I had this bad habit in high school. Every time we were assigned a book to read, I would read most of the book, and then quit with about 100 pages left to go. I was in the "Gifted and Talented" English program, which was code for "You Get the Same Credits as the AP Kids While Writing Far Fewer Papers."* I'm pretty sure I didn't finish upwards of 75% of the books we were assigned.
The only exceptions were:
1) "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee, which was too good of a book to not read the whole way through.
2) "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck, which was too short to not get all the way through.
3) "Frankenstein" by Mary Shelley. I hated this book. At the time it was assigned as summer reading, I was learning to drive. I would drive my mom to community college, and I wouldn't bring anything but this book to entertain me for the hour or so she'd be in class. I would get a Pibb Xtra from the vending machine to keep myself awake, then sit in the hallway and force myself to read it.
I don't remember if I ever finished "The Great Gatsby." I remember that I liked F. Scott Fitzgerald based on a poem we read in class, but I didn't remember this book at all. So when my book club decided to read it, I figured it would be good to try it again, especially since maybe some of the books we were supposed to read in high school maybe weren't as boring as I remembered them. (Except "Great Expectations." I'm never giving that one another chance.)
It was pretty good, and I'm glad I gave it another chance! A friend of mine asked me what I thought of Jay Gatsby, as some people really like him as a character, and others really detest him by the end. I mainly just felt sad for him; he tried so hard to be a social butterfly and make others happy, only to wind up alone in every sense of the word.
What "classics" did you like — or hate — in high school?
*I actually did really enjoy the classes, and I always had fantastic teachers, but I'm not going to pretend they were hard by any means.