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What Book Never Leaves Your “To-Read” List?

Last week, I told you about a bookish pet peeve that I’m completely guilty of—that being buying books that I never read. Many of you share that same trait—though some of us disagree on whether it’s a bad or good.

Let’s play off that thought today and hopefully generate a little discussion in the comments.

What’s your forever “to be read” book? It’s the book that’s always on your to-be-read list, always the one you’ll be reading next, yet somehow gets the cold shoulder when that “next book” comes around.

It’s the book that’s forever the bridesmaid and never the bride. It’s never forgotten, yet never in the spotlight, a perennial runner up on your to-be-read list.

I have a couple. Moby Dick (just out of a sense of obligation) has been a mainstay on my to-read list for a long time. I’ve read pieces of it in school, but never the full novel.

Also, The Alchemist is a novel I’ve never read but have always been intrigued by. Why can’t I seem to get The Alchemist off my to-be-read list?

Oh yeah, I guess because my to-be-read list is currently 29 books—those I still have to read as part of the Time list. Maybe The Alchemist should be the 30th one?

Anyway, enough about me. What’s the one book that’s always on your to-be-read list?

(Image: Phil Ashley/Getty Images)

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82 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ulysses

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  2. Lots of the classics. War and Peace, The Idiot, Middlemarch, Wuthering Heights. I don’t feel nearly as bad about not reading current fiction as I do about skipping out on some of the things that I’m “supposed” to have read!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  3. priyanka #

    I am like waiting , and waiting , and waiting to read 3 books – The Old curiosity Shop by Dickens , Gone by The Wind and Moby Dick . But somehow , a different book crosses my path , and I can’t help but postpone these 3 boks , and this has been going on for nearly 2 years 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
    • Teresa #

      I think you mean Gone with the Wind. 🙂
      That’s also on my tbr list along with Pride and Prejudice (Austen bores me) and A Tale of Two Cities (The opening lines are one of the best I’ve read but I just can’t get through the rest).

      Liked by 1 person

      August 8, 2014
      • priyanka #

        Oh , yes Gone With the Wind ;D Pride and Prejudice is like the only book I’ve read by Austen . And OMG . A tale of Two Cities , you HAVE TO read it . Please , please read that book . In a way i am so much attached to that book because . that was my first ever book . I read it back when i was in my 5th grade . i still remember my English teacher . My most favorite book ever . You will definitely love it .

        Liked by 3 people

        August 8, 2014
      • Pride & Prejudice is one of my favourite books of all time, but I haven’t been able to make it through any other Austen book yet!

        Like

        August 10, 2014
  4. Michael H #

    There are some books that are easier to plow through listening to them. It took years to get to Moby Dick and a number of friends telling me it was their favorite before I realized picking it up wasn’t going to happen and listening would give me a chance. A long road trip gave me the opportunity and it’s an absolutely fantastic listen. By the way, in full disclosure, I skipped through his detailed explanations of types of whales. The first hour on whales was ok, but this was written before Darwin’s treatise and was tedious.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  5. Kat #

    I have a couple but I think the ones that have been on there the longest include “The Lord of the Flies”, “1984”, and both “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey”. I want to read these classics but I am continuously distract by the proliferation of new books out there. Ironically, I own copies of all of these books also…oy.

    Liked by 2 people

    August 8, 2014
    • The Pittsburgh Princess #

      Lord of the Flies and 1984 are two of my favorite books! I read them back in high school and LOVED them! Seriously recommend them! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      August 8, 2014
    • you should read 1984! it’s very enlightening in a way. then follow it up with huxley’s ‘a brave new world’.

      Like

      August 13, 2014
  6. Kat #

    Reblogged this on Kat Webber and commented:
    So many books, so little time.
    Some of mine are “The Lord of the Flies”, “1984”, and both “The Iliad” and “The Odyssey”. Oh and if we’re talking about books that I’ve gotten several times only to not read, I would also have to throw “The Book Thief” onto this pile.
    Le dramatic sigh…

    Liked by 2 people

    August 8, 2014
    • You must read The Book Thief as soon as you finish reading this comment. Go. Now. Not done yet? OK. Both my wife and I think it is the best book in recent history. Or recent memory. But then, neither of us has a good memory lately.

      Like

      August 13, 2014
  7. Charles Dickens, “Our Mutual Friend” and “Game of Thrones” I’m sure there’s more. It seems like another book is always cutting in line whenever these are next on my to-read list.

    Liked by 2 people

    August 8, 2014
  8. Mom #

    Pilgrim Among the Shadows…it’s a Holacaust memoir. I can never get past the 1st page, it’s so intense!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  9. Surprisingly enough…it’s Wicked. I own THREE copies of the book and can’t get past chapter 1.

    Liked by 2 people

    August 8, 2014
    • I’ve heard the book isn’t that great, especially compared to the musical.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 8, 2014
    • Elaine Sargent #

      Wicked is the only book where the movie or play in this case, is way better than the book. I could not get through Wicked!!

      Liked by 1 person

      August 8, 2014
    • I read the Wicked books (all four of them) before I saw the musical, which probably helped, as I went into them without any expectations. I’ve actually read quite a lot of Maguire’s books, and I find that the first few chapters are almost always a struggle, but once you get into them they’re actually pretty entertaining!

      Liked by 1 person

      August 12, 2014
  10. Currently it’s Trinity by Leon Uris. I borrowed a copy from my father and have wanted to read it for the past few years. I just haven’t gotten around to reading it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  11. Beloved by Toni Morrison… I can’t finish it, I think it’s too emotional or something.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  12. War and Peace has been on my TBR pile for the longest. I even bought a really good translation/copy of it years ago. Still haven’t read it. I’m not the least bit afraid to read it…I really want to read it right now…but it always gets pushed aside for something else.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  13. Lucille #

    Don Quixote. I’m hoping my book group will choose it someday. We did War and Peace; D.Q. should be a breeze after that.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  14. Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela’s autobiography. I started reading it in summer 2010. I wanted to get pumped prior to 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa; I volunteered in Cape Town. I couldn’t finish the book before my trip so I left a bookmark. Last year when I re-arranged my books, I remembered the book. To my horror, the bookmark had gone missing. Now I have to start from page 1. *cringe*

    Liked by 2 people

    August 8, 2014
  15. “Les Miserables” and “Oliver Twist.” I should have read both of those long ago, but they keep getting shoved to the bottom of my 100ish book TBR list. Shame on me!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
    • Lucille #

      I liked “Les Miserables” so much that I read it three times. An advantage of age is a longer “read already” list.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 8, 2014
      • I love the story of Les Miserables, but I’ve never finished the book…I keep getting put off by the pages and pages of historical background…

        Like

        August 12, 2014
  16. feedmeinbooks #

    I have a ton of “to read” books sitting beside my bed but never get to. I don’t forget about them it’s just something pops up and they are on the back burner. I have Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings (saw the movie but want to read the descriptions used) I’ll get around to then eventually it’ll just take some time!

    Liked by 2 people

    August 8, 2014
  17. feedmeinbooks #

    Reblogged this on feedmeinbooks and commented:
    Do we find ourselves back burning books for the fear of hating them after being so pumped? I believe I’ve done this a time or two!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  18. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  19. novelfetish #

    The Lord of the Rings triolgy. I made the mistake of watching the movies before ever reading the books. I wasn’t a fan of the movies at all (too long, too boring!). Sadly, even though I know that the book is always better than the movie, I have yet to open a single one.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  20. Too many to name!

    Liked by 2 people

    August 8, 2014
  21. myitzuthame #

    Definitely Lord of the Flies! It was on my secondary school reding list and for the past seven years I had never finished it. I picked it up this summer to read it but the farthest I’ve got is until Chapter 5. It’s a thin book, really. But I just don’t get through it. Reading Cloud Atlas now instead!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  22. Liz #

    Ulysses. Remembrance of Things Past. Infinite Jest. Mason and Dixon. Underworld. So many. Some because I feel like I need to be retired or have a class. Some because I can’t read them standing on a train and e-readers make me existentially queasy.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  23. Gone With the Wind has been on my to-read list for years…

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  24. War and Peace. Or Anna Karenina.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  25. Sadly, I have too many to even mention. My TBR pile is embarrassing (it’s more of a TBR heap at this point). If I had to pick one of say The Three Musketeers. For whatever reason I’ve never been able to take the leap, even though I will probably love it.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  26. Crime and Punishment

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  27. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing. The Secret History (or anything by Donna Tartt), Flow by Mihaly Csikzentmihaly

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  28. chyeawolves #

    Reblogged this on The Pages You'll Read.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  29. Infinite Jest has been on my To-Read list for 7 or 8 years now. 2666 by Roberto Bolano has been on my list for 5 years. And there are many many more.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  30. My To-Read list is VERY long at the moment. One that has been on there for a long time is Wicked. I’ve read the prologue twice and enjoyed it. Whenever I get to chapter one, though, I suddenly lose interest and can never make it past. One of these days I’ll manage it.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  31. Because I am in my masters program I find that all leisure reads remain on my to-be-read list. After reading hundreds of pages about stats, marketing and finance, I find it difficult to bring myself to read anything more! Maybe once I graduate I will my reading list will get some attention.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  32. I joined a reading group so that I would read some of those books that had been hanging around my reading list for a long time… Proust, Moby Dick, Ulysses. Read them and a few others and enjoyed it for about four years, then suddenly realised I wasn’t enjoying it any longer, so I’m back to reading on my own again. Actually Ulysses did me in. Hated it. I’ve recently dropped War and Peace from my tbr list, just couldn’t get into it. I don’t think every book is suited to every reader, certainly not this reader, so no more guilt, just reading for pleasure/interest.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  33. Yeah! Moby Dick! Out of obligation, for sure. When I was making my next Book Challenge list I had Moby Dick on there and then erased it to make room for something else.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  34. At the moment, it’s A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel. It’s just so freaking massive, that I’m completely daunted by it.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  35. The remembrance of things past by Marcel Proust

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  36. Any Jodi Picoult book (except for “Keeping Faith”…too personal for me too read) and “Playing Beatie Bow” by Australian author ‘Ruth Park’.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
    • I read Playing Beatie Bow at High School…one of the few set texts they gave us that I’ve re-read more than once! Loved it.

      Liked by 1 person

      August 12, 2014
      • I found it again recently going through some boxes and have reread three times now in a couple of months, hehe

        Liked by 1 person

        August 12, 2014
  37. Black & White ღ #

    I want to read War & peace but also never passed its first chapter and the fault in our star too. I bought its copy but never read it because i start reading another book

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  38. Guns, Germs and Steel.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 8, 2014
  39. He he. I have a pile, the one that comes to mind foremost is Great Expectations, which I started and never finished (yet).

    Liked by 1 person

    August 9, 2014
  40. Ruth Fox #

    I have ‘Gone With the Wind’ on my kobo as an emergency book if no other books are available. So far no such emergency has occured! Have been planning to read ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie which I got in a book crossing event and also ‘American Gods’ by Neil Gaiman. They are both books aquired, rather than chosen by me, although I fancy reading them. ‘The Great Gatsby’ is the classic novel that I have never read, although I’ve watched a couple of film versions and a documentary……so I’m working up to it!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 9, 2014
  41. Paradise Lost, A Brave New World, and the Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I have both the book and the audiobook of ToWH on my tablet, but it hasn’t gotten read because of this Masters Degree. Paradise Lost is one I should have read in my undergrad, but never did, and I like “warning literature” so A Brave New World has been recommended to me several times. I also need to finish Shakespeare’s Cymbeline.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 9, 2014
  42. Infinite Jest

    Liked by 1 person

    August 9, 2014
  43. Reblogged this on utkarshaaghimire and commented:
    alright!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 9, 2014
  44. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust. Always want to read it, but there is so much other things to do and all the other books piled up: Philip Roth, Thomas Pynchon, Natsuo Kirino.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 9, 2014
  45. Shiloh, by Shelby Foote.
    From the Terrace by John O’Hara.
    The Hippopotamus Pool by Elizabeth Peters.
    Herzog by Saul Bellow.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 9, 2014
  46. Anna Karenina and The Pillars of the Earth! I am so guilty of this! I also have been meaning to read Follow the River. It’s a true story of my 8th great grandmother being captured by Indians! It’s important to know your family history! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    August 9, 2014
  47. I have a ton of books I have sitting around that I “intend” to read at some point. The Chronicles of Narnia (I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as a kid, but never the whole series), The Prydain Chronicles, The Princess Bride, and Don Quixote are just a few off the top of my head. Also, I’m reblogging this 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    August 9, 2014
  48. Reblogged this on Jeanne Owens, author and commented:
    I have a ton of books sitting around that I “intend” to read at some point. The Chronicles of Narnia (I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as a kid, but never the whole series), The Prydain Chronicles, The Princess Bride, and Don Quixote are just a few off the top of my head.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 9, 2014
  49. Alexander #

    Moby Dick for me as well, which is quite funny because I have a huge Pirate/Sailing fetish, and I loved Blood Meridian which I hear is similar to Moby Dick in some ways. I even have a beautiful edition of Mody Dick- Hardcover with gilded pages. I have no idea why I haven’t read it yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 9, 2014
  50. Les Miserables and Tale of Two Cities, among many others.
    Read parts of Tale of Two Cities, but Les Mis is still gathering dust on my book shelf.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 10, 2014
  51. Reblogged this on Ms M's Bookshelf and commented:
    I really enjoy following Robert on 101 Blogs. His topic on this particular day rang true with me. I have several stacks of books on the floor, several books on my couch (the half I don’t sit on), and books dotted throughout my bookshelves that I “plan to read” sometime in the near future. How about you? Read Robert’s blog and comment there or on mine. Let’s hear from you!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 10, 2014
  52. At the moment I’ve been promising myself to read Les Miserables and History of the Early Church Fathers for the years now. Question? Why is Moby Dick so high on to read lists. One person who finally did read it told me that it wasn’t actually that good. If that’s the case then maybe we can cut ourselves some slack for never getting it read. On another note. Why do we as readers feel compelled to read books just because we should? I feel this pressure about mossy of the Russian classics.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 10, 2014
  53. Alison's Wonderland Recipes #

    For me, it’s Neverwhere. I bought the book back in college (5 years ago), and it always comes to mind when I think “what to read next?” But I never choose it, and I don’t know why!

    We bibliophiles need a word for this: a book you genuinely want to read but inexplicably keep putting off.

    Liked by 1 person

    August 10, 2014
  54. Great blog. You might enjoy my post on the Dublin Writers museum. Take care. Emma.

    Like

    August 11, 2014
  55. I bought Lolita probably 10 years ago and still have not been able to bring myself to read it. One of these days…maybe…

    Like

    August 11, 2014
  56. Moby Dick as well…and I don’t know why since I KNOW I’d love it. Also Bleak House and the Illiad.

    Like

    August 11, 2014
  57. I have a compendium of the collected works of H.P Lovecraft and I feel bad not reading it but I can never get around to it.

    Like

    August 11, 2014
  58. I see that the Classics (note the capital C) feature heavily in these lists. Could it be that some feeling of compulsion to read it is what keeps the book perpetually on the ‘to be read’ list? I know for myself that nothing puts me off reading a book quicker than being told that I’ve GOT to read it for whatever reason. It may be a very good book, but something deep inside me resists that command. On the other hand, I have read lots of great books while avoiding having to read the one that I’ve GOT to read.

    Like

    August 11, 2014
  59. This year for the first time I’ve read quite a lot of books that have been on my TBR for years (thanks to my Kindle and cheap e-books) but now all the things I’m longing to re-read are being pushed lower and lower down the list instead!

    Like

    August 12, 2014
  60. Moby Dick is on my list also! I am currently reading all the Pulitzer Prize fiction winners. All.Of.Them. Some are great, some make me wonder.

    Like

    August 24, 2014
  61. George Eliot- Middlemarch!

    Like

    September 16, 2014

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