How do you know when to throw in the towel? When to wave the white flag? When to DNF?
In case you don’t know, DNF stands for did not finish. I have almost 1000 books on my TBR and several hundred unread books on my kindle. I have OCD and one of my obsessions is that I will die before I get to read all my books. So, that leads me to today’s question: When do you know its time to DNF a book? Here are a few of my guideposts!
- The book contains some of my ‘no way’ things. I don’t want to read books with cheating or when a main character dies. So, if I discover a book that contains either of these, I will totally stop reading. I am one of those people that LOOKS for spoilers. I have too many books on my TBR to waste time on books that will only piss me off (I’m looking at you The Fault in our Stars…). Usually, with my other ‘book no no’s” I know in advance and can avoid them, but cheating or death are usually not blatantly mentioned on the blurb!
- The characters are awful. Sometimes, the characters are just so freaking annoying I can’t keep going. You know, the characters that are so annoying, you actually don’t want them to get their HEA. For me, Dearest Clementine by Lex Martin was one of those books. I just didn’t like the heroine. It wasn’t anything specific, but I didn’t care for her at all. Another one was Cement Heart. I hated Viper by like page 2 and so could not imagine ever wanting good things for him.
- The plot is…meh. There is a lot to be said for a great hook. If I am skimming by chapter 2, it probably isn’t going to happen. However, these books are often the ones I put on my “try again later” list. Maybe I just don’t ‘feel it’ right now and I might like it when I am in a different mood.
- The writing is just bad. Look, I am not an author. I would NEVER try to be because I don’t have that kind of talent. So, when I read a book that is just not well written, I can’t suffer through it. I’m not just talking about poorly edited (although that makes me cringe too), I mean the sentences are simplistic, the vocabulary is basic, the story is trite, and the plot is super condensed. If the author spends all his/her time telling me what happened, I’m going to tune out fast. Writing is hard and not everyone can do it. There are too many amazing authors out there who aren’t getting noticed because of all the authors out there who churn out less than stellar books.
So, how do YOU know when to DNF? What are some of the warning signs for you? Do you have a ‘try again later’ list like I do or do you just DNF and move on forever? Tell me!!