Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Have Been On My Shelf The Longest That I've Never Read

For a while now I've been in the (bad) habit of being a compulsive book buyer/check-outer; it seems to be humanly impossible for me go into a bookstore or library and leave empty-handed. So, inevitably, there are always books on my shelves that go unread, sometimes for years. I’ve tried time and again to enforce upon myself the “you-can’t-buy-any-more-books-or-check-any-out-from-the-library-until-you’ve-read-the-ones-you-already-have” rule, but I always, always fail to adhere. So for Top Ten Tuesday, here's a sad little list of some of the ignored books on my shelf.

1. The Princess Diaries series: I bought the first Princess Diaries book when I was eleven and was quite obsessed with the books for a couple of years. Once I got to high school, however, I stopped reading the series. I really want to finish it though because the books are absolutely hilarious and Mia is one of the most awkward, relatable characters I've read.

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2. Dracula by Bram Stoker: In the past, I've tried several times to read Dracula but have never been able to make it past the first twenty-or-so pages. Maybe it's the epistolary style that makes my mind start to wander before I can get pulled in to the story. Whatever the reason, Dracula has been sitting on my shelf for years now.

3. The Casual Vacancy: I feel like the worst J.K. Rowling fan in the world for not reading The Casual Vacancy or The Cuckoo's Calling yet, but...honestly, I'm so afraid of being let down by her non-HP books that I just can't bring myself to open that first page. Harry Potter was such a formative series for me (and just about every other kid in the world who grew up with it) and I want so badly to have that same reading experience with J.K. Rowling's other books. But after the magic of Hogwarts and the Wizarding World, how am I supposed to get excited over a book about the goings-on in an ordinary town? Give the people what they really want, J.K.: a prequel series about the marauders!

4. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens: On my last Christmas break of high school, I was at home one afternoon channel surfing when I came across the 2002 version of Nicholas Nickleby. I absolutely loved the movie, so, naturally, I had to go out and get the book. That was back in 2008--poor Nicholas has been gathering dust on my Classics shelf ever since. I'd like to say it was because I was so busy with my last semester of high school and then all the preparations for college that I never got around to reading it, but that's only partly true. No, the real reason is that once I had the book, I was really daunted by its length. The only other Dickens book I'd ever read was Great Expectations. It was assigned for my ninth grade Honors English class and let's just say it was not a pleasant experience. I started to question why on earth I'd bought another Dickens tome. Now, five years later, I've gained more of an appreciation for Dickens. I can't say he's my favorite author but I will say that rereading Great Expectations for a second time in college, almost seven years after I first read it, definitely changed my opinions on the book. And I think it's time I gave Nicholas a try.

5. The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater: I feel like everyone and their mother has finished this series except me. I really don't know why I haven't read the whole thing--I adored Shiver and Maggie Stiefvater's writing style is gorgeous. I think there was just too long of a gap between the time I read Shiver and when I finally got a copy of Linger. I've been meaning to go back and reread the first book so I can move on with the series, but there are just so many books out there in the world to read that I usually end up buying new ones before rereading old ones.

6. Marie Antoinette: The Journey by Antonia Fraser: Did you know that this is the book Sofia Coppola used as the basis for her film Marie Antoinette? I am such a huge fan of that movie and for a while I was obsessed with getting my hands on any book, fiction or nonfiction, about the ill-fated queen. I was so excited to start this one but, as it turns out, there is a serious lack of 80s pop music, fantastical gowns, and delicious-looking cakes (who'd have guessed?). While I'm sure that Fraser's biography is much more historically accurate than Coppola's film, the movie is much easier (and more entertaining) to digest. Leave it to the movies to ruin reality for us all. ;P

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7. Battle Royale by Koushun Takami: I, like many other readers, first found out about Battle Royale after fans started drawing comparisons to The Hunger Games. I started to read it, but was put off by the overwhelming number of characters introduced in the beginning (I really couldn't keep track of who was who) and the violence. If you think The Hunger Games is graphic, let me tell you that Battle Royale is much, much more so.

8. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley: Yet another book I started, got distracted from, and haven't picked up again for years. If you've seen how enormous this book is, you'll understand.

9. Across the Universe by Beth Revis: As a YA fan, I can't believe that I still haven't read Across the Universe. I'm always coming across bloggers and vloggers reviewing it (and complaining about the awful mid-series cover redesign) and every time I do I think, I really need to read that.

10. The Princess Bride by William Goldman: Raise your hand if you've seen The Princess Bride. Okay, good. Pretty much everybody has (and if you haven't, get thee to the library/on demand menu/video rental store...do those even exist anymore?). But I'm willing to bet that most people who've seen it have not actually read the book it's based on--I'm guilty of this charge. I've had the book for, you guessed it, years and I still haven't gotten around to reading it. Someday, Westley. Someday.

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.