Skip to main content


Literary Friday: Thoughts on Reading

Friday, September 14, 2018

These books are a few of my favorite creative books I've been enjoying lately.

Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies! 

I have been in a reading slump lately.  This has not been a banner summer for my reading life.  Nope!  Not at all.  I really wanted to share a book I've read and loved this week, but it's not meant to be.  So instead, I'll share a few thoughts on reading and recommend a few new releases this autumn that should be good reads because the authors are among my favorites.

Lately I've been doing something I used to N*E*V*E*R do:

DNF a book.

What does DNF mean, you ask?  It's nerd-speak for not finishing a book.  It stands for "did not finish," and DNF has become a verb.  

For example: 
Instagram Friend:  "RJ, I saw that you checked out The Bear and the Nightingale from the library.  Did you like it?"  
Me:  "Nope!  I DNF'd it."

I returned The Bear and the Nightingale yesterday and checked out Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine because one of my favorite writers Deborah Harkness raved about it.
Jo Nesbø's Macbeth should be fantastic.  It's a modern-day retelling of the Shakespearean play, and Nesbø has a great reputation.  Plus I've enjoyed all the Hogarth Press Shakespeare editions.

I've come to that point in my life that if I'm not engrossed after a couple of chapters that it's okay to DNF a book.  And it feels so good!!!

My oldest daughter has a habit that I will never do: She always reads the endings of books, and that's how she decides whether or not she will read a book.  So basically she never DNF's books, but to me, that's cheating- knowing how a book ends before starting it.

Getting back to the subject at hand and why this isn't a typical Literary Friday post...I've been asking a few friends what they do when they're in a reading slump.  Most responded that they re-read old favorites.  And I must admit that is like visiting an old friend, isn't it?  A couple of others told me that they like to read a few cozy mysteries.  That's a very good idea!

Ellie Alexander's cozy mysteries are lots of fun.  Shanley Belle has been reading the Noodle Shop Murder Mysteries by Vivien Chien.

Lovelies, I want to ask you:  What do YOU do when you're in a reading slump?

I do have a couple of aces up my sleeve for this autumn.  Ace #1: I've ordered the fall book capsule from Capsule Books.  It's one of my favorite book subscription services, and I like that it's a quarterly subscription.

This is the summer capsule, and the theme is melodrama.  The only problem is that I'd already read two of the books!  The gal who owns Capsule Books and I have very similar tastes in reading, and I've noticed that I've read many selections from past capsules, too.  There are three capsules per quarter, and the reader gets to choose a capsule that is meant to evoke an emotion.

Ace #2:  Three of my favorite writers are releasing brand new books this month and next.  I will definitely read all three!

Thanks for reading my reading woes rant.  And as always, I appreciate your reading recommendations!  

We're headed to the lake this weekend, and I'm hopeful that I will have a great reading weekend, and that the Cubs will play better than they have been lately!

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. I can't wait to read The Clockmaker's Daughter! I'm going to look for Paula Brackston the next time I go to the library.

  2. I loved Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine! I just spent a wonderful month volunteering for the used book sale fundraiser for our town's public library. This book sale raises almost $20,000 for our library! It was a joy to spend my days going through books and talking books with the other volunteers. Several volunteers recommended The Clifton Chronicles by Jeffrey Archer. I am almost finished with Book 1, and I am really enjoying it. Book 2 is on my book pile waiting for me. When I am in a reading slump I just keep going. Eventually I start reading something I don't want to put down. I have also, once in a blue moon, read the last page first like your daughter. Then the book becomes like a mystery as I try to figure out how it comes to that ending. I hope you enjoy Eleanor Oliphant as much as I did. I heard Reese Witherspoon bought the movie rights to that book.
    Happy reading!

  3. When I'm in a reading slump, I check out what others are reading or I look for something from a favorite author. Exactly what is a reading slump my book club we often read things that I don't love but still I'm usually glad I read it. That's a slump to me! :) I love it when a book is so great that you can't stand for it to end or when you feel like you are losing friends by the end. Those are far and few between. Don't you think?

    I have no problem DNFing a book if I don't love it. Life is too short and there are too many wonderful books to waste time on a book you don't really like.

  4. I have been so busy that I haven't had a chance to read. AND, even worse, I lost a library book in the process of moving and had to pay for it. It was a brand new book and I was the first one to check it out...didn't even read it...and lost it. sigh.

    Happy reading. I hope to catch up with you soon. xo Diana

  5. Ah the DNFing. Within the last year or so, I've started doing that too. My husband would see me snap a book shut after I finished it, and ask me how it was, and I'd give him a "meh" and he'd ask why I had bothered finishing it. And besides saying I always finish them, I didn't really have a reason. So, I finally started dropping ones that weren't cutting it. (Although I'd typically read the endings.) And it feels good not to sink time into something I don't enjoy.

  6. I read mainly on my kindle which I love because I order the free sample of the book and read that and then I decide if I want to buy it or not. I don't waste time on reading what I'm not enjoying...Plus reading on a kindle eliminates lugging heavy books around and I always have it in my purse or on my phone. Right now I'm reading Juror #3 by James Patterson. I love cozy mysteries too. I think it's fine to DNF!!

  7. Awhile back I started and DNF 4 books. But life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy. I could never read the ending first! lol

  8. There are only so many books we can read in a lifetime. Even fast, dedicated, hard core readers. Life is too short to finish one that isn't giving you what you need. Bravo.

    Slump -- I read a fast mystery. I'm into the Maigret books now -- there are a zillion of them and most are under 200 pages and well written. They get me started. Although you DO have to think with the Maigrets. I'll read others you don't have to think so hard on, just enjoy them. The Jerilyn Farmer catering mysteries are a good example. Once I get on a roll, then easy to keep going!

  9. I have an urgent sense of mortality so I DNF all the time. But in my defense I usually put it on my “try again later” list. I get reading slumps a couple times a year. I don’t fight it because I know sooner or later a special book will come along that will end it and I will be off to the reading races once again.

  10. I'm sooo looking forward to Kate Morton's new book. I'm excited to be #4 on the library holds list! Usually when I'm in a reading slump, I take a break from books. After about a week or two they start calling out to me again.


Comments are friendly!


I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

Follow me on Instagram