There are so many books out there that we really want to read, but we haven’t gotten to for one reason or another. And then there are those books that we’d like to get to, but they just sort of … intimidate us. You know what I’m talking about. Those scary books. The kind that we’re drawn to but that also strike dread into our hearts at the very thought of them.
In my experience, there are several different types of books that do this to us. I thought that in order to help us face our fears, it might be best to categorize them. You know, study the beast in order to slay it. So, here are some of the types of books that I fear (I’m talking real, actual fear here, people – it may sound crazy, but books do this to us!):
1. THE CLASSICS
When I was younger, I LOVED the classics. In high school, I not only read every classic assigned with zest (unlike some of my classmates who stuck to the Cliff Notes version), I read other classics during my free time (in addition to fantasy and sci fi). I was a bookish nerd and I loved it! So, what the heck happened to me? Nowadays, the thought of reading one of the classics fills me with terror. I just can’t bring myself to do it, and I don’t know exactly why. I think it might be because the classics I’ve read as an adult haven’t absolutely thrilled me, and I fear that my teenage self was somehow more sophisticated than my adult self is. That’s a scary thought! After all, I should be all cultured and refined now that I’m a grown-up, right? Or … something … ? (Yeah, I’m not buying it either.)
2. BIG BOOKS
This is another one of those categories that I used to read more of. I used to be proud to pick up a 1,000 page book and wield it like a (not very useful, papery) weapon against those non-readers who thought I was crazy. Nowadays, not so much. The sight of a monstrous book just makes me feel like I’m facing a … monster. The reason behind this transition isn’t nearly as mysterious, though, even if it is a bit flimsy. I think it all comes down to my ginormous TBR and my need to read more books. There are SO many books that I want to get to, and it makes me look at that 1,000 page book and see it as an unworthy substitute for three other books. I mean, that book better be darn good to warrant the time I put into it!
3. HYPED BOOKS
This one is a pretty common fear, I know. We’ve all heard time and time again how fantastic this or that book is. Everyone flails over it! For me, if I read the book right away when the hype starts I’m usually okay. But if I wait … I don’t know why, but the more time passes, the harder it is for me to pick up that hyped book. It’s not that I don’t think I’ll like it (I’m not the type of person who’s usually disappointed with hyped books) – instead, it’s more like I just can’t bring myself to pick the book up. There is some unseen force around it that makes me stare at it on my shelf instead of reading it. I can’t really explain this with any sort of logic and I don’t even want to try (though Cait at Paper Fury has some interesting theories about why we avoid books we know we’ll love in her post on the subject).
4. BOOKS FROM OTHER GENRES
There are plenty of books that I’ve heard so many amazing things about and I really want to read them, but there’s a problem. Those books are from of those other genres. Those genres that other people read but I do NOT. Ever. Why? Who knows? Now, I will say that I’ve gotten a lot better about this since I’ve been blogging. I used to pretty much only read fantasy and YA paranormal (I actually didn’t realize that I only read YA paranormal until I picked up my first book dubbed as “paranormal romance” and was completely shocked to realize what the “romance” part of that genre title meant – I’ve since become much more desensitized to this, but I was really thrown at first!), with some occasional sci-fi thrown in (only non-intimidating sci-fi that didn’t seem too technical – let’s not go crazy here, people.) Now, I’m happy to say, I’ve explored other genres – YA contemp is actually a favorite of mine, and I also read a decent amount of NA contemp as well (though I seem to be getting a little tired of it lately). But other genres? Historical romance? Nuh uh. Cozy mysteries? The name alone makes me run in the other direction. Thrillers? Not at all thrilled. Literary fiction? Too refined for me. Non-fiction???? Whooahhh there, Nelly – now that’s just craziness! I know I need to change this. I shouldn’t be afraid of these unknown genres. Heck, the few books I’ve actually read in some of them, I’ve enjoyed. But the very idea of reading books outside my comfort zone makes me tremble (and not with excitement). Maybe someday I’ll get over this fear, but probably not today.
5. BOOKS IN SERIES I LOVE
I’ve mentioned this before in my post about how I’m a series failure, but it bears mentioning again. Somehow I am often terrified to pick up that next book in a series I’ve been loving (especially the last book). There are probably a whole host of reasons for this (that I’ve already enumerated in that other post), but I think the biggest reason is that I just have a fear of marring the impression I have of the series in my mind. That or just not wanting it to end. Either way, there are a whole slew of books that I’ve been staring at for WAY too long – books that belong to series I’ve LOVED!
I’m sure there are even more types of books intimidate me – these are just the ones I could come up with off the top of my head. For a person who loves books, they sure do scare the bejeezus out of me!
So, are there books that intimidate you? Have you found ways to overcome your fears? I want to know!