To DNF or Not to DNF

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. Our TBR piles are huge and we only get a finite number of minutes on this earth. None of us know how many that is so we do our best to do all the things we want to do before we die.

I used to not DNF books. I used to trudge through even the most boring of books because I didn’t really know I didn’t have to finish the book. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. It’s only been in the last five or six years that I’ve started to DNF books if I can’t get into them.

My question, though, is when is it okay to DNF a book? What if you DNF a hidden gem that just takes a little longer than other books get into. For example, last year, my book read All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry. I read the first 20% and I was interested, but not really that much. I almost gave up on it, but I decided to give it 5% more before I did. It was during those 5% that I really started enjoying the story. If I had DNFd it like I was considering to, I would’ve lost out on a really good book (yes, yes, I know you disagree, Jenny and Kami).

But, then there are those books that you hope will get better and they never do you and you feel like you wasted your entire life on them. So, I ask again, when is it okay to DNF a book? How long do you give a book before you give up on it? Are there certain criteria that you look for before you give up? Or, is it just a matter of not feeling it at that particular moment in time?

Kindle Woes

I ❤ my Kindle, like seriously love it. I love that I can take it everywhere with me and I practically have my whole library at my disposal. I also love checking out books from my library. Call me lazy if you want, but I never have to leave my house again when checking out books with my Kindle (or buying books for that matter). It’s a dream come true.

You’re probably asking yourself why the title is Kindle Woes if all I’m doing is praising my Kindle. Am I right? Well, I did something stupid the other day and I’m sure it will happen again. It’s just the nature of owning a Kindle. It’s not the Kindle’s fault, but it’s still a woe.

I wanted to check out A Wrinkle in Time so I could read it before the movie release. The problem is there are 100+ other people who had the same idea. I decided to just buy the Kindle edition rather than waiting in line so to speak since it was only $7.00ish. The funny thing is I forgot I bought it. I thought I had it checked out and time was running out. When I went into Barnes & Noble in San Francisco, I decided to buy, that’s right, a paperback version of A Wrinkle in Time so now I have two copies! #epicfail

I wish I could return the Kindle version because, truth be told, I’d rather keep the paperback version now that I own it so it can sit on my shelf in my library. It’s not like I don’t have two copies of other books. I mean I have seven copies of Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone, but that’s different. It’s my most favorite series. I’ve never read A Wrinkle in Time. What if I hate it? What am I going to do with two copies?! 😫

What would you do? Would you just keep both copies so you have one for your physical library? (That’s what Corey’s telling me to do.) Or, would you return the paperback edition since that’s the only edition you can actually return? I know this isn’t a big deal, but it’s causing me huge Kindlexiety. 😂

Reading Style

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I seem to be reading books at a pretty fast pace. Well, a fast pace for me, anyway. It’s working out to be about one book per week, except last week I finished two. 😁

When I read, I usually only read one book at a time. Every once in a while, I might read two. This usually only happens if I’m participating in a readalong or if I’m trying to get through a book for book club and I’m not particularly enjoying it. In both cases, I’m pacing myself and restricting the number of pages I read at one time.

I like to read only one book at a time is because I like to be immersed in that world. I don’t like jumping from one world to another if I can help it. It’s too jarring. I want the full experience. I want to think about those characters and that world for as long as possible, especially if it’s a book I love.

Do you read one book at a time? Or, do you read multiple books at a time? Why?

Book Hangovers

I don’t often binge-read unless it’s the weekend. I can’t function if I don’t get enough sleep. And, since I’m already sleep deprived for other reasons (e.g. being overweight, too hot, too cold, uncomfortable), I try to be responsible and go to bed at a decent hour. It doesn’t always happen, though, and then I suffer from definition two.

I do, however, have a hard time starting a new book after finishing a book that really moves or engages me. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I feel like anything I pick up will be lackluster compared to the book I just finished. Unfortunately, this hasn’t happened to me for a while. I didn’t have any new 5-star reads last year, although two of them were very close: What Alice Forgot and Furiously Happy.

I feel like I need a book hangover book to read. I hope Ready Player One, the book I’m reading now, will be that type of read for me. It seems like it’s right up my alley. YA, games, puzzles, dystopia, race, suspense, etc. What’s not to love, right? The only thing missing, it seems, is the romance. 😂 Except, there might be a hint of that too. If I don’t end up liking it or it’s only just so so, I need suggestions. I need a 5-star read. I want to start off this year with a bang. Any suggestions?

Do you get book hangovers often? If so, do you fall into the first or second definition? Or both? If you’ve fallen into definition one, which book(s) has caused the hangover?

Finding Time to Read

I won’t lie. I think about reading a lot. I especially think about how much time I have to read each day. I mean if I ever want to read 50 books in a year, I have to. I also think about how much time I don’t have to read. Normally, I have about an hour or two each day, sometimes more if it’s a slow day at work. How much time do you usually have to read each day?

I’m not a fast reader so it takes me a while to get through a book. If I’m immersed and it’s an easy read, I can usually finish the book in 6 to 8 hours. Usually, it takes me 12 hours of actual reading time to get through a 300-page novel. Add more time if it’s a more difficult book.

I’ve realized I waste most of the time I could be reading. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I do have a few shows I watch religiously. Fortunately, their off seasons stagger. Otherwise, I’d be watching TV a lot more than I do. Thankfully, it’s not much of a distraction.

The real distraction is my phone. Once I’m in my recliner, bathtub, or sitting on my bed, getting read to read, I’ve noticed that I check Facebook and Twitter for signs of life. If there aren’t any, I’ll usually aimlessly surf the Internet or play a game. I have no idea why I do this, especially when I know I want to read. All I know is I need to break this habit stat.

I’ve taken the first step. I’ve determined that it wastes my time. My phone is my main time waster, but my computer and TV are on the list too, just lower. What are yours (if you have any)? Now I need to take the second step and not let these things waste my time.

Other than frivolous time wasters, responsibility takes a lot of my time too. I work full-time (until March 2 🎉), I have a husband I shouldn’t ignore, and I’m starting to be more active in my church again. There are all the household things to keep up with. I don’t have kids, so that’s a non-issue. But, there are other things I want to do besides read too, like go to the gym, go back to school in the fall, binge watch a few Netflix shows, and volunteer at my local library after my last day of work. I’m not sure how to get around these other things in life without disregarding them in favor of reading. How do you keep up with your responsibilities and still find the time to read?

Some of you may suggest audio books, but I’m not an audio book person. First, I don’t think they count as reading. I know it’s weird; it’s just the way I feel. Second, and more importantly, I can’t concentrate when I listen to audio books. I think the only way I’ll ever embrace audio books is if I lose my eyesight. *knocks on wood* There’s got to be other ways to get more reading in without audio books.

I think the key is balance and prioritization. I just need to figure out how. How do you prioritize your time? We all have 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week, but it seems that some have found better ways to prioritize/manage that time than I have.