Not finishing a book is one of those controversial subjects for readers and even more so for reviewers. It is one where you and only you and nobody else but you has the right to decide what is best for you personally. There should be no guilt either way, just do what works for you.
I’m all about the DNF’ing though, it suits me and allows me to take more chances with books knowing I won’t be stuck with them to the bitter end if they backfire.
Why I DNF without the slightest bit of guilt:
Reading books is a hobby not a job. I’m not going to spend my free time painstakingly reading a book if I’m not getting some form of pleasure/entertainment from it.
I have too many potentially great books waiting to be read. I’d rather chuck the one that is not engaging me and move on to one of those.
No one is going to give you a black mark for not finishing. It is my choice and I’m not answerable to anyone about what I read and what I fling down.
Equally no one will give you a gold star for finishing it. So why bother wasting my time and effort?
Why I rate and review books I DNF?
OK, now I’m getting even more controversial and again everyone should just do what works for them. I want to review and rate books no matter at what stage I abandon them. As a general note, I’ll always make it to at least 20% and sometimes 30% in order to give the book a good chance to impress me.
If I have been given a book to review and I don’t finish it well surely that is feedback that is worth noting. I would think the author/publisher would/should want to know and to use that as constructive criticism. If you put yourself out there for honest feedback then you have to expect that back and if I can’t bear your book for another minute then that’s what you’ll hear.
I will rate based on what I did read and I will always make it clear in a written review that I didn’t finish the book. I will also try to explain what was turning me off the book.
As a reader I appreciate DNF reviews by others and especially ones that give reasons. They help me make choices when I’m choosing what books to buy. They may not even necessarily turn me off a book but they do give me a clearer picture as to whether a book will appeal to me or not.
A recent example of a book I DNF’s and my review afterwards is this one.Stuck by Stacey D Atkinson
Odette Leblanc is promoted to night-shift supervisor at the local convenience store, but at the age of twenty-three, she already feels like her life has become a predictable routine. That is, until she meets a mysterious doryman and his cat on the beach, followed by an unexpected run-in with an American sailor. Each man will undeniably change the course of her life, and so will the selfish actions of her bingo-addicted mother, an impressionable younger sister, and a team of damaged co-workers. Their stories weave together only to unravel in a mess of lies, betrayal, and missed opportunity that will leave Odette to face an uncertain future.
Set in the picturesque Acadian fishing village of Pointe-du-Chêne, New Brunswick (Canada), Stuck is an emotional journey about redefining what’s important in life and staying true to yourself
My Thoughts on Stuck
DNF – quit at 40%. I just didn’t care about the main character and had no interest in finishing. The pace was slower than slow and there was nothing that held my attention enough to make me plough through to the end. Not for me I guess.
Thanks to Smith Publicity — Mirror Image Publishing for letting me read this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
Bookish Chat :
Do you DNF or not? What are your reasons for abandoning the book or struggling on with it? If you DNF, do you go on to rate and review the book