TALKTIME #5: DNFing Books is OK
So for this talktime I decided to discuss DNFing books. When I first became an avid reader, I always finished the books I started. I believed that finishing a book is the most important thing of the reading experience. Not finishing a book was like in-completing the experience. It also felt like an insult to the author. The author spent so much time and energy writing a book. I felt like I owed the author a chance to read their book from start to finish.
I had that mentality until this year. I was reading a book that was just so awful that I didn't want to continue it. I dragged along the book, willing myself to continue, telling myself that I had to finish the book. I was finally about twenty percent in the book before I couldn't take it anymore. I removed the book from my device and it felt so liberating.
At first, I couldn't believe what I had done. For an instance, I felt horrible. But a few days passed and I felt better. Over the course of those days I realized that I did not have to finish a book. While reading a book from start to finish is a part of the experience, some experiences don't need to completed. As for the authors, I realized I didn't owe them a damn thing. I, the reader, willingly picked up the book and decided to read it.
Now when it comes to advanced reader's copies, I have a little bit of a different policy. If I don't like the book but it is still bearable, I will read the book from beginning to end, even if I really don't want to finish it or if it is boring as hell. However, if I read a book that I really, really don't like, borderline hate, or if I have issues with what is being discussed in the book or I don't agree with the author, I will try to read to at least fifty percent before I DNF it. In any case, if I read a book for review and I DNF it, I always give the author, publisher, whoever a reason why I did not finish the book and my thoughts on it to the point I read.
In any case, it took me a long time to realize this, but reading should be an experience you enjoy. Don't force yourself to read something if you really don't want to read it. You don't owe anyone anything. If you want to read, read, if you don't, don't.
What do you guys think? Are you okay with DNFing books? Or do you always finish a book? I want to hear your opinions.