Reclaiming my Time: DNFing Books

I’m an unapologetic DNFer of books. I have zero problem setting a book aside if it isn’t catching my attention, is trite, is poorly written, or for any other reason. 

I see a lot of posts, tweets, and grams about people struggling with the idea of not finishing a book they start. I always read them with a bit of amazement. 

Sure, I don’t start books expecting not to finish them. I don’t pay good money to buy a novel hoping it’ll suck and end up on my bookshelf like a red mark of poor decision making. I want all the books I try to read to be good, to speak to me, to mean something.

But not all books can be that to all people. That’s okay. It’s okay that I couldn’t get through Where the Crawdads Sing, even though the rest of the universe seems to love it. It’s okay that I don’t like Jane Eyre, or that some of my most anticipated books of the last year left me feeling hallow, and languished on my shelf until I officially moved on. 

My time is important. Now more so than ever. With a full time job, a needy pupper, and a variety of other social obligations there is not enough time in the day to do everything I would like. That means I certainly do not have time for bad books. 

I do understand the other side of the DNF argument. There is something to be said about finishing what you started. Being a closer would be great, but alas, I am not one.  I also don’t feel any sort of reading debt to an author just because I now have their book in my posession. In fact, I probably bought the book. I’m the one that will be out both money and time if I push through with finishing a book. Also, do you really think authors want people hate finishing books and the posting reviews onlines?

I, for one, would rather find myself on a DNF list than with a bunch of 1 star reviews on goodreads with raging readings posting all of their least favorite moments. 

I will say I do not condone putting down books without giving them a real shot. I shoot for between 30 and 50 pages for shorter books and closer to 100 for anything over 500 pages. I know slow burns are a real thing, and want to give all writers a chance to captivate my attention.

But after that if the writing isn’t right I’m going to reclaim my time.

3 thoughts on “Reclaiming my Time: DNFing Books

  1. I totally agree! I am also an unapologetic DNF-er! There’s just too many great books out there waiting to be read. Although it can be frustrating when I feel like I go through a few dnf books in a row, it’s still better than reading a bunch of 1-star books. Side note, I like that you used the word trite. There are so many trite books out there or books with a large portion that feels that way, yet not many people seem to mention this. Nice post.

    Liked by 1 person

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