Musing Mondays #7: DNFing

Posted December 23, 2013 in Discussion, Musing Mondays / 0 Comments

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Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it! 
• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!
My Musings:
Today I’ve got a pretty important- and new-to-me (but not to other bloggers and readers)- topic to discuss.

DNFing.

DNF is Did Not Finish. Basically, it’s quitting.

I have a problem with quitting.
I have quit so many things in the past. Swimming, 4 types of dance, Cross Country, Soccer, Gymnastics, Girl Scouts, violin, a harder level of piano (I’m still taking it, but at a much easier level because I’m lazy). And I’m on the verge of quitting art, but I have so much of an investment in it (basically, a whole room full of supplies I’ve bought but not used). And I still enjoy it. I just don’t have time anymore. I barely have time for anything but school and reading, hence all my activity on this blog. I hope it’s helping some people, or at least making them smile (:

And I used to not have a problem with quitting. If I didn’t like something, I just didn’t do it anymore. But now it’s more than that. It’s a pride issue. I’ve quit so much. I’ll just be a quitter for the rest of my life if I continue and I’ll never follow through with or finish anything. It’s hard to justify in my mind.

I know that’s probably not an issue with a lot of people. But it is with me. I’m trying to get better, to tell myself it’s okay to quit…..

Anyway, it hasn’t been much of a problem with books. If I hate them (and I rarely do), I just keep going, hoping they will somehow redeem themselves in the end. They don’t usually. And if they’re short, I can do it.

I can really only remember 2 things of mild importance that I’ve DNFed. ONE: Lord of the Rings. I know. I can hear some fandoms screaming. And guess what? I haven’t seen any of the movies straight through either (excepting The Hobbit. Does that count? And I want to see the new one as well). I’ve seen parts, but not in a continuous timeline (timelines- it’s a bit weird to refer to sequences of events, or chronology, as timelines, but it’s a habit I picked up from reading Homestuck). I always tell myself I will eventually. Just like I’ll finish reading the books. I have the 1,000 pages combination of the first three books with tons of lovely appendixes full of maps and languages and backgrounds etc. So it was a lot to tackle all at once. I got nearly through. Maybe halfway through the last book? But then I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I was bored, and the language was somewhat hard to get through. So I set it down. (I haven’t even attempted tackling my 1,000 page Chronicles of Narnia- I have the box set, and it’s so much easier to read them individually. What we really need is a 3,000 page Series of Unfortunate Events. How come no one has thought of that yet?)

TWO: Gone by Michael Grant. I just flat out did not enjoy it. At all. It was somewhat interesting at the beginning.  I got maybe 2/3 of the way. But then I just…I was like, I can’t do this anymore. It’s not fun, I’m not enjoying this, why am I still reading. And I really wanted to enjoy it. I wanted to be happy about this book. But I just COULD NOT DO IT. I know tons of other people really enjoyed it. But it just wasn’t for me. It even had a good premise. It was just done really poorly.

Well, the reason I’m bringing attention to DNFing and my failure (oops I mean quitting) issues today is because of a book I started earlier this week- Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. It’s an older book, and if I understand correctly, some school have to read it at some point? I’m not entirely sure. But it definitely could be. It’s somewhat like a classic. I can tell from the writing style, and the writer’s (or narrator’s) view on the subject matter. It’s set shortly after the Civil War, the Emancipation of the slaves. It’s a lot about the blacks trying to find a place in society alongside the whites. Or at least that’s what I’m getting so far- after the first 120 pages.
I’m not going to lie. The book is very interesting and I’m enjoying most of it. The pacing, however, is fickle. In some scenes, it will race along, and I won’t be able to put the book down. Things are happening left and right. In other scenes, I’m not even sure where the character is, who he’s talking to (or about), or if he’s dreaming or not. It’s very confusing. And that’s probably why I’m giving it a break.

Right. I’m not DNFing this one quite yet. I’m just taking it at a slower pace. Maybe…say, 120 pages a week. I think I can manage that. It’s 581 pages. You may wonder why I even started it. It’s not something I would normally pick up, no. But I received it from my grandma, who is a wonderful reader and tends to know what things I like. So I wanted to read this so I can discuss it with her when she arrives this week*. But I don’t think I’ll have it done by then. It’s quite a heavy read. Perhaps we can discuss it as I read.

I just hope I can pull through it. I hope I don’t DNF. That’s the goal. I read so much of what I want to read, but tend to neglect some of these things that are better for me. And lately, I’ve been doing a lot of that. Reading a lot of classics. I can’t even remember the last YA book I’ve read, or when I read it. I guess I deserve it. So while this season I’ll be spreading out my reading, as usual, between many genres, right now I’m going to switch tracks and find something fun. I deserve it. Reading should be fun, and reviewing should be about reading what you want, what makes you happy, and sharing it. I wasn’t having enough fun with Invisible Man, and now I’m giving it a break.

So what are your thoughts on DNFing? Share!

*Note: This post is scheduled. It was actually written on 12.18.13- last Wednesday. So I’ve had to change some tenses. The day this is scheduled to appear- I will be arriving back from New Orleans, and my grandma will be arriving later that day. Today, I guess. So keep in mind that I read the first 120 pages of the book last week.
Expect this a lot. I tend to write posts whenever I get inspiration, and then schedule them when I feel like it.

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