16. A book you haven’t read and have no intention of ever reading.
Generally I’ll read pretty much anything. I have severe difficulties limiting the number of books I buy when I’m in a charity shop or a secondhand shop or anywhere else with cheap books because I will buy anything going. But there are some books that don’t make it onto my radar.
1. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen. A while ago I stunned a colleague by announcing that despite having been born and raised in England, I’ve never read Pride and Prejudice and nor did I have any intention of doing so. I realise that that particular book is the summation of English literature to a lot of people but I just cannot get on with Jane Austen and there is nothing about the lovey-dovey, wishy-washy storyline that interests me. Having said that P&P is now on my reading list as it is number 2 on The List so I have no option; one day I will have to abandon my principles and descend into its soggy pages.
2. Twilight saga, Stephanie Meyer. I love YA fiction, some of the best stories I’ve ever read fall in this genre and many of them are in the fantasy vein. I’ve even read a lot of books featuring vampires but I can’t imagine myself ever reading Twilight. It’s not just the soppy sounding storyline, in the hands of the right author, that could work quite well. But I don’t think Meyer is the right author. I read the first few pages of Twilight courtesy of the preview available on Amazon and the writing is terrible. Short sentences. Make the whole reading experience stilted and awkward. Bella, the main character comes across as selfish, spoilt and vapid while (according to the epilogue) Edward is domineering and demanding. And about that epilogue – Bella has had some kind of Bad Experience in the main bulk of the novel but I don’t feel the slightest bit of curiosity as to what it is. Proof if ever I needed it that I don’t need, or want, read this novel.
3. 50 Shades of…, EL James. For all the reasons listed above. I read part of one of these books when a friend left her copy unattended and I was feeling mildly curious but I found it deficient in all the same areas as Twilight.
It worries me that Twilight and 50 Shades are some of the most famous books of our time and that in 50 years time or so they may be on “must-read” lists and may be the enduring representation of today’s literature. I may not like Austen’s stories but it’s because I think her plotlines are dull and I struggle to relate to her characters as society was a very different thing back then but at least she could write and however much I dislike her books I have no doubt that she deserves her place at the top of the literary field.