November 12, 2017 2 min to read

Do you have to finish a book once you start it?

Category : Blog, DNF, Let's Get Personal

What kind of reader are you? 

  1. Do you HAVE to finish a book once you started it?
  2. Or can you stop reading it if you do not like it?
    What is your criteria for NOT finishing a book?

I used to be squarely in the first category. I would slog through a book hoping that it would get better or thinking that I had to find out what happened.

I started transitioning into the second category when I got my kindle.  The absolute plethora of books that I could easily (and cheaply) get my hands on made me feel okay with not finishing a book.

But I always had trouble figuring out when to stop reading a book I obviously did not care for (the sneaking in of category number one). A few years ago I was listening to an author’s podcast and he said tho give him four chapters and that if he didn’t capture you, the audience, then he probably wouldn’t.  Excellent advice Mr. Author. But sometimes chapters are super short. Now what? What percentage do I need to get to before I give up. I’ve figured out that 20 to 25% is the range where I usually give up.

What about leaving a review? I do blog about books. Shouldn’t my reviews be honest. Absolutely! But I don’t feel comfortable about leaving a review/rating about a book I didn’t finish – especially on Goodreads or Amazon. Authors put in a lot of work and I don’t feel it’s fair to them to leave a bad review, especially if I didn’t finish a book. Instead I like to contact the author of publisher directly and let them know why I didn’t care for the book, especially if it’s an ARC that they have provided for me.

That’s not to say that I haven’t left negative reviews on Goodreads or Amazon. I have.  I just try to avoid them if possible. However if I finished a book and hated it (or even mixed about it) I’ll leave a review saying what I liked and disliked about the book and why.

With this is mind I’ve added a new category to the review section of Love 4 Books called DNF (or Did Not Finish) where I plan to tell you why I stopped reading a particular book.  This will not be a book bashing page, again because authors put in a lot of hard work. I plan to tell you what worked for me and what didn’t so you can decide whether or not to pick it up for yourself.  However, these author will not have their own page (unless I review one of their other works.). I hope that you’ll find these useful.

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Comments (1)

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    ReplyShayen January 31, 2018

    Yes! I feel the same! Authors put in a lot of effort and I’d hate to leave a bad review only because I didn’t finish it. Also a lot of people have different opinions on books you may love one and they may hate it.

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