Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: A Famous Book I’ve Never Read and Why

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Here’s a quick housekeeping note before I dive into my answer: blogger was once again not allowing me to comment on some blogspot sites yesterday for Top Ten Tuesday. I was eventually able to leave most of those comments by switching to a different browser and playing around with certain settings, but if I can’t reply to your post today it’s probably due to this issue.

Okay, onto my answer.

I have never read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and never plan to change that.

ILeather-bound copies of several classic novels that are sitting on a bookshelf. The one with the clearest title has a navy blue cover and says “Pride and Prejudice” with the name Jane below it. You cannot see her last name. ’m treading gently here because I know this is a classic novel that many people adore, but I am not interested in it for the following reasons:

1) Romance is something I appreciate as a garnish in stories instead of as the main dish. I normally read books with little to no romance in them at all, so leaping from that to a full-fledged historical romance novel is a bit too much for me in the vast majority of cases.

2) With all due respect to Ms. Austen, she and I grew up in wildly different cultures. I struggle to relate to books from any era that make getting married the most important life goal for their characters, much less ones where an entire family’s economic and social fate hinges on whether their daughters find wealthy husbands.

I grew up in a family that prioritized education and personal development to the point that I was discouraged from dating when I was a teenager, so it’s a huge culture shock for me to read about families that push their teenage and young adult daughters to find a husband. It’s a completely unrelatable theme for this reader because of that.

3) From what I’ve heard, the main character clashes terribly with the man she eventually marries when they first meet. I tend to shy away from people who have abrasive encounters with me online or in real life unless it’s a one-time occurrence or there’s a reasonable explanation for why we clashed on topic X and we otherwise get along pretty well.  There’s a huge difference between politely existing in the same space with someone who may not be your cup of tea due to reason X and purposefully seeking out the company of someone you struggle to find common ground with during your limited free time.  Life is too short to waste worrying about high-conflict, optional relationships in my opinion. Why not seek out more compatible friends, romantic partners, etc. whenever possible instead?


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16 Responses to Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge: A Famous Book I’ve Never Read and Why

  1. Very good reasons. I guess you wont’ be reading any of the Brigderton books.

  2. “Romance is something I appreciate as a garnish in stories instead of as the main dish” – I love that! That’s how I feel, too.

  3. I do read books in the romance genre, and as a general thing I’ve enjoyed a lot of the Jane Austen retellings that were done as movies (Bride and Prejudice would be the relevant one here) but I’ve never actually read the original. (Bride and Prejudice does have a lot of emphasis on finding an advantageous match, but in the end it’s pretty clear that the two main characters are getting married because as they’ve gotten to know each other and cleared up some misunderstandings, they’ve legitimately come to really love each other.)

  4. I stay well away from romance, but did read P&P after encountering a character essay on Darcy. I’ve continued reading Austen, in part for bragging rights. I can’t imagine many men can say they’ve read all of Austen! (I’m still short….Mansfield Park awaits.)

  5. Those are some excellent reasons for not having picked up that classic, Lydia. I too haven’t read it and I honestly have the same reasons for not having already done so. Then again, I tell myself that maybe someday I’ll be in the right mood to want to understand all the love around this classic but for the moment, I’ll stick to what I reeeaally want to read hahah Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  6. Wendy Williams

    I didn’t read P&P until 2 years ago and I liked it very much. But, I haven’t read any of her other books yet.

  7. I’ve never read this book either, and I don’t have plans to change that anytime soon. I’m one of those people who find classic literature not exactly to my taste, although I’ll make an exception for a few – Russian literature seems to be more my taste, since the focus is much different, and I do remember liking A Tale of Two Cities when I read it in school.

  8. I admit I love Jane Austen, but always preferred Emma over Pride and Prejudice. I find Lizzy irritating.

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