I feel like, at leats once a year, I write a blog post about DNF-ing a book. In the past, I have been open about struggling to quit a book/audiobook/eBook since I have become a book blogger (if you want to call me that).
I feel that, in recent years, I have got a hell of a lot better quitting stories that don’t grip/excite or bring joy to my reading pleasure. Whether that would be within this first 10-15% of the story or, in one case, a good 75ish% in. If there is a gif to describe my attitude, it would a “thank u, next” kinda situation.
As many of us book bloggers have said in one form or another, life’s too short!
Sometimes, I would chat about why I DNF’ed a story. Sometimes, it would spark a conversation I want to discuss or rant over. Otherwise, I just want to explain myself as the story I am DNF-ing is such a big book in blogsphere.
But this time… things are a little different.
Allow me to explain. The title I am talking about is Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo. And I have read this once before, back in 2011 when, for some unknown reason, the UK publisher decided to call it The Gathering Dark.
I read it back then as I was still young and new to book blogger and I wanted to read everything publishers gifted me as I wanted them to like me (I had a big fear back then that if I wrote a bad or negative review, they would remove me from their blogger list and blacklist me. I wish I can go back to younger blog me and tell him that this would never happen). And I read it. I did struggle, but I did read it. And it was ok. Not awful, but not wonderful - it was just ok to me. Making me an odd creature as nearly everyone else who read it loved it.
Fast forward to now and, with Leigh’s upcoming adult novel, Ninth House, coming out at the end of the year, I kinda wanted to reread this. Just in case my opinions of it have changed. So, when I did a Goodreads poll to decide what I should read next, Shadow and Bone won (I honestly thought Poison Study by Maria V Synder was going to win). So I started to read… and I fell into The Trap.
I thought it was ok, but soon realised that my opinions on the story hadn’t changed. And I kept going “Maybe if I read one more chapter, maybe my opinion will changed”. So I kept pushing myself a little further, just in case…
Till, at 37% of the book, I just went “I’m done.” and popped it on my DNF shelf on Goodreads. And I feel better over doing this. Basically, I didn’t trust my gut when it first went “You’re not enjoying this, you should stop”.
You see, opinions and tastes change. That’s fine. And sometimes, rereading a book is a good thing because, if your opinions change or not, at least you know and you can move forward knowing yourself a little better. But you know yourself. If your gut is saying “Nope” to whatever you are reading, it is ok to hold fire on reading.
So yes, this is another DNF post. And yes, I DNFed something else. And you know what… I’m not going to feel guilty about doing this now. I want to read things that make me happy and if I have to DNF some stories along the way, so be it!