Top Ten Tuesday: Last Ten Books I DNFed

Top Ten TuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is a bit open-ended, “Ten Bookish Things I Want to Quit Or Have Quit (aka ten book series I think I’m going to abandon, ten bookish habits I want to quit, ten authors I quit reading, ten types of books I’m quitting, ten tropes I want to stop reading about, ten books I marked as DNF (did not finish) recently, etc. Get as creative as you want).” This was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but since I don’t usually write DNF reviews, I thought I’d ought to share the last ten books I DNFed. These are the books I attempted to read, but for whatever reason ended up putting them down. I may revisit them again. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

1. Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley – If you’ve read this one, you know it’s kind of weird with an unconventional writing style. I don’t think I got through a fourth of the book before putting it down. It’s just not for me.

2. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – This book got a lot of mixed reviews, so I ended up putting it off for a long time. I finally checked it out from the library and knew almost immediately that I would not enjoy it.

3. Stray by Elissa Sussman – I’d by lying if I told you I know exactly why I couldn’t finish this one. Can’t remember much, simply that it wasn’t holding my attention.

4. Talon by Julie Kagawa – I love dragons. Dragons, dragons, dragons. So when I got this one from the library, I was eager to get started. Unfortunately, I could tell right away that this was not going to end with me singing its praises, so I put it down.

5. Red Rising by Pierce Brown – This book is so popular, so much so, that I wanted to give it a chance even though it really didn’t sound like my kind of book. I think I read the first chapter before deciding I wasn’t feeling it. I may revisit this one in the future.

6. Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland – This post is really testing my memory and I am failing miserably. I don’t really remember why I didn’t continue with this one. Great cover though.

7. Get Even by Grechen McNeil – I don’t think I was really in the mood for this kind of book at the time, but I’d actually like to get around to it again.

8. The Conspiracy of Us by Maggie Hall – I actually forgot that I attempted to read this one. I was thinking about it the other day and was trying to remember why I hadn’t read it yet and it was because I dnfed it.

9. Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios – This has such an intriguing premise, but for whatever reasons (I ought to write these reasons down), I didn’t finish it.

10. The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer – And I’m going to, of course, end on a book that I can’t remember why I didn’t read it all the way through. But the odds are I read the first chapter and decide against continuing.

Have you read any of these books? Which should I give another chance to? Are you like me and can’t remember why you DNF a book or are you one of those thorough bloggers who document why you didn’t continue a book (I applaud you)? Share your thoughts in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit you.

Kernels of Nonsense, #8: DNF’ing

Kernels of Nonsense (2)So this feature was M.I.A. last Sunday because sometimes life happens, but then you know what I discovered? I discovered that I didn’t feel as stressed about having this feature done on time. So I’ve decided instead of making Kernels of Nonsense a weekly feature, I will now be posting every other Sunday instead. This week I will be discussing DNF’ing and the impact blogging has had on this reading habit.

DNF, for those unfamiliar with the term, stands for “did not finish.” I know some readers find the practice of picking up a book, reading a few chapters, and then deciding not to go any further unthinkable. Others are a little more liberal and will drop every book that doesn’t appeal to them right away.

Recently I picked up The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings with the intention of reading and reviewing it for this blog. The problem was after a couple of chapters I couldn’t go on. I won’t get into the details, but I expected something different than what I held in front of me. Here I had a choice, I could strive forward and hope that the book would improve or I could put it down. I already had another book lined up behind it, so I ultimately decided I wasn’t going to read any further.

There are many reasons I may not finish a book. It may be the story is too shallow, too cliché, or the characters are too insipid or down right foolish. If I put down a book, it’s either because I am hating the first few chapters or I have a very strong feeling there will be a scathing review in my near future. Some books are simply not for me and I know if I continue reading them, it will only result in lost time, a very bad review, and something that might look a little like this:

source: http://matineemoustache.tumblr.com/

If I go more than fifty pages into a book, the odds are I’m going to finish it. If I’ve checked out the book from the library and am not enjoying it, there is a greater chance it will go in the DNF pile, and all traces of its existence will disappear from my blog and Goodreads. If it is a book I’ve purchase and I’m tempted to put it down, I probably won’t. I did after all spend money on it and I’m going to get my money’s worth even if it kills me. However, there have been a few books that I bought and refused to read because they were too awful to justify the amount of time it would take to finish them (for this reason I’ve become much more picky about the books I buy). There are times when I’ll make a library run and come home with four or five books, but will end up only reading a couple. I haven’t come across an ARC that I haven’t finished yet, but I’m sure that day will come.

I don’t really have a problem writing negative reviews, in fact I find I have more to say (or complain about) when I don’t like a book. However, since I’ve started blogging, I have a continuous queue of books at the ready so I’m never without an alternative option. Time is precious when it comes to reading and the older I get in the blogging world, the less likely I am to stick with a book I’m not enjoying. Part of the reason for this is that when I look back on the books I’ve given one-star ratings to, I kind of wish I hadn’t spent so much time reading them in the first place.

I’ve noticed some bloggers have a DNF list. The reason I haven’t made one myself is I feel that someone who has actually read the book is probably a better source than I am with when it comes to recommending it (or in this case, not recommending it).

What about you? Are there a lot of books you DNF or are you a reader who sticks to whichever book you pick up? How long do you give a book before you give up? What reasons will make you put down a book?