Anything by Dickens or Aristotle or, to be honest, any of the many authors I am Extremely And Loudly Grumpy About; I can’t even remember all of them now, those are just ones I’ve complained about recently.
A lot of popular nonfiction. Oh! One specific example is that damn Moral Foundations book, which made me more and more angry the more I read it. It’s terrible anthropology and worse politics.
I am fairly sure there are others because I am extremely stickling and grumpy when it comes to books but I will try not to summon up more ire.
Which genre(s) don’t you read? Why not?
I don’t think there are genres I don’t read? Straight romance fiction, I suppose, just because I don’t find heterosexuality particularly romantic in books most of the time. This is not at all a political viewpoint, it’s just the verdict of my bizarrely-calibrated and not especially sensible romance organ. Please don’t take offence, people in opposite-gender relationships! I am actually super moved by and invested in your relationships in real life. But, like, I will read gay romance fiction and I’m also familiar with the tropes of straight romance fiction and it’s not like I would never, ever read one so idk.
I guess the other thing is that there are genres where I pretty much only read a subgenre; for example, within the ‘crime’ genre I only really read locked-room murder mysteries. This is because they are the best.
The worst book hangover you’ve ever had
I don’t talk about this much, but book hangovers and my inability to handle them were pretty much why I read almost no fiction between about 2002-2010. I was very undiagnoseddepressionopinions at that point, and stuff that made me have emotions was Bad, and stuff that made me feel disconnected from mundane reality was Bad, and stuff that turned the volume up in my head in general was Bad.
In the middle of this period I decided for some reason to read The Brothers Karamazov. I emerged three days later totally shell-shocked, not in a good/hyperbolic, ‘pullquote for the back cover’ way, but in a horrible shaken way where I didn’t know what was real any more and felt physically ill. Stuff about the ending also interacted in a particular and unhelpful way with the parts of me that had been arguing for some time that ‘you did not do this thing but it was done on your behalf and so you are responsible even if you didn’t think you wanted it’ was a valid line of reasoning.
It was a good book, but a deeply unpleasant experience. It took me ages to stop being frightened of reading fiction. Sometimes even nonfiction, if it excited me or made me feel like I understood things, because what I’d learned was that feeling anything was painful, if not at first then eventually. Even now I have difficulty stopping myself from checking out or pulling back from books, and this is one of those mental health things that’s difficult to explain to a mental health professional.
Anyway, thank you for the questions! I’m sorry this turned into Shellcollector Being Weird About Stuff.