In spite of His Lordship’s more fervent assertions to the contrary, I have not actually read every book in the English language. I’ve read a lot, I grant you. Some books I didn’t enjoy when I was younger, but re-reading them as an adult was much more pleasurable. Moby Dick is a classic example of this kind of thing. I hated it when I was 13 and never got further than the first few chapters, but reading it a few years ago and I found a great deal of interest in Melville’s style, and surprised myself by realising how dark it was.
That said, there are a few books that I really just never took to, so they were discarded and have lain ignored ever since. I’ve tried approaching them years later, but a glance at the cover told me that it was simply never going to happen. Some of the titles may surprise you but if I’m going to be honest about this, if I ever find these under the tree at Christmas, I may well never speak to you again.
Wind in the Willows – I’m told that anyone who has actually read these tales of Toad, Badger, Ratty and Mole at the right age simply love them. There’s no middle ground and they are invariably discussed in tones of hushed reverence. Well, clearly I was never at the right age because I hated them and never want to read them ever again.
Winnie the Pooh – My sister is a huge Pooh fan, but it just leaves me cold. If I’m honest, I don’t think I’m particularly good with anthropomorphic animals. Although Eeyore might be my spirit animal.
Just William – Never read the books, watched the 1970s TV series which put me off for life. Dennis the Menace was more my thing.
A Tale of Two Cities – I’ve tried, really I have, because I love Dickens, but by the end of the first chapter I was giggling hysterically, which I don’t think was meant to happen. I’m told it’s wonderfully sad at the end, but I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to get there.
Anything published by Mills & Boon – Please, I have standards.
I’m fairly sure there are loads more, but these are fairly representative. If I think of any more, I’ll let you know.