Friday, December 19, 2014

Ostentatious Tête–à–Têtes #1 (DNFing a book)

One of the best things that has come out of blogging is the ability to connect with people with the same interest and an outlet for the fore-mentioned interest. Saying that, it is the most difficult post to write as reviewing and blog tours take priority and posting discussions always takes a back seat. The topic I am about to discuss now has been on my mind for a while and it is something that we all can relate to. It is about DNF –ing books. For those who are new to this term it means Did Not Finish.

DNFing a book is a touchy topic for me as it has many factors going for and against it. First of all I personally hate leaving anything incomplete. If I have started something then I try my best to bring it to completion. I also think that no book is a bad book. A book is a brain child of a person who has written it because they have a story to tell and it is only fair I give it a fair shot. Furthermore, after spending a few hours and thousand words later, I keep holding on to the faith that perhaps it will get better and as I have already spent time on it, so I might as well hang on till the end.

I am a firm believer that a book is a different experience for different individuals and it is never the same for two people. But sometimes some books just simply don’t do it for you, so much so that continuing to read becomes unbearable. One of my many pet peeves are boring or annoying characters. This is the most common reason I have DNFed a book in the past. I may not be able to connect with a character or even relate to them but as long as they don’t annoy me. Hell, I have read about morally ambiguous characters and still loved the story as along as it is done well. In fact the worse the better.

If the writing is difficult to understand or if the plot is too confusing, I tend to zone out. Another classic one is when the story is simply too long and there is not enough going on to keep me invested. Another reason which occurs quite often is when I am having a reading phunk or I am simply not in the mood for that particular genre, then I have DNFed a book in the past but in my defence I know exactly why I have DNFed the book and that I will come back to it on a later date as then I will be in a better position to do it justice.

To be honest I have scored some books less because I was not in the right mood when reading it which had a negative on my reading experience but whenever this happens I mention it in my review so that it gets the benefit of doubt.

After all the above discussion and analysis the situation turns around on its head when a given book is a proof copy. On one hand I think life is too short to read a book I am not enjoying and that I may be missing out on discovering my next favourite book. But I also have to consider that the publicist has invested in sending me a book and is counting on me. It puts extra pressure on me to keep going.

That brings me to another question. What do I do if I simply didn’t like it? I DNFed the book, but does that mean I should still write a review or simply don’t do anything at all?

This topic raises a plethora of questions which makes me squirm simply thinking about it. If you have any suggestion or anything you may want to add feel free to do so in the comments below. I would love to know what you take is on this. 



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