Friday, February 3, 2017

DNFing Books - It's Totally Okay!

 
My sister and I are constantly emailing each other, and this recent exchange got me thinking:

Michele: Hopefully I'll finish this last book too; it's painful to read, but I hate giving up on things.
Me: Life is too short for bad books!  Just stop reading, I do it all the time.
Michele: LOL I can't!  Hopefully it's getting better. It keeps jumping forward in time, so that is making it more interesting.

I was really surprised at her insistence on finishing this book that she didn't even like.  With a husband, a 1-year-old, a busy job, and volunteer work, my sister doesn't have as much time to read as she used to.  With so little free time, you'd think she wouldn't want to waste it reading a book that she wasn't crazy about.  I suppose she had read far enough into it that there were glimmers of possibility. 

If it were me, I would have DNFed this book as soon as it became "painful to read," as Michele says.  I don't have a set point at which I'll decide to put aside a book.  I know some people try to give it a certain number of pages.  Sometimes I'll try to give it 50 or 100 pages, depending on the length of the book, but there have been times where I've DNFed a book after 10 pages or less.  Yes, there's a chance the book will get better, but what if it doesn't?  Then you've really wasted a lot of time.

It's hard to describe what will make me DNF a book.  Sometimes it's just the writing that turns me off; or the story isn't what I expected; or even if the characters seem really pretentious or have ridiculous names.  If I find myself rolling my eyes way too much, I know it's time to DNF.

Lots of readers, like my sister, like to finish every book they read.  Back when I used to buy a lot of books, I felt this way, too.  If I had spent money on it, I really wanted to give it a chance and finish it.  But now that I get most of my books from the library, I have no problem not finishing a book.  There are too many good books out there to slog my way through something I'm not enjoying.  Our time is valuable; spend it doing things you love, like reading a good book!  Don't put yourself in a bad mood by continuing to read a novel that makes you angry or frustrated.

I know it might be difficult to DNF a book you were really excited about, but if it's not working for you, then it's just not working.  We aren't going to love everything we read.  So skip past what you don't like and find something that you'll love!

So, do you DNF?  What makes you not finish a book?  Do you have certain criteria, like reaching a certain page number, on how you decide if you'll DNF a book?

18 comments:

  1. You know I never really used to DNF before blogging but now I do. I think I had 10 last year. I try to give it about 15-25% but will DNF at less. When I don't want to pick it up anymore I feel that is the time to DNF. Great post!!

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    1. Exactly, if it's a chore to continue reading, it's time to put it down.

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  2. Ugh, I will trudge through. I did eventually finish that one. Still hated it by the end, but for some reason I just cannot give up on books.

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    1. Probably because if you don't finish it, it's going to eat you up inside to not know how it ends! I just read some reviews with spoilers and call it a day.

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  3. I am ruthless about DNFing because like you mentioned, I want to find something I love and am excited about. I don't want to HAVE to do anything, reading shold be pleasurable.

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  4. I HATE DNFing books. I think like your sister I find that I have to finish it whether I like it or not. So there aren't many books that I have given up on. There are a few that I can think of that I told myself I'll pick back up eventually, this was back when I first started blogging in 2010.

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    1. I think part of my problem is that if I don't like a book, I'm skimming more than reading, so I'm not getting a lot out of it anyway.

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  5. I DNF a lot more when they're library books. I figure, I have nothing invested in it and if I'm not feeling it, I'll get a different book that does work for me. I do have a hard time DNFing books I've bought or review books. I feel like I want to get through them for some reason. But I've been better about it recently. If it's something that's making me not want to read, then I gotta DNF because then it's not only not fun, but it's also taking away reading time from other books.

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    1. Yeah, if it was a review book, I think I'd also have a hard time DNFing it. But sometimes you just have to!

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  6. Yes! I DNF. I think if I didn't it would kill my love for reading lol. It's painful to read something you don't like. I don't like to do it but there's so many books I want to read! I do try to read at least 100 pages before I decide. Great post!

    Thanks for linking up with Saturday Situation!

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    1. Thank you! Yes, I agree, if I forced myself to finish reading books I didn't like, it might put me off reading.

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  7. My mum is like your sister. She has very little free time but she'll spend it reading a book she's hating because she just can't bring herself to not finish it. I used to be like that but I'm getting better. If I'm really struggling with a book and find myself not wanting to pick it up, I will try to make myself DNF. I do have a habit of giving books 'just another chapter or two' of a chance though, especially if a lot of people have loved it. I need to get better at just giving up on it.
    Great post!

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    1. Thanks! Sometimes I'll try to give it a bit longer, but I've been known to just stop in the middle of a sentence and just say, "Nope, that's it, I'm done!"

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  8. It used to be soooo hard for me to DNF a book! And sometimes, it still is. I am master at skimming a not for me to to the parts I am interested in. I've kinda realized...what's the point in reading a book you aren't enjoying?! No point at all! Too many books in the world :)

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    1. Exactly! But I also find if I'm skimming too much, it's kind of pointless for me to finish the book, since I'm not getting much out of it!

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  9. I'm getting better about DNFing books but I used to be just like your sister, haha!

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    1. She rags on me every time I DNF something!

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!