Discussion: A Personal Journey of Quitting (…a Book)

I hate not finishing something that I start.

This goes for almost anything, but especially movies, TV shows, and books. I try my hardest to power through things even if I’m not enjoying them very much, but lately I’ve realized that it’s not always a good thing for me to do that. If I don’t like something, why am I forcing myself to finish it? Entertainment literally means doing something for enjoyment.

I recently put away a book that I was reading and then felt extremely guilty about it. Now, this was a book that I was enjoying, but it wasn’t the right time to read it. That’s a slightly different kind of not finishing because I do plan to go back to it one day to finish it. It was just moving too slowly and, at the time, I wanted something more fast paced. The same thing happens with TV shows from time to time. (I watched the first two episodes of Breaking Bad and then I kept skipping it when I saw it on Netflix. It wasn’t that I don’t think I’ll like the show; it just didn’t feel like the right time to watch it. On a similar note, my Netflix queue is a bit of a stressor itself. I’ve been working through it recently and it has been great to see the list get shorter and shorter.)

From now on, I’m going to stop feeling guilty if I don’t like something. Most importantly, I’m going to stop punishing myself by continuing if it’s getting me down and making my free time feel more like a chore. This is a bit of a personal promise to myself that, hopefully, will help me become less stressed and help me to enjoy the things that I do read or watch in their entirety.

Do you ever DNF a book or put one away to go back to later? How do you usually feel about it? I’d love to hear your thoughts. I often see people saying they’ve put away a book and usually that makes me feel like there’s unfinished business, but I’m starting to understand why it’s important.

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