Today I’m going to be talking about how I feel about not finishing review copies. Reading is supposed to be enjoyable, so do you finish a book that you aren’t enjoying? What do you do? Make sure to comment below so we can talk about our opinions.
As a book reviewer a lot of times I have books that should be read my a certain date. When I receive Advanced Review Copies it is understood that I will review the book, hopefully right around the publication date. So a lot of my reading is dictated by publication dates. But as a reader I go through bookish phases, where sometimes all I want to read is fantasies or sometimes I will read mysteries and thrillers for an entire summer. There are times when I really don’t want to read a 500 page intricate fantasy, I want something lighter and more fast paced.
I am a mood reader.
I am a strong believer that you have to read the right book at the right time. If you are looking for a fast paced read, it can be the perfect time for a thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. If you’re on the edge of a reading slump it might not be the time to start a slow burn fantasy or historical fiction book. But sometimes publication dates force me to read books before I’m in the mood for them. There are many times when I start a book, but I’m just not feeling it so I set it aside. This happened several months ago with The Dragon Republic, and when I picked it up again later I wound up giving it 5 stars.
The issue with mood reading.
The only problem with mood reading is that I seem to go through long phases where I read the same genre. Last summer I seemed to exclusively read mysteries and thrillers, and this summer I seem to be on a fantasy kick. While it’s great to really dive into one genre, sometimes I can get really burnt out of reading the same types of books over and over again. If I read in order of publication it would probably force me to switch genres more often.
I set books aside rather than DNF (did not finish) them.
Most of the time I have requested a review copy because I know that I’m going to like it, so when it just isn’t catching my interest I set it aside for another time. But this winds up leading to a problem. Since I set it aside, I didn’t write a review for it. Sometimes the books that I set aside start piling up and I will get to a point where NONE of them look appealing. I try and give them a second chance, and a lot of times I will find one that catches my interest and wind up being glad that I gave it another chance.
Sometimes books are just not going to be for me.
As a book blogger I feel pressured to write a review for every ARC that I get, even if it’s dragging and I am really hating the book. Not only do I feel pressured to write a review, because honestly it’s no issue to write about a book you didn’t like, but I feel pressured to finish every book that I start. I don’t like writing a review for a book that I didn’t finish. What if it got better towards the end? I feel like I’m not qualified to write a review if I didn’t actually read the whole thing.
How do I avoid getting titles that I don’t actually want to finish?
A while back I did this in depth post called ‘What Makes a Great Book?’ I looked at all of my 5 star reviews and saw what they had in common. Now when picking out ARCs to request I try to stay true to my personal preferences, rather than pick up books purely based on hype. Since looking at my preferences I have actually found a lot more books that I really love. It has been super helpful for me.
Do I still read in order of publication date?
I actually don’t do this anymore. I have found that if I read what I want to read when I want to read it, I actually wind up reading more books because I’m enjoying the whole experience more. If I have an ARC that I’m really excited about, but it doesn’t come out until October, I’m going to read it, but just hold the review until closer to publication. When I read based on my mood rather than publication date I find that I not only read faster, but I enjoy reading more. While I do have the responsibility to read and review ARCs, I also want to enjoy the whole experience. If I start reading in order of publication date it can start to feel like a job.
I don’t always wind up reading the books I set aside before publication.
But I do still read and review them! I think it’s MORE important for me to enjoy the book and read it at the right time than to read it before publication. I do wind up reading most books before they are published, but if I miss one or two because it wasn’t the right time for me, I’m not going to sweat it. I think it’s a better plan than just writing DNF reviews for every book that I wind up setting aside.
What do you think? Do you DNF books or do you set them aside to read later? Are you a mood reader or can you jump into any book at any time? Do you think you enjoy reading more when you read in order of publication or if you mood read? When you DNF a book do you post the review on your blog?