Did I mention that my TBR pile has gotten totally out of hand? I mean, ridiculously so. And my reading time has regrettably dwindled. I want to move books along to readers, but also want to have an opinion about them so…
Drive-By Reviews, which will debut Friday and will appear once or twice a week on the Preternatura site. I’ll read the first fifty pages of a book and do a quickie “review” or impressions of what I like and didn’t like in these opening pages. I won’t assign starred reviews–that’s too subjective, really, since what I like you might abhor, and vice-versa, plus I can’t really assign a rating to a book I haven’t finished.
Instead, my “verdicts” will be
A = I really, really wish I could keep reading this book and resent life for interfering with my reading.
B = I’d keep reading; it’s lured me in enough that I’d give it another fifty pages before making a judgment call.
C = I’d keep reading, but with some reservations. Which might be things that don’t bother you at all or that you like in a book. That’s the great thing about books.
Then I’ll give the book to a commenter. What do you think?
Which brings me to the DNF, the dreaded “Did Not Finish.” Man, do authors hate seeing reviewers give a DNF to their work. I have too much respect for the work that goes into writing a novel to run a DNF review. That doesn’t mean I don’t read books that I can’t finish.
When I was younger, I absolutely refused to not finish a book. If I started it, by all that is holy, I was going to finish it even if it killed me. As I got older, I decided life was too short to read books I wasn’t enjoying, so I instituted the “hundred-page” rule. If a book hadn’t sucked me in by page 100, I would walk away. Then I got even older, decided life was REALLY too short to read books I wasn’t enjoying, so my “hundred-page rule” got changed to the current “fifty-page rule.” (I figure by the time I retire I might be down to the “first-paragraph rule,” but I hope not–LOL. By then, maybe I’ll have more time on my hands and I can increase my page count.)
So you won’t see a DNF here. I won’t say I never read DNF reviews, because sometimes morbid curiosity lures me in. And some of them are done very courteously, with explanations about what it was the reader found objectionable. I got a DNF review on Royal Street because the reader felt Hurricane Katrina should not have been written about in a fantasy novel. I wish she’d given it a shot and found how respectfully it was treated, and that I felt I could write about it because I’d lived through it, but that was her prerogative and I respect that. So DNF reviews can be done where they’re not so negative. Others are author-slaughters, of course.
So, what about you? How long do you give a book before you give up and declare it a DNF? Or are you like my younger self, staunchly determined to finish every book you start?
I’ll pick a commenter from today’s Shop Talk for a $10 GC to Amazon, B-and-N or, if international, an equivalently-priced book from the Book Depository.