DNF – The Scourge of Reviewers Everywhere

DNF (Did Not Finish)

Small scream
Small scream (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Those three letters seem innocuous enough on their own but the meaning behind them is enough to send we reviewers scurrying for cover lest it’s catching, much like the dreaded and equally frustrating “writer’s block”. It may not seem like that big a deal not to finish a book but to a book lover as most reviewers are it is very distressing.

Now that I am a “professional reader” (isn’t that the best job title ever?) I do not lightly abandon a book. I feel I have a responsibility particularly if the book is an ARC to endeavor to give the story my best effort if I am going to evaluate it but unlike hardy souls out there I have given up. A seasoned blogger’s comment resonated with me, she stated that forcing yourself to finish a book that you just hated was akin to torture. I believe she saved me countless hours of pain and I cannot express how grateful I was to have read her thoughts.

By extension I believe a DNF rating is the lowest rating that I can give I have read some spectacularly awful books yet was somehow compelled to finish them, Love Unrehearsed to name one. Despite being unilaterally disgusted with the characters and the absurdities of the plot I had to see it through to it’s spectacularly overwrought ending. As contrived as the story was it was so unrepentantly bad that it was almost good…it wasn’t except in perhaps the loosest “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” type of way but you get my drift. Perhaps it is a failure on my part when I cannot finish a book but perhaps it is just part of the modern day bloggers life?

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2 thoughts on “DNF – The Scourge of Reviewers Everywhere”

  1. I don’t think DNFs should necessarily mean a book was awful, just that it wasn’t for that reader. Why waste time on a book that pushes your pet peeve buttons (something someone else might not be bothered by) or reading a pirate stories when pirate stories leave you flat. Unfortunately, the meaning of the DNF is not a universal given so I too avoid them like plague. 😉

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