books Books You'll Never Finish Reading  

Amy Boal
354k votes 32k voters 271k views 100 items Follow Embed

List Rules Upvote the books that might be great, but no one will ever finish them and find out because who has the time and/or patience?

As Emily Dickinson famously said, "There is no Frigate like a Book / To take us Lands away," but sometimes you get halfway there and are all "Frigate, WTF, where are we even going?" There are some books that you will just never finish, no matter how many times you try. Maybe the authors of these hardest books to read are laughing at all of us right now, or maybe they didn't even mean to make the book so tough, but here we all are, slogging through these book swamps, trying to figure out what the hell James Joyce is even on about with Ulysses.

Hard books to read run the gamut. Some are just too long, like War and Peace. Others are just perplexing and no one will ever know what's really going on in them, even that kid in your Honors College literature class who thinks he is so cool. Still others of the most difficult books ever written aren't even really that complicated, they just happen to be as boring as listening to anyone, anywhere, at anytime, talking about traffic.

What books have you put down after just one chapter? What books sit proudly on your shelves, 90% unread because life is more than sticking it out with a book that is just too much? Sure, a lot of these books you are never going to actually read are classics, written by famous authors and some of the most influential writers of all time, but let's get real, Jonathan Franzen, there aren't enough hours in the day to wade through The Corrections.

Upvote the books and novels below that you have sidelined for whatever reason and be sure to add any great books you have started, and then immediately been like, "NOPE."

1
+ - 6,750 4,582
The Bible 
                    is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading

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2
+ - 4,735 3,221
Ulysses 
                    is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Ulysses James Joyce

3
+ - 4,945 3,374
War and Peace 
                    is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
War and Peace Leo Tolstoy

4
+ - 5,934 4,152
Moby-Dick; or, The Whale 
                    is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Moby-Dick Herman Melville

5
+ - 4,723 3,936
The Canterbury Tales 
                    is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
The Canterbury Tales Geoffrey Chaucer

6
+ - 4,089 3,715
Anna Karenina 
                    is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy

7
+ - 4,686 4,322
Atlas Shrugged 
                    is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand

8
+ - 4,418 4,093
The Silmarillion 
                    is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
The Silmarillion J. R. R. Tolkien

9
+ - 1,669 1,551
Les Misérables 
                    is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Les Misérables Victor Hugo

10
+ - 2,674 2,534
Crime and Punishment 
                    is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky - Fyodor Dostoyevsky. A trip through the mind of a schizophrenic criminal.

11
+ - 1,762 1,682
Walden 
                    is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Walden Henry David Thoreau

12
+ - 1,285 1,243
The Last of the Mohicans 
                    is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
The Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper

13
+ - 2,220 2,214
Finnegans Wake 
                    is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Finnegans Wake James Joyce

14
+ - 4,768 4,933
A Tale of Two Cities 
                    is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens

15
+ - 3,867 4,138
Gone with the Wind 
                    is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell

20 Books to Read in Your 20s The Most Heartbreaking Novels Ever Written

16
+ - 2,243 2,396
David Copperfield 
                    is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
David Copperfield Charles Dickens

17
+ - 323 296
Paradise Lost 
                    is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Paradise Lost John Milton

18
+ - 2,350 2,532
Wuthering Heights 
                    is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë

19
+ - 3,001 3,260
The Red Badge of Courage 
                    is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
The Red Badge of Courage Stephen Crane

20
+ - 4,812 5,297
The Grapes of Wrath 
                    is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck

21
+ - 316 295
Don Quixote 
                    is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes

22
+ - 2,756 3,045
Uncle Tom's Cabin 
                    is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Uncle Tom's Cabin Harriet Beecher Stowe

23
+ - 2,004 2,200
The Brothers Karamazov 
                    is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoyevsky

24
+ - 1,688 1,896
Mein Kampf 
                    is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Mein Kampf Adolf Hitler

25
+ - 2,542 2,890
A Brief History of Time 
                    is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
A Brief History of Time Stephen Hawking

26
+ - 439 455
Tess of the d'Urbervilles 
                    is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading

27
+ - 462 487
Roots: The Saga of an American... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Roots Alex Haley

28
+ - 4,739 5,554
The Scarlet Letter 
                    is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne

29
+ - 1,775 2,053
Infinite Jest 
                    is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Infinite Jest David Foster Wallace

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30
+ - 1,224 1,412
Exodus 
                    is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Exodus Leon Uris

31
+ - 3,790 4,505
Catch-22 
                    is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Catch-22 Joseph Heller

32
+ - 2,037 2,407
Leaves of Grass 
                    is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Leaves of Grass Walt Whitman

33
+ - 639 728
The Pilgrim's Progress 
                    is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading

34
+ - 1,967 2,368
The Name of the Rose 
                    is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
The Name of the Rose Umberto Eco

35
+ - 211 212
The Sun Also Rises 
                    is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemingway

36
+ - 1,940 2,353
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle ... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading

37
+ - 2,914 3,567
Dracula 
                    is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Dracula Bram Stoker

38
+ - 1,952 2,382
The Sound and the Fury 
                    is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner

39
+ - 2,104 2,698
Heart of Darkness 
                    is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad

40
+ - 415 502
Dune 
                    is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Dune Frank Herbert

41
+ - 2,046 2,690
Twilight 
                    is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Twilight Stephenie Meyer

42
+ - 1,287 1,706
Gravity's Rainbow 
                    is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Gravity's Rainbow Thomas Pynchon

43
+ - 5,364 7,230
The Lord of the Rings 
                    is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien

11 Gay Celebrities Who Came Out in the 1980s The Best Movies About Memory

44
+ - 2,319 3,120
1984 
                    is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
1984 Kit Reed

45
+ - 1,010 1,372
In Search of Lost Time 
                    is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
In Search of Lost Time Marcel Proust

46
+ - 3,442 4,767
Pride and Prejudice 
                    is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen

47
+ - 3,505 4,859
The Girl with the Dragon Tatto... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading

48
+ - 3,089 4,284
Wicked: The Life and Times of ... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading

49
+ - 401 528
Beloved 
                    is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading
Beloved Toni Morrison

50
+ - 1,703 2,375
The Adventures of Sherlock Hol... 
                    is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Books You'll Never Finish Reading