Books And Stories that You've Read Once and Could Never Read Again.


There Are Always new Things to Learn.
Jun 29, 2014
And not because you found them good or bad, but the subject matter ,the characters the setting or for whatever reason, you just don't evert want to come back to it ever again. This is a topic that covers all the genres . It also includes non fiction as well.

Choices and thoughts?
I've never been able to bring myself to reread Stranger in a Strange Land. I was really moved when I read it. It was so poignant and spoke to place I was in my life. At first it was almost a sense of respect for the book and how it end. Additionally now I also fear that the book might seem less to me now. The reading of that book and the meaning I took from it at the time are to important to risk tarnishing.
I don't seem to think of any published stories or books that I could never read again. There are a couple of things I read in manuscript that I'd like to read again, but it seems they are lost to me. One was "The Other Engineer," a ghost story worthy of a place in L. T. C. Rolt's Sleep No More, but that was by a woman whose name I don't remember. Over 35 years ago, when I was teaching in another state, a copy of the ms was loaned to me. I think years later I wrote to the colleague who'd let me read it, to ask about it, and didn't get a reply -- but that's a long time ago. The other was Onamia, a memoir by my former English Department shair, who died about 20 years ago. It concerned his formation as a Roman Catholic priest in a somewhat isolated seminary in, I think, Wisconsin. A few years ago I tracked down his widow and asked about it, & she looked for it but didn't find it. I'd like to read these again, but that's not likely to happen.

I realize, Baylor, that this sort of thing isn't what you had in mind for this thread, but I thought people might be interested anyway.
Pretty much everything they made me read in High School.
Alas Babylon Pat Frank
On The Beach Nevil Shute
White Fang Jack London
Call of the Wild Jack London
Just to name a few.
The ASOIAF series, by GRRM. Vaguely interesting to read once, but I've never been tempted to re-read them, because of the continual facile shock tactics of killing people off.
One Flew Overt the Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey . I had to read that one for school and I absolutely hated it.
The Number of the Beast by Robert A. Heinlein. Terrible book badly written.
On The Road by Jack Kerouac. What a self indulgent, whingy book. I wish Sal had died in the first chapter.
Anything by Stephen King. The few I read have left no impression on me.
A Separate Peace by John Knowles. Another assigned reading horror story, though it may have had less to do with the book than with my level of maturity. I didn't like it, once begun I dreaded having to continue to the extent of having a physical revulsion, nausea, and I've never been 100% sure why.

I rarely had a problem with and still don't have a problem with assigned readings. They can push a student toward a greater understanding of others and the world they live in. But there is a problem with gauging the readiness of some students to take that push. I think I was a better young man for having read Animal Farm, Of Mice and Men and The Old Man and the Sea but I wasn't ready for this one. When I think about it, I'm a bit surprised that around that same time I read and I really liked -- if that's the right word -- The Bell Jar.

Randy M.
"American Psycho" and "The Silmarillion" - are two obvious candidates, especially the latter which took many attempts to complete over the years. Am glad I did eventually finish it, but have no inclination to do so again.
Les Miserables, but primarily because of the absurdly lengthy descriptions toward the beginnings of acts. The worst offender, in my opinion, was the detailed description of the Battle of Waterloo for the sake of introducing Thénardier. It is what turned me away forever from info dumps...
The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan. I read this as a naive 13/14 year old thinking it was a fantasy, quest story(which it is in a way) and got hopelessly lost.
... and "The Silmarillion" - are two obvious candidates, especially the latter which took many attempts to complete over the years. Am glad I did eventually finish it, but have no inclination to do so again.

I think you have to go into that one with a different mental attitude! It's more like a non-fiction work in some respects.
The 'noughts and crosses' trilohy by Malory Blackman. The first one i had to read in school, then i felt the urge to be a completionist. Not bad books but more romantic than anything i'd read now.
99% of what I read I never re-read because it takes me about 3-4 weeks to finish a book. I only re-read short books that I have read 25 years ago and forgotten the story.
Catch 22 Why? because I loath every single character in that whole novel.
The Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs. I had to destroy my copy after it was partly eaten and then pissed on by a field mouse.

I always imagine William Burroughs to have a deep, slow, laconic sort of voice, probably with bongos and improvised saxophone in the background. "It is well known in junky circles that the urine of the field mouse, after it has ingested paper, is a powerful hallucinogenic. At the court of Khubla Khan, such a mouse would be placed upon a copy of The Naked Lunch, and...."