DNF. These three letters, used together, are something I often see cited as a book blogger mark of shame. In the book blogger world they stand for "did not finish", and when we use them we are talking about not completing a book we have started. Scandalous!
I'm going to tell you all something shocking: I DNF books. A lot. And I'm in absolutely no way sorry.
There are a million reasons that I might decide not to continue reading something. A few examples:
-- A love interest is seeking romance while still in a relationship.
-- A book is about something other than what I thought it was, or it isn't delivering on the aspect of what I thought it was about that I started reading it *for*.
-- The writer's style and my tastes as a reader totally clash, making me unable to get sucked in.
-- The lead character(s) unintentionally annoy me or bore me.
-- A book has extreme, repetitive, and pointless cruelty to small animals.
-- A book comes across as 'preachy', 'propaganda', or 'manipulative'.
-- I think I need to pin my eyes open if I want to stay awake and keep reading. (Again, I'm bored!)
As a blogger, I can somewhat empathize with why others have issues with quitting a book. Especially if it's an ARC. But at the same time... How are you going to know you will like that book when you approve it for review? If you reach a point where you already know you hate the thing, what are you really gaining from reading more? If you wish you didn't have to finish, are you even the right person to be reading it?
And the gray area becomes much less apparent when I think as a writer. Having people read my work is a gift, an honor, and a privilege. At the same time, one of the first things anyone who wants to write has to learn that some people--hell, maybe even most people--with either not like your work or flat out won't care. That probably sounds kinda callous and disrespectful toward my work, my characters, and other writers. But the need to develop thick skin about this aspect of writing is absolutely crucial.
So, are you curious to see a few of the books I've DNF'd since starting I Write, I Read, I Review? I've picked out three that stand out. (Ironically they are all varying takes on paranormal, which is what I write. Go figure.)
Splintered by A.G. Howard -- I was so sad when I didn't end up finishing this one, but it did something that made me unable to like the heroine. She's going totally batty for her already-taken friend. I don't care if his GF is the biggest bitch on earth. I just couldn't muster any respect for a girl who is hanging onto feelings for someone she cannot have. Move on! Seriously! (And my money says they'll get together. Her weakness + the cliche bitchy gf + my theory = pass!) (DNF'd at between 25 - 30%)
Indelible by Dawn Metcalf -- How did this graduate from being a Kindle sample to a full purchase? I'm sorry if that's harsh, but I really wish I could remember *why*. You see, that's the problem. I actually cannot remember a single thing about this book, except that I DNF'd it because I was bored. So very, very bored. (DNF'd at approximately 20-25%)
So, do you DNF books? Does it bother you when you do? What things will make you stop reading something? I'd love to know!