Comments: 27
No, and I think part of it is - at least for me - that I fear that I've wasted time on those books I DNF. I'm starting to learn that if the book isn't working for me, I just DNF it, and I save time in the end!
The Farceur Trilogy 5 years ago
That's the philosophy I WANT to have. I don't know what is blocking me!
It's hard to describe how to get there. I just had to start looking at things differently. Hopes you can get there, too!
Of Mischief & Books 5 years ago
I feel I should tell you nobody is going to hold it against you whatever you choose to do - either go on and finish it or not. It's a thing I keep noticing, that when I'm bucking against some sort of mental barrier, people tell me they won't judge if (understand, 'when') I try. They never tell me they won't judge if I do not try, and so I know it's a lie...It blocks me so much more when they do this, I end up being even less able to do the thing I'm meant to do that I already was.

Go with whatever you feel like doing :) Finish the books if they nag at you so much. Or don't. It's okay, there's no wrong option.
Agreed! It's just if someone wants to be able to DNF and can't, I hope they get to that place. Or a place where they're comfortable doing whatever they want to do.
The Farceur Trilogy 5 years ago
Yeah, Grim, I think "looking at things differently" is a good way to approach it.

@Of Mischief & Books - Very good advice :). I totally agree. I guess I don't want to finish the book is the issue. But, by what you're saying, it ultimately doesn't make a difference whether a book is DNF or just de facto DNF by sitting on my "Hiatus" shelf forever :). Just worry about my system and not everyone else's system. So that's a good way to think about it - just stick it on my "Hiatus" shelf if I'm more comfortable with that and don't come back to it if I don't want to.
Also, remember, a DNF isn't set in stone. You can always make it a 'finished' weeks, months, or years later if you pick it up again. Or, y'know, the next day if you're having mood swings! Just because you say DNF, it doesn't make it an ultimatum/sin/whatever to change your mind later.
The Farceur Trilogy 5 years ago
Wow, that's a really good point. Is it ridiculous that that's never even occurred to me? LOL
This here, I just remembered it, but I was having a talk with someone about this. And this was actually one of the turning points for me; I'm more willing to put something on a DNF list if I think, 'well, I can always finish it later, whenever.' And it's not just us - people seem to think DNF means never ever.

Not really. How often do we change our tastes as far as food or clothing or music or TV go? Why would it be any different for books?
The Farceur Trilogy 5 years ago
You're totally right, and it seems so silly that I honestly never even thought of this. Like DNF shelf is the be all, end all.

Ah, you're so very smart, Grim :). I'm pretty sure that this will help me. Thanks!!
Debbie's Spurts 5 years ago
It took a hard look at a TBR pile I could not read in my probable lifetime even skipping sleep and one too many bad uploads from kindle pretending to be published books, but, I can do it and do it very quickly now -- really DNF versus just forget I meant to come back and finish one day.

I do have some "hiatus" ones myself that I know I need to be in the mood for or readers I kniw share my taste say once you reach chapter whatever it takes off. There are genres I cannot read books back to back or books too similar to read back to back -- I actually do plan on getting back to finish eventually. I'm not big on shirt stories but keep buying if by favorite author to have something between their releases that have languished -- so they are on my currently reading and I am trying to read a story of a quarter of a novella in between what I actually want to read...
The Farceur Trilogy 5 years ago
Do you ever decide to give up on your "hiatus" books or are you generally determined to come back to them?
Debbie's Spurts 5 years ago
I always plan on coming back to them. Sometimes I even mentally have a date in mind—for example, if a series got cliffhanger-y or a friend tells me the book I am reading will be, I might deliberately stop wait until next book in series is published. Or if I was reading a ton of hard sf, romance, vampire books or whatever right in a row and still yet another one wasn't bad but wasn't catching my interest, I'll put it aside until in the mood for that genre again. Or if a familiar author that I trust will hook me and can already tell is well-written, I'll attack a chapter or so at a time until hooked and then finish.

What I don't put on hiatus and DNF very quickly are books where the writing annoys me. The writing won't change even if characters or storyline might. I like George R. Martin's books and writing, but after decades of waiting for the next book only to have what was the final book (probably due to success of HBO series) now turn into next to final book and then that final book potentially going to be three books ... I'm stalled in that series, too. Not really wanting to wait that long between the books with no end in sight and they were starting to see padded with stuff just to make more volumes ...
The Farceur Trilogy 5 years ago
Yeah, that's the other thing about George R. R. Martin's book and my hiatus in that series. I feel unmotivated to catch up in the series right now because I know it will be FOREVER until he finishes it, because he is such a slooooow writer. So as long as I stay ahead of the HBO show I don't care. But I'm in no rush to get there, because what's the point?

In fairness to GRRM, though, I don't think it was the HBO show that caused him to need to add a few more books to the series than he initially thought. These epic tome fantasy writers just seem to get like that (e.g. Robert Jordan :P).
I used to have to finish each book I started. Now I don't. I suspect part of it is age, time and experience. I've read enough that I can let a storyline go because I've read something like it before, only better :-) But I sympathize. And I recommend you make a conscious effort to draw a line that makes a book DNF for you. Even a little line, one tiny thing, can help you out later :-)
The Farceur Trilogy 5 years ago
Yeah, definitely! Good advice. I think that's part of the reason why I posted, to be able to start thinking of where those lines are for me. Thanks, I'll think on this :)
Debbie's Spurts 5 years ago
Lines and "why." As in, "why isn't this book hooking me?" And which "why" should be a DNF or a Hiatus for you. And it helps if you think about how much more enjoyable the next book might be to mentally make a scale of "reading hours spent waiting for book to get good" versus "reading hours spent enjoying a book."

If "why" = I don't like the writing or writing sucks (and will be a very long read because I have to stop often to reread or puzzle out the meanings of sentences and paragraphs), that's a clearcut DNF for me.

[As one bookliker puts it "you don't have to drink the whole glass to know the book is sour." In more than four decades of reading, a badly written back has never gotten better for me (and I've only allowed myself to DNF a book the last ten years, i used to eventually finish all owned books).]

If "why" = not what I expected (possibly even another genre) based on whatever made me be in the mood to read, that could be a Hiatus book until you are in the mood for. Ditto if "why" was just not what you were in the mood for ... pacing, characters, story line, etc. can improve but that's when you want to draw a hard fast line for how far you are willing to read for that to happen. If you know readers here or real life that share your tastes or read the book, chat them up to see where they think it picks up (if ever) if you find something in the book that makes you think you want to read more. (I am cursed lately with a lot of eyerolling from friends who tell me things like " but by book #7 in the series you will be hooked" — that's way past my line, LOL).
The Farceur Trilogy 5 years ago
Book 7!!! Hahaha. Yes that would get an eyeroll from me, too. Thanks for the tips, Debbie :)
Me too--I used to hate not finishing them--but it ends up unsatisfying, so now I just send it back and try later.
The Farceur Trilogy 5 years ago
Ah, good, it's not just me then!
I've realized I have only small success if I "force" it, but sometimes if I come back much later, I'll like it better. And sometimes, I realize I'll just hate it no matter what. If I have no intention of coming back, I'll often just skim--I hate not knowing the plot ending!
The Farceur Trilogy 5 years ago
Yeah, same here! I skim my "DNFs" haha. There's something about needing to know what I'm missing, even if I think (or know) that it's going to be terrible.
I use to be someone who HAS to finish a book. Even if it meant skimming the pages. But I've decided their are far too many good books out their to waste my time on books I'm not enjoying. Unless I bought the book - I'll finish those suckers no matter how bad, I want my moneys worth even if it means torturing myself. Lol.
I put everything in the one shelf. Even if I plan on givingn it another go at some point. I'll just right something vague like couldn't finish it because... blah blah blah. But might try again at a later date.
The Farceur Trilogy 5 years ago
I want my moneys worth even if it means torturing myself ---> Hah!

So you put everything on your "Read" shelf, even if it's a DNF?
Nah I put the ones I didn't finish it my 'couldn't finish' shelf. And write a little something something about my feelings towards the book. Weather its 'not right for me at the moment' , 'couldn't concentrate on it' 'crap shifty rubbish' 'pick up at a later date' that way their all on the same shelf and I don't really need to worry about the ones I may or may not pick up again. If I do I do, if I don't I don't.....
not sure if that made even a little hit of sense. Lol.

Speaking of tutoring myself, I was concerned the book I'm reading now was going to be crapola.... luckily I think I'm starting to get the hang of it and starting to enjoy it more.
Debbie's Spurts 5 years ago
I will send a library ebook loan back very quickly if I can tell I won't get to or finish quickly and just re-add it to my waiting list. I just have this mental image that while I am waiting to start reading or waiting for the book to hook me that there is some salivating to get to real fan waiting further down the reading list and feel guilty.
The Farceur Trilogy 5 years ago
Awwww, that's such great imagery and a nice way of thinking of it!