I have recently been reading a novel called The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. It is a beautifully written book and chock full of history from an area that I don’t know much about (Turkey, Romania) and covers a topic that is normally only in Fantasy, rather than a more historical fiction novel. It gives some of the factual information behind the lore and tale of Dracula. The history of the ruler that started the name and where the story originated from ;although Bram Stoker took his own liberties with the history and turned it into a phenomenon. To me, this sounded like such an intriguing read and I quite eagerly picked up the book.
Ever since I started reading The Historian, I find myself almost “trudging” through the book. I’m not sure that I can pinpoint what it is about the book that actually keeps me reading, which is saying something. I’ll talk further about the book in a separate post, but it has made me re think something that I thought I was set on…finishing books.
I’ve talked about the concept of “DNF”-ing (did not finish) a book HERE and at the time I had only “DNF”’ed a couple books at that time. Now that list hasn’t grown, but my stance has altered slightly. At the time I wrote that post I had only just started “DNF”-ing books and was still very torn about actively making the choice to not finish a book. I find myself again thinking about this concept as I am trying to get through and read this book because, to be honest, I have thought about simply putting it down numerous times. Something in me though, refuses to not give it another…and another chance.
As of now, I have nothing against not finishing books. This has been a somewhat recent change as I realized some things about myself as a reader. I find that reading is a great source of comfort, enjoyment and learning and if a book is not fulfilling (or is actually detracting) from any of those, I will very happily be done with it. If I simply cannot continue on with a book for one reason or another I won’t force myself to continue on anymore.
More often then not though, rather than putting a book on my “DNF” list, I will simply put it down for now and pick it back up at a later date. A lot of times if I have had to put a book down I will finish it at a later date and there are numerous reasons as to why I will simply put a book down for the time being. For example, I have just recently finished reading The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. I finished it on my 3rd attempt to read it and I absolutely loved it! That 3rd attempt was a win for me as I was able to fully “fall” into the story and fall in love with it. The first 2 attempts I made the timing was off for me. It is a large and intense book and as the first in a series it has a lot of world building and a lot of setting the story. I just hadn’t given the time to really devote myself to the story until that 3rd attempt.
I think that I will have to do the same thing with The Historian as I did with The Name of the Wind. As of the time that I am writing this post, I am giving myself one last day to read it. If I am still struggling and haven’t made much progress, I will be putting it down and hopefully picking it back up at a later date.
What are your thoughts? Where do you fall on the finish or not finish debate?