So far, this has been a week of firsts for me: I successfully parallel parked between two vehicles (and freaked my mom out in the process), I donated blood, and I marked a book as “DNF.” Guess which one I was the most proud of? Yup, the DNF.
For some reason, I always had to finish a book. I would struggle through books that couldn’t hold my interest in the off chance that they would get better, especially if they were books that everyone else seemed to love. And I didn’t stop there. If the book had a sequel – or even five – I’d always end up reading it, even though I didn’t enjoy the first one, because something amazing could happen and I didn’t want to miss out on it.
It wasn’t until I attempted to read Fifty Shades of Grey that I was cured of this compulsion. I struggled through the opening chapter and by the time I made it through ~100 pages, I knew that I couldn’t finish the book. Without a second thought, I created a “DNF” shelf on Goodreads, added Fifty Shades to it, and picked up another book. And you know what? It felt good. There was no guilt, no shame, and no burning desire to find out what happened next. No one judged me for marking it unfinished and, most importantly, the world didn’t come to an end.
This experience made me rethink my reading process. I’m no longer going to force myself to finish a book that I’m not enjoying; I’ll give it ~100 pages and if I know that it isn’t suddenly going to grasp my attention, I’m going to set it aside. After all, life’s too short to struggle through bad books!