Hi there, fellow readers! I hope you all have awesome weekend ahead of you!
The other day (aka quite a while ago), I was reading Mandy’s post about DNF book reviews, and it got me thinking about my own DNF habits. If you read Mandy’s post, you’ll notice she says she’s the Queen of Not Finishing Books. I just happen to be the opposite. I have only DNF’d six books in my entire life.
It’s not that I’m a miracle among readers, someone who magically loves almost every book I touch, turning it into a five-star read every time a book touches my fingers. It’s just that I have a pretty specific list of rules for DNF-ing a book, and I’ll read a book to the end if it doesn’t line up with these reasons, even if I don’t necessarily like it.
#1- The 25% rule
No matter how I feel about a book, I always try to get to the 25% mark, unless there are serious editing issues. Sometimes, a book just doesn’t handle its intro very well, and I don’t want to miss out on a great story because I was a little annoyed by an info dump, or too much early world-building.
#2- Pick apart the pieces
If something is redeemable, I’ll do my best to finish the story. For example, if the plot is boring me to tears, but the characters are incredible, I’ll try to stick with it. Or if I can’t stand the characters, but that world-building makes me a happy camper, I’ll do my best to see it through to the end.
If I can find even one thing that I like about a book, I’ll try to read it to the end. Partly because sometimes that one piece is worth it, but partly because if I review the book and can say what exactly I didn’t like, someone else might still decide to give the book a chance.
#3- Even if I don’t like it, I keep reading until I know exactly why
Here’s the thing: I’ve wanted to be an author since I was twelve years old. So, when I read a book I really don’t like, one I dislike enough to actually DNF, I want to know why so that I don’t repeat those mistakes in my own books. I’ll read until I know what exactly about the book I didn’t like, and what made me feel that way.
When did I start not caring about the characters, and what lines contributed to that? When did I get super confused about the setting, and how could this writer have improved it? If I saw the plot twist coming a mile away, what gave it away? There’s a lot I can learn from amazing writers, but I find I can learn just as much from writers I really don’t enjoy. So if I’ve already started their book, I may as well learn something.
Thanks for reading!
Are you pro-DNF, anti-DNF, or somewhere in between? How many books have you DNF’d? What will get you to leave a book unfinished? Let me know in the comments below!