Changing My Ways

October 4, 2020

Until recently, D, N, and F were 3 letters that could not be applied to me and my reading. They stand for Did Not Finish, and I always finish a book. Or at least, I used to.

Authors put so much time and effort into writing a book. By doing so, they’re in effect putting a piece of their soul out there for everyone to judge. Now that I’ve been publishing for a few years, I know more than ever just how much time and effort goes into a good story, as well as how hard it is to put yourself out there like that.

But not every book is going to cut it for every reader. It’s just a fact.

Oftentimes, I made excuses out of empathy. I mean, I’m not perfect. Far from it. I tend to write in regional vernacular that might not be grammatically correct but fits the story and the characters. And, despite dozens of passes, multiple editors, proofers and ARC readers, some oopses still manage to make it through. So I get it. I really do.

But here’s the thing. The last few months have been rough. Lots of things have come up that require my attention, and as a result, my me-time has been slashed to a mere fraction of what it was.

Translation: I am no longer willing to waste my über-valuable reading time with excuses and maybes. If I can only squeeze in one book this week, it’s going to be a book that I enjoy reading.

There could be plenty of reasons why a book isn’t doing it for me. Maybe it’s poorly written. Maybe it’s filled with mistakes. Maybe I’m just not in the proper mood or frame of mind for it at that particular moment.

It doesn’t matter. If I’m not liking it, I’m not going to keep reading it.

I’m not going to badmouth anyone. I’m not going to write a bad review. What I am going to do is quietly put the book down and move on to something that’s going make the most of my limited me time.

Do I feel guilty about it? Yeah, a little. But life (and reading time) is too short to do anything else. And honestly, I feel empowered just saying that. Go me 🙂

How about you? If you’re not digging a book, do you DNF or power thru?

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LuJuna Brown

I try my best to finish although there have been some that I just couldn’t. This, for me, mostly happens when I choose to listen to the book instead of reading for myself. A lot of the time I make the choice to listen over reading because I need to be accomplishing another task at the same time. The problem I find with this method is with the narration/narrator. I have found certain voices, and their emphasis or pronunciation of certain words and tones, play a humongous part in this. The author can write a wonderful story and have it told by the wrong narrator, and that kills the story.

I also don’t like to write a bad review, especially when it involves one of my “go-to” authors, but I also want them to know that I’ve spent my hard-earned money to buy their book and I’m looking to receive their best. We all can’t be satisfied all the time and I also understand that, but I want them to always give their best. Just from reading your post above, I know you have come across some that didn’t give their best. I feel very loyal to my favorite authors and will forgo buying from an author I don’t know in order to keep current with a fav so I want the best job they can do. Make sense?

I think I’ve occupied a lot of your time with this post. I just feel you’re one of the writers that get it. I’ll say this again…I have so much respect for you and a few others for taking your valuable time to interact with your fan base. It’s so very special and I love you for it! Thanks Abbie!!!!

Lisa Kendall

Seldom, but I have once or twice…I will skim if it gets bad.

Doris Murphy

I used to struggle through thinking it will get better….. but now I just put it down and look for something else to read. There is no need to run out and give the book a bad review just because I didn’t like it. Maybe it was your favorite book today, just not mine. If the book has really bad grammar, punctuation and misspelled words (and I have seen several of those) I don’t think I should give public criticism. I email the author with my critique.. stating the facts and that I could not continue to read the book.

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