It’s been a while since I’ve written a discussion post on my blog and this is something that’s been on my mind for a long time now so I decided it was time to talk about it. At the end of the year I requested an ARC via Netgalley that I was convinced I was going to love. It was a genre I had regularly started reading and was full of topics and themes that interest me. It was even a collection of short stories, which I haven’t really read before, so I was excited for this new and interesting journey into fiction for me. I pushed myself to read over half of the book and consequently into one of my biggest reading slumps I’d ever experiences. I found myself avoiding the book and dreading having to read. Eventually I decided not to finish the book and it became one of the only books on my DNF pile (or my Did Not Finish pile, if you’re not sure what that meant). I’d convinced myself I would continue it eventually but 2017 soon passed and I greeted 2018 enthusiastically. Yet I still haven’t finished the book. So, am I a bad blogger?
Why is finishing an ARC important?
When I requested this ARC on Netgalley I knew I was entering an agreement; I would receive an eARC in exchange for an honest review. Requesting an Advanced Readers Copy of any book is such a big responsibility. Once you’ve pressed the request button and been approved you are agreeing to provide a review that gives feedback to authors and publishers. It felt mandatory to finish the book in order to do this so I was completely terrified when I realised I would never be finishing the book. DNF’ing this ARC soon began to make me feel like a failure as a blogger. I felt like I wasn’t a good enough reader and like I was letting lots of people down. I was set a job that I just couldn’t finish, despite trying my hardest. But should we force ourselves to read a book that just isn’t working for us?
Why did I decide to DNF the ARC?
Deciding not to finish any book is a difficult decision we can debate for a long time, but deciding to DNF and ARC was even harder. To make it worse, the book wasn’t necessarily bad, it just wasn’t for me. Right from the start I struggled to immerse myself into the first story in the collection, which made it inevitably difficult to enjoy every other tale. The writing wasn’t bad but it didn’t grab me by the cheeks and pull me into the pages, the stories didn’t have a pace, slow or fast, to hook me. I often look back and wonder if this book had any major flaws at all (which often makes me feel much worse about my decision to DNF) but it just didn’t work for me and that’s something I couldn’t help. I couldn’t force myself to continue reading any longer. So, should I feel bad?
Am I a bad blogger?
Does DNF’ing an ARC really make me a bad blogger like I have felt for so long? Whilst I felt extremely guilty and worried about my decision for months, I don’t think I’m a bad blogger. As bloggers, readers, and people we all enjoy different things and that’s only human. I’m mature enough to provide good feedback without being unnecessarily negative. That way I’s still holding up my part of the agreement and providing valuable feedback to both the author and publisher. Sometimes I still feel guilty for not forcing myself to finish the book but no one should feel bad about a decision they made, no matter what the reasons. Since deciding to officially DNF the ARC I’ve read a whole host of books which have seen my fly out of my reading slump. Now I can look back constructively to provide feedback for this book, understanding that it wasn’t bad but it just wasn’t for me.
Have you ever DNF’d an ARC or proof you’ve requested or been sent? Do you feel as guilty as I did or are you confident in your decision? Do you think I’m a bad blogger or do you agree with me? I’d love to hear all your opinions and chat about this discussion!