10 Classics I Will Probably Never Read

I usually do one TTT a month, but I haven’t felt that excited by the prompts in July. Luckily for me, this week’s theme is a freebie – whatever you want it to be! Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly challenge hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where each week you write a list of ten particular books.

I have been thinking a lot this month about my TBRs (and completing them before the end of the year), and thought I’d turn it around and look at all the books that will probably never be read by me. I thought it would be worthwhile to focus on classics.

I find there’s something about classical literature that always hovers at the back of your mind. As if to say, this book was determined as Good hundreds of years ago, so read it and gain understanding! Don’t get me wrong, I actually really enjoy reading classical lit. But in amongst all of the constantly new releases and all of the genre lit I enjoy, I think it’s time to accept I’m not going to get around to reading all of these books. And so behold a list!

And FYI I’m talking about the Western canon right now, because I should definitely be reading more classics not originally in English. (A couple of books on this list are French or Russian but like… they are often counted as Western lit whereas classics such as Things Fall Apart are not, despite being written in English… Judge for yourself.)

Anne Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

Is the movie peak aesthetic? Yes. Am I going to read almost one thousand words of self-insert fiction? No. Sure it might be ‘the world’s greatest novel’ or whatever but like… it’s long. Also War and Peace has been waiting patiently on my bookshelf for years and I think I’ll finish one extra-long book of translated Russian fiction before I tackle any other! I’ll just watch the film.

Dracula – Bram Stoker

Vampires – I’m just not that into them!

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

This one I actually really want to read! But with so many newer books on my TBR I highly doubt I’ll ever get around to it. I’m sure the dystopia about burning books is always an eerily relevant book to read as censorship/freedom of speech is endlessly debated, however.

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

You know, I’m aware this isn’t a very long book, and also that Mary Shelley is credited with inventing sci-fi and all but this is honestly not even a book I’ve intended to read ever, despite what I’m sure it can teach me.

Les Misérables – Victor Hugo

I tried to read this book once and I’m pretty sure I didn’t even get to Jean Valjean arriving at the convent so, that’s that!

Lord of the Flies – William Golding

A scathing indictment of the British public school system or a cynical take on human nature in general? Either way, I’m holding off for now.

Moby Dick – Herman Melville

A Great American Novel! Anyway I googled it’s famous opening line and it was actually pretty funny. Still not going to read it though.

Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut

What is this even about? All I know is that this too, is apparently an American classic. Alas, it has never even found a place on my TBR.

The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

I would actually quite like to read this one, as in I hope to. I just don’t think I will. Mostly because its uh pretty long.

The Lord of the Rings – J. R. Tolkien

Not to continue committing sacrilege and just watch movies over reading the source material but… sometimes there is a lot of source material and one finds it a little dense. This series I know I’m never going to read precisely because I’ve owned all three books a very long time and I have never made an attempt at reading them beyond a quarter of the first. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

If you are wondering why this list contains so few female authors, it’s because I’m far more likely to actually read those, such as my sudden Jane Austen read. OTOH, making this list has been quite invigorating. I freed up a lot of room on my reading list!!

What classics are you probably never going to read?

22 comments

  1. Oh I like this topic – and it is quite cleansing to do a sweep of the TBR! There are so many classics I’m just not interested in reading and I often find my enjoyment of classics is never on a par with modern fiction. I have, however, read LOTR more times than I can remember and I would happily re-read again and again…. but I’m biased 😀

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    • Thank you! I did find it very refreshing – I do love to read classics but so many I should just admit I have no interest in or will never prioritise. I think LOTR seems to be the exception on many people’s classics lists lol!!

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  2. Some of these I actually was required to read: Lord of the Flies and Frankenstein. Did not like them.

    I actually am in the middle of Anna Karenina: I only like one subplot in that book, which is why I am still reading it.

    I actually finished Les Misérables- the unabridged in three months. I had a lot of musical knowledge prior to reading it.

    Lord of the Rings- I absolutely love the books along with the musical movies that come with them. I love fantasy.

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    • I do enjoy the songs of the Les Mis musical but I don’t believe I’d get along with the text the same. Did you read it to enrich your experience of the musical? As for Lord of the Rings, I too love fantasy, but that seems to be the series I’ve never been able to read! I know many people would find this astonishing haha

      Reading books you dislike in school is the WORST because it ruins them forever! Especially classical lit which is difficult enough anyway!!

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      • I was kinda of surprised about Lord of the Rings.

        I agree- required books are the worst: from Macbeth to Julius Caesar to Romeo and Juliet to Of Mice and Men to The Giver to Lord of the Flies to Frankenstein to The Great Gatsby to Uncle Toms Cavin- crazily enough they all share something in common: they are sad books.

        While the musical of Les Mis helped me appreciate tragedies, I still can be particular about that genre. Well if I actually just saw Les Mis on the shelf with no prior knowledge, I would just walk away. The musical really helped me understand the book: I wrote in songs and underlined important scenes. I applied the musical to the book and to the book to the musical. Who the characters became are a combo of book, musical, and my actors. I actually read the unabridged Les Mis the same summer I saw the musical in the West End

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      • I never thought about always having to read tragedies in education… how peculiar. My exception to all of that however is Shakespeare – I cannot get enough and having it as required reading I always found a pleasure!

        Really interesting thoughts on Les Mis! It really does seem the novel is inseparable from the musical now, especially if it helps you understand the story! And I guess especially if you read and watched it at the same time!! Ngl I would love to see the musical one day

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      • I really interpreted tragedies as pure sad. That is what I thought they were- turns out I completely mistreated the genre. Had to learn the lesson the hard way: I wasn’t told Les Mis was a tragedy to make me see the film. So, I really had to give Les Mis a 2nd chance- that was when I really found something special about the musical that made it inspiring and uplifting. If Les Mis didn’t enter my life, I don’t know if I would have become the musical fan I am today

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      • I can be a bit particular about tragedies. But at least, I am no longer close-minded to the genre.

        Back in 2015, I saw both #8 and Les Mis. #8 was required due to taking Acting I in my 1st semester of university: do you know what basically felt like- watching Lovely Ladies for the entire show. I was really extremely uncomfortable watching this.

        Well, then when July 30th, 2015 hit: I was not just seeing any production of Les Mis. I was sitting in the Stalls- in the 9th row in The West End.

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    • 😂 Forgetting what happens in classics I believe is a rite of passage of reading them. It is funny how some books just become ‘essential reading’ and yet… most people don’t have any inclination to do so.

      Vampires!! I think I’ve left them behind in my teen years haha (even then!)

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  3. Oof yes, some of these are so rough and difficult to get through. Like, why are we still reading about murderous boys stuck on a beach? Seriously.

    I 100% support your decision not to read these!

    Liked by 1 person

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