There’s been some hot debate over whether or not it’s a mortal sin to put down a book before you’re finished reading it: The Atlantic commands its audience to finish the damn thing or risk missing an excellent ending; conversely, The Guardian talks up the simple joy of dropping a boring read, akin to the instant high of cancelling plans.
Personally, I am firmly in camp DNF (Did Not Finish). Is this because I have many unfinished books, tragically abandoned on nightstands and bathroom radiators and don’t want to be called out? Okay, maybe. Or is it, perhaps, because I prefer not to waste my time if it seems the author may start comparing a woman’s ass to the rump of a mountain sheep? Though I admit it’s often the latter, here are the seven types of books you never manage to get through.
1. THE CUCKOLD
So you’ve brought a new, more attractive book into bed. They say not to judge a book by its cover, but that didn’t stop you from abandoning your-tried-and-true for a flashier release. And to think, you’d only known each other for the five minutes you spent casually perusing the bookstore. You weren’t really looking for anything, but hey—sometimes, attraction just happens. Now you’ve relegated your Goodreads currently-reading to the nightstand. Soon, it’ll be separate bedrooms.
2. The recommendation
Maybe when you say, ‘cool, I’ll check it out,’ you’re just being polite. But how polite is it really when your friend takes you up on your indirect offer… and actually lends you the book? Maybe if you tell your friend you liked it, they’ll leave you alone. But chances are what they’ll actually do is ask you a stream of questions that you won’t be able to answer. You can’t give it back until you’ve read it—but since you aren’t going to read it, you can never give it back. This is one reason why you might DNF a book, but, as a bonus, it’s also a reason why you might be a bad person.
3. The dinner party icebreaker
If an elitist has read Infinite Jest and never mentions it… did he even read it at all? The answer is probably no—tbh, even if he does mention it. To be fair, it’s not always a matter of pretentiousness; sometimes we purchase books we know we SHOULD read even if we aren’t all that interested in reading them. But hey, why read a book you’re uninterested in just to drop references at your dinner party? It’s possible your guests won’t get the reference, either.
4. THE BLUNT FORCE MURDER WEAPON
I like big books and I cannot lie… about finishing these clunkers every single time. (Note: ‘clunker’ is really not the most appropriate adjective to describe War and Peace. That doesn’t make it less accurate.) This brand of DNFing is frequently a case of right book, wrong time: when you get extremely busy, it’s easy to leave off and forget your place. If the book is 700 pages long, it may be a hell of a lot harder to find it again.
5. THE ANATOMICALLY INACCURATE
Next time I go to buy underwear, I’ll be sure to ask the salesperson how to stop my pointed breasts from joggling so tautly. Many male writers are also experts on things like periods (three days long) and voluptuous asscheeks (spinning like pinwheels at the slightest provocation). Experts advise to write what you know… in which case, I’ll have to recommend some authors stop writing about women’s bodies.
6. THE Library Book
The children’s TV show Arthur was telling the truth: “having fun isn’t hard—when you’ve got a library card.” But it’s just as easy to neglect your rental until just a few days before the return date… of your third renewal. You might think that this time, you’ll put down a book you currently own in favor of a book you’ll have to give back. But you know what they call a mistake you make twice: a choice.
7. Whatever the hell this is
Featured Image Via Confessions of a Book Addict.