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You guys are gonna be so proud of me! So here’s what happened. I’ve been making a lot of small changes in my life lately–cutting the fat if you will. Trying to recover more of my oh-so-precious time. I switched to a more efficient social media scheduler, unsubscribed from a bazillion email newsletters, and then I did something I never thought I would do again. I DNFed a book.
Those of you who know me pretty well may remember that I’m the one that fastidiously finishes every. single. book. I begin. I do this for three reasons:
- I may have a slight case of OCD, especially when it comes to book-related things.
- I definitely have ADD and I’m concerned that if I give myself permission to DNF, I may end up abandoning books whenever my brain decides it’s bored instead of when a book is actually bad.
- I feel like I can’t write a thorough review if I haven’t finished a book. And that would be a shame because some of my best reviews are one-star reviews.
I think these are some pretty compelling reasons not to DNF books. (Well, at least the second two are.) But then there’s the issue of time. I don’t want to spend my time reading books I don’t really enjoy. I also want to have enough five-star books to fill up my top ten lists at the end of the year.
The last time I DNFed a book was in 2012 and the book was The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the third installment in the Millennium Series by Stieg Larsson. It wasn’t a horrible book but I was struggling to finish it and it was due back at the library anyway, so I let it go.Do you DNF books or do you finish everything you start? Chime in with your thoughts!Click To Tweet
A couple weeks ago I DNFed The Power by Naomi Alderman, the Bailey’s Prize-winning feminist dystopian novel that seems to have failed at the popular level. I don’t know what it was about this particular book that prompted me to finally stop fighting and just give up. And, to be clear, giving up wasn’t easy. I decided to stop reading it, then I changed my mind, then I changed my mind again, and then I finally got rid of my copies (I had two–oy vey!) so I wouldn’t be tempted anymore. Who would have thought not finishing a rotten book would be so difficult?!
Does this mean I will start DNFing books on the regular from now on? I don’t know. I mean, if I have any hope of whittling down my review stack to a reasonable size by the end of the year I probably should just DNF books that aren’t working for me after 50-100 pages. (Oh and, by the way, it took me over 200 pages to give up on The Power. Yikes.)
I still haven’t worked out the kinks of this DNFing thing, so I have a few questions for those of you who do it all the time:
- Do you mark DNFed books as “read” on Goodreads and just add them to a designated DNF shelf or do you remove them from your shelves altogether?
- Do you count them in your tally of total books read at the end of the year?
- Do you review DNFed books or do you just mention that you DNFed them on your blog?
Clearly, I need guidance. So, if you’re a DNFer, leave a comment and tell me how you handle these issues.