If there is one thing that I struggle with it is when to DNF a book. In fact, I don’t think I have DNF’d a book so far this year. I am one of those types that I like to finish what I started so more often than not I will trudge through a book until the bitter end.
I know that it makes no sense to get mad a book for being bad and wanting my time back as I can just put the dang thing down and move on. After all, this blog is a hobby and not a job. Still, find myself cursing a book and the author for wasting my time, and I get all mad and am tempted to start throwing things most notable the book. I think the last book I DNF’d was Donna Tartt’s Bird book. OMG, I got to page 600 and could take no more. If anything at all happened in that book, it was slooooow moving. I can take chapter development, but that book seemed to make no sense. I seriously felt that she could have made it a 300-page book and kept the main plot points. HOWEVER, I think I was in the minority on that one SO….
I have noticed a trend among book bloggers recently of where they are writing reviews of when they DNF’d a book, and it got me to wonder just HOW does one decide that the book is beyond hope of redemption and just put it down. I know with the bird book it was when one scene went on for like 6 pages and nothing really happened and I realized that nothing had truly occurred in the whole book and no matter how it ended, to me was not gonna make up for the fact that I had spent a week trying to get through the damn thing, and I could take no more of the drug-laden scenarios that she was painting and I could care less about what happened to the bird painting. I mean WHY was it worth so much anyway? It was a painting! I even looked it up online, and it wasn’t THAT enthralling, but again I was in the minority.
Since then I have yet to reach that level of frustration. Yes, there have been books that had been a pain to get through. Or books that I felt could have used a better editor cough The Miracle Morning cough, BUT once I got past the writing style I found that the IDEA was genius, so I am glad that I plowed through.
I think that the reason that I am so afraid to DNF a book is what if the ending is spectacular? Especially if it is a hyped up book like the bird book was. I mean ALL those people can’t be wrong right? RIGHT?!
Seeing other people DNFing a book has made me take a hard look at my reading habits. I mean if a book is not working for me then I should put it down and move on. But how many pages to give it? 50? 100? 200? I don’t know. I am at a loss on this, to be honest with you. I am the type of person that is the endless optimistic. Even in the depth of a deep dark depression, I hold out hopes that tomorrow will be a better day. This translates to me thinking maybe the NEXT chapter is where things pick up. I mean we have all had a book that started out not so great then ended up having one of the best endings ever.
So tell me HOW do YOU decide when to DNF a book