I only realized really recently that this isn’t a topic I talk about much, so I think it’s time to give it a whirl.
Why DNF (did not finish, for those of you who might be unfamiliar), or why not DNF a book?
For me, it’s more often a case for why I don’t DNF books. In my head, it tends to feel like giving up on a story, and even when all the chips are down, I have this idea that every book might be able to redeem itself in those last few pages, so I have to at least finish it up and see what happens.
Of course, I’ve been proven wrong about that more times than I’ve been right, which is a huge hole in my theory. The last few times I’ve wanted to DNF but didn’t, I still ended up totally uninterested in the book in my hands, and really wasted a lot of my time on something I didn’t enjoy when I could have been reading something else.
But I still don’t DNF. I don’t. Maybe it’s because I read relatively quickly, and in the end, it’s only going to be about three hours of my time, maybe four, to read this book. Maybe it’s because the concept is amazing but the execution sucks (I run into that a lot, which is a bummer). And maybe I’m just stubborn.
Somehow, I think that’s the reason my family would most agree with.
But regardless of the reasons, I stick with it, just to say I finished, and at this point, I think the only thing that would stop me would be if the book made me so uncomfortable or upset that I couldn’t invest any more emotional energy in it.
There are benefits to DNFing, though, that I’ve seen now and again, often in random Goodreads reviews. A lot of people say it frees up your time, because then you aren’t stuck reading a book you’re not enjoying. It’s 2018 and everything’s on fire pretty often, so go enjoy whatever you can instead of doing something that makes you miserable. Or, DNF it because you don’t like it and don’t want to give a bad review. Personally, I think bad reviews are important (not cruel reviews, just bad reviews), because they tell a reader why the book wasn’t great instead of just giving it a star rating and leaving a reader to wonder what the issue was. Still, sometimes it might be more time and effort than it’s worth to write a bad review, or maybe you want to be an exclusively positive space when it comes to reviews, which is also a-okay.
And another reason to DNF? There’s just too much going on in your life. Between work, school, and whatever else you might have on the regular, sometimes it’s hard to pick up a book and stick to it. Maybe you didn’t stop because you disliked the book; maybe life just got in the way and you’ll try again later. It happens!
So, are you a DNF on the regular person, or are you like me, and persistent even when it sucks? What are some other reasons to DNF (or not)?