Any forum poster worth their salt will gladly inform you (without being asked) that genre fiction is, in fact, garbage for children. You simply are not reading a real book unless it is difficult and at least mildly unpleasant. Test your READING MACHISMO with these truly challenging works.

The Canterbury Tales
by Geoffrey Chaucer

Why It's Challenging: The text is super tiny. Like, so small you'd have to look at it with a microscope, using binoculars. While squinting.

Finnegans Wake
by James Joyce

Why It's Challenging: Every edition is printed on razor sharp paper that slices your hands to ribbons.

Absalom, Absalom!
by William Faulkner

Why It's Challenging: Every third page is printed upside down. Every other page is printed backwards.

Infinite Jest
by David Foster Wallace

Why It's Challenging: The book's spine is attached by a chain to an unusually angry wasp.

Moby Dick
by Herman Melville

Why It's Challenging: Every letter in every word is represented by an algebra equation that must be solved by the reader.

Paradise Lost
by John Milton

Why It's Challenging: Patented Crumble Paper crumbles at the touch of human fingers, crumbles faster at the touch of gloved fingers, and burns on contact with oxygen.

Gravity's Rainbow
by Thomas Pynchon

Why It's Challenging: Unevenly weighted. The top of half of the book weighs thirty pounds, while the bottom half is full of helium.

Nightwood
by Djuna Barnes

Why It's Challenging: The first book to utilize a unique printing method in which the words are squeezed into the interior of the page, completely invisible to those who look at the surface.

The First Folio
by William Shakespeare

Why It's Challenging: Nearly every sentence ends in "LOL". Not difficult to understand, just grating.

The Brothers Karamazov
by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Why It's Challenging: Vibrates at the exact frequency needed to separate human skin from muscle.

The Name of the Rose
by Umberto Eco

Why It's Challenging: The sole copy is located at the heart of the sun.

To the Lighthouse
by Virginia Woolf

Why It's Challenging: Can only be read while sprinting faster than 20 miles per hour.

One Hundred Years of Solitude
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Why It's Challenging: Built-in page throttle only allows readers to see three and a half words per day, taking a total of one hundred years to read.

– Dennis "Corin Tucker's Stalker" Farrell (@DennisFarrell)

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