Ok, so hear me out because this is not an argument for forcing yourself to finish titles you do not enjoy. I am not a fan of self-torture and usually find you will take very little away from reading that is coerced. I support DNF’ing. If it doesn’t work, it simply doesn’t. I think we can all agree life is too short to spend it reading books we do not enjoy.
Now that I have cleared that up, I admit that I personally struggle to DNF titles. This used to be out of stubbornness. I had an odd sense of commitment once I opened a book to see it through to the end. I was riddled with this sad sort of guilt the drove me on. Now, however, it is for an entirely different reason.
I Am a Mood Reader. The Worst.
Seriously. I change moods like most change pants, daily. And I am consciously aware of this. It causes me to shift between genres and books like a mad woman! And it has its pros & cons.
- My ever changing mood has led to very eclectic tastes and reading. Thanks to this, I have come to pick up titles from a wide variety of genres and explored a multitude of authors.
- I read more because of my varying tastes, often picking up 3 to 5 books a week.
- My moodiness also means I am a very emotional individual which leads to some seriously personal reading experiences. I have books with tear-stained pages and books that made me laugh like a maniac.
- I can be as far as halfway through a book and decide it is not going to work for me.
- It can take reading the first few chapters of multiple books in a rather large stack
- before settling on one.
- Sometimes my mood makes it impossible to decide and I end up in a slump for a week or so.
Why I Rarely, Truly DNF
Because of the above reasons, it is entirely possible for me to dislike a book one day and then find I love it the next. For this very reason, I tend to reshelve instead of DNF’ing. I often close books that are not working and place them on a shelf that I intend to revisit at a later time, with the small exception of the few titles that hit a nerve or I know without a doubt I am not the best audience for. This is why I will normally add a title to Goodreads and then immediately update it to significant progress. I tend to wait until I feel confident that I am going to stay a book before making our relationship public.
Do you DNF? Or maybe you are also a mood reader and find that you have to return to certain books at a better time. How do you tend to handle titles you struggle with? Do you keep the books you put down or pass them on?