I hate saying that I didn’t finish a book, but the thing is, life is just too short to waste time reading a book you’re not enjoying. For some people, this is real easy to do. Then there are others – myself included – who feel as though they have to give the book a fair shot and read it all the way through, even if they’re absolutely hating it. But I’m working on that and now I’m just giving myself a certain percentage of the book to read before I decide to toss it in the DNF pile.
It’s nothing against the author when a reader doesn’t finish the book. In fact, the book is probably very good; it’s just not for that particular reader. The story line just might not be what we thought or there might be content that we didn’t realize would be in there that we’re not comfortable reading. For me, it’s usually that the story isn’t gripping me or I find that I don’t care much for the characters.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t some books that are just a hot mess and we wonder why it was even published, but those are (thankfully) far and few between. So as I mentioned before, it’s more that I’m just interested in the story or characters.
It wasn’t until later on this year that there were some books that I found I wasn’t invested in. Otherwise, I’ve had a pretty good year of reading.
Now let’s take a look at the books I was actually able to quit reading.
BOOKS I DNF’D – 2019
Paper Covers Rock
I was disappointed that I had to DNF this book, as it is less than 200 pages. You’d think it would be easy to blast right through it. Maybe for some people, it was. However, this was one of those times that I found myself unable to connect with the main character. It was definitely written in an interesting way, and it dealt with a great issue – a teen feeling guilty over the death of his friend – but again, I just didn’t connect with Alex and I did not like his other friend in the story.
Twelve Angry Librarians
A murder-mystery involving librarians? You’d think this would be right up my alley! And for the first few chapters, it was going okay. But somewhere along the line it just grew tedious to read and I wasn’t as invested in either the story or the characters as I’d hoped to be. It could be because the characters are much older than I am and have more library experience, so I naturally didn’t connect with them. But there was just something that made me lose interest after a few chapters. I honestly wanted to try to push through and finish this book, but I just couldn’t. It wasn’t a book that I looked forward to continue reading, and I think that’s when we know that you just have to stop.
With all the different books that take a fictionalized look at school shootings, I thought this one might be interesting because it was after the tragedy happened and it takes a look from different people’s points of view on the shooter throughout his life. They try to capture events that look into why he ended up doing something like this and if he showed any signs beforehand that could’ve been a warning. The first few chapters/POV’s were good, but then others lost me and I just wasn’t as interested as I was initially.
I really enjoyed Choi’s first novel, Emergency Contact, so I figured I would like this one as well. However, I found myself getting a little bored while reading it. I wasn’t all that invested in Pablo’s story nor did I care too much for him. He was a bit funny in his narration, but just in general, I found myself skimming and trying to see how much longer before the chapter was over. I’m not 100% sure why I didn’t get into this story, but maybe the timing was just off? There is a chance I’ll try to read this book again, but not anytime soon.
The Invisible Library
This has been on my TBR for a few years now, so I finally decided to give it a shot, but nope. I couldn’t get into it. It’s not that it seems like it’s bad, in fact it’s the opposite. It seems like a good story. It’s just also a fantasy book and I’m not quite in the right mood to read a fantasy novel at the moment. With the exception of Harry Potter, I really have to be in the mood to read fantasy or even science fiction. So this is a book I will definitely try to read again, but for now it’s just not the right time.
Five books probably isn’t that bad to throw in the DNF pile for a year, but I still feel bad. They were all books I really wanted to read (though to be fair I plan to give two of them another shot eventually) so it’s always disappointing when you don’t like a book or just cannot get into it.
What are some books you’ve DNF’d this year?