The topic of DNF, or Did Not Finish, books has come up quite a bit lately in discussion among fellow bloggers. For as long as I’ve been reading, I’ve always been of the mindset to finish the book I’ve started. I figure that I’ve already invested that much time into the story, I need to see it through. It wasn’t until the last few years that I’ve started to put down a book if I wasn’t getting into it, and even that is quite few and far between. My line of thought on “why now?” is partially due to the sheer volume that I (100% graciously) am privileged to have access to as a book blogger, and so when I’m reading a book I’m not liking, it feels like I should be making more efficient use of my time and reading/reviewing a book I might enjoy more. Looking at the teetering pile of my TBR books, it is extremely tempting at times to abandon the one that isn’t working.
While at an event a few weekends ago, there was a spirited discussion regarding at what point one gives up on a book that they’re not feeling. One declared that they gave a book 100 pages, another, I believe, 50 pages. Personally, I think 50 pages may be too quick to judge. That is certainly the case even at 100 pages, potentially. I distinctly remember that one of my favourite books, Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons, was such a slow build up until almost exactly the 100-page mark. If I had gone with that rule of thought and put it down prematurely, I would never have discovered this book that I now love (and own three different versions of).
I’m not sure if those that are faster readers are more prone to stick it out, since they’ll get through the book quickly anyway but I am not a skimmer, and I read every single detail (sometimes flipping back to clarify something) so it takes me a bit longer to get through books. For the few that I have DNFed, I feel like I gave it a valiant effort at about the 35-50% mark. Definitely once I’ve hit the halfway mark and I’m still not into it, I strongly consider putting it down.
What about you?
Do you abandon without remorse?
If so, how long do you give the book a chance?