Two years ago, I was adamant that I finish every book I read. That’s why I used read: to learn the ending of the story. I typically enjoyed the books I was reading, but at the same time, I don’t think I knew any better. That’s not to say I couldn’t tell a good book from a bad book, but I know now that my tastes were less discerning.
The other day, I DNF’d a book, for the second time ever. For the record, it was Wasteland by Susan Kim and this is not going to be a review or DNF report about why I didn’t finish it. But let’s just say, I wasn’t enjoying it. The synopsis itself struck me as strange and maybe too weird for me, but I decided to take a chance on it anyway, because you never know where you might find your next favorite book.
I feel especially guilty marking ARCs as DNF. There’s a certain obligation to the publisher to give an honest review of a book, and how can you do that if you do not finish it? It’s something I struggled with while deciding if I wanted to keep reading Wasteland. Should I continue because I feel like I owe the publisher a review for giving this book to me for free?
The answer I came to was, no. In fact, I’m doing the publisher just as much a service by marking it as Did Not Finish and explaining why I was unable to complete the story. The bottom line is, I read for fun and nothing else, so if I’m not enjoying the story even a little bit, even enough to mark it one star, I shouldn’t be reading it. The publisher deserves to know why I didn’t finish it and that’s all. Not every book is for every person and I need to remember that this is okay.
The final thought that made me decide to DNF Wasteland wasn’t even that I wasn’t enjoying it. I thought of all the other books I could be enjoying and that potential was enough to push me over the edge and put it down. It’s better for me, publishers and authors to spend my time on books I’m going to enjoy, rather than books I already know I’m disliking.