To Finish a Book or Not Finish it… That’s the Question.

Have you ever DNFed a book, or put a book ‘on hold’? I didn’t until I joined Bookstagram in 2019. In some of my WWW Wednesday posts, I will use the term DNF (Did Not Finish) when referring to a book that I recently ‘finished.’ It’s only within the past year that I started to DNF or put books on hold for a few months. I always felt like I wasn’t a real reader when I would stop reading a book. I had to change my mind frame and define what being a reader meant to me.

A stack of books with a cork in front on an animal print blanket

I started asking myself the question “why do I want to read a book that’s not making me happy?” Those types of books made me dread reading and lead to month-long reading slumps which can be seen when I used to do monthly wrap-ups. So I’m changing how I view books – if by page 100 (or so) I’m not liking the characters, the writing, or the plot I’m going to decide if I want to put it on hold, or if I want to stop reading it altogether. Sometimes it can be the case of the right book wrong time. The book can be interesting and I’m intrigued but it’s the wrong time for me to read it. That can be based on the contents of the book – if it’s hitting too close to home in my personal life or what’s happening in society at large. Sometimes it can also be that I don’t have the energy to read a 400+ page book, so I’ll put it on hold until I have more time to commit to the book.

I’m now DNFing books more often, when I used to slug through books I wasn’t ‘vibing with’ I would begin to dread reading. I used to be that person who always finished a book, even if I hated every character, the plot lines didn’t make sense and the writing was incoherent. I slugged my way through, and I found myself getting burnt out from reading. This happened so often back in 2019 when I first started my blog. It wasn’t until last year when I became more selective in the book choices that I became okay with DNFing a book.

The most recent book that I put on hold was The Righteous by Renée Ahdieh. I got to page 110 and I couldn’t connect to the characters – they were ones I didn’t enjoy from the previous two books and the plot seemed forced. Maybe I’ll pick it up again, maybe I won’t. I’m going to start prioritizing books I enjoy reading over books that don’t bring me any joy. I’m all about quality over quantity these days.

What are your thoughts on DNFing a book? Have you done it before? Do you push through reading an unenjoyable book? Let me know in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “To Finish a Book or Not Finish it… That’s the Question.

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