2016 Library Challenge: A Book You Were Supposed to Read for School


One of the challenges for this year is reading a book you were supposed to read for school but didn’t.

I must confess, this one gave me a lot of trouble. It’s not that I always did my required reading for school. I really tried to, but I would be lying if I claimed that I read every single thing assigned to me. My apologies to any of my former teachers who are reading this blog post.

In my defense, I often did try to read whatever I didn’t read during the school year once I had time, even if it meant doing so during the summer when I no longer had to worry about an examination over the material. It’s just that, for that reason, the ones I still haven’t taken the time to read seem like ones I wouldn’t be interested in, anyway, especially without the specter of being forced to read it looming over me.

And I say that as someone who actually did enjoy a lot of the books I had to read for school. There are certainly some books I remember encountering from my required reading that I hated–I especially remember not enjoying Sister Carrie at all–but I also discovered a lot of favorite authors and books that way, so it always evened out for me.

I ultimately ended up reading Hilary Mantel’s A Place of Greater Safety, which was an optional text for a class I took on the French Revolution. My professor recommended it as the best novel he’d read about the Revolution–eat your heart out, Charles Dickens–and I really wanted to read it that semester, but I had so many other things going on that I kind of forgot it existed until this year. In any event, I did finally get around to reading it and concurred with my professor who gave it such high marks. (By the way, if you’re interested in giving it a try, we don’t have it in the library, but we can certainly request it through ILL for you.)

So, how did you feel about the books that you were required to read for school? What were some of your favorites? What were some you really disliked? What would you read for this challenge? As always, don’t forget you can use our online catalog to find books and place holds.


Author: berryvillelibrary

"Our library, our future"

2 thoughts on “2016 Library Challenge: A Book You Were Supposed to Read for School”

  1. I love reading, so it may come as a surprise to hear that I hated all the books that I read for school. I don’t know if the teachers just didn’t pick books that I liked, or if it was the fact that I had to read it. There was an exception for Brave New World, by Adolph Huxley, which I read in college, and The Giver, by Lois Lowry, which I read in 4-5th grade. I loved those, but everything else I didn’t like at all!


    1. I understand that completely! I think the required reading aspect of it can definitely be problematic. I don’t like doing things if I’m forced to, even if I ordinarily would enjoy whatever it is.

      I loved Brave New World and The Giver, too!

      My fourth grade teacher read The Giver to us, and she stopped a few chapters away from the end and told us we’d finish it next time. I couldn’t bear to wait that long, so I ran to the school library, found a copy, and read the rest of it to save myself the suspense of having to wait overnight!😉

      I read Brave New World fairly late in my academic career and wasn’t expecting it to be too different from the other dystopian classics I had read, but that one definitely stood out to me! I was surprised by how weirdly funny it was.

      Thanks for commenting, Tiffany! 🙂


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