Saturday 16 August 2014

Bookish Musings - DNF

Bookish Musings is a feature here at Beautiful Bookish Butterflies that allows one of us to share our thoughts and opinions, talk and discuss things happening in the book and blogging community or share a personal book related issue we have. Today, Stacie is talking about why sometimes its not easy for her to put a book in the DNF pile and how it's starting to have an impact on here reviews..

This topic of discussion is about none of than DNF books, and how much I can't bare to put books into that pile. Is it because I'm holding out that the book will get better? sadly no. There have been so many books over that last few years that I have wanted to put down and never pick up. I feel like I would have had a better relationship with some series if I had just given up, and tried a different time, but I cant. I have a little thing called OCD (I've never been diagnosed it but I'm pretty sure I have it). No matter how much I hate a book or how little I'm enjoying it, I can not put it down for love nor money. The thoughts crossed my mind a lot, to the point where I will put the book down for a day or two, complain about how much I'm disliking the book to my other half and then go back to it, despite trying to convince myself that now is the time to leave it alone. So what does it take for me to put a book down and why am I so against doing it?

Since I started reviewing books, I have put these 3 into my DNF pile, and only have 4 in my save for later pile. Even with Taking Chances it took me till about 80% to just put it down for good. With Perfect, I didn't get very far,  but I had pushed myself into reading the Pretty Little Liars books  through nothing but frustration with the series, I thought maybe if I picked the books up I would finally learn something worth while when in reality, the books are more annoying than the show has become. And Angelfire, I wanted so badly to like Angelfire, it sounds right up my alley but when I started it I knew it was going to be a book that I didn't like, and rather than force myself into reading it all and writing a bad review I just decided enough was enough. So yet again I as why do I have this inability to DNF books?

Since I started reading I always had to finish a book, no matter what, before forming an opinion on it. I hate deciding I don't like a book early on and then giving up, part of me feels like if I haven't finished it than my view on it isn't justified because I didn't see it through. It's stupid, I know. But since reviewing books its become worse, my view on putting books into a DNF pile has become more intense. Reviewing books, especially books I get of NetGalley, make me feel like I simply don't have a choice but to finish. I don't like requesting a book and not reading it all, knowing it's going to get back to the author. I hate feeling like because I post my thoughts on the books I have to read the book, only to end up disliking it more. Why can't I just decide that its not for me and move on?. I don't like thinking that maybe, just maybe, my review on books I haven't requested will some how make it back to the author and make them feel bad because I didn't like it. So what do I do?, I finish the book. I get more frustrated, and end up being more harsh on a book that I should be. 

One thing I try to do more than anything, is give an honest review, I try to subtly explain why the book just wasn't right for me, but there is only so much you can do when you've forced yourself to finish. And it's become increasingly more difficult to write reviews on books I wanted to put down. Am I the only one who feels like just because I was lucky enough to get an ARC of a book, all my rights about disliking it go out the window?. I mean it's crazy right? it's not like the author or publisher has a gun to my head until the last page is turned. But for some reason, that's what it feel's like, and it can be really suffocating

I will probably never change how I feel about leaving a book unfinished, It's just part of who I am. But I would be nice to know that it was ok to give up for whatever reason, be it ARC or not. Sometimes it take's all the fun out of blogging for me.

There it is, now you know why I find it hard to just say goodbye to a book, I know a lot of bloggers who have no problem not finishing something and I wish I was more like them, but do any of you feel the same way I do? or is it all in my head? :P haha.


  1. I used to struggle with DNF's, but I don't anymore. If it's not for me and if I've left it while, it's a sign and I too used to feel about this with some authors, but in the end, I thought about it if I was the author, would I rather someone said they couldn't finish it and that it wasn't there thing, they were sorry and hoped other people liked more, or would I want someone to force themselves through a book they disliked, just to tell the world in a more than likely, more negative light, because they finished it? I would prefer the first, so that's what I do. I point out in short why it wasn't for me, what made me unable to continue and why I think others might like it. With review copies, I'm the same. I explain it wasn't for me and that I hope they have better luck elsewhere and the publishes understand, they take note and appreciate the honesty. Don't worry about not finishing them, you can't read every book in the world, and life's too short to worry about finishing a book you dislike. Take the plunge, be brave, embrace the DNF. And you say discussions you can't do, you could have fooled me. Forgive my essay comment though ;)

    1. Yeah I know what you mean, sometimes I just cant help but feel like I owe it to the author to at least finish it haha.
      I would prefer for someone to hold their hands up and just say it isn't for them.

      Haha I think I will be embracing the DNF a lot more now. I never said I couldn't do discussions, I just get side tracked very easily and end up talking about something very different.

      Don't worry about the long comment, they are the best :P

  2. This is a great discussion topic. And one that I have also struggled with. Starting with plain old DNFing. I do it a lot, but because I also don't like admitting defeat at the hands of a book, I get around it in my head by saying I'm just going to try this other book and then come back to it. Then I don't come back to it. I'm okay with it, though, because I spent some time calculating how many books are currently on my TBR list, how many I read per year, and how many years I (generously) have left and figured out that I'm not even going to finish half of them. While I value the time an author has put into a book, I also value my own time and if I don't want to spend it on a book... well, I won't.

    That said, I feel very differently about DNFing a review book. That I don't do. Which is also why I don't use Eleweiss or NetGalley and very rarely accept review copies of books on my blog - because not only do I feel as if I have made a promise to finish a book, but I also find that feeling like I *have* to read a book, particularly one I'm not enjoying, can make me resent it.

    I have a hard time giving negative reviews to books. If it's not a review book and I don't like it, I'll sometimes just not review it. If I do review it I'll usually (with a few exceptions that I really, really didn't like) try to balance negative and positive and to consider my own experience and how that played in to how I feel about the book. If it's possible I just didn't like it but it's still a good book, I'll try to make that clear. But I think, as much as I try to give honest reviews, I probably do go easier on review books. It's a tricky conundrum for book bloggers, and one I think we all struggle with, even when we've been doing it for years!

    Also, totally off topic, I just noticed that you have my blog in your "blogs I follow" slideshow and I wanted to say thank you so much! That means so much to me. :)

    1. I always try to leave it and start something else, but I hate having two books open at the same time if I know I don't have any intention of finishing one, so I end up just leaving it, not reading anything for a while and getting into a slump because I'm just so frustrated with what I'm reading.

      I'm glad you get it, not that you feel like that but at least I'm not the only one thinking they have to finish it just because I was lucky enough to get one. I will starting thinking differently about DNF books but I know that I'll still be the same with review copy's.

      Well there was a book a few years ago that I really did not like one bit and I was a little bit more harsh than I should have been, since they I just try my hardest to explain the reason's for not liking it. I don't go easier on review books as such but I get what you mean haha.

      You'are welcome, you are one my favourite book bloggers :)

  3. I never used to DNF, even when I hated a book. But now that I have so many books waiting to be read, I am less likely to waste my time on a book I am absolutely hating.

    I definitely feel ten times worse if I DNF a review book. And I feel guilty if I end up hating it. But I am getting better about it, I can't love every book I read.


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