Did Not Finish.
Those 3 words I struggle with all the time. Can you put a book down if you’re not enjoying it? I never used to be able to, but I’m trying to embrace the freedom of DNF. I once read somewhere that you should subtract your age from 100 and that is the number of pages that you should read before you give up on a book, to give it a chance. I’ve tried this and still feel guilty. I feel less guilty if it’s a library book so possibly it’s a fiscal issue, but I also just have so much empathy and admiration for anyone who writes a WHOLE DAMN BOOK and gets it published and who the hell am I not to read it through? Who am I? I’m a person who paid money for this book and now regret it.
About five years ago I went on vacation to a private island in the Caribbean. Before you automatically hate me, I did not pay for most of this vacation, I just have really good friends. Anyway, when you go to resorts in this part of the world, they are usually lousy with Britons, who have both the vacation time and the exchange rate to really enjoy them. So we made lots of friends, as one does when one starts drinking rum at 9 a.m. every day, and one day I was talking to a bunch of women who were all discussing this incredible new book. This book had not yet been published in the United States, but would soon be and they couldn’t recommend it enough. Apparently it was going to change my life.
So a week later I am at home and get the email that the next book club pick is mine, and coincidentally the book I had heard about was being released the next week. I had still heard zero American about the book so I took a chance and picked it for my brainy, wonderful, open minded book club friends. I am hideously sorry to tell you that the name of that book was Fifty Shades of Grey and I will never in a million years live this down. This was my most vehement DNF – I only got through about 20% of the book (Kindle has made page numbers obsolete) before I stopped reading and apologized to everyone in my book club and prayed that they wouldn’t reconsider my membership. They didn’t. In fact, every one of them finished it and some of them went on to the next books in that series, which was… interesting. And to be clear, I was not offended by the sexuality in the book, merely by the grammar and spelling.
Other books in the DNF realm for me:
The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
A Window Opens by Elizabeth Egan
I know that people loved Twilight, I really do. I just don’t understand why. It’s possible that I hate Twilight so much because I went into a very real depression after reading the last Harry Potter book and a friend who I otherwise really trust told me that Twilight was a good way to cheer me up. It’s also possible that Twilight is just a terrible book.
How do you feel about not finishing a book? What are some other famous DNFs?
Upcoming reviews: The Wangs vs. the World and The Trespasser. Reading both now, they are the opposite of DNF so I’m taking my time.