I have, somewhere over the last six months, become far more of a literary gambler and I think other book bloggers are to blame…
This week I was checking out the newest arrivals in the public library and two books that I never would have taken a risk on a year ago were reserved before I could even blink. If I was going to be all geeky about it – and hey, why not – one of the books was about 70% likely to be my thing and the other was probably a 60%. I’d heard hype about them and seen good reviews but I didn’t know the authors and I didn’t really know the reviewers and how their tastes match up with mine. One sounded good but was being compared to a book I disliked and the other seemed to be being promoted mostly on the strength of its artwork, which is always a little weird.
Now I know for a fact that last year I would have treated reserving them via the library pretty much like I do adding books to my wishlist. I’d have searched for reviews, had a look at Good Reads and ignored books that didn’t seem like surefire hits.
Instead, I’m finding that somewhere over the last six months or so I’ve changed the way I pick up books and book blogging is definitely a factor in that change.
I’m picking up far more of my recommendations via other book bloggers, I’m reading more recently published (and recently re-issued classics) titles and I am reading more new-to-me authors. It results in a more varied reading life but it also means I set aside far more books unfinished than I ever used to and I’ve been thinking about how to handle them here.
I think the main thing I need to do is change the way I use the phrase ‘Did Not Finish’. Before I meant it as a waved red flag to warn fellow readers of plot holes, weird twists or maybe a dubious ending. When I list every book that gets set aside for any reason as DNF it looks like I am the most negative reader possible and I’m really not, I’m just curious and trying everything on for size. :)
So, from now on, DNF means I got well past page 100 and hit a roadblock of some description later in the book. I don’t read many DNF books but they’ll probably end up reviewed here as usually they make for interesting conversation. Anything that I don’t get to page 100 of will be briefly mentioned in my monthly round up and listed at the bottom of my reading log.
It’s minor tweaking really but I enjoy book-surfing and this seems a good way to acknowledge that and stop feeling vaguely apologetic for all the books I dabble with but decide aren’t for me. :)