Discussions Only We Know
Can I just take a minute to appreciate the button that Husband created for me. I just love that man.
Ok guys, so this is a topic that I haven’t seen anyone do a post about...ever. A part of me is extremely nervous about even bringing this up, but inquiring minds want to know. (Really I just want to know.) There’s a lot of buzz in the book blogging community about DNFing. That stands for “did not finish” for anyone who might not be familiar with the acronym. There seems to be two different camps on this issue: 1) Those who feel like continuing a book they’re not enjoying is a waste of precious and limited reading time, and 2) Those who can’t stand not knowing if the book/author redeems themselves by the end and those who can’t seem to quit something midway.
Until recently, I fell into the 2nd category. I’ve always had a hard time not finishing what I started. My parents never let me quit something I started until the end. If I didn’t want to pick up that thing again in the future, that was fine, but quitting in the middle wasn’t allowed. “We’re not quitters,” my dad would say. And that’s true. I still don’t want to be a quitter. But life is short, right? And reading is supposed to be fun. I’ve never been good at reading out of obligation even if the book would have been an interest to me without the responsibilities tied to it. However, recently I’ve changed my opinion of pushing through books that are painful for me to read. I never want reading to become a chore. But I found that while I was trying so hard not to be a “quitter” by putting a book down before it’s finished, I would just stop reading altogether.
I would literally rather not read at all than read something that I’m not enjoying. Once I realized this, DNFing became a bit easier for me to bear. Because I never want to quit reading altogether. So I’ve eased into DNFing. I’ve only actually DNF’d 8 books in the last three years. 8 books out of 300+ gives me better than a 0.03% DNF ratio. I’ve done a couple of Series DNF posts (# 1, # 2, & # 3). While the DNF (did not finish) does apply for the series as a whole (I did not finish the series), it kind of bugged me that DNF didn’t apply to specific books within the series (Ex: I did not even start book 3 because I decided the series wasn't for me at book 2).
So let’s take this a step further…what about review books? Have you ever requested a book that sounded awesome at first—or maybe the cover drew you in—but before you got around to reading it reviews started pouring in and ratings started dropping? Have you ever requested several books for review at one time not expecting to get approved for them all and then by the time you get around to them all you find that there are a few that you’re just no longer interested in reading anymore? Have you ever been so overwhelmed with the number of books you want to read (and review just because) that you know there’s no way you could ever catch up and read them all? Have you ever requested a book for review that you’re really excited about but through the course of time you’re exposed to some information that you didn’t know before you requested it that might have caused you not to request it in the first place? What do you do then?
Let me say, that I feel strongly about the inferred transaction that occurs when a I request a book for review (I posted about that in last week's DOWK). The inferred implications involve me reaching out to the publisher/author requesting to read a book written/published by them in exchange for a fair and honest review of that book. I don’t request every book that I find intriguing. I don’t request books that don’t call strongly to me. I try my best to only request books that I’m extremely interested in. Often times, I even pass up books that I am interested in, but for various reasons I’m not sure if I’ll be able to or want to review on my blog. So I’m not one of those bloggers that requests anything and everything just to show what all cool books I received that week in my Stacking the Shelves posts each week. (*It should be noted that I’m speaking of books that I’ve requested from the publisher/author myself, not books where the publisher/author has contacted me to read/review. Any review request I accept from a publisher/author is under “review consideration” and I maintain the right to deny a review. I feel much more comfortable denying a review from a book that I have been requested to read over one that I have requested from the publisher/author.)
Besides the implied agreement that I feel I offer to the publisher/author when I request a book for review, I personally can’t stand having more books in my possession than I feel is physically possible for me to actually read. I know I can read 100 books. It might take me a year to do so, but I know I can do it. Four hundred…a thousand books…sure over my lifetime I might be able to read that many, but when I know that the books in my possession aren’t going to be the only books that are ever in my possession, I can’t in good conscience continue to receive and receive and receive books when I know it’s impossible for me to read the ones I already have.
Have any of you ever DNSd (did not start) a book? What do you guys think about this concept? Do you think you’d be capable of DNSing? Do you think it would be harder to DNS a book over DNFing or vice versa? Ethically what do you think about DNSing? Would you let a publisher know that you’re no longer interested in reading/reviewing a book you requested? Do you think you’d always at least try to read the book before deciding that you’re no longer interested? Or do you think being honest with yourself and continuing to put off even starting a book that you just seriously don’t think you’ll ever actually read is wrong? Is it better to go ahead and alert the publisher that you don’t intend to read or review it? Or are you going to maintain good intentions and continue to say “maybe someday?” What are your thoughts? Let me know!