DNFing Books

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Aria @ Book Nook Bits and Dani @ Literary Lion where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

DNF is an acronym that stands for did not finish. What makes you DNF a book?

Since joining the book community, I DNF more than I used to because I have learned that there are too many amazing books out there to waste my time reading books I am not enjoying. There are so many reasons that I could potentially DNF, so I made a list (of course, there are always exceptions!):

  • Awkward dialogue
  • Undeveloped characters
  • Animal cruelty
  • Problematic elements
  • Clumsy pacing

How often do you DNF books?

Because I am a mood reader, I often ” soft ” DNF. This means that I will put down a book knowing it is not the right time for me to read it but planning to return to it in the future. “Hard” DNFs are rare, but it does happen and is always disappointing. I find I DNF a lot of Kindle Unlimited books and audiobooks I find on Scribd because I haven’t invested any money into them. It hurts more when I DNF a book I purchased, so I will usually push through.

I typically DNF a book pretty early on. It doesn’t take me long to realize that a book is just not for me. I cannot remember the last time that I DNFed a book at 50% or more.

What’s the silliest or pettiest reason why you DNF’d a book?

It is probably because of hype. I find that when a book is getting so much love and attention, it is difficult for the book to live up to it, so when I pick it up I find myself disappointed and will put it down. This is what happened to me with The Spanish Love Deception and The Love Hypothesis!

Do you review books that you DNF?

Because I typically DNF a book very early on, I do not review them. Most of the time I won’t even mention that I tried a book I DNFed because I haven’t read enough to review it or to be fair to it.

Do you DNF?

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31 thoughts on “DNFing Books

  1. I am a completist. So, if I start it, I will finish it even if I hate it. I think there is only one book that I DNF EVER and it was my fault for starting it. It was science fiction and for me, I should have known better. It’s not my thing.

  2. DNFing can be a wonderful tool. I will sometimes “soft” DNF a book as well, but since there are SO MANY BOOKS on my TBR those usually accidentally turn into hard DNFs. There are also so many reasons I might DNF a book! Though your list is a great bunch of reasons to point to. Honestly, the problematic elements and animal cruelty reasons you list are some of the biggest reasons I will put down a book, too.

  3. I DNF books all the time at any point!! Usually I can figure out pretty fast if it’s not to my taste but I have no guilt over dropping a book well over the 50% point. I guess I do tend to get most of my books from the library or other free places, so the lack of financial investment means I’m less attached like you said.

  4. So many books, so little time! I will definitely DNF a book, but it has been awhile since I did. Usually, it’s because I just don’t care what happens to the characters. I have never rated a book I DNFed, because it just doesn’t seem fair.

  5. DNFing gets easier with practice and I’m growing pickier with age! I have never returned to a book I set aside. FOMO gets me in trouble…l DNFed a hyped book just this week.

      1. It just wasn’t to my taste at all! But others have loved it and you might as well. There was a long hold for audio so i read it in print…that might have been a problem???

  6. I mostly soft DNF, it’s very rare for me to hard DNF. There are however a couple of books I’ve read 90-95% of and somehow never actually finished because despite reading practically the whole book I didn’t care enough to read the last few pages.

  7. I very rarely DNF a book, but I will do it. Usually I try and get to the 50-100 page mark before I decide because I struggle with the first part of most books and I don’t want to DNF a book for that reason.

  8. I used to just keep reading but then thought what am I doing?!! So now I get to about 150 pages and dnf if I’m not enjoying! The exception was Book of Night and I kept going and ended up loving it!!

  9. The Paper Palace is a book I recently decided to DNR. I felt like the story was rather predictable. As I get older, I have become much more selective.

  10. I do DNF if a book isn’t working for me, although I try to give it enough time to grow on me first. The exception tends to be if I start something and it’s just completely not right for my mood at that moment, but in those cases, I’ll often come back at a later date and try again. Sadly, this week I DNF’d a book by an author whose work I usually love — but by 40%, I still wasn’t invested, thought the plot was messy, and had just no curiosity about what else might happen. Clear signs that it was time to say good-bye!

  11. I started to do a DNF Friday post every so often, just to tell people about books I had problems with and why. Not a real review, but more like, why I can’t review that book!

  12. I definitely DNF! I’ve even DNFed books on the first page. Awkward dialogue is a big one for me, too. Sometimes I review them if I’ve gotten far enough in them to actually have something to write about!

  13. I’ve also DNF’d a lot more books since joining the blogging community, and that’s definitely not something I would have expected! It’s definitely helped me read more of the books that I want to read, and overall, I rate books higher in general now!

  14. I’ve only DNF’d once in high school because I found the main character unlikable. I recently read a book that I really wanted to DNF, but pressed on and it turns out the last couple of chapters ended up being the best part of the book!

  15. I give a book a good few chapters (5 to 10, pending chapter length) to hook my attention. If I’m not swept in by then I politely put it down. Usually it’s pacing that makes me DNF. If it feels too bogged down or sluggish, I get a bit bored.

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