Some books do not get a lot of readers; they are not read by many. Sometimes because they are not that good, sometimes because they are not advertised enough, or perhaps for other reasons, they are kind of isolated in the world of readers. What to call such books?

  • 6
    Mao's little read book
    – Mitch
    Jun 29 '18 at 17:09
  • 4
    You could call them obscure (or even rare) books, but that might carry implications of "challenging to understand" (or "much sought-after, highly-prized"). Perhaps your best bet is neglected books, but in practice that always implies unjustly [much-]neglected (in the writer's / speaker's opinion, they're well worth reading, and more people should read them). Or just be a bit loose and call them remaindered books (copies the bookshops couldn't sell at their target price). Jun 29 '18 at 17:21
  • 2
    Sasan, actually @Mitch is on to something (and should post an answer). "Little-read" is probably ideal because it cuts through the various reasons a book might not be read much.
    – Spencer
    Jun 29 '18 at 17:57
  • I agree with @Mitch. This is the best (obvious) answer. It also states a simple fact rather than making some kind of judgment (which could easily be wrong). Jun 29 '18 at 19:18
  • 1
    ......A thesis :D Jun 29 '18 at 19:35

little read F. Times UK An article:

Dictator Literature by Daniel Kalder — little-read books

And an earlier ( 1876 ) sense of 'garnering few readers': google book

The second reason why history is so little read is on account of its not being taught ...


as pointed out, little-read or obscure are obvious choices with little to no bias to them.

If, instead you wanted to connote that a book has not been read by many because it is a failure, you could refer to it as a flop or a nonstarter.

Conversely, you could connote that a good book has not been read much by calling it underrated or underappreciated.

Finally, media which is not necessarily rare or unknown but has a relatively small and fervent following is often said to be a cult classic

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