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When should I mark a book as DNF?

Wednesday, January 06, 2016 Geraldine 0 Comments

DNFs (did-not finishes). 
They're what we book bloggers don't like to talk too much about. I especially dislike marking books as DNF, usually attempting to read through the whole book in hopes of it getting better. 

Recently, I've been reading a book that I might mark as DNF  I'm really reluctant to give up reading this book though, really hesitant to mark it as DNF. 

Going by the difficulty that reading this book has become for me, I should probably mark this book DNF by now. However, isn't this a bit subjective? What if the book really does get better as it progresses, and you just gave up too early? That's why I asked myself, isn't there another method, perhaps a more objective one, to mark a book as DNF? 

I've heard of the 50 rule - to stop reading a book and mark it as DNF by the time I've reached 50 pages or 50% of the book. To me, this seems like a great empirical method to mark books as DNF - but within this, there are also limitations. For one, if you decide to mark a book as DNF at 50 pages, couldn't you potentially be missing out on a great book because you didn't have the stamina for just fifty pages? Or, if you chose to stop at 50%, isn't there a sense of disappointment of sorts at giving up, when you have persevered so far into the book already? All these are definitely things to consider when using the 50 rule to mark a book as DNF. 

In addition to asking ourselves when we should mark a book as DNF, we should also ask ourselves, when is it appropriate to mark a book as DNF. Is it appropriate to mark a book as DNF when it's an ARC that you received from the publisher? I know that for me, I'd feel guilty, because I feel like there's a contract of sorts between me and the publisher, once the publisher has sent me my ARC.

All in all, I think marking books as DNF is an extremely complex issue that probably varies from person to person. For me personally, I go with my feelings, and mark a book as DNF when I get too tired of reading a page over and over again because I've dozed off. Only if others say to persevere with a book, that it'll get better, will I keep going with a book that I don't like. 

What do you think? When do you decide to mark a book DNF? And what do you think about marking ARCs as DNFs? Let me know in the comments below!

Keep reading and loving books!

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