Discussion Post: Shake It Off – Or Do You Have to Finish Every Review Book?

Posted October 10, 2020 by Lisa Mandina in discussion post / 25 Comments

I haven’t done a discussion post in a while, didn’t sign up for a challenge or anything this year, but I had something that I’ve been thinking about this week, and I thought maybe I could actually get some people to join in and help me decide. Even thought I’m not part of a challenge, I’m going to link up over on Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

So, sometimes there are books that I get sent by the publishers for reviews, and I’m talking about anthologies or poetry collections, etc. Some of these I can tell from the first few that I read how I feel about the book. And it’s not always a bad thing, sometimes I know that all the stories are going to be good, but I also know I have a lot of other review books I want to fit in. One of the problems I have with getting through anthologies is that since it is just short stories, when I am in between stories, there is not the pull to get back to a book like I’d have if I am in the middle of a story. Does that make sense?

In the past what I’ve done is go ahead and review the book on the tour date that I have scheduled, and maybe I’ll go back and finish reading if I have time. But my dilemma is, can I mark the book as actually read on Goodreads? I haven’t finished it. But I don’t want to put it on my DNF shelf, because those are usually the books I don’t want to finish. I can’t decide whether to count them as finished, or make a new shelf on Goodreads for this specific type of situation. It almost doesn’t feel fair to count them as being finished and towards my Goodreads goal.

So what do you do? Do you push your way through the book no matter what? If you are a DNFer like I am, because I have so many books to read I can’t waste time if something is not keeping my attention, how do you think I should handle it on my Goodreads? Help! I really need ideas!

Also, how do you like the button I made for this today? Thought it was cute!

P.S. – While you’re here, you can go enter my monthly wrap-up giveaway HERE.

And because my titles always come from songs, here is the one that I chose this time!

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25 responses to “Discussion Post: Shake It Off – Or Do You Have to Finish Every Review Book?

  1. I don’t rate DNFs, so if I was on a tour for a book I was not enjoying, I would be doing a spotlight or something. I know some people review partial books, but I feel like maybe it could have gotten better. I don’t know, because I didn’t finish it. In the case of solicited vs unsolicited books, I still wouldn’t push through. I would provide feedback to the publisher, but I don’t post DNF reviews nor do I feature books that earn less than 4 stars. I do put everything on Goodreads though

    • Lisa Mandina

      Well, it’s not one that I’m not enjoying exactly. It is good, I just have trouble with finishing anthologies very quickly. It’s one that I would probably rate 5 stars even if I don’t finish it, based on the types of stories that are in it and how important they are these days. But I can’t decide how to categorize it on Goodreads. As a DNF or as one I read to count towards my goal. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I sometimes get hung up on stuff like this too, but here’s what I always remind myself: Goodreads is ultimately for ME. I mean, yeah, I have a Goodreads goal and other people see it, but nobody’s policing my reading or anything. No one honestly cares if I count a random book that they themselves wouldn’t have counted. So, I say, do what you want to do. I wouldn’t bother creating a whole other Goodreads shelf for this one book unless that would truly make YOU satisfied and happy. If it works better for you to count it as read because you were enjoying it and it’s not a DNF, go for it.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted: Sunday Post: Book Pre-order Campaigns & Giveaways Galore – 10/11/20
    • Lisa Mandina

      You are so right! I have to stop stressing over something as silly as this. 🙂 Since it is one that I will probably finish at some point, or even if I don’t, I do want to recommend it, I probably will mark it or add it to my Read shelf. Thanks for helping me figure this out!

  3. Honestly, I think it’s a personal thing. I don’t count DNF’s toward my annual reading goal, but that’s because I want to see all the books I read in their entirety. Even if it’s a book that I’ve read half of – like an anthology, etc. – I don’t count it unless I’ve read the whole thing. But again, that’s my way of keeping track. I think you should do what is right for you! 🙂


    • Lisa Mandina

      I’m the same as you. But usually my DNFs are because I’m not enjoying them. I keep the ones I know I’m going to finish some day on my “currently reading” list. But I don’t know when I’ll get this one finished. So just can’t decide. Thanks for chiming in!

    • Lisa Mandina

      I treat them that way too. That’s why it is so hard to not finish them! I rarely take e-galleys anymore because of how serious I’ve tried to get with them. I think I can review this one without finishing it. But I can’t decide how to categorize it on my Goodreads if I don’t finish it. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Lisa Mandina

      It’s weird because this is probably a book I would give a 4 or 5 stars if I finished it. I feel like with the stories I’ve read I can still possibly rate it that way. I’m the same as you with e-ARCs, I try not to request any if I can help it! My percentage on Netgalley is only like 70%. But this was an actual physical copy that I won from a Shelf Awareness newsletter giveaway. Thanks for stopping by to help me figure this out!

  4. So, I RARELY DNF, so it’s hard for me to say. Because if I was going to DNF a book, it would be a book I’d see myself only giving a star or two to, so I wouldn’t feel comfortable being on the tour, you know? But I think you can mark it as “read”- like even if you only read 100 pages, plenty of books are only 100 pages, so there you go, absolved! (Also always feel free to join the Challenge, even if you don’t want to set a goal or whatever- it’s all just fun and then you can enter the giveaways and such! I mean I cohost the thing and don’t set a goal, so. ?)

    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted: Blog Tour Review: A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe
    • Lisa Mandina

      It was a good book, and I want to recommend it, but I know I won’t probably finish it any time soon since I have so many other review books scheduled. I might go ahead and join the challenge, even this late, I actually came up with another discussion idea as I was listening to an audiobook in the car yesterday! LOL!

  5. Sometimes I push through but on the occasions that I just can’t I won’t review it and I’ll mark it as read if I got at least 50% of the way through. Sometimes I just put a Book down because it might now be what I’m in the mood for at the moment but it’s not a DNF – in that case I’ll just put it back on my want to read list lol

    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook recently posted: 15 Indie Books I’m Excited To Read
    • Lisa Mandina

      It’s one I think I’ll go back to eventually, but don’t know when. And it is good, so I don’t want to count it as a DNF. It’s just that me and anthologies don’t always do well! At least I don’t do well at finishing them. If they’re not all by the same author for the stories, I often go up and down with enjoying the stories and can get stuck. But this one has stories that I feel like I need/want to read because of the topic, immigration. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Hi there Lisa!

    Great button and an interesting discussion post. When I blogged 3 years ago, I received a couple of books from publishers and then of course Netgalley. It drove me crazy to review them all… I think that was part of why I stopped blogging.

    This time around, I haven’t re-activated my Netgalley account and so far no requests. For now it suits me well! I will re-evaluate somewhere at the end of the year.

    I understand the dilemma of where to place them on your Goodreads account. I normally just send it to my abandoned shelf and adapt my challenge. If that makes sense. I don’t want to delete them completely, what if they cross my path again and I forgot I don’t like it??

    Hope you will find an answer that will work for you!

    Mareli @ Elza Reads recently posted: The Sunday Post #15
    • Lisa Mandina

      I’ve been doing really well with not requesting, for the most part, from Netgalley. This was a physical ARC I was sent. And it’s not that I don’t like it, I do, but it is an anthology and they almost always trip me up. I want to post about it and promote it, but don’t feel right since I haven’t finished it. So much to think about! Thanks so much for chiming in!

  7. Do you have a DNF list on Goodreads? That’s what I did. I made a list for the books I started reading that I didn’t finish. You go to My Books, and next to the Bookshelves there’s an “edit” link. Then you add a DNF shelf and make sure that you click that you want it to be exclusive.

    Davida Chazan recently posted: Marching towards History.
    • Lisa Mandina

      I do have one, but usually the DNF books on that list are there because I didn’t like them and don’t intend to finish. The one I’m thinking about now is one that I want to finish at some point, but since it is an anthology, and I don’t have a scheduled review for a blog tour, I’m behind. So many weird things about this one, although I’ve had a similar issue in the past, but it was for books that were part of blog tours, so I was more sure what I wanted to do. Thanks for stopping by to help me ponder this dilemma!

      • There’s nothing to stop you from moving a book from that shelf back to the want to read or currently reading shelf, you know. So if you start a book but stop, you can either put it on the DNF shelf and take it off afterwards… OR… you could make another exclusive shelf called… “on hold” for books you started reading but stopped reading with the full intention of getting back to it someday. Just a thought.

        Davida Chazan recently posted: Un Assez Bon Repas!
  8. I haven’t reviewed books for years new but when I did review every single book that I read which really took the fun out of it for me. Thankfully I didn’t receive very many review copies because I feel like those would add so much stress for me! And I totally get what you mean about anthologies. Once I get to the end of a short story it feels like the book is over for me so it’s difficult to go back in and start another story.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Exactly! That’s my problem with anthologies! On the one hand it makes it a good stopping point if you’re just reading a bit at a time, but on the other hand, it makes it hard to pick back up. I’m trying to be better about only requesting books I know I want to read. And this is one that has good stories in it, ones I feel I need to read, but I just haven’t put it as a priority over books that I had blog tours scheduled for. Thanks for visiting and chiming in on this, glad I’m not the only one who feels that way when reading anthologies! That helps!

  9. I have that struggle with anthologies as well. I love reading short stories, but it’s so true that there isn’t that pull to keep going when you’ve finished a story. I end up just dipping in and out of the book in between novels, but it means I don’t always finish them.

    • Lisa Mandina

      Fortunately it wasn’t part of a blog tour, but now I need to post a review sooner rather than later I feel. Thanks for stopping by and helping discuss!

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