On DNF-ing Books: A Rambling

“Okay, okay, just one more chapter and if I still don’t like it, I’ll quit and pick up something else . . . but what if it gets better later? But is it really worth reading an entire first half of a book I don’t enjoy? I mean, lots of people said they really liked it, right? I mean, they also said that about (this book) and (this book), too, and I hated those, so….Just a little longer and I really will quit this one. Maybe. Probably. Maybe.”

When it comes to books, I’ve never been a quitter. I have never been able to categorize a book under DNF, or ‘Did not finish’. I’ve put myself through books with characters I can’t stand, cringe-worthy writing, and boring-to-tears plots. Part of me just wants to know how it ends, what happens to the characters, even ones I don’t like. Part of me wants to keep going in case it gets better, even if I’ve hated the entire first half. Part of me wants to give the author the benefit of the doubt and believe they improved over the course of the book. These things usually don’t happen, and I still dislike the characters by the end. But at least there’s no room for what-ifs, right?

I guess it used to work when I was younger, because I didn’t have my own money and I hadn’t discovered Goodreads and Tumblr and I was reading whatever I could get my hands on. If I put down a book it was “Okay, but what now? I have nothing to read…” But now I do have my own money and a To-Read list on Goodreads that’s about to pass 600.

I guess what I’m trying to say, and maybe this post is more for myself than anyone else reading it, but there are so many great books in this world I want to devour. It’s honestly a waste of time to read something I don’t enjoy because I feel like I have to when I could be spending my time reading something I actually like. It makes me sad to put down a book. I wonder if there’s something great that will happen later on that I’ll miss out on and I feel bad for the author who put all of that work into a product I didn’t even bother to finish. But my time is vital and I don’t want to force myself to do things I don’t enjoy.

I’ve never been able to understand how people just say, “Oh, yeah, I just quit that one. I never finished it.” People have whole Did Not Finish Goodreads shelves. And here I am on the week I was supposed to post a review for The Infinite Sea with no review for The Infinite Sea. And I’m okay with it, and I think it’s better this was because I’m reading something I enjoy instead of forcing my way through something that feels like a waste of time.

So if you’re looking for it, this is your sign to put down that book or project or (insert thing here) you don’t like and go do something you love because you deserve it. You can always go back to that thing later. But for now, treat yourself to something fun or try something new.

*I’m not trying to put The 5th Wave/The Infinite Sea down in any way. They just weren’t for me, and inspired me to finally get past my weird thing with not being able to quit books.

Find me in my various corners of the Internet: Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, & Goodreads.

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2 thoughts on “On DNF-ing Books: A Rambling

  1. I have a hard time DNF-ing books too, but your idea that you should read the books you enjoy reading instead of just powering through is such great advice! It totally makes sense! Great post ❤

    Like

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