You call this a classic?!
Reading is not just an essential part of education but of life itself. Some of the greatest places we'll ever go or people we'll ever meet will come alive only because of parchment and ink... or nowadays electricity and plastic keyboards. But, not every story told is worth the effort. Times change and often the mandatory school reading list needs an update because every once and awhile you find a book that does not stand the test of time. Many of the classics, I hate to say it, can be real snoozefests.
Man of La Mancha....Giphy
Having to read "Don Quixote" in the original Spanish and then again in the modern to see if we understood the original. I swear that teacher was a sadist. Kilen13
I can do without Ethan....
Read "Ethan Frome" in High School. I have no idea why I hated it. But I made it a point to get rid of that book as soon as we were done with it. TheKingRay
Easily the most boring premise for a book you could ever come up with. Who can get excited to read about a brooding character who sucks at sledding. fishfrogsanchez
Most of the books I hated weren't because of the book but because of how the teacher and my classmates approached the book. For example, "Lord of the Flies." We talked a lot about Freud and leadership. My teacher liked attributing different characters to the id and the ego and claimed the author purposely did that. But there's a statement from the author that explicitly said the opposite. And for leadership she asked if it's possible to be a good leader but a bad person. I said yes and apparently that was wrong. Turbo_MechE
I'm asleep at the title....
"The Boy in the Striped Pajamas." I understand the message the author was trying to put across, but it's the most unrealistic portrayal of death camps. No German kid would have ever gotten near a prisoner. No German kids would be unaware who Hitler was. It totally ignored the historic record. PutnamPete
I'll stay in the dark...Giphy
I had to read "Twilight" in my 10th grade honors English class because my teacher had Stephanie Meyer in his class when she was in school, and he was so excited that she had become such a success.
We took chapter quizzes about a brooding, sparkly vampire when we should've been reading "1984" instead. marnular
I hated "Jane Eyre." Absolutely hated it. Jane was boring, Rochester was an a**hole, the prose was coma-inducingly boring.
I decided to reread it as an adult because I went through a classics kick. And to my shock and utter dismay, I loved it. I found Jane so much more relatable, I found Rochester (somewhat) less creepy. I could understand their motivations and sympathize with their challenges.
And that's the day I realized that force feeding high schoolers books that they cannot relate to is the best way to poison the experience of reading and ensure that they'll never read another book after they graduate. ASleepandAForgetting
It's all in the delivery....
I had a teacher who managed to make "Huckleberry Finn" boring. Also "The Hatchet." That teacher was gifted with being terrible. BBWolfe011
"Hatchet" was a fantastic read and one of my favorite books growing up, so hearing that is petty sad. MasterAdrian778
13 Reasons Why NO!!!
"13 Reasons Why" was terrible and I still refuse to watch the show because of it. westscottstots
Oh my God! I hate this book. I kept waiting for some kind of, I don't know, shocking twist?? Something to elevate this book from a glorification of suicide as a method of punishment into the psychological mystery I felt it was setting itself up to be. But no, that's not what happened, and by the end I just felt disgusted and queasy. star_spinel
I'd rather pull teeth....
Reading "Great Expectations" was like pulling teeth. 305point5
The first question was 'What was the name of Estella's adopted mother?'
Her name was Miss Havisham.
"Said Miss Havisham."
This implies that her name was Miss Havisham. dontneedurl
No "A" for you!Giphy
The scarlet letter. Divine_archetype
The only good thing about that book was how easy it was to analyze the symbolism in it since Hawthorne had no idea what subtlety was. ArchEmblem
My mother is what?
While having the greatest chapters in history (My mother is a fish.), "As I Lay Dying" was a nightmare for a 9th grader to try and interpret. buffdrg
YES. I loved Faulkner later, but I was reading that in 9th grade, got to "my mother is a fish" and couldn't stop laughing long enough to finish the assigned reading. dominonermandi
Awake? Try I'm Asleep!
I really, really hated "The Awakening" in high school. I kinda want to read it again to see if it was actually bad or just my attitude at the time, but man it was basically impossible to lead any kind of productive discussion on that book because our whole class hated it. Zack1018
Hard Times. the sentences were so long i forgot what the beginning was about by the time i got the end. sizzlebb
This is so Dickens. AlternateGOT
Just Do You!
"The Pearl" by Steinbeck. The lesson, at least as we were taught, was that this guy was overtaken by greed and it causes him to basically lose everything.
I read it as this poor guy who works an incredibly dangerous job (pearl diver) finds a pretty epic pearl and isn't keen to get messed over by the intermediaries who are trying to get it at a discount. This guy knows that this was a once in a lifetime find and wants to get enough money to be able to effectively take care of his family and stop engaging in an occupation that is sure to shorten his life.
Now, as an adult, I think I can understand the point a bit better. Still, it reads an awful lot like "Listen, take what you can get. Don't worry about being taken advantage of" especially when you have two people with such a power disparity as a pearl diver and the people buying said pearls. TheFire_Eagle
That damn Whale....
"Moby Dick" is a regular part of AP English but holy crap I could not get into it at all. goldengirlsmom
It's not the worst, but it's definitely pretty rough to throw on young readers. NoahtheRed
I like to read Happy things....
"Island of the Blue Dolphins" ...Not the worst in quality, but it was just too dang sad. I was in sixth grade and it starts with her getting left on an island by her family, her brother dies, the wolf she raised died. She finally was rescued just to be told her whole tribe died on the boat ride she missed. I love me some sad literature, but 11 year old me was not pleased. unfortunatezucchini
I don't want to read....
Tie between "Wuthering Heights" and "Letters to Alice" - maybe I'd appreciate "Wuthering Heights" more if I read it again today, but Fay Weldon's condescending-a** tone in "Letters to Alice" was unbearable. IvyLeun
The House Crumbles....
Isabel Allende's 'House of the Spirits.'
Necrophilia, rape, murder, bestiality, necro-bestiality. Great book for 15 year olds. kitskill
I loved House of the Spirits, but that said I read it as an adult. Milkgloves
Words are Vital...Giphy
"The Turn of the Screw." Let me sum it up for you:
words words words words kids words words lady words words words ghost? words words lady words kids words words words kids words words crazy lady? words words words words words words ghost? words words ghost? DesertYinzer
Put it back Together....
"Things Fall Apart."
I understood the message, I appreciated the descriptions, I empathized with the characters as well as intended... But good LORD was it hard to get through. toucan_sam89
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.