People Share the Book Titles That Would Make Them Walk Out of a First Date

Hundreds of thousands of books are published each year. But it's only the lucky few of a small percentage of published works become widely well-known.

That said, not all popular novels have a good reputation among readers. And it's no surprise that the more popular a novel is, the more harshly the book appears to be judged in the court of public opinion.

On Monday, author Michele Wojciechowski, who later credited @ogbrenna for inspiring the prompt, asked Twitter one book-related question, leading thousands of users to sound off in response: "You're on a first date with someone, and they tell you the name of their favorite book. You immediately leave. What's the book?"

The tweet went viral, and now has more than 21,000 likes and over 18,000 replies. The list was diverse, but some books were hated more than others. According to the responses, here are some of Twitter's most hated books.

The Fountainhead/Atlas Shrugged/Author Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand has been a controversial voice within the literary community for quite some time. She's best known as the creator of objectivism, a philosophy that opposes state interference.

A vocal supporter of capitalism and the free market economy, Rand and objectivism have had a huge influence on the American libertarian movement, and have been a popular talking point amongst American philosophers for decades. Because her politics and literature are so intricately woven together, it's no surprise that those who oppose her views would also despise her works.

One user had this to say of Ayn Rand: "If I'm on a date and someone that person thinks the writings and philosophy of Ayn Rand is amazing, we are not compatible. I'm too old to debate someone politely over dinner about it. Life is short."

Also, "Atlas Shrugged" is over 1,000 pages long, which led readers to ask: did Ayn Rand really need to say that much?

"Atlas Shrugged is a 1000 page long manifesto about everything a 14-year-old believes about free market economics," tweeted one passionate reader. "It's interminably boring and there's so much better stuff even in that branch of thought."

im gonna be real with ya. its not even worth it for your own the libs schtick. Altas Shrugged is a 1000 page long manifesto about everything a 14 year old believes about free market economics. Its interminably boring and there's so much better stuff even in that branch of thought

— Rhett Larsen 🌟 (@RhettLarsen6) May 11, 2021

Tweeted another: "Let's face it, if you made it all the way through that book and decided it was your favorite, you are very likely an extremely boring person and probably not a good date."

The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

This one might be a shock to many, but commenters were clear that if "Harry Potter" was their theoretical date's favorite book, then they were walking out.

While J.K. Rowling has also become quite controversial as of late for her beliefs regarding the transgender community, the negativity surrounding the series in this specific thread is engrained in something much simpler than politics: it's a children's series.

"My issue isn't really the books, but if your FAVORITE book is a YA book you just are not enough of a reader for me," commented one Twitter user in the thread.

Those against "Harry Potter" either appeared to have a deep-seated hatred towards the series or just felt that their date should not still be reading YA fiction. Though many would disagree, in this particular thread, "Harry Potter" is a non-starter.

"I am an adult who reads a fair amount and I prefer to date adults who do the same," said one Twitter user. "If a person hasn't progressed beyond YA literature, I suspect we'll run out of things to talk about sooner rather than later."

Any of the Harry Potter books. I am an adult who reads a fair amount and I prefer to date adults who do the same. If a person hasn’t progressed beyond YA literature, I suspect we’ll run out of things to talk about sooner rather than later.

— Kim Conley (@HRC_WasSpotOn) May 10, 2021

Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler

Unshockingly, many said they wanted nothing to do with a person whose favorite book is "Mein Kampf."Published in 1925, this is Hitler's autobiographical manifesto. The book outlines his political ideology and his future plans for Germany.

"If Mein Kampf being someone's favorite book isn't a dealbreaker, you might be a Nazi," wrote one reader.

"Mein Kampf" is widely studied by historians; however, many agreed that finding enjoyment in reading this book, to the point of calling it a favorite, is a huge red flag.

"I'm all for familiarizing oneself with controversial books of historical importance, but if a guy's -favorite- book is Mein Kampf I am running for the exits," said another Twitter user.

Another agreed that if their date had admitted to reading "Mein Kampf" for academic purposes, they'd understand. But if the book was their date's favorite? They'd run for the hills.

Yes, but the question was what book title would make you leave if someone said it was their *favorite.*

You can read Mein Kampf for historical purposes, but if someone told me it was their favorite book...

— Burl Chester (@chester_burl) May 10, 2021

Other honorable mentions included: The Bible, "Catcher in the Rye," and "50 Shade of Gray."

As many battled over their literary taste, some argued that anyone who loves to read shouldn't be judged, but encouraged and celebrated.

One user shared a screenshot of a post written by a librarian, which starts off by saying, "You do not need to apologize for the books you choose to read."

I wouldn't walk out. I'd just be happy that he reads any books and not judge. And I would always think of this 👇👇

— Carbo and Jizzy Forever! 💋⌛ (@CarboAnd) May 10, 2021

Others would just be happy to know that their date loves to read.

"You know what," tweeted one user, "if they read books at all that's a win."

Harry Potter
Frazer Harrison / Staff/Getty