last week's post, you may be thinking I'm going to lament more on whether should write reviews. By the way, thank you to all who answered the poll question - look for recommendation lists starting in May. But, no, this isn't a continuation on last week's topic.
I saw a tweet about a review for a DNF (did not finish). I make it a policy that if I don't finish a book I don't review. But then I started thinking perhaps just saying that I didn't finish a book is a review (a non-review review?) and that it could be interpreted negatively.
To be honest, I rarely don't finish a book. I know a lot of bloggers who will put down a book if they aren't into it because they have so many books to get through and don't want to waste their time on a book they aren't going to like. For me, it is VERY difficult not to finish a book. Since I started a DNF shelf at Goodreads, I've only place 6 books on the shelf. Several of them are audio books I checked out from the digital library and they auto returned before I finished it.
What makes you decide not to finish a book?
Like I said, it is very difficult for me. Yet, I have a ton of books I want to get through so if I'm not into the book I should set it aside. I think my DNF is actually more of a to be continued list. I read according to my mood, but sometimes I get sick of reading the same genre. It's usually the "one to many" book that doesn't get finished. It might not have anything really to do with the book, just me having hit my saturation point with a certain type. These books usually go back into my TBR pile for a future look.
If I've struggled with an author before, then I'm likely to give up sooner. On my DNF shelf is a John Grishman. I loved his early novels - The Firm, Pelican Brief, etc. - and devoured them. Then I read Bleachers and I finished it, but I wasn't really feeling it. So when I picked up The Brethren and had trouble getting into it I decided it would be a DNF. (I did try over the course of a month or more to get through it).
Another book on my DNF shelf didn't seem to match the description of the book once I got started reading it. I probably spent close to a year trying to get into the story and read only a couple of chapters. It became my bathroom book - I was struggling that much with it.
What to do with a DNF?
This is not the first time I questions whether or not I should have a DNF shelf and if I should or shouldn't review a DNF. In 2011, I shelved a book DNF (it might have been the first time I did it as a book blogger) and someone asked me why I couldn't finish it. In that particular case, it was more about it not being what I was expecting and in a genre I'm pretty picky about.
I still don't think I should review a DNF. I have read several books that I thought about giving up on only to be super surprised at the ending and how the author brought everything together and loved the book. So it wouldn't be a fair assessment if I don't read until the end.
However, I also think a brief explanation should be provided as to why I didn't finish it. I try to do this on Goodreads (where I catalog all my books) when I place a book on the DNF shelf just so other readers won't be "turned off" just because I didn't finish it. Particularly if it was because the book auto returned and the waiting list is a month long for me to get it again.
How do you feel about DNF? As a blogger do you post a review? As a reader, what are your thoughts when a blogger says they didn't finish a book?
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