Monday, December 3, 2012


This post is specifically for the other bloggers out there. I'm honestly not sure how to word any of this, so bear with me. Personally, I have a really hard time not finishing anything. Be it series, book, project...whatever, I need completion. However, with my ever increasing TBR list and such, I'm feeling more and more pressure to read only the things that I'm completely and 100% interested in. (DNF for those who might not know, stands for "did not finish".)

I've even gone so far as to force myself to read 5 pages at a time in a book I'm struggling through BEFORE allowing myself to read anything for pleasure just to make it through some of these books. And as you can imagine, that makes for an extremely slow read and turns an already painful book into torture.

However, since blogging, I've only DNF'd one book, and that was more because of formatting than just not being interested in the book itself. I feel even more pressure when the book I'm contemplating putting down is one that I've actually requested to review. You just never know if you'll like it until you give it a try, but I feel a professional responsibilty to press on, finish, and ultimately review every book I request from publishers.

My TBR list is over 300 books as of now and constantly growing--I know plenty of you have larger TBR lists than that. Despite having enough books in my possession to keep me occupied for maybe the next six months or so, I know that more and more books are going to continue to come out and get added to my crazy TBR list. So, do I really want or need to dedicate time to forcing myself to finish something I'm not fully connecting with for whatever reason?

I want reading to remain fun for me, and I can't say I've gotten to the point where it constantly feels like a chore, but I also want to maintain a professional relationship with publishers that I've requested books from for review.

So my question is, how do you guys handle DNFing? Do you DNF any review books you've requested? Do you review books you haven't completed? Do you list them on your blog, Amazon, or Goodreads as DNF'd? How long do you give a book before you DNF? Do you contact the author or publisher you requested the book from to let them know that you're not able to finish it? If you requested through NetGalley, do you post feedback through NetGalley for DNF'd books?

And even more so than books you picked up and didn't like enough to continue, has there ever been a book you requested for review that you just "never got around to?" What happens then? Do you feel pressure to read every book you get approved of for review? Do you have any books that you've requested but put off reading and reviewing because you weren't in the mood? Do you not feel pressure to review them within a specific time period? If so, what's your time frame?

Guys, I'm super curious and need your help on this topic, please! Thanks ahead of time for your input.


  1. I typically give a book 50-100 pages before I decide to put it down. And while I do not put down a lot of books, I have been putting more down recently. Some of them is because I just didn't like it or wasn't in the mood. What I have done is actually created a shelf on Goodreads for "books I have half finished" and "books I just couldn't finish" that are exclusive, meaning that they aren't on my "read" or "to read" list. That way I remember that I didn't finish them.

    As for reviewing DNFs, it really just depends on how far I got in them or if they are for review or not. If it's a galley, I typically write up a review explaining why I couldn't finish it. If it's a book I picked up for fun and I just didn't like it, I might include it in my Mini Review posts but otherwise I'll just write a little blurb on Goodreads and move on.

    I am a lot like you--I have a very difficult time leaving something unfinished. But when my time is super precious to me, I have learned to not read a book if I am not feeling it. Just don't feel guilty about it. Reading is supposed to always be fun, not a chore. Always remember that.

    And as for review requests, if you don't get around to it or don't like the book, it's not the end of the world. Every book isn't for every one. If you feel guilty about ARCs, check out the site They take ARC donations to pass on to others.

    I hope that helps! Let me know if you have any more questions!

  2. I don't ever want to have to feel this kind of pressure! I don't have a whole lot of followers on my blog, so I don't feel comfortable requesting review copies from publishers and I wouldn't do NetGalley anyway because I don't have an eReader. The ARCs I have gotten I've won either through GoodReads FirstReads giveaways or through publisher contests - all of which they "encourage you to review," but don't require it, so I don't have to get all stressed out about it if there's a book I end up not liking. (On GoodReads they do somehow know if you review or not though, because I used to win books like crazy when I was all caught up on my reviews, and now that I've gotten a bit behind, zilch. But that's OK with me, I just hope I can get myself back on the "good list" someday!)

    Anyway, I am like you though and HATE not finishing something. I've been trying prevention instead of cure for this problem and have been quite diligent to not even pick up a book I'm not excited to read. If I have to talk myself into choosing a particular book next, it's a no-go. If I'm not feeling it, I just don't start it, so I won't have the "it's pretty bad, but I want to find out what happens" dilemma going on. Granted you can end up not liking a book you were really excited about, but for me it's always the books I was not that stoked about to begin with. Once I've started something, I usually do push myself to finish, but it always takes me way longer to read something I'm not totally invested in.

  3. I solve the DNF by reading 2 books at a time. And just push through the one I am not liking.
    I just started my blog, so I don't have many reviews up yet. But I have requested a few books to review.
    Christine, I didn't let you win if you weren't reviewing books. I have won several from there, and hardly posted any real review for any book I read. But like you I am finding that I don't win as often.

  4. I'm probably similar to Christine (commenter) - I don't request review copies or participate in tours because I know I would feel guilty if I don't like the book - so I'm pretty much of no help to you :-(

    But PR people literally send out hundreds of books. If you don't like it and don't want to read it - then don't. You can send an email to the PR person "if you want" to let them know it's not your type of book and you won't be discussing it - but I guarantee, they really won't care.

    All that said - I do push through books I don't like - I can't help it, and I've come to terms with the fact that's just me. I'll skim pages if I have to (ummm ... China Mieville), and if I still can't hang (ummm ... Wolf Hall), then I'll leave it unfinished. But this only happens like .. once ... ever. If I'm having a hard time with a book, I'll just read more than 1 at a time - one I'm enjoying and the other one. I've stopped doing "in my mailbox" type posts (or delay what I put there) because I honestly don't even want to mention a book if I might read the first few pages and then decide I don't want to continue. Then I won't feel I have to talk about it.