Thursday, November 6, 2014

DNF Books

Like a lot of readers, my TBR pile is insane, and it seems to only get bigger as I get older. I used to be able to whip through a book a day, but with kids, that doesn't happen anymore. No more curling up in a corner for hours. Now, it's constant interruptions - "Mom, braid my hair!" or "Mom, can I get on the computer?" - not to mention all the added responsibilities that suck away my free time.

Another thing that's changed? I'm a lot less tolerant on pushing my way through books that aren't working for me. It used to be I'd read it no matter what. Someone invested time in the book, so I owed it to them to see it through. I don't think that anymore. My time is too limited to waste it on books that I can see early on are going to annoy/bore/trigger me. I usually give a book a couple chapters to really hook me, and if I'm on the fence, I'll push through.

But my DNF pile has more books in it than it ever did before. And I seem to have a hit a slew of them recently.

The most recent one was a title called "The Yummy Mummy." It got great reviews, it's British humorous women's fiction, and it uses new motherhood as a platform. It seemed like a perfect fit.

It wasn't. I gave up after four chapters. I hated the narrator. That's not an exaggeration. Where other readers seemed to either find her funny or could identify with her, I found her self-centeredness attitude toward her child and the way she treated her partner absolutely appalling. I'm all for unlikable narrators - hell, I've written a few - but then the story needs to compensate in other ways. This one didn't.

I give up on books for other reasons, too. For instance, too many mistakes drives me absolutely bonkers. If I find more than a couple in the first chapter, forget it. It shows a lack of care for detail which I don't think is excusable.

So I'm curious. What makes you put a book down?