5 Books That Really Intimidate Me

June 17, 2017 Discussion 23

This post was inspired by the special books I have had on my bookshelf for five years or more. Why have I had them for so long without reading them you ask? Because they intimidate me.

What makes a book intimidating? For me, it is usually due the hype, size, or content. Some books I just have a tendency to avoid for other reasons. In any case, here are five books that I’m afraid  hesitant to read for one reason or another.



 The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

A couple of years ago, I finally rented all of The Lord of the Rings movies and watched them for the first time. I became obsessed. Unfortunately, as it is with most of my obsessions, this was a phase that lasted for about a week. However, one week was long enough for me to buy the 1216 page, $40 edition of this book. Besides the page count and small print, I’ve also been putting this one off since I moved past my LotR fangirling.

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Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Clocking in at 1463 pages, Les Miserables is big enough to make a grown man cry or take out a window. I actually bought this on a whim when I saw it on sale at Barnes & Noble for $5, where my thought process was something like “Wow, look how much content I’m getting for $5,” which is a terrible way to make purchases if you are as picky about books as I am. To make things worse, I actually really disliked the Les Miserables movie and have trouble with the writing.

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A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin

The length of this book/series doesn’t bother me as much as the actual content. I’ve read so many reviews that complain about the amount of filler or characters, which makes me super hesitant to read it because I have no patience and a bad memory.

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Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

The hype behind this book is crazy, and I’m definitely been told to read this series more than once. It’s somewhat out of my normal wheelhouse, but I’m also afraid I won’t enjoy it simply because everyone loves it so much and they will hurt me if I don’t like it.

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Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Another sizable read that deals with two genres I usually tend to avoid: adult fiction and time travel. The fact that there are also eight (so far) books in the series that are of the same size intimidates me as well. Can a good series really last for eight+ books?

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What are some books that intimidate you?

23 Responses to “5 Books That Really Intimidate Me”

  1. Gigi

    While I love the LOTR story, I actually found the books very dense. Honestly, you can probably skip them. The movies get all the important plot points, but skip over the unnecessarily complex world-building Tolkein was so fond of.

    Also, a warning about Outlander: no one told me how incredibly brutal it is. I’ve just started reading your blog, so not sure of your preferences yet, but for me the rape and spousal abuse made me too sick to go on with the series.
    Gigi recently posted…How Much Does It Cost to Spend a Month in Mostar?

  2. Alexandria

    I read Lord of the Rings because I loved the films, and tbh I didn’t enjoy the books. I’ll happily stick to the films.

    I haven’t read Les Mis because I was put off by the size, but now that I’ve read another of his books, I’m less scared. I’m not in a hurry to read it, but I probably will at some point.

    Game of Thrones and Outlander have always sounded interesting, but I’m not particularly fussed.
    Alexandria recently posted…May Wrap Up

  3. Eve

    I actually found The Lord of Rings series very easy to fall into once I got started. I’m definitely intimidated by the Mistborn series but I also really want to read it. I’m most intimidated by classics though. Any and all classics really. I feel like there’s a lot of meaning, significance and history in classics. Every time I attempt to read a classic I’m caught in a cycle of trying to identify and name significant things rather than just enjoy the story and I end up not enjoying it and giving up.

  4. Lynn

    I agree with all of these! I’ve read the first Mistborn book and absolutely loved it, but I’m too intimidated to pick up the rest, for some reason. Same with Outlander, I liked the first book but I haven’t continued with the rest because those books are huge!

  5. Jeanna

    I saw the Lord of the Rings movies before picking up the books. And actually read the series backwards which I don’t remember how that happened- I must have gotten a hold of The Return of the King first. But the second one took me forever to finish. I’ve been holding off on Game of Thrones too because intimidating. I started watching the show but stopped cause I wanted to read the books first. I didn’t know about the amount of filler, more reasons for me to hold off. I did finally read Outlander because I loved the show. It was interesting to see how close the show is to the book. The books are super long though and took a lot of pep talks to actually begin. I didn’t know the series was that long, I know it’s ongoing though. What must these characters be doing for that long?

    Great post! Happy reading!

    Jeanna recently posted…Filled with Rainbows and Puppy-Dogs | Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

  6. Dana

    I’m right there with you with Lord of the Rings, Les Mis, and Outlander. I’ve actually never heard of the Mistborn series so I’ll have to look into that!

    I will so though that once I got around to it I really loved the first Game of Thrones book! (I’m working my way through the second one now.) However, there are a ton of characters – and tbh I did have to look some of them up a few times when I forgot who they were – but once you do know the gist of all the families/characters it’s worth it!

  7. Sarah J.

    LOTR intimidates me. I did not like The Hobbit as much as I thought I would, but I loved the concept. I’ll know I’ll eventually pick them up because I own them, but I’m not rushing to. Les Mis and Anna Karenina intimidate me, but I really think I’ll love and enjoy them. I’m also not scared of big books (the book I’m currently reading is over 1400 pages), but I don’t want to be let down because they are so big. I love GOT. There are a lot of characters, but I took notes on characters that I felt were important and it really helped my reading experience because I kept track of who was who, why they were important and what clan they were from. I’ve been saying that Mistborn is the book I have to pick up each year for the past three years, but I still haven’t picked it up. I LOVE OUTLANDER SO MUCH. It’s my second favorite series of all-time. It’s so beautiful and I love it so much. The second book, Dragonfly in Amber, is one of the best books I’ve ever read. It’s not for everyone, but if you like history or Scotland you will enjoy it more than those who have no interests in those topics.
    Sarah J. recently posted…The Highland Commander by Amy Jarecki

  8. Jackie

    I was obsessed with the Lord of the Rings films for YEARS, but I wasn’t a fan of books. I tried reading them when I was 13 (which was a million years ago), and that didn’t work out very well. I’ve since revisited the first book in the trilogy (about a year ago), and I discovered that I actually really enjoyed it.

    That being said, no matter how much I enjoyed it, I would probably be really intimidated by a book that was over 1,000 pages long. Luckily mine are three separate books, so I stand a chance at completing the trilogy :)
    Jackie recently posted…This is the Book I Didn’t Know I Needed to Read | Sign Language by Amy Ackley

  9. ShootingStarsMag

    Oh gosh, these are some big ones. To be honest, none of them really interest me though I DID try and read Fellowship of the Ring when I was younger. I read The Hobbit and actually really liked it but Fellowship just didn’t cut it. I kept thinking “you don’t need to describe every stuck on the ground!” Ah well, I tried. LOL

    I think certain classics in general intimidate me a bit, though there are more that I hope to finally try in the future – like Dracula.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Blog Tour: The Suffering Tree by Elle Cosimano + Giveaway

  10. Anisha @ Sprinkled Pages

    I have been wanting to read Mistborn for EVER but it’s so huge and it’s quite scary! But i’ve heard such amazing things about it that I will be picking it up for sure in the near future! Thanks so much for sharing this lovely post!

  11. Joy @ Thoughts By J

    Alise! It feels like I haven’t heard from your in ages! How’ve you been? :)

    Oh man, a lot of the books/series that you’ve mentioned here are definitely intimidating. And I haven’t started most of them either because of the same reason. BUT, I did read/listen to Outlander on Audible, and it reaaaally helped me get through the first two books. The great narrator and accents totally helped too. I think audiobooks are a really good way to tackle come of these intimidating books if you’re ever looking to :)
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…Discussion: When publishers drop a series before it’s complete

  12. Terri M., the Director

    “Can a good series really last for eight+ books?”
    Yes, and no. I highly recommend the first 3 books in the Outlander series. After that, once you get into American History get a big bogged down with too many characters. However, Jamie and Claire…the main reasons there is so much love for the series…are front and center in the first 3 books.

    Oh, and don’t let the time travel throw you off. It’s just happens. There isn’t a lot of back and forth/messing with the time stream time travel. :)

  13. Zoe @ Stories on Stage

    I absolutely LOVE Les Mis (I read it a year or two ago) but it is DEFINITELY super intimidating, so I don’t blame you there! ;) Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! <3
    Zoe @ Stories on Stage recently posted…Dreamfall

  14. Tyler H. Jolley

    I’m inclined to agree, LOTR is a better movie than book. But, I think that’s because it was written so long ago and we, as readers, have incredibly high standards. But the overall story has stood the test of time, for sure.
    For me, Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn was really intimidating because of the length (672 pages) and it’s as a long series. But, I’m glad I dove into it. It’s one of the best series I’ve ever read.

  15. Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews

    I know what you mean! I have yet to read Outlander, Les Mis or A Song of Ice and Fire either. Les Mis isn’t my usual genre and it’s just so darn big. I don’t mind big fantasy books from trusted authors, but going outside my comfort zone in a big way like that is scary. The GoT books seem like a no-brainer for me considering my tastes but I’m intimidated by them and a little scared of them too o_O As for Outlander, I own the first 4 books so I WILL read them, I just need to get myself started LOL!
    Micheline @ Lunar Rainbows Reviews recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #142

  16. Molly @ Molly's Book Nook

    haha all of these intimidate me too! However, I have read LOTR and some of Game of Thrones. LOTR is one of my favorite stories of all time, so I’m biased when I say to read them. They’re better than the movies, same with The Hobbit. For GoT, I actually like the TV show better. But I still want to read them so what I do is listen to the audiobooks. It helps a lot.
    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook recently posted…3 Ways I Keep The Distractions At Bay While Blogging

  17. Charli

    I couldn’t read LOTR or Outlander. I tried both and wasn’t able to get very far into them. GoT I got 3/4 of the way through the first book before I put it down and never picked it back up. As for Les Mis, it’s never been of any interest to me, so I’ve ever tried. LOL

    The books that are currently intimidating me are the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I’m a huge King fan but I’ve only read one of the books all the way through and oddly enough, that was the 4th book in the series.
    Charli recently posted…Book Review: Blood, Ink & Fire by Ashley Mansour

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