How do You Read?

I’ve been pondering this question for the last week or so as I face a challenging read.

When it comes to books, I’m a completionist. I’m pretty sure I could count on one hand the number of books on my DNF (did not finish) pile. No matter how much I might be tempted as I go, I always hold out hope that the end will be worth the rest – that I’ll come across the one sentence that makes the novel worth reading. I know how hard authors work to make their voices heard, and, as one among the ranks, I feel I owe it to them to listen.

But how far does/should that go? Pleasure reading is supposed to be a relaxing escape. Whether it’s to learn something new, or experience a new world/group of characters, where does the line fall in whether it’s worth continuing?

In this situation, I’m focusing on the positive qualities of the book and will see it through to the end, but I’m curious about other readers and how you decide when enough is enough and it’s time to move on. By a certain page number? After catching a certain number of errors or cliches?

What’s your DNF threshold?

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8 comments

  1. I find it hard to give up on a book too. Even ones where I’m annoyed with the story, I keep going with the hope that it improves. I can only remember 2 (non-school assigned) books that I gave up on. One was 2 pages in and I simply felt I wasn’t reading anything new. The other had so many fictional words and pronunciations that I couldn’t get through a page without flipping to the language guide at least 3 times. Those were rather extreme.

    1. Ohh yes – I’m wary of any book with a language/pronunciation guide even before I begin. Having to pause and double check every third page takes me out of the story. But it’s always painful to put it aside.

      1. Good point. I barely remember his languages causing a problem. They tended to be in songs, poems, or when one race didn’t want another to know what they’re talking about.

      2. I think that’s how it should be used. At most, otherwise, the odd word now and again to throw in culture – but only when context makes it easy to interpret. But as with all things, it’s all down to how it’s done.

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