Investigated – DNFing a Book

Posted March 24, 2014 by Emily in Investigated / 4 Comments


I always feel really bad about DNFing a book. Authors have put so much work and effort in trying to put out a good book, and I couldn’t even have the will to finish it just seems… impolite. But the ugly truth is that I don’t have all the time in the world to read. If I did, I probably would DNF a lot less books.

Why DNF?
There are a lot of factors that going into DNFing a book. Sometimes, I’m just not in the mood. For example, I might be in the middle of reading a contemporary, when what I really feel like reading is a fantasy novel. Other times, I’m just not feeling the book. Maybe the main character is getting on my last nerve, or maybe it’s the frustrating romantic pairings that make you just want to pull out all of your beautiful hair. Reading is my safe place. If a book makes me want to bang the book against my head repeatedly, then you can forget it. I’m not finishing it. The last reason, and probably the reason I hate the most for DNFing a book is lack of time. For example, I might be in the middle of a really good book, but don’t have the time to finish it before it’s due at the library. Those times make me so sad. If I DNFed a book because of the first or last reason, you can bet I will give the book another go, if I remember. Those times, it wasn’t the book’s fault I DNFed, it was mine. That being said, I really, really, really, hate DNFing books.

Remedies to DNFing
Sometimes when I think I’m just not feeling a book, I’ll do a few things to determine whether or not to give up on it. Like I mentioned before, I usually feel really bad about DNFing a book and will usually put up a bit of a fight before I actually DNF a novel. One of the things I do is take a little peak at the ending to see if the book is worth continuing. This way I can determine if I really want to continue reading the book. If the ending is good, I’ll keep reading from where I left off, if the ending is horrible then… I know it’s a really bad habit to peak at the ending, but hey, it’s a last resort. Another thing I will do is pick up another novel first. Take a little break from the one I think I will DNF and read another one for a while. Then when I finish that one, pick up the Maybe-DNF-Maybe-Not one and try again. Sometimes it works because well, sometimes enjoying a book depends on my mood.

How do you feel about DNFing books?



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4 responses to “Investigated – DNFing a Book

  1. I hate not finishing a book but there are still a few on my DNF list. If I can’t continue a book what I usually do is just let it go and read other books and after a while give another try if I can’t finish it the too then I DNF it officially.
    Rimsha@Ramblings of a Bookworm

  2. Lately I’ve been DNF-ing books more often than ever. Usually, it happens because they are just… not good. I mean, I get what you’re saying, that authors put a lot of work and effort into writing their books, but the truth is that sometimes the result is not really that great. I can’t waste my time reading a novel if the characters sound all the same, or if I can’t relate to any of them and there’s nothing that makes me care for them. For me, characters are the most important. Then, I don’t really like reading books that are very predictable and tell the same story all the other novels in the genre tell. That happens a lot with fantasy and YA.

    I do feel very bad when I can’t finish a book, and a bit guilty because I know the author is waiting for my review, but there are so many good books out there that it would be a shame to struggle with books I don’t like just because I want to be nice and polite. 🙂

    Oana @All Fantasy Worlds

  3. I wouldn’t be able to peek at the ending. If it would have been good, it would just ruin the experience for me. (I did do this with one book AFTER I’d already decided it was a DNF, but I was curious enough to see how it ended. Sure enough, it was what I’d suspected… when I was about 20% of the way through the book.)

    The closest I do to this is I will start skimming ahead, just to make sure I’m not about to quit just before it gets REALLY GOOD. Spoiling myself on something I was going to learn in the next 50 pages isn’t as bad as spoiling the ending.