Advanced reading copies
With arcs I always feel some sort of responsibility and it doesn’t matter if I requested them or got asked to review them. I kinda committed to the task and I don’t want to let the author/publisher down. So I grit my teeth and struggle through. Of course a book like that will never get a 4 or 5 star rating, but I want to be able to point out what exactly I didn’t like. There is a little bit of hope of it getting better too.
I can be as determined as I want to be, some books are just pure torture. I skip pages with these and sometimes I do file them under did not finish. Although I try to read at least 40%. There is a small issue with that mark, though. 40% could mean 100 pages, but it could mean 20 pages as well. So of course it’s no strict mark. Fun fact: The last times I dnf-ed were all at 48%. Huh.
Books I’ve bought get a different treatment. I’ve got quite a few here, which I started to read and then thought “meh” and put back. I think one factor may be that I’ve got no deadline. Theoretically I could pick them up five years from now and it would bother no one. Well, it would bother me, but only because I don’t know whether to start again on page one or where I’ve left of.
Most of the time a dnf book stays a dnf book. At the top of my head I can think of one I have picked up and finished then, but I wasn’t really enjoying it.
Although there is a difference. Sometimes I pick up a book and a few pages in I notice, that I don’t want to read it now. Usually it’s because I’ve got no interest in the genre at the moment or unknowingly I want to read a different book first (you know the ‘it’s just not right’ feeling? That’s the one I am talking about). I don’t really consider those as dnf.
Then there are those books, which are bad. Badly written, characters I hate, too many tropes, you name it. These books I give around 100 pages to convince me, sometimes 50 pages if they are really bad. And if I still think ‘Oh god, why?’ I put them away without regret, never pick them up again and try to sell them.
How do you handle dnf-ing?
Do you have rules or do you follow your feelings?
Or maybe you never dnf? How do you get through books you don’t like?