Lately I have been noticing a trend in my reading. Did not finish.
On average, I mark about 10% of the books on my shelf DNF. I remember when I first started blogging WAY back in the day I fretted, stewed and panicked if I received a book for review from a publicist or author and couldn’t finish it. I clearly remember the first time I threw away a book. Yes, that’s right I chucked it. Now believe me, I was raised to think that “one can not have too many books” and I collect them like candy. But there came a time when I wanted nothing to do with it and I didn’t think anyone else should read it either. (Most of the time I put books for trade or donate them, FYI.)
Then there was a time on Goodreads when I used to give books I didn’t finish and hated a one or two star rating. + marked them DNF. I have since resorted to not rating or adding them at all. Why, you ask? One, because I don’t want to rate a book I haven’t read and 2) attacks on me personally. I had an author track down my personal twitter account and start harassing me. I ultimately had to close the account, explained that not every book is suited for every person and tried to be as professional as possible. But if there’s a way to assure I will NEVER buy or recommend your book to another person, be a bully…that will get me to stand firm and not pick up any of your books again. Recently this particular review has racked up comments on my GR feed again. It’s been years, and now the tactic has changed– send readers who have read the book to comment on my review about why I shouldn’t have put it down. Why waste time seeking me out again? It’s one review, one opinion, and I will not be moved.
Be mature and be kind. Carry on and keep calm.
Here’s the deal. I’m an adult. I’ve been blogging for a long time. I have read lots of books and I have lots left to read. If I pick something up and don’t like it… I. move. on. End of Story. No reason to drag out the inevitable when there are so many other things I could be doing and books I want to read.
So why did I DNF your book? There are a lot of reasons. But here are a few…
1) Plot is moving along to slow
2) Can’t connect with the MC, the voice of the book is whiny or repetitive.
3) Unnecessarily crude or sexualized language. Sometimes lately it feels like its thrown in for no reason
4) Too many “F” bombs. It used to be an anomaly to pick up a YA book and see it, now the word is commonplace.
5) Trying too hard to be politically correct.
6) Severe domestic violence, rape or child abuse. I worked for many years as a social worker before I started blogging & for child protective services. I don’t want to read about it.
7) Erotica wrapped up and disguised as YA or NA.
8) Main stream romance disguised as Christian romance. Make it clean. Know your audience.
9) The book makes me feel slimy. You know the feeling, that “I should not be reading this and if someone else picked it up– like my child, I wouldn’t let them read it…”
10) A sequel that no longer holds my interest or I can’t remember the first book well enough to click with the second one.
11) Excessive violence or horror. I have a weak stomach for that.
12) Out of control parents advocating extramarital affairs, inappropriate boundaries etc.
13) Dissing of my religion. I have only read one book all the way through that put down my religion. It was a very well known, popular author and the put down was made in a snide character comment. Never again. Why are religious slurs acceptable?
14) Something pitched to me as one thing that ends up being another entirely.
15) Annoying/ monotone audio voice in audio books. I typically listen to these while driving to and from school so if my young carpool can’t hear it because of content, we don’t listen to it.
16) A book that hasn’t been edited or passed on to beta readers. Please take time to edit, punctuate, and get some reader opinions before passing it on for review.
17) E books with formatting issues. If it takes me too long to figure out how to load it or there is skipped text, strange breaks in the page, it’s distracting.
I have 66 books on my DNF list and they will all stay there. Once I put it down, there’s no turning back.
What causes you to not finish a book?