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Thread: The Books That Remain Unread

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    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    The Books That Remain Unread

    AbeBooks.com often has funny little articles/blog entries about books and this one is their latest: Remaining Unread: The Top Ten Reasons We Donít Get to Certain Books
    This is probably my favorite one (because it's totally me):
    7. The siren call of the bargain bin.
    When we're standing right there, and a book costs $2, and it has a UKRAINIAN SPY with an OMINOUS MOUSTACHE, and a TORRID LOVE RHOMBUS and a SUSPICIOUS DASCHUND in it, it's difficult to not grab it on the spot - after all, it's cheaper than a fancy coffee. And oh man - suspicious daschund. Good times guaranteed. Even the covers tempt me. A woman in a silver leotard, draped unconscious in the arms of a swarthy astronaut, while the rings of Saturn loom behind? How can it NOT be good? And such a steal! But when you do this a lot - and Lord, I do this a lot - it's amazing how quickly they build up, and sit there, judging you, accusing you, when you walk down the hall.
    "SUSPICIOUS DASCHUND"

    I'm pleased to say that, from the list in that article, I've read six, including War and Peace and A Suitable Boy, both of which are wonderful. Of course, I only ever got half way through Foucault's Pendulum and I own The Unbearable Lightness of Being, but I've never even opened it!

    I started thinking about the books I've never gotten around to reading. Number one on the list is Ulyssess, which I bought years ago and have vowed to start on many occasions, but never have.

    Anyone else want to fess up about their unread books?
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

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    FORT Fogey norealityhere's Avatar
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    Re: The Books That Remain Unread

    I bought Salma Rushdie's Satanic Verses years ago.
    I've never been able to get through it.
    To Thine Own Self Be True

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    CCL
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    Climbing Solsbury Hill CCL's Avatar
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    Re: The Books That Remain Unread

    Haven't read any of the 25 books listed. Apparently I suck. But, then, I don't particularly want to read any of those books so why waste my time? Maybe Ulysses sometime...
    If you type "google" into google you can break the internet.

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    Best Buddies Gutmutter's Avatar
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    Re: The Books That Remain Unread

    I've read 6 of them (and raved about Cloud Atlas here). What I have on my shelf and haven't read because it is HUGE is The Historian.
    Last edited by Gutmutter; 01-07-2010 at 08:31 AM.
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    Wild thang Rattus's Avatar
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    Re: The Books That Remain Unread

    I've read three and half books on the list (No Logo was just waaay too redundant). A few books that sat on my shelf staring me reproachfully in the face for many years were Bertrand Russell's Why I Am Not a Christian, Edmund Wilson's To the Finland Station and Keith Felling's A History of Britain. All three ended up at Goodwill because, with respect to the first one, I know why I am not a Christian so it seemed rather pointless, and with respect to the second and third books, I didn't know it was possible to make history so tedious.

    Currently sitting on my to-be-read shelf are The Kinkajou, which is going into the Goodwill pile because I will never get around to it, and Paddle to the Amazon which I fully intend to read because it's one of Mr. Rattus' favourite books and one he still mentions fairly frequently a decade after having read it. Sinclair Lewis' It Can't Happen Here and [Ann Vickers I have to honestly admit I will likely never get around to, but they're staying because overall he is my favourite author and while I'm not a completist, I do have most of his other stuff and it just wouldn't seem right to get rid of those two.
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    Re: The Books That Remain Unread

    The only two books I've read from that list are Anna Karenina (an all-time favorite of mine) and War and Peace.

    My "someday I'll read it" list includes all of Jane Austen's books and Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Every once in a while I'll hear about some other "classic" or "important" book and think I should probably read it as well. Maybe someday I'll get to all of them, maybe not. Tbh, I don't feel that guilty about it. I read because it's enjoyable, so pushing myself to read something when I just don't want to kind of ruins the whole experience for me.

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    FORT Devotee Mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    Re: The Books That Remain Unread

    Well, I read War and Peace, Anna Karenina, Don Quixote, and Profiles in Courage - many, many years ago. (does that even count?). I have Almost Moon, and Life of Pi sitting on my "To Do" pile. (sigh) Have no idea why I have so many books accumulating dust...... but I picked up 37 more books from my sister when I visited over the holidays!
    How could Beth Carswell admit to loathing "Marley and Me"? I loved Grogan's book, and it took me about 4 hours to read because I couldn't put it down. Although at the time, I didn't realize it would become my "Bargain Puppy 101" primer for my own world's worst dog.
    Last edited by Mike'sgirl; 01-07-2010 at 03:09 PM.
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    Bitten Critical's Avatar
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    Re: The Books That Remain Unread

    I've totally fallen prey to the "It's an important/classic book, so I should read it" thing. The Charterhouse of Parma sat on a shelf for years before I finally read it and, really, I wasn't that impressed.

    I have the entire series of Trollope's Pallisher (sp? because I'm too lazy to go look) novels and have never even opened them. They do look nice sitting there in the shelf though.

    I went through a period in my early 20's where I decided to read "all" the classics and I really did read a lot of them. I've probably read more classics than the average person because I was so dorkily obsessed with the task. Still - as CCL knows - I never have been able to finish Vanity Fair, although I've tried twice. Same with Middlemarch. Sometimes, you just don't click with a particular writing style, I guess.

    Gut - if memory serves, The Historian was a pretty quick read. Funny how that happens. I've read 600 page books in a few days and it's taken me a week to read one that's less than 200 pages.

    The biggest elephant on the bookshelf in my house right now is Gotham, which is a giant history of NYC. I really wanted to read it and, even though I knew how many pages it was when I bought it, the size of it still shocked me when it arrived! Maybe someday....
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

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    Best Buddies Gutmutter's Avatar
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    Re: The Books That Remain Unread

    Thank you Critical, for posting that link. I was intrigued by the Patchett reference (Bel Canto and The Magician's Assistant) and have Bel Canto cued up to read next on my Kindle.
    Count your blessings!

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    Re: The Books That Remain Unread

    Quote Originally Posted by Gutmutter;3788728;
    Thank you Critical, for posting that link. I was intrigued by the Patchett reference (Bel Canto and The Magician's Assistant) and have Bel Canto cued up to read next on my Kindle.
    You're welcome I haven't read The Magician's Assistant, but I have read Bel Canto. I enjoyed it, but was a little disappointed with the ending. I felt like it fizzled out a bit. Be sure to post your thoughts when you finish it!
    Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

    I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

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