DNF: Did Not Finish. Three words I never like to say about my reading choices. I can be quite selective when deciding on a book, which means that those three little letters weren’t really a reality for me. BUT a few recent dreary reads (some I couldn’t even be bothered to review) have made me think I need to be stricter on myself and just STOP reading if I’m not enjoying it. It sounds so simple and obvious, right? Yet this hasn’t been happening.
The reason I’m thinking about this is I’ve just finished a book that I’d heard great things about, had to wait ages for it from the library, so other people were obviously eager to get their hands on it too but… once I started reading I felt mis-sold about the story, then realised I was skimming pages to get through it quicker, I just wasn’t invested in it and a bit disappointed while reading. But did I STOP reading? No. Why? Well, this is what I’m now asking myself.
Once I make my mind up about something I like to see it through, even – I now realise – if I’m not particularly enjoying the read. I’d committed and ‘it’s not THAT bad, so let’s see if it picks up at the end’ tended to be the justification for continuing in my head. But today it’s hit me that I’ve been thinking this once too many times in the last few months, so I’ve decided to embrace DNF. I’m no longer looking at books I don’t finish as failing in some way (which when I think about it, is exactly what i was doing. I mean, I even felt bad about selecting the DNF option on NetGalley – I’ve only done it once so far! – anyone else?? ) From now on I’m going to admit that a particular book isn’t for me as soon as I first stop enjoying it (someone else might adore it) and move on. As long as my TBR stack is taller than me, I’ve decided to embrace DNF as an option – there are just so many unread books out there!!
This may seem like a tiny realisation, but since I made this decision I suddenly feel more excited about my upcoming reads. If I don’t LOVE them, I’m not finishing them. Whether I’m 20 or 120 pages in. Yep, liberating. So, I’m intrigued: Are you quick to stop reading if a book is not doing it for you, or do you see it through to form an opinion at the end? Or, do you keep reading out of some misplaced rules you’ve applied to yourself for no real reason, like me??