While it is purely a personal choice, I don’t post ‘Did Not Finish’ (DNF) reviews on this blog. In fact, I don’t even classify a DNF book as being ‘read’ by myself nor do I mark it as such on my Goodreads shelves. Quite simply, if I ‘did not finish’ a book, I did not ‘read’ it.
I wanted to explain my thoughts on this, as I see a lot of DNF reviews on other blogs.
There are a lot of factors that come into it and I understand all of them being a fellow reader and blogger. Most often a ‘DNF’ book will make itself known a few chapters in. Sometimes the writing-style is not to your tastes or perhaps it is too similar to a book you’ve already read. Quite often I find that I go into a book and find that it’s actually targeted for a younger audience – sometimes I can deal with it, but sometimes I can’t.
I do not think it is then fair to go and write a review about a book where you only read a handful of chapters. What if the book had improved immensely? Sure, it may not have made up for the dud start but wouldn’t it make for a more interesting review if you had stuck it out?
In essence, a review is a culmination of your thoughts about a finished piece of work. Would you review an excerpt of a book?
On the flipside, some readers decide not to finish a book when they’re almost near the end. I struggle a bit more to understand this – you’re almost at the finish line, surely you can stick out a few more chapters for the sake of an honest review? Still, to each their own.
What bugs me the most about ‘DNF’ reviews, however, is that they can become ‘lazy reviews’. I feel that bloggers – particularly newer ones – write these reviews in order to quickly add more posts to their blog. Quantity isn’t necessarily quality, remember.
With that being said, some ‘DNF’ reviews are actually quite insightful and interesting. I actually enjoy having a peek at what made the book so unfinishable.
As I mentioned, it is purely a personal choice whether or not you decide to include them in your own blog. I firmly believe, however, that if you are going to go ahead and post a ‘DNF’ review, you must state it as such – don’t claim to have read the entire thing.