December 8, 2013

Sunday Spiel: An Introduction and DNFing Books


I have realized as of late that I don't talk enough with you guys. Scratch that - I definitely talk. But I never discuss. And while I have not had the courage to really talk about anything until now, I've decided to start a discussion post every Sunday called "Sunday Spiel." (You like it? Took me a little while to come up with it, but we should pretend that it didn't.)

Before I get into this, I'd just like to say these are my opinions. I am in no way saying that you should have these opinions or that mine are correct. This is simply a post open to discussion, and you're free to share your opinions as well. :) I love hearing them!

For today, I'd like to talk about something that has been on my mind recently: DNFing books. This is something I never, ever do. I have always made it a point to finish books, whether I think they're terrible or am just bored. In the past, this has been a habit I've gotten into because I feel guilty not finishing books. Especially if I've bought them. I own the book, so no matter how terrible it is I may as well finish it, right?

Wrong. Lately, I've been rethinking that answer. If I'm going to complete the book and totally dislike it, why read it at all? It's a waste of time, considering how many other good books there are out there just waiting to be read. This has also come up because in the past few months there have been a handful of books I've started to read and then put down for something more exciting. I didn't review those books, mainly because I had only read about twenty-five pages. But if you've read half or over half of the book - say the book is about 300 pages and you've read about 150 - is it okay to review it then? Personally, I think that's fine. You know enough to talk about why you disliked the book, and what aspects of it made you put it down.

So this brings us to one more question. Do you review books you've DNFed? It would definitely be the best way to get out that you disliked the book and don't recommend it. Then again, do you know enough about the book to review it if you haven't finished it? I have to say: so far on Spun With Words, I've never reviewed a DNFed book. I never feel like I know enough about the book to review it, and sometimes I even think I should have given it another chance.

This brings up another point. Just because you didn't enjoy the book, that doesn't mean other people won't like it as well. It could be the book isn't your taste or it's simply not your favorite genre. Maybe you like when the focus of the book is the characters, but others enjoy a fast, action-packed plot. In this case, should you really review it and tell everyone not to read it because it wasn't your type of book? There will always be differing opinions, and that means people will decide for themselves what they think of it. If I were to review a book I DNFed, which I'm sure will happen in the future, I would probably name why I didn't like it specifically, but leave the rest open. I'm not sure how I would star it. Generally I try not to rate books anything lower than a 2.5, but if it has to be done it has to be done. How would you rate a book you DNFed?

Overall, I try to finish every book I read, but it can definitely become difficult. If I don't finish a book, I'm almost always less than 50 pages in when I put it down. I don't have enough insight on the book to write a review on it, so I just put it back on the shelf. I'm curious to see what everyone else does!

So what about you guys? Do you put down uninteresting books? If so, do you write DNF reviews?

10 comments:

  1. My opinion on the matter is exactly like yours, I used to never even think of DNFing books then when I started blogging and ran out of time I realized I would not want to waste time on a book that I know I probably won't like. It's tough because, like you said, everyone likes different things. I try not to review too many DNF reads on the blog because of that.

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    1. Yes! There are so many other books to read and review that there's no point in wasting time on one you don't like. Then again, if there are good aspects to the story and it just didn't capture your attention, you might want to highlight that in a review.

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  2. If a book bores me or if it doesn't hold my attention I will DNF it. Fast. The reason is pretty simple: I was forced (and I'm pretty sure all of us have at some point) during school to read various fiction novels that I've HATED. No, it was more than mere hate. So I promised myself never to read a book if I hate it. I figure there are tons of other books I can read that I might end up loving. This is probably why I've never given a book a rating lower than 2.5 stars. I also don't review DNF reads. I've done it with only one book and it didn't sit well with me. But you're totally right, there are other people who will probably not only like the book I just DNFed, they will even love it.

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    1. I can't stand being forced to read terrible fiction in school. I don't understand it, either. There are so many great books out there. Why make students hate reading? I'm convinced the only reason so many people today hate books is because they don't know about all the good books out there - all they know of reading is the terrible things they were forced to read in school, and therefore assume all books are like that.

      But I agree, it gets tricky when it comes to opinions and personal tastes.

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  3. I do DNF books if I'm not enjoying them. I used to have a hard time with it, but it's gotten much easier over time. It doesn't mean it's a terrible book, just not for me, at least not at that time. If it's just a timing thing, I can always come back to the book later; it's not like DNF'ing wipes the book from existence.

    That said, I wouldn't feel comfortable rating a book I didn't finish. I'll share my thoughts on why I opted not to finish it, but it just doesn't seem right to give a rating when I can't judge the book as a whole.

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    1. I still have a hard time with it, but it's slowly getting easier. And I agree - sometimes it's just not for me personally. That doesn't make it a bad book.

      I feel the same way. I wouldn't know how to rate it, anyway!

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. :)

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  4. I try to go out of my way to choose books that I think that I'd like, I don't always end up liking all the books but I do try. To date, I think there's only one book that I DNF'd, it was a horrible little indie book that they could. It was awful. But because it was a blog tour, I could get away with posting an excerpt instead of posting my bad review.

    Personally, I always try to finish a book. I don't know why, but I do. Even if I put it aside for a while I eventually go back to it and finish. I think that you can review any books that you DNF'd as long as you give a detailed reason. Not all books are for everyone and I think that everyone in the bookish community understands that.

    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books

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    1. Yeah, that has been my habit for years. But as of late, I seem to be giving up on books too early. I'm still not sure what I think, which is partly why I talked about this on here - I wanted to see everyone else's opinions.

      I agree about reviewing them. As long as you have a solid reason, there's no way it can really be wrong.

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  5. I DNF books occasionally, and I almost always write and post a review on them. And I'll give it between 1-2 stars. I feel like the fact that it was bad enough (or "not me" enough) that I didn't want to finish it is important information that needs to be put across on Goodreads or Amazon or my blog or whatever.

    But I always make sure to clearly state at the beginning that I did not finish it, and how much of the book I ended up reading, and then I'll explain why it didn't work for my personally. If I feel that it was an "it's you, not me" situation, I'll say that and try to make it obvious that other people might feel differently about it. I don't always post DNF reviews on my blog, though. It depends on how much I have to say about it. But I usually have a fair amount to say, considering the book was bad enough to not finish. In that circumstance, I'll usually have a bunch of reasons for why I didn't finish it, because I don't DNF a book lightly.

    And even though I don't really like DNF-ing books, I feel like it's necessary for me. I don't want to be sitting there hating this book I'm just trying to read for the sake of finishing it, when I could be spending that time reading something I DO want to read instead. Usually there just comes a point where I feel like it's better for me AND the book if I just stop reading, haha.

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  6. I rarely DNF because I hate to quit if I've invested time into something. But sometimes things just don't work for you. I always review on Goodreads even if it is just a sentence since that is what I use to track my reading progress, but I haven't posted any DNF books on the blog.

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