(This question is about reading but it pertains to writing as well).
I write fantasy, and as a result, I've read a lot of fantasy books that are supposedly the "best," that are beloved by all fantasy fans ... except me.
- Lord of the Rings trilogy - I loved the Hobbit, but couldn't get through The Fellowship of the Ring. It was just too boring and it felt like nothing was happening
- Wheel of Time series - forced myself to read the whole series because a friend and I were reading it at the same time. Overall it was okay, but I felt like each book was way too long, and I couldn't keep track of all the characters. Did not particularly care what happened to the main characters. Would not read again
- Mistborn trilogy - read it several years ago along with a friend, overall it was okay, wouldn't read again
- Elantris - forced myself to read it for a friend, did not like the political elements
- The Way of Kings - was okay, wouldn't read again
- The Name of the Wind - was okay, wouldn't read again
- Shannara series - read a few books but felt like it took ages for anything interesting to happen (ages, as in 100+ pages)
- American Gods - liked it at first, quit about 80% in when it got boring and read a summary of the book online (after reading the summary, I was glad I hadn't finished the book because I didn't like the direction it took)
- Red Rising - quit because the main character was a Mary Sue
- Game of Thrones - couldn't really get into the first book (based on the little I know of it, I'm not sure I'd be able to keep track of so many characters, or if I'd care about them)
There are fantasy books I do like (it's not like I have a problem with the genre). Titles like:
- Sword of Truth series (I do have issues with the declining quality of the books, but I still like the books better than the books above)
- Earthsea Series
- Harry Potter Series (obviously)
- Hyperion Cantos
- Lunar Chronicles
I should also add that when reading fantasy (or any genre, for that matter), I'm not reading it for the fantasy elements, but for the characters. When I quit reading a book, it's for one of these reasons:
- Indifferent towards the main character / don't care what happens to them
- Main character is a Mary Sue
Is it a bad sign if I don't like the "best" books of my chosen genre? Is there something I just don't get about these books? Should I force myself to read them anyway in the hopes of learning something?
Note: I don't want to start any arguments here - I'm not saying that these books are bad, just that they're not for me.