Books That Intimidate Me

I have a bookish fear, and that is a fear of long books. I don’t know why, but just seeing them on my shelves stresses me out, and I tend to put them off for a really long time.

Today I thought I would share a list of some of the books on my TBR that are really intimidating to me. If you’ve read and enjoyed them, please let me know! I need all of th encouragement I can get to finally pick these up.

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

A Little Life

I just purchased this book recently, and I knew it was going to be a long one. But now that it’s actually in my hands, I am terrified of it. I feel like it will take me a really long time to read, and that is stressing me out.

Luckily, this is one I know that almost everybody loves (despite it being a really sad read), so that is giving me some hope hahaha!

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina

Just hearing the name of this book truly gives me nightmares. Not only is it nearly 1000 pages, but it’s also one of those classics that everyone loves. Do you know how intimidating that is?? I feel like the English minor in me HAS to read and love this one.

I mean, the Goodreads synopsis calls it “the world’s greatest novel.” That is a lot of pressure for me. But, in all seriousness, I do think I will enjoy this one!

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski


I’ve recently been seeing many people talk about this book, though it has been popular for quite some time now. I’m mostly just intimidated by this one because of its size, but also because of the fact that it is classified as a horror novel.

I’m not one to be spooked too easily by scary books or movies (in fact horror is one of my favorite movie genres), but I do know that quite a few people have said this one has kept them up at night!

Dig. by A.S. King

Dig AS King

A.S. King is one of those authors whose work I know I will love, I just haven’t picked up  yet. I think the reason this one intimidates me is because a lot of bookish people I look up to give this one super high praise.

To most people, this would sound like a good thing, but I am afraid that I won’t love it as much as they do. Which would make me question my entire existence (not to be dramatic or anything).

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Ninth House

This book has been on my TBR since before it was released last year. I’ve owned it since pretty much the first month it came out, but I haven’t yet picked it up because of the mixed reviews it has received.

Some people love it, while others completely hate it. I obviously want to be one of the people who loves it, but that is never guaranteed. It sounds like a book I would really enjoy, but who knows?

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

A Conjuring of Light

Finally, the last book on this list is here because not only is it the last book in a trilogy, but it is also the longest one. Reading the last book of a series you’re enjoying is always a little worrying because it can either make or break the entire series for you.

I thought the first two books were great, but what if I hate this one? Then this will be my last impression of the whole thing!! I’ll feel like I wasted my time if I am not satisfied by the ending. But, if I love it, it will make the entire read worth it!

let's chat

What are some books that intimidate you and why? Please let me know in the comments!


23 thoughts on “Books That Intimidate Me

  1. A Little Life intimidates me too! A friend of mine wants me to read the book but it’s just so huge, haha. Also; I want to read The Goldfinch so bad but it’s huge, too. And, Great Expectations is a book I have been pausing for some time now… so I do have a problem here. A really relatable post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oof both of those others are also super intimidating to me 😅 I read and enjoyed A Tale of Two Cities, though, so that makes me less scared of Great Expectations! Hopefully you’ll be able to read one of them soon :)

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  2. Totally get what you’re saying about A Little Life! I’ve heard so many great things, but every time I see it at the bookstore I visibly cringe from the size of it. I’ve also been wanting to read Anna Karenina after reading Anna K, but it’s so hefty! I hope you get to A Conjuring of Light soon, once you pick it up, you won’t want to put it down! 🥰

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  3. I have the same fear! I’ve put off reading The Final Empire for years for this exact reason! However regarding A Conjuring of Light, it is by far the best book in the whole trilogy so I really think you should give it a try soon😊

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      1. I wonder how people would feel about Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” if they find “Anna Karenina” intimidating? They will probably completely freak out because in comparison to “War and Peace”, “Anna Karenina” is a child’s read.

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    1. Russian people don’t go under multiple different names :) There are no spies here! They are just diminutive versions of the same name – like “Little Katya” for “Ekaterina” and the father’s name sometimes going after the surname of a person – but is only when you address someone extra politely.

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      1. Ahh okay that makes sense. I never thought of it in a spy meaning. I just figured the different names were due to a different culture and how they address people more formally back when the book was written originally.

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  4. A Little Life and Anna Karenina are SO INTIMITADING! Another book that intimidates me a lot is The Priory of the Orange Tree. So many people seem to like it but it is such a MASSIVE book that I don’t think I can get myself to pick it up. Apart from that, I struggle to read classics (The Picture of Dorian Gray and Pride and Prejudice have been on my TBR for a very long time).

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  5. Big books always intimidate me, until I actually pick them up and end up loving them 😅 Priory of the Orange Tree is a gigantic book that I’m sure I’ll adore, but it’s just so big! I also want to read A Little Life eventually, but what’s keeping me from it is not the size, but rather that I know it’s going to make me bawl my eyes out and I need to be in a very specific mood to pick something like that up.

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