on assigned reading.

It’s inevitable: if you’re a student in any sort of literature class, you’re going to be assigned something to read eventually. As someone who loves to read, you wouldn’t think I would mind this. But for some reason whenever a book is assigned to me it instantly becomes less appealing.

This frustrates me to no end.

Even if I was looking forward to reading a book beforehand, if it is assigned to me I will immediately lose some of my interest in it. I often regain it once I get through a good portion of it, but until that point it’s like trudging through sludge- really difficult and just plain unpleasant.

Maybe it’s my inner rebel finally showing its true colors. Or perhaps its simply the fact that I automatically associate homework as something terrible.

Does anyone else struggle with this? I’d love to know that I’m not alone!




19 thoughts on “on assigned reading.

  1. You are definitely not alone. It doesn’t help that the books you’re assigned usually suck. I’ve had to read books about old people moping about being old, and a guy selling cheese. It was literally a book about a guy selling cheese.

    Then there are the classics. I don’t mind them as much, because I do want to read them, but they’re all so boring and long, and it’s definitely a chore getting through them, especially if you’re not in the mood for it.

    • I think that’s the problem for me- I’m usually not in the mood to read them when they’re assigned. I don’t know why teacher assign terrible books because most of the time they have to read them as well! It makes no sense. Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  2. Oh yes. Yes SO MUCH. School singlehandedly ruined most of Shakespeare, the Giver and the Go-Between for me. I did regain interest, like you said, but some of the thrill is gone. I have to be in exactly the right mood to properly enjoy it.

    • I feel the same way about Shakespeare! I’ve been forced to read Romeo and Juliet as well as Othello, and I haven’t enjoyed them at all. If only more teachers knew how to teach them effectively! Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  3. I thought I was the only one! When I took ap English, I hated all the books we were assigned. I picked up a few of them a few years later, and now those are some of my favorites. I hate being told what to read.

    • I’ve had that happen to me as well. I usually try to pick up the books I’ve been assigned later on so I can see if I like it when I’m actually in the mood to read it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. You’d think teachers would have realized this by now! Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  4. Once I got to IB English classes in grade 11 and 12, I started really enjoying my assigned readings. A lot of them were by authors that I never would have picked up otherwise, and quickly became some of my favourite works (like James Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man or Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf). Of course, a good part of the reason why I enjoyed them so much was because they were taught in such a fun, informal way: all of the books were read out loud (or acted out in the case of plays), and we were able to jump in at any point to start a discussion on key scenes, phrases, etc. πŸ™‚

    • You’re so lucky! Half the battle is the way the books are taught, and in the past I haven’t had the greatest English teachers. My teacher this year for AP English is by far the best one I’ve had, and already I can see that it’s going to be a lot more enjoyable. But there’s still that lingering aversion to reading what I’ve been assigned. Hopefully I can overcome it this year! Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  5. Ha ha! This happens to me every goddamn time! Some of the books I ended up enjoying a lot, but I was still reluctant to start reading them.. and some of them I was reluctant to keep reading once I’d started. I’m stubborn. I don’t like being forced to read something.

    But on the flipside, it did make me read things I wouldn’t normally, and in doing so I discovered some new authors that I now love love love!! πŸ˜€

    Just gotta push on through. Grit your teeth and keep turning the pages.

    • It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who feels this way! I agree, it does expose us to new authors and genres… I just wish I was in the mood to read them when they’re assigned to me! Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

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  7. I have to be honest and say this is not the case for me. I love assigned reading because it’s often books that I would not read out of my own, and I know that discussing it in class will guide me through the process even if the book is difficult. I know that your problem is not uncommon, though!

    • I wish I was like you! I do enjoy some of the books that are assigned to me, but most of the time they just sort of fall flat. I do agree, though, that the discussion piece is really helpful. It can make a world of a difference! Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

  8. I hated most of the assigned reading. I finally solved the problem by not doing most of it. I can’t recommend that for everyone, but I was able to pick up enough through the class discussions to do well on tests and essays.

  9. Yep yep. This is why I don’t do ARCs and review requests. I hate ‘having’ to read a book, even if it’s one that I may have chosen myself. I’m such a mood reader-what sounded good one day may not sound good the next!

    • I feel the same way about TBR lists. I still make them, but I rarely actually stick to them strictly. Even if I’m the one assigning the reading I usually end up not being in the mood for it! Weird how that works. Thanks for commenting! πŸ™‚

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