The worst summer reading books

Which books tortured students the most over the summers?


Although Walden was an extremely time consuming book to read, it proved to be important and useful in writing several essays

Cristina Himelhoch, Staff Writer

Reading a book over the summer has always seemed like such a punishment for most people – especially when the books were not interesting in any way. Summer reading books have been notorious for being educational but boring. Some of the worst ones were The Pearl, Things Fall Apart, and Walden. One of the main reasons these books were so difficult to get through was because of the fact that they were assigned during the summer. Most students dread summer assignments so much because they are out of school and don’t think they should have to do any work. Instead, they should be enjoying the summer weather by going to the beach, going to the park, and hanging out with their friends. It would have been less painful if these books were assigned to be read during the school year because students are more motivated to complete their assignments.

Starting from least painful to most painful, the first summer reading book that was not enjoyable to read was The Pearl. Although this book was extremely short, for some reason, the reading just seemed to drag on and on. It was hard to get through because it was very slow moving in the beginning when all of the characters were described. It also ended very sadly with the baby dying, which made the book seem brutally depressing.

Second on the list of bad summer reading books is Things Fall Apart. This book was so difficult to try to understand because literally everyone’s name was almost identical. It seemed as though all the names were just a deviation from Okonkwo (the main character), making it extremely difficult to keep track of all the characters without mixing up a couple of them. The only things students ever remember about this book are the yams and all the weird names. Senior Briana Dentry reminisces about the difficulties of reading this book. “I just felt that it was a complicated story line, but the more times I read the book, the more it made sense,” she said.

The number one book that brings sighs of disgust from students when the title is mentioned is Walden. Now one of the best things about this book was how extremely useful it was. You could use this book for almost any essay topic because its contents and themes were broad enough to match a lot of various topics. On the other hand, this book took forever to read because it was almost three hundred pages long full of information about the trees, sounds, birds, and the environment. According to senior Annaklara Doel, this book was so difficult to read because “it was consistently repetitive and was too preachy and I couldn’t follow it because I would fall asleep so fast.”

These three books have very strong themes behind them, and after reading them it seems logical as to why teachers had us read them, but at the time it seemed like one of the worst things ever. Reading for some people can be a time of relaxation and enjoyment while others are bored by even the most exciting stories. But when it comes to these summer reading books, there has been a general consensus that reading those books was not fun in any way, shape, or form. On the other hand, the best summer reading books were the ones that students were able to choose themselves including Life of Pi, The Bell Jar, 1984, and The Things They Carried.