To begin, I think it is important to note that DNF stands for “did not finish”. In other words, what makes me put down a book and never want to pick it up again? This is something I have been thinking about a lot lately, as I realize that my time is valuable and there are thousands of books I want to read, so why waste my time reading something I am not enjoying? However, I do think that this is easier said than done! I plan to write another post talking about why I continue reading books even when I should DNF them. I know many of us can relate to that!
There are also times where I will put down a book just because it is not the right time for me to read it. There is nothing inherently wrong with the book, and it may even become a favourite, but I am just not in the mood for it! I recently wrote a post talking about some of the books I want to try again some day. #moodreaderproblems
There are a whole host of reasons why I might DNF a book, but the major one is if I find it to be problematic in any way. I will not give a second thought to DNFing a book that is racist, sexist, transphobic, etc.
Is there a specific trope you can’t stand?
Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate a love triangle if it is done well; however, they are so often handled horribly. I struggle reading about love triangles where it is evident from the beginning who the main character is going to choose- it takes away all of the tension, mystery, and intrigue! I also dislike when one of the love interests is awful, while the other (who the protagonist will ultimately choose) is perfect in every way- it feels manipulative somehow!
My most disliked trope is any form of cheating in a relationship. I don’t know why this bothers me so much, but I just cannot find it romantic. Once again, the current partner who is being cheated on is usually flawed, which is a way of justifying the cheating. This is so overdone and I find it frustrating! I 100% understand that relationships are complicated and not every situation is the same, but it is just not something I want to read about in a romance.
A plot twist that will make you drop instantly?
Something I have noticed that is common in thrillers is the use of mental health as a plot twist. It makes me angry every single time I come across it. Unfortunately, the book is usually almost over by the time the twist is revealed! It is one of the main reasons why I am so picky about the thrillers that I read. I have been burned one too many times!
How many pages do you usually give a book to capture your attention?
Lisa @ Cold Brew Book Reviews on Instagram has come up with an interesting system that I am trying to put into practice. The idea is that once you have read 20% of a book, you evaluate whether or not it is currently a three star or higher. If it is not, then you DNF the book. She has even created a hashtag, which is #20percentthoughts. I think that this is so smart! Twenty percent is more than enough to know how you are feeling about a book and the writing style. I also love that this method encourages you to stop and reflect on what you are reading. I might starting sharing my 20% thoughts in future blog posts!
How many books do you give a series before deciding if it’s worth your time?
I have talked about this before, but I am terrible at finishing series to begin with! I usually give a series one book. If I don’t enjoy the first one, I will not continue on with the series. There are some series where people say you have to read a few before they get really good, but I don’t want to have to suffer through three or four books just to get to the goods ones.
That said, if I love the first book in a series and the second one is a disappointment, there is still a good chance that I will give the third book a try, especially if it is a trilogy. Serpent and Dove is a great example of this. I loved the first one, but Blood and Honey let me down; however, I will still read the third and final installment because I am curious enough to know how the story end.
Do you count books as read on Goodreads if you DNF them?
I personally do not. If I DNF a book at 20%, I do not think it is fair for me to review it. I just put it down, remove it from my TBR, and move on. It is rare for me to read more than half a book and then not finish it, but even then I don’t think I would review it. The only exception would be if it was extremely problematic and I thought it was important to inform other readers of the issues I had. If I am simply not enjoying it or it is not the book for me, I don’t count it as read or review it.
I would love to hear all your thoughts on DNFing books! Is it something you do? Why or why not?