9 Books Readers Wish They Never Picked Up

While the world is filled with millions of amazing books, there are plenty out there that are pretty terrible. But how do you avoid the bad seeds on your hunt for new reads?

Luckily for you, Redditor u/Geotofffmycloud asked the subreddit r/books for avid readers' recommendations of books to stay far away from.

Book lovers took to the thread with their ideas.

1: Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

u/Ok_Grass8702 advised readers to avoid Go Ask Alice. “If you were depressed as a teen,” they explained, “you read this and literally wtf 0/10.”

The book is a diary of a anonymous teenager who runs away from home and struggles with the realities of homelessness in New York City in the 1960s.

“I actually had some appreciation for it, but did have difficulty finishing,” added u/Confused_Fangirl. “It just seemed like one bad decision followed by another.”

2: The Selection Series by Kiera Kass

u/NenyaAdfiel said, “I bought the entire Selection series at a used bookstore because they were highly recommended to me, so I figured I’d just buy the entire set. I couldn’t get beyond 20 pages into the first book, due to the vapid writing. It was painfully bad.”

3: The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

Back in the early 2000s, The Secret by Rhonda Byrne rose through the best seller charts as everyone jumped on the manifestation bandwagon. The Secret is a guidebook on the Law of Attraction, a manifestation belief that has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years.

u/hour_of_the_rat shared they, “apologize to everyone else that I [made] read it.”

“That book made me afraid of Thought Crimes for so long,” u/Farwaters added. “Imagine convincing someone that bad things will happen to them just because they think about it. The law of attraction is the worst.”

4: 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

u/turboshot49cents suggested, “13 Reasons Why. I read it in 8th grade during a time I was suicidal. It made me so much worse.”

“This book romanticized [mental illness] and the show was even worse,” added u/the-willow-witch. “I read the book as a teen and then watched the show when it came out and it put me in a seriously bad place.

5: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany

If you ask a die-hard Harry Potter fan about how they feel about the sequel to the series, The Cursed Child, you'll probably get the same answer: it's one of the books they wished they'd never read.

“It made me so angry,” u/seasquidley explained. “It managed to ruin literally every single character in multiple ways. Not only that, it was just literally the stupidest f***ing story I've ever had the misfortune to read.”

6: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hoover is a name that is on every BookTok's lips. However, not everyone is a fan of Hoover — especially her earlier work.

For u/bookmagik Ugly Love was, “truly horrendous. It makes the current hype all the more confusing.”

“I feel like Colleen Hoover is an acceptable answer,” added u/twopiare. “Someone recommended November 9 to me and I wish I could have that time in my life back.”

7: Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

When it comes to viral sensation Fifty Shades of Grey, readers either love the book or love to hate it.

Reddit user u/phyrestorm999 is the latter. “I was warned and I read it anyway to see if it was really that bad,” they wrote. “It is.”

They added that, “Everything you've heard about how [50 Shades of Grey] tries to pass abuse off as BDSM is true, plus the plot is thoroughly predictable, the protagonist is too stupid to be likable, and the [writing] come across like the imaginings of a 15-year-old virgin. The whole thing somehow manages to be both offensive and boring.”

8: The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas

If you thought about reading The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas, some readers on Reddit really recommend that you don't.

u/thaisofalexandria shared, “The Slap. Utter, unredeemable drivel. Hackneyed, pseudo-literary writing. Unimaginably dull and unattractive, self-interested characters. Devoid of any critical engagement.”

“The plot is an indictment of ‘serious' writing in the 21st century. The fact that it won awards and was long-listed for the Man Booker is evidence that current literary awards should all be canceled and outlawed.”

9: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** by Mark Manson

Despite being a best seller, u/lay_tze suggested avoiding The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***. “The author confuses enlightenment and stoicism with narcissism,” they explained.

As evidence, they offer Mason dedicated, “a chapter to a story about an ex being obsessed with him, while he and his current gf mock her while they are all together for lunch. Some real “alpha” bullshit. I wish I could have that time back.”

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks. 

Maya (she/they) is a queer entertainment and culture journalist. They cover interviews, reviews, roundups, news, and more. She loves horror, history, and creativity. They hope their writing both entertains readers and inspires them to think critically. Her favorite pastimes include needle felting, gaming, and drawing.