April 4, 2014 by Bernadette ~ The Bumbling Bookworm
If there’s one thing I struggle with when reading, it’s when I should put a book down and mark it DNF (Did Not Finish). I’ll be reading a book and hating it, but I still won’t put it down!
There are many reasons to DNF a book. Reading is a subjective experience and, as such, our experiences with a book are all varied and unique. The storyline might be too cliche, or too unbelieveable, or just plain crap. What I may have hated about a particular book, another person may take no issue with. You very well could love the book, but I could just as easily hate it. Sometimes it might be boring or the characters could be repulsive and beyond redemption. There could be issues with editing, with obvious/frequent spelling and grammatical errors, or the book might be poorly researched and the factual errors too annoying to bear.
My problem is that I’m not giving up on the books that I don’t like. I think it’s partly because I HAVE to know how things end. It’s a compulsion, I just HAVE to know the ending to everything, even TV shows I haven’t watched in years. Case in point, Gossip Girl. I stopped watching that at least three seasons before it finished up, but you bet your arse I watch that finale! I think I also have an irrational expectation that the book will miraculously improve and turn out okay towards the end – like, there has to be a reason why I’m reading a book that’s so bad, right? RIGHT!? In my head I’m thinking “It will get better, yeah?” and I can’t give up, when we all know it’s not going to get better…
The problem with this is I’m wasting time on books I’m not enjoying in the hopes they’ll miraculously improve, when there are literally MILLIONS of other books I could be reading at the time instead. I’m spending time on something I’m not enjoying when there are many other books out there that I could be reading and loving instead. And while I don’t feel like I have to read ALL THE BOOKS, I do have this feeling that I’m going to miss out on something better if I’m not putting down the ones I don’t enjoy. But when I even think about putting the book down, I talk myself out of it for whatever reason! I’m my own worst enemy 😦
I’m not a person who likes to have my wasted in a professional capacity, and I think this is a trait I need to bring into my personal life, particularly when reading books. To that end, I have decided to make a conscious effort to put down books that I’m really NOT enjoying and mark them DNF. It will take some time for me to change a lifetime of habits but I need to realise that I’m wasting my own time by reading books that I don’t like. I hope that I can stick to this!
What about you, do you ever DNF? Or are you totally against it, or on the fence like me?