Over the past couple of months, one topic has been brooding away at the back of my mind, and it’s DNFing (Did-Not-Finish) books. There have been so many awesome posts about this subject and in honesty, I’ll be echoing what’s already been said if I write a post on the Yay-or-Nay sides of the argument.
It’s taken me a while to process my thoughts, but, I’ve come to a decision that works for me. It’s not one that I’ve taken lightly, but I feel like I need to do this.
I’m going to give myself the option to DNF any book I begin reading that isn’t working for me.
Let me explain why I’ve come to this decision…
Sometimes… reading can feel like a chore
Before I blogged, I didn’t feel like I had any time-frame to read a book within. If it took me two weeks to read a book I wasn’t in love with… so what? I felt like I had all the time in the world to keep going. I’ve only DNF’d one book in my life, (a Kindle freebie), and two more that I’ve put aside that I intend to pick back up at some stage.
What’s changed? Well, blogging
I feel like I have to read ‘X’ amount of pages each day, just to get a book completed to get a review written for the blog. I want to love every one of those pages, but if I’m not connecting with the story or writing style, I force myself to keep reading. It’s something I didn’t consciously start doing, but now that I’ve realised I’m doing this, something HAS to change. Reading is a favourite hobby of mine and I don’t want to end up resenting my ‘escape’.
My reading time is limited
I only have so many hours of ‘me’ time every day, and it’s becoming harder and harder to fit both reading and blogging in with everything else I love doing. I usually get about an hour a day to read. On a good day, I can manage two. This isn’t a huge amount of time, and when I’m struggling to read a book I don’t like, I’m beginning to feel like I’m wasting those precious hours. I’ve found that writing-style is what I struggle most with. For the most part, I can continue on reading when I don’t connect with characters, but if the actual style of the book is irritating me, I have such a hard time to find the motivation to continue on.
The grey area of ARC’s and review requests
Even the thoughts of abandoning an ARC makes me feel guilty! I’ve been very lucky so far. I might have disliked a couple of ARC’s I read, but I managed to finish the books. But, that little voice of “what if?” keeps getting stronger.
How long will this luck last?
I’m not naïve enough to think I’m going to love every ARC I read. Eventually, the day will come where I won’t be able to tolerate another word… then what? I force myself to continue on, getting angrier and angrier, every second word will bother me, I’ll want to annihilate the characters and wish I could unleash Celaena Sardothien into the book to do my bidding, and by the end I’ll be spitting fire and brimstone.
Now, while I might enjoy getting my ranty-pants on every now and then, I never enjoy hitting publish on those reviews, and I usually go back and tone it down. I WANT to love and gush over every book. This is totally unrealistic, and I feel it’s just as natural for readers to dislike a book as it is to love a book. Ultimately, this is what made me make this decision.
I feel like this decision to DNF is more a precaution, rather than something I’m going to be doing every other week.
I need to give myself the option to walk away if things become unbearable. I know I’m going to feel guilty about it, but if I’m curious about the story in the future, I can always come back and give it another shot.