To finish or not finish? This is a question we readers ask ourselves if we aren’t enjoying our current read. This is a tough position to be in. Often on bookstagram, you’ll see readers list a book as DNF, which means “did not finish.” Other readers complete every work they start. At the end of the day, those are our two options: To finish. Or to not finish.
As mentioned, some readers finish every book they pick up. The story might be 1500 pages of pure drudgery, but they power through from cover to cover. Other readers say why waste time on a book you aren’t enjoying? Those readers will mark that book as DNF and move on to whatever’s next on their TBR.
I see value in both sides, but from a strictly personal perspective, I finish every book I pick up. One reason I do this is out of respect for the author. If the author poured time and work into a story he felt worth sharing, I think the least I can do is read it. It might not be the right story for me, but I can still learn from it and appreciate it for what it is. I’m not saying marking a book as DNF is disrespectful to the author (after all, we have to be honest), but that’s just a personal guideline I’ve set for myself.
Another reason I finish my books is because I want to give the book a chance to win me over. Some books I’ve read were slow at first, but they got progressively better. By the time I reached the end, I was glad I’d picked up those books. If I’d marked them as DNF, I would have missed out on a story I ended up enjoying. Other books fall flat even after reading them cover to cover. When this happens, of course I wish things would have ended differently, but I’m still glad I finished.
Reading is never wasted time, even if the book isn’t one of my favorites. Yes, I could be spending that time with a book I’d enjoy more, but once I’ve started something, I want to complete it. That is why, in the question of “to finish or not finish,” my answer is always “finish.”