Books I Couldn’t Finish: The Classics Edition

Remember last month, when I did that one Top 10 Tuesday about my bookish goals for the year?  Well, I’m (sort of) talking about how that’s going!

Some things I wanted to do: read more classics/vary my reading and listen to more audiobooks, while using the library more.  I’m doing well with using the library more.  I’m doing okay with the varying of the reading material and the listening of more audiobooks- not as much as I’d like, but better than I expected.  And classics…well…that’s not really happening.

However, the only classic I’ve actually read this year has been The Outsiders…and while I have oodles of time to read more classics, I’m in this weird needing to read classics kind of mood.  I figured that listening would work out better on the classics front, because, more often than not, reading them is a big struggle.

What has brought this post on?  Well, last week, I tried AND FAILED MISERABLY to listen to some classics.  So tonight, I am sharing those classics, and why they ended up in my DNF-pile.

Book One: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World

Why I Wanted To Read It: It’s obviously a classic, but it’s also a dystopic novel, and I love dystopic novels.  I was definitely intrigued by the genetics and creating people to fit the roles that particular society needed.

Why I Couldn’t Finish: I was bored 5 minutes in, and decided to wait a day to see if it was just me not being in the right mood for it.  That didn’t happen, and after a very torturous hour of listening, I knew I had to give up on it.  I was hoping that listening to it would make it easier to get through the book but…considering I could barely listen to 5 minutes, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t last very long reading it.

Book Two: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina Cover

Why I Wanted To Read It: I haven’t seen the movie, but since I knew it was a movie, I thought I would give the audiobook a try.  Really, the only thing I know about this book (besides it being a movie, of course) is that it was mentioned on Gilmore Girls and that Anna throws herself under a train or something.

Why I Could Finish: I didn’t even make it to an hour!  I gave up after 20 minutes because of sheer boredom.  Plus, the dang book is 33 hours long, so the length is/was intimidating.  Probably less so because I tried to listen, and didn’t have to look at how long of a book it is.  Again, my attempt to listen to a classic because it would be easier to get through completely failed.  I think I’ll stick with the movie…assuming I get around to watching it, of course.

Book Three: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby

Why I Wanted To Read It: I read it in high school, and figured that listening to it would fulfill pretty much half of the goals I set for myself.  And…since the movie is coming out sometime this year, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to re-read a book I HAD to read for school, and actually liked.

Why I Couldn’t Finish: To be fair, it’s not the story itself.  It’s just…20 or 30 minutes in, I realized I didn’t like the narrator.  I’ll probably give it another try, but will stick to a physical or digital copy.

Here’s a freebie: Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

Les Miserables Cover

Why I Wanted To Read It: Well, my reasons for wanting to read it are really similar to my reasons for wanting to read Anna Karenina-  a classic turned into a movie I have yet to see.  And like Anna Karenina and Brave New World, I ACTUALLY THOUGHT LISTENING TO IT would make it easier to take in.  But I decided to cancel the request because I figured it was another book that would bore me to tears, and because my previous attempts to listen to classics didn’t work out so well.  I might give it a try sometime in the future.

So while I couldn’t make it through Anna Karenina or Brave New World, and while I decided I didn’t even want to try with Les Miserables, it wasn’t a complete loss.  Here’s why:

  • I did try, which is super-important.  Because you don’t know if you’ll like something unless you try.
  • I’m not going to like every book read, especially with how much I read.  These classics didn’t happen to work.
  • I am willing to read The Great Gatsby, because I would like to read it again.  Listening isn’t always going to work for me, just like holding the book in my hands isn’t always going to work.

I have to admit, it was kind of fun to talk about the books that I couldn’t finish, so I may do it again should I come across a book I can’t finish.

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