Every other Thursday here at the Broke & The Bookish is A Cocktail Conversation time. One of the TB&TB members will pose a question to 2-3 of the other members of TB&TB crew about books, life, music, etc and then they'll answer and we can converse about it. So grab a cocktail & cozy up for some conversation. It's 5 o'clock somewhere, friends.
THE QUESTION (From Jamie)
In the book world we talk a lot about books that we mark as DNFs (did not finish). I'm curious about everyone's habits when it comes to deciding when to abandon a book! Are you quick to put a book down if you aren't jiving? Are you able to do it without any guilt? Or do you struggle when knowing to put it down? Do you keep hoping it gets better?
Jana says:I used to have a REALLY hard time DNFing, especially if the book came from an author or publisher. A few years ago I went through a two-week period where I was forcing myself to read a book I was really struggling with. I got to the point where I hated the idea of reading, and I wasted time on social media so I would not have to.. And then I had an epiphany. WHY was I reading this if I hated it? The author/pub does not WANT a bad review, and they know not everyone will love every book. So I DNFed it. And it felt amazing! Now I don't have a problem with it at all. Life' too short to read bad books.
I don't think I really and truly DNF very often. More often I will start a book, enjoy it for a while, then kind of let it fall by the wayside as I get into another book, but always with the intention of picking it back up eventually. To me, "DNF" has such a note of finality that there aren't many books I've started that I decided I would not finish. I will unquestionably DNF if the writing is just that bad and I have done this recently. I've also DNFed because I decided I just didn't care if I ever finished the book coughcoughUlyssesbyJamesJoycecoughcought, but it was a struggle for me and I'm not even 100% sure that I will never, ever, ever finish at least the audiobook.
I really have a hard time DNFing. I just keep thinking "Another chapter. Maybe then I'll be hooked!". Sometimes that is true, other times... not so much. I've been much better about it lately. If I'm not even slightly excited to go back to reading, I will put it on my "read later" shelf. There have been a few books I flat out DNFed. I'm not going to say what book, but if you go to my Goodreads page, I have a DNF shelf. You'll see it there. There are just too many books out there waiting to become new favorites, can't waste time on something I hate reading!
What about you, dear readers??
I used to never DNF but now I don't hesitate to DNF and to mark a book as DNF. Typically, unless I am more than 50% in, I won't rate the book but I do have a DNF shelf on GR and I will add the book to that shelf. Life is too short to read bad booksReplyDelete
I didn't used to DNF, the book would just sit somewhere waiting to be picked back up again, or else I'd soldier through it. And it's funny you post this today as I'm about to DNF a book I just started today, which would be the 2nd one within two weeks. But there are just so many books out there that I want to read, that I can't waste the time anymore. It would be different if it was back when I didn't have a ton of books to read, and I didn't get new ones until I finished what I had. But now, I just have to move on. I also started a DNF shelf on Goodreads. Maybe some day I'll go back and try some of them again, but for now, I have to move on.ReplyDelete
If I'm not loving it by 50-75 pages in, or 25% or so of the book, I DNF and don't feel bad about it. Life's too short to read something I'm not loving! Sometimes though if others tell me that it's worth finishing I will, but usually I'm OK with DNF.ReplyDelete
I will DNF if I'm reading a book for personal reasons, especially if it's really not grabbing my attention by halfway through. I feel a little bad about it, but I don;t want to waste my time reading a book I don't like. But if I'm reading in return for a review then I never DNF. I don't think someone can get good idea of a book unless they completely finish it. I think it's really unfair when I see people write reviews for books they DNF.ReplyDelete
I have a VERY hard time DNFing, and really don't do it very often. Even if I'm hating a book - sometimes the hate read can be "fun" in its own right. I have to really not be enjoying it AT ALL, and usually will give a book at least 100 pages before calling it quits. Just DNFed this week "A Brave Man Seven Stories Tall"... could not get into it and it was killing my reading buzz.ReplyDelete
I don't like to DNF... I'm usually curious enough to see what happens next for the characters, even if it does turn out to annoy me. If a book becomes really annoying/frustrating, I'll start skimming. If it continues to not be my cup of tea, I'll keep skimming until I find out what happens in the end. I've gotten better at picking out books I know I'll be able to get into, but there's always one that'll sneak in there and not be as good. I just try to make the most of it and give it a chance. Sometimes the beginning is just difficult, but it'll pick up. :)ReplyDelete
I have a very hard time DNFing a book. I'm an optimist and usually I can find something that will keep me entertained. When I had a project I was working on recently where I was reading a large number of books during a short period of time, it forced me into the situation of abandoning some of the books (I set a goal of at least reading them half way through). It was really hard to do, but I'm kinda like Lori, I still think I will get back to them someday.ReplyDelete
I'm with Jana. Life is too short to waste on books we don't enjoy. If I don't like it it is DNF time and get straight onto something else. In one memorable night I DNF'd 8 books which did great things for my tbr! I've never felt obligated to finish books I don't like.ReplyDelete
Great post. I am very much like Jana. At one point I HATED DNF'ing books. Seriously, I had so many one star reviews that I even had a good friend ask me WHY I read so many crappy books?? Then I asked myself that same question. My TBR has SO many books on it and I am sure most of those are excellent books. So I have a policy. I give the book 50 pages or three chapters, whichever comes first. If I really can't stand a book and I am struggling with it, then I mark it DNF. I have way less one star reviews now. I still have a few, but not nearly as many.ReplyDelete
Depends on the book.ReplyDelete
If it's a book like Ulysses that I don't like but know I want to finish (I am obsessed with Virginia Woolf and reading her influences) I don't say "I Will Officially Never Finish This Book!" I just put it down and wait until later. Or maybe it's a book that I'm enjoying but just didn't have the mental energy for (War and Peace fits this category.)
If it is a crappy romance or mystery novel I picked up on a whim, I have zero problem putting it down after a few pages if it's not my jam. I don't keep track of these books on Goodreads, though. I read most of my genre fiction on my kindle so if there's a question whether I've tried a book, it's right there in my archive.
This is a hard one. Depends on how far I've been into the book. It's harder after I dedicate 300 pages to it in the hopes that it gets better. However, if I can't connect to a book before the 100 pages, I let it down with no guilt and reflect on why. Perhaps I pick it up again in the future (I've tried Cloud Atlas 3 times and still trying). Some of them I know are worth finishing, but some parts just drag and drag and I loose interest.ReplyDelete
Now, most of them go to a TBC list (to be continued). While some like... the Wings series by Aprilynne Pike or even the Divergent series, are in the NTF list (never to finish). Because well... I really didn't enjoyed them, or I did but then the second book felt blegh. [Divergent's over-hype killed it for me, suddenly everything was "it has a divergent plot!"]
I am the worst about this. It's one of my 2015 goals to let the book go if I'm not enjoying it at some level. I did that with a book a few weeks ago and it was the happiest, most freeing feeling. Long live the DNF!ReplyDelete
I have the worst time DNFing a book! I honestly cannot remember the last time I did it. I am always thinking.."just a few more pages and it HAS to start getting better...right?" :).ReplyDelete
I also have a hard time DNFing and until about a year ago, I had never not finished a book. And then came a book where there was such a lack of interest I just couldn't do it and it felt so good to stop reading! But I haven't done it since then! I need a bad book to test myself!ReplyDelete
I DNF all the time. If I am not enjoying the book I just put it down (Unless I promised to read it then I struggle though. Sometimes I end up liking it sometimes not.) Every once in a while I will pick back up a book I put down and love it.ReplyDelete
I used to feel so guilty about DNFing, and still do, so it's a rare thing for me. usually I just suffer through it, and write a rather scathing review. I'm a fast reader, so I guess that helps, in that I don't spend weeks on a book I'm loathing.ReplyDelete
If I pick up a book, and once I put it down I never feel like picking it up again, that's when I abandon it. I'll have good intentions to read it, but every time I think about picking it up I can think of something better to do. Like the dishes.ReplyDelete
My TBR list is too long to NOT DNF. I used to feel guilty about it but now I agree with Jana--life is too short!ReplyDelete
I'm having this problem at the moment. The book I'm reading is thoroughly pissing me off. I hate the characters, the plot sucks, and the writing is actually quite shallow.ReplyDelete
So why have I not yet marked it DNF? Two reasons:
1. I'm hoping it gets better. This is what got me through the last two books of the Delirium trilogy. And even though that was a waste of time, I figure that if any book isn't as bad as Delirium, then I can finish it.
2. The book was given to me by my friend's mum. Not finishing this book would be like returning a gift. Well, to me anyway.
It's a guilt thing.
I'm getting better, but still struggle with two issues: First, I hate to spend time on a book and then not have it count towards my reading total for the year. Second, I often want to know what happened despite my boredom/dislike. So I will often simply speed-read to the end and that satisfies both my 1 and 2 issues and means I spend MUCH less time on something that's not floating my boat.ReplyDelete
I'm having this problem right now, so this post was very timely. I'm still pretty early in the book, so I'm going to give it more time - but at some point I'll have to make decision. There are so many books I want to read, I certainly can't afford to waste time!ReplyDelete
As an author, I have a very hard time marking books DNF. I'd hate to think of someone not finishing my books, although I'm sure that has been the case plenty of times. I just try not to think about it. Also, I get so many books for review and feel guilty when I don't finish something.ReplyDelete
I am more with Lori on this one. I do DNF once in awhile but it takes a lot for me to do so. There are times I want to but I have to really feel like it is a true waste of time. When I would prefer cleaning to reading I have a problem with the book, lol. Or if the writing is just THAT bad. I always try to find the positive in what I read. Like Lori, I may but it aside for awhile but eventually it will be finished!ReplyDelete
I am a bit weird when it comes to this one. I don't DNF books too often, because there is still hope it will be good at the end. For me I DNF a book once in a while if I hate it, but then sometimes I am hating a book but feel determined to read all the way through it without any reason to feel that way. Oh well, I'll just continue to be weird >.>ReplyDelete