Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Case of the No-DNFer

When it comes to review books, I rarely mark a book as DNF (did not finish). I might out the book down and read it later but I hate it when that happens. For me, I can’t fathom writing a review for a book I can’t finish.

What my review pile looks like. Kinda. Source
Whenever I don’t finish reading a book, I feel like I am letting down the publisher and the author. Does anyone ever feel this way? The majority of the time, I will write a negative review for the book I disliked but only after I finish reading it.

I have realized that this can be a bad thing. Blogging is a hobby for me but the perfectionist/people pleaser in me can’t do things any differently. There is always a voice in my head that says writing a review for a book I didn’t finish is wrong. Since I didn’t finish the book, how could I possibly write a review for it? How would I know if the book improved past the place I stopped?

In another sense, I am always optimistic that as I read a bad book, the better it will become. One of my most recent reads, Between the Lines was a book I had heard nothing but good things about. Estelle loved the book and she and I tend to have the same feelings on books. I read the book, thinking that it was going to get better the entire time. Sadly, it didn’t capture my attention and I ended up writing a negative review for the book.

Yet, the most interesting aspect I’ve found about this is that when I read a book all the way through, no matter how bad, I tend to see both the good and the bad. For example, Easy was a book I had hoped to love. While I didn’t know much about the book, I knew that it has a good message and the subject matter was one we had to talk about. In my review, I acknowledge what I liked about the book. But I also listed what I didn’t like.

It seems like a double-edged sword but if I don’t like the book at first, I put it aside and read it much, much later. I began Easy and I was bored the first time around. I put it aside and I began re-reading it after a few weeks. When I began re-reading it, my prior feelings didn’t resurface and I was able to write a more honest review.
Does any of this make sense? I hope so.
Basically, I don’t DNF review books in the sense that once I mark the book as a DNF, I will literally never read it. Again, this is review books ONLY. I DNF other books like no ones business.

What about you all? Do you have this issue with any books but especially review books? I personally think the mix of perfectionist and people please is SO not good for me.