Today I want to talk about a controversial topic: DNF’ing an (e-)ARC. If you don’t know, DNF stands for Did Not Finish. Basically, you start a book and you don’t finish it because you really don’t like it and you don’t see the point of reading on. An (e-)ARC is an (Electronic) Advanced Reading Copy, either in physical or digital form.
Why is it controversial? Because (e-)ARC’s are books you receive from the publisher for free, ahead of publication, and in exchange for your honest opinion. Publishers have a limited amount of ARC’s they give out to bloggers, influencers, people in the industry, etc. which means they can’t give them to just about anyone. It also costs them money because they’re not getting money in return.
This is exactly the reason why I’ll never DNF an ARC, no matter how bad I think it is. The publisher gave me a wonderful opportunity to read a book in advance (which, let’s face it, is every book worm’s dream) and I’d feel too guilty and bad for the publisher to tell them I DNF’d. [Note: this doesn’t mean I’m scared of giving the book a bad review. I have no problem with giving a low rating because that’s exactly why they gave you a copy.]
The second reason is that I’m an eternal optimist when it comes to reading books. There’s a part of me that believes EVERY book has something good. I might hate the plot and the main characters, but that one minor character is lovely. I might hate the author’s writing style, but I do like the themes she / he tried to explore. There’s always something. And if I DNF, I tell myself I might be missing out on that one good thing.
Now, this doesn’t mean I judge someone who DNF’s an ARC. Not at all, actually. This is all just my personal opinion. Also, I’m just starting out with (e-)ARCs so it’s hard to compare myself with bloggers who get a lot of them. I mean, I can understand that the decision to DNF is a lot easier to make when you’ve got dozens of books to read and have deadlines for all of them.
Having said that, there’s one thing I think is wrong and that’s asking for a bunch of ARCs you know you either can’t read in time or you know aren’t for you. I think you should always respect the publishers and authors involved, recognise the amazing opportunity you’re given, and only ask for ARCs you genuinely interest you and you’ll be able to finish in time.
What do you think? Would you / have you ever DNF’d an (e-) ARC? For what reason? Let me know in the comments!