Thursday, 13 November 2014

A Few Little Changes


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 na├»ve 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.


Do you DNF? Have you DNF'd an ARC, and how did you feel about it? Do you share your thoughts on why you DNF'd?



12 comments:

  1. I know what you mean! I think it's definitely ok to DNF a book as long as you gave it your hardest before you stopped :)

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    1. Yeah, I feel the same way. If I'm ready to pull my hair out, I'll be stepping away in the future! The guilt will eat me up though! Thanks Eileen :)

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  2. I usually try to get to the 30% mark, and if it doesn't happen, then it doesn't happen! I think you've had more luck than me, because most of the e-ARCs I've received haven't been all that good. :P

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    1. LOL, I definitely haven't enjoyed all those e-ARCs unfortunately! The guilt of stopping kept me reading, and in honesty, it started pushing me into reading slumps :( I know the guilt will eat me up for a while, but I can always go back and have another go if I'm curious :) Thanks Val!

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  3. I'm fine with DNFing a book, I'll usually go to 30% as that feels like I've given it a good chance. If it's an arc I feel guilty, especially if it came directly from an author. But it has happened. That relief when you put down a book you don't like is great.

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    1. I think around the 30% mark is a great indicator whether you'll like a book or not. Writing style never changes that drastically of the course of a book, so if it's not working early on it's unlikely to change too much :( In honesty, half of my reading slumps have been as a result of carrying on with books I wasn't feeling. It's got to the stage where I need the option :) Thanks Trish!

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  4. I definitely resonate with this. I started reading Serena this year because it's coming out as a movie starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper - but I just can't stand the writing style! It's such a drag and I've been reading it on and off since June...I may just have to stop at some point. :)

    Ciera @ The Write Things

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    1. Oh gosh, since June! Wow, I definitely think you've given Serena a fair shot!! Writing style is such a personal preference, and when it doesn't click it can feel almost torturous to continue on. Thanks Ciera!

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  5. Fantastic post! I agree wholeheartedly, I myself DNF and while I first felt guilty it's kind of a relief when you put a book down you haven't been enjoying and realize, "Hey, I don't have to read this anymore." I've published a few DNF reviews on ARCs but have stopped doing that and instead don't review them at all. Not sure how the publishers feel about that but *shrug* I do feel a bit guilty when it comes to ARCs but otherwise not really :P

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    1. I think the guilt is going to eat away at me when I walk away, particularly if it's an ARC. There is that annoying little voice at the back of my head that keeps saying "It's an ARC, you HAVE to finish it, Alma!!" and things end up going downhill from there. Thanks Alise!

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  6. I think sometimes books just don't connect with everyone the same way too. I DNF more than I used to, but I still need to do it more because I spend too much of my precious reading time on books I don't like. Good for you to decide not to waist time too. :)

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  7. I never had to DNF before I started blogging. But suddenly I feel like I need to make more time for blogging because I have reviews to write. I definitely feel like I can't take weeks to read a book anymore, I feel like I need to get it finished within a few days. So now I feel a lot less guilty when I have to DNF and it works for me.

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