I felt, as a die-hard reader/writer/blogger, that it was my duty to always stick to a book and read it from cover to cover no matter what the story threw at me. Whether I liked how the book was going or not. Optimism that the book would get better or catch me when I least expected it was what kept me going for quite a while. Until the review piles started to stack up on me and there were some books that I just couldn’t keep myself involved with.
The book break-up needs to happen at some point people. You can always delay the inevitable, but think about your feelings before you consider the books feelings. You are the ones that matter. There are plenty of other books out there my loves, and plenty of them are much, much better than the book that don’t:
a.) make you want to rip your hair out
b.) leaves you feeling empty or lost
c.) doesn’t appreciate you as a person
There are times where you need to understand that it is perfectly okay to just put a book down and leave it there with no intention of picking it back up. There is nothing wrong with stopping midway. You might think, “But I’m halfway through than what does another half matter?” Well, if you’re not enjoying the half that you’ve read, do you really want to play with chance and see that maybe, just maybe things are going to get better? That the character that makes you want to punch yourself in the face will actually grow up or stop being the typical Mary Sue that we all love to hate? Maybe, but find myself asking the question, “Why do I want to keep doing this to myself?”
And it’s true. Books are long. There are many of them that we as reviewers have on our plates. And sometimes not finishing one book isn’t going to really hurt us. Yes, there does come a time when a book that you really just can’t finish does have a sequel. And yes, there comes a time where you want to read said sequel. But sometimes, you as a reader have to be honest with yourself and think that if you didn’t enjoy the first book for whatever reasons it happened to be–characters, plot, writing, world-building, grammar–then what makes that second or third or fourth book worth it to you?
DNF is a choice on the readers part. You can keep reading if you want to, if you think that it’s your privilege to keep going, your job as a reviewer to keep it up until you hit that very last word and find yourself staring at the gloss of the back cover. Me personally, I’ve been in that boat. I wanted to read every book from start to finish, but there came a time where there were just too many books too read and I just didn’t have the time in the world anymore to keep up with the books that failed to catch my interest or were just too difficult to get through or just didn’t uphold my interest.
It’s time and effort that are put into reading, and when there is no reward for that effort from the book itself, I find myself lacking in wanting to continue. There is no real need for me to when there are countless other books out there that I have yet to start that could fulfill that need and that reward.
As I’d said, it’s your choice whether to keep going or to put a book down and move onto the next. Don’t think there is an obligation to it though. Life is too short to read bad books. So find one that is worthy to be in your hands and read by your eyes and your mind with characters that are worth being touched by your heart.
Happy reading everyone.
Love your bookish neighbor,
Courtney Ann <3