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?