Thoughtful Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Reading Is Fun Again. This week:
Do you DNF (do not finish) books?
Do you call it that or do you call it something else? Do you tell people when you DNF a book or do you act like you never read it at all? How have your DNF habits changed over the years?
Yeppppp. I do indeed, though that wasn’t always the case. I’d just stop reading books and never pick them up again, but there was no conscious decision behind it. I sort of DNFed books before that, but I wasn’t entirely aware of doing so. I don’t mind letting other people know that I’ve DNFed a book. I’m not sure if we’ll include DNF reviews on our blog, since we’re pretty new (I should discuss this with Ren right away >.>), but I don’t see any harm in DNFing books and admitting to it. Why pretend that you never read it at all? If I did that and somebody told me it was sooooo amazing and I should give it a try, I’d have a hard time not awkwardly agreeing to read it and then hating myself for lying to them because lol, nope, I won’t pick that up again. Pretending I didn’t DNF a book is like not telling people you really really hate Brussels sprouts and then having to eat them when they invite you to dinner because it’s the polite thing to do.
Last year I figured I should make an “currently abandoned” shelf for the books because sometimes the timing is just not right and I intended to pick them up later again. And then recently I finally caved in and made a DNF shelf on my goodreads because I was pretty much lying to myself about some of those abandoned books. I’ll probably never pick them up again, so why pretend? I actually think having a DNF shelf and admitting to myself that there are books that I simply won’t ever finish because of reasons is going to help me a lot. And I can still mark as currently abandoned the books that I do intend to read but where the timing was just wrong for me.
Like I said though, I used to sort of DNF before I was aware of what DNFing was and even before I admitted to myself that I wouldn’t pick it up ever again. The amount of those books increased over the last two years (only a little though), but I can distinctly remember two books that I DNFed when I was younger. It gave me quite some grief actually, because back then I believed in finishing all the books and not completing one was a great shame for me.
One of them was a German “Backfischroman”, a novel (well in this case a collection of novels) aimed at young girls. The term (which translates to “fried fish novel”, I kid you not) spans novels for young teenage girls written between 1850 and 1950 and I think that particular time frame may have been why I DNFed it. I must’ve read three quarters of it but the last novel in it was just so boring and plain. Obviously novels from that time would be much more conservative and homely but really, reading about the protagonist in her grandmotherly years (the series started when she was fifteen) was kind of excruciating for little nine-year-old me.
The other one was — don’t hit me, please! — Lord of the Rings. I know everyone and their grandmother loves it but it just wasn’t for me. The general air of boys only club coupled with endless battle scenes just didn’t do it for me. I was twelve at the time, maybe too young, but I don’t regret not finishing it. There are things in life more fun than torturing yourself with a book you don’t like. ;)