any other novels, some you’ll get on with and some you won’t. And I think that’s also true with non-fiction. I read a lot of military history AND Chinese history and some books are just better (or easier to digest) than others. You may have been unlucky with your picks. I reckon, in terms of Chinese history, massive books are great to use for research and reference but not necessarily much fun to read. I think I prefer the Chinese historians who are great storytellers like Jonathan D. Spence. I don’t think he has ever written a bad (or boring) sentence. But he is a rare talent. I am very interested in which Korean War history you own. Sadly, there are not that many of them. Unlike the war in Vietnam, the war in Korea is seriously underwritten. However, if you want to combine US Military history with Chinese history and the Korean War (and really impress your tutors!!) then check out the books written by Xiaobing Li, who is not only an PLA veteran but is now an professor at University of Central Oklahoma and an expert on the Chinese offensives during the Korean War!! I would also suggest going back a few decades to the 1920s, when the US Navy used to patrol the Yangtze, and pick up the novel The Sand Pebbles by Richard McKenna (1962), which won the Harper prize in 1963. Not only is it an amazing novel but it is also amazing history of the Nationalist Northern expedition of 1925-27. A good copy of the novel might be hard to find, and it is a big book, but it would be worth it and LOL!! you have all the years of your life to build your collection and read every book within it!!

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    1. Yes, I definitely think depending on the author it’s easier or harder to get into books. It’s interesting you mention Jonathan D. Spence, because his The Search For Modern China is one of the Chinese history books I own. And the Korean war book I own is War in Korea and History of World War II by Woodward Miller. I haven’t heard of Xiaobing Li though. I’ve have to check his books out! So many good recommendations!

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  3. I’ve read War and Peace. With a very big book, I place post-it note at every 100th page. I try and read to that point each time. It gives a feeling of accomplishment. I don’t place a time limit on the book except to finish by the end of the year.

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    1. I wasn’t a big fan of Anna Karenina either, though War and Peace is very different. Also, I loved The Death of Ivan Ilyich, so I think I like Tolstoy and just am not a fan of Anna herself.

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