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Engaging Methuen Readers

Bookish Confessions: The DNF

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Hundreds of thousands of new book titles are published each year in the United States alone.  That’s right, hundreds of thousands.  The increasing ease at which authors can now self-publish digital books is sure to make this figure skyrocket even higher into the stratosphere.  It is physically impossible to read them all – even if I just choose the ones that appeal to me.  So why have I insisted on reading every book I pick up through to the end, even if I am completely hating the experience? I really love to read.  It is my escape, my relaxation, my peace.  And I tend to read a lot.  But it took me far too long to accept the fact that I do not actually have to finish every book I start.  I am not signing any sort of contract at the beginning of a book that states my commitment to finish it.  So if I am not finding it enjoyable, and it is threatening my relaxation or peace – I have finally become okay with calling it a “DNF” or “Did Not Finish”.  And it is freeing.

17846 I think the hardest part about being okay with this is when it happens that you DNF a book that your friend/family member/book club member loved.  I have found this to be the case a few times, but most notably when I just had to DNF Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth.  I especially did not like any of the characters and got to the point where I wondered what they could possibly do to better this reading experience for me…  and I couldn’t come up with anything remotely realistic.  I just didn’t care about them, the world they were in, nothing.  Well, I tried to explain this to a few of my classic-loving friends and they were having none of it.  They insisted that if I kept going or tried it again it would be worth it.  To which I thought, for whom?  I appreciated their attempts at trying to sell this book to me, but I still feel much better about labeling it a DNF.  Maybe someday far in the future, I’ll try it again… but I’m not holding my breath.

So, my Bookish Confession for today is:  I am a librarian and I do not finish every book I start.  And that’s okay. Whew.  Anything bookish you’d like to confess?

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Author: Sarah

Hi! I am The Head of Reader Services at Nevins Library! I love to read and talk about books. I'll read just about anything, so there's plenty to talk about.

3 thoughts on “Bookish Confessions: The DNF

  1. I used to finish EVERYTHING, but then I realized there were too many books and too little time. Latest DNF? Razorhurst by Larbalestier. I wanted to get in it . . . but just couldn’t. I’m pretty sure I read Ms. Marvel Vol. 2 instead….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Learning that it’s okay to DNF is new to me as well though I admit I still feel like I failed when I do it.

    Like

  3. Stacy – I feel like we’ve got to turn that around, and realize that the book failed, not the reader!

    Like

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