Monday, May 23, 2011

About This "DNF" Business...

I've received a few e-mails from people regarding the "DNF" post I wrote a couple of days ago. Some of the e-mails are funny, all in good fun, moving along with the light-hearted spirit in which the post was written.

But some people were vehemently against DNF reviews and they weren't shy about stating their opinions. And others violently support DNF reviews, as if it were a cult or religion...to the point of using pejoratives and ranting about the Internet.

Frankly, I had no idea I would be poking the caged tiger. In fact, at the end of the post I praised DNF reviews because I'd found another great book thanks to a DNF review. I was simply sharing something I'd recently learned, and from the replies I received, a lot of people didn't know what a "DNF" review was. I'm sure a lot still don't. I'm even more certain most people don't care and never will. If you don't believe me, hop over to your local supermarket and take a random poll. "Excuse me," You can ask, "Do you know what a DNF is?" I'll bet you'll be surprised by both the expressions and the replies you'll garner.

But the point is I'm not for or against DNF reviews. This isn't a political or religious topic. And it's not even a topic on which I feel the need to form an opinion. It is what it is. I was just pointing out that I have my own personal rules and goals in life. I'm strict about finishing what I start. In other words, you're not going to come to my house and see half-painted walls, half finished projects, and half read books. When I start something, whether it's a book or a home improvement project, I finish it. And even if I don't like the results, I'm always satisfied, on an emotional level, with the fact that I stuck it out. I never thought I'd learn to drive a manual transmission. I almost Did Not Finish. But I did, and I'm glad I suffered through it.

So those who wrote hate letters in support of DNF reviews: calm yourselves. Seriously. I can understand and respect those who don't feel the need to finish things. I "get" what DNF means now. No one should have to finish a book...or any other project...if they don't feel like finishing. Not everyone subscribes to the same set of standards. I know a guy who started remodeling his bathroom ten years ago and he's still not finished. I have another friend who starts a new craft project every six months and never finishes a thing. And there's nothing wrong with this.

But I do think that some of the more aggressive types out there should take it all a little lighter. It's a DNF. It's a rating for a book review, not the results of an MRI. It has no huge emotional or phsyical impact on the quality of anyone's life one way or the other. And life's really too damn short to get all worked up for nothing.

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