"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Monday, April 29, 2024

TTT: Petty Reasons I DNF Some Books

Top Ten Tuesday: Petty Reasons I Did Not Finish (DNF) Some Books

  1. Cybils Judging -- This is actually not a petty reason for not finishing a book and the vast majority of the books I didn't finish fall into this category. As a Cybils judge we are sometimes expected to read over 200 books in 6-8 weeks. I don't read that many books in a year usually so it is impossible to judge all the books by reading every word. Usually I will read at least 50-100 pages, enough to get a good idea of writing and the subject/plot before setting it aside and moving on. Example: Tiger, Tiger Burning Bright: An Animal Poem for Each Day of the Year edited by Fiona Waters. I actually love this huge, tome of a poetry book and hope to finish it someday but I had to leave off with the March or April poems because I had so many other books to read.
  2. Self-Published -- I actually hate reading self-published books so I have to be tricked into reading them by the authors themselves or my mother's needling, if it is one of her friend's books. Example: Civil Rights Lawyers in the South: The Untold Story by Lawrence Aschenbrenner. 
  3. Short Story Collections Where Two or More Stories Don't Capture My Imagination -- I actually like reading short stories. I know a lot of people don't. But if a collection has several stories in the beginning which don't capture my imagination, I will usually set it aside. Example: Uncommon Type: Stories by Tom Hanks.
  4. Nonfiction Books Where I've Read the YA or Adult Version Already -- Sometimes I find myself being asked to read the YA version of an adult nonfiction book I've already read or the exact opposite, and I find I usually can't muster the effort to read the opposite version, no matter how well written. This just happened to me with Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Kimmerer. I read the YA version (the whole thing) for Cybils then couldn't make myself read the adult version for book club.
  5. Library Due Date Looming -- I like to use public libraries for my reading material but sometimes I just can't finish books before the due dates. If I am close to finishing a print book, I may decide to pay the fine in order to complete i before turning it int. But if it is an e-book or audiobook, those guys just return themselves without a goodbye. Then I have to remember to get the book back and sometimes I don't bother. Example: White Teeth by Zadie Smith.
  6. The Font is Too Small -- This is probably the most petty of all petty reasons. But sometimes I find the font in books, especially in some graphic novels, too small or the lettering too odd and I just don't feel like struggling to read the words. Example: Malcolm X: A Graphic Biography by Andrew Helfer.
  7. Gratuitous Swearing or Anger -- I don't mind some swearing or violence in books. I'm not a prude. But if a book is full of a gratuitous level of either I will likely set the book aside, or actually fling the book away from me. Example: A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess.
  8. Gratuitous or Overly Descriptive Sex -- I made up my mind long ago that since I feel uncomfortable reading graphic descriptions of the sex act in books I can set the books aside and not finish them if I want. Example: Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong
  9. Outdated Nonfiction Topics -- I find that a lot of my nonfiction reading selections relate to what is happening now, like in politics. If I delay reading them I may find them no longer relevant and will abandon them mid-book or before. Example: Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin's War on America and the Election of Donald Trump by Michael Isakoff. This is not actually outdated since the upcoming trial with Jack Smith will be partly on this topic, but at the time I finally picked it up I was done thinking about it.
  10. Poorly written/Boring/Not for Me -- One would think that this category would be the main reason I don't finish books but not so. Once started I usually finish books, but I may moan and groan along the way. However, sometimes I just can't make myself finish due to poor writing or the topic. This was especially true during the COVID-19 lockdowns. I tossed books aside left and right that year.  Example: Scout's Honor by Lily Anderson... a YA book about monster catchers. Topic not for me.
How about you? Why do you not finish books you've started?


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