Over the past several months, I’ve been trying to focus on quality over quantity with my reading. This doesn’t necessarily mean every book I read needs to be the BEST book ever but that I’d like to be reading books that thoroughly entertain, teach me something new and interesting, or bring something really special to the table. So I’ve been abandoning books more readily than I ever have in the past.
Although I’ve proclaimed to be fine with putting a book down when it’s not working, it’s been a fairly rare occurrence in my reading life. But as I’m getting older and realizing just how many books there are that I’d like to try, it’s getting easier to DNF (did not finish). It’s entirely possible I’m also getting more particular in my preferences and my patience for poor quality is waning as I read more, making it easier to decide to put a book down.
There are a few reasons why I might DNF a book:
1. The timing/format is wrong.
I’ve tried some books that deal with topics or themes that I just couldn’t handle at the time. It might be anything from the death of a loved one to something too creepy when I’m already stressed. And as a reader who enjoys using multiple formats (print copies, e-books, audiobooks), I find that some formats work better for some books than others. When I put these books down, I usually intend to go back to them at some point when the timing is better or in a different format.
2. I couldn’t connect with it.
This tends to be the hardest category for me. These are books that don’t necessarily have anything wrong with them and the timing and format is right, but something just isn’t clicking for me. Although sometimes I’ll realize it fairly quickly, most often I stick with these for the longest amount of time before putting them down. And sometimes I’ll consider going back to these at another time as well.
3. Poor writing and editing.
These are the easiest books for me to DNF. When I come across several spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes within a couple pages, I know it won’t be a book for me. This tends to be an issue more often with independently published (and especially self published) books, which is unfortunate because I like to give them a chance.
So I’m curious! Do you DNF books? If so, what are your reasons?