Is DNFing A Book A Bad Thing To Do?

Hey guys! Today I’ll be talking about my point of view on DNFing books. I apologise in advance if I ramble onto something completely different. I tend to do that in discussion posts ahaha. For those who don’t know, DNF means “did not finish”, therefore when you DNF a book, you are leaving it as unfinished. Self-explanatory, right? Anyways, I think Goodreads should create a DNF option because I would like to see what books I’ve DNFed. I recently created a Goodreads shelf for it so I can keep track of the books I’ve DNFed and I give the books I DNF no stars, rather than one star.

Okay, onto the discussion. I use to see DNFing a book as something that shouldn’t be done. I would feel guilty if I did DNF a book, which caused me to forced myself to finish a book, regardless of whether or not a enjoyed it. If I wasn’t enjoying a book, I’d skim through it and give it one star because I hated the fact that I had to push myself to read it. After a while, every time I read a book I wasn’t enjoying, therefore pushing myself to read it, reading became like a chore and I disliked it. Yes, I went through a quick phase where I didn’t pick up a book for months. I didn’t hate reading but I hated the idea of picking up another book which I’d dislike. I don’t remember which book it was, but I finally picked up a book that got me back into reading again.

Eventually, I realised that if I continued to push myself to read book that I wasn’t enjoying, I’d end up in another slump or dislike reading again. And I didn’t want to go through that again, because I do love reading. Reading brings me joy and connects me with so many people, fictional and the online community. No one likes doing something they hate, and that was what I started to tell myself. If I didn’t want to hate reading, I would have to do something about it. So, I slowly began to DNF books that I wasn’t liking by the 5th or so chapter. And it really helped me to read more and I’m so glad I decided to do so. DNFing books allowed me to put down a book I wasn’t enjoying, but it was also a way of saying “I might pick you up later and give you another chance”. I’m a firm believer in second chances because everyone makes mistakes.

Therefore, I think that we should NOT feel guilty at all for DNFing a book. I know authors work hard to write and have their novels published, and I respect that. I commend them for doing so, because I don’t think I ever could. But we as readers should be able to put down a book because we’re not enjoying it and not having anyone judge us or feel any guilt for it. Maybe we’re not interested in the genre. Maybe we’re in a slump and cannot finish a book. Maybe we don’t want to waste our time on something we don’t like. Whatever the reason, I think it is important that all readers know that they can DNF a book. Besides, DNFing a book doesn’t mean we’ll never read it again. Maybe we’re just putting it down for now and might pick t up again in the future. Our reading tastes are always changing, and so will our choices in books.

What did you think of this book. Do you like to DNF books? What is your point of view on it?


10 thoughts on “Is DNFing A Book A Bad Thing To Do?

  1. I think it’s perfectly fine. Authors would probably want to know why you didn’t finish, so that gives them the opportunity to grow and you the chance to see them grow and come back. I find it easy to stop reading something when it’s not entertaining. No need to waste your time like you said. A plethora of other novels that’ll hold your interest are out there, so gon head and DNF. That’s my view.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I get what you mean. But I always self-doubt whenever I want to DNF a book. You know all the ‘what if’ starts to pop out. ‘What if the story starts to pick up only in the 2nd half?’, ‘What if I’m making a mistake?’, ‘What if only the 1st 200 pages are like that?’. And yeah, there were times where I push myself to finish a book only to end up in a reading slump afterwards… 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Ever since I started my blog I only DNF’d one book because of the writing style. It was way too straightforward, no nonsense, no descriptions whatsoever and I couldn’t connect with the MC at all. It’s been the only book so far and I’ve been honest about it towards the author as well – who had contacted me to read it. He said he understood, that his style isn’t just for anybody but thanked me for giving it a chance nonetheless. [Really appreciated that he didn’t start acting all high and mighty about it.. :’)]

    I’ve set myself one rule when it comes to considering to DNF a book though, and that’s simply that I should read at least 100 pages before actually putting it aside. Some books need a little longer to get into and I’ve finished books this way that ended up surprising me just because I went “Nope, another 20 pages before I can reallyreally consider it. By then I was lost and kept on reading.
    If it’s still a bit of a struggle after the 100 pages mark, I usually keep going simply because there are always things I like about a book – even when struggling – and it’s just my ‘job’ to let people know what I think of it. Who knows, some might say “Oh, you don’t like that but I probably will.”
    So that’s why I set myself that rule. 😀

    End of ramble, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad there are understanding authors out there! I’ve seen some authors lash out at reviewers for not liking there books *rolls eyes*

      And yes that rule is a good idea! I try to do that too but if I can’t get into it within the first two chapters, I’ll put it down and not write that I DNFed it or anything because I might pick it up in the future. Thank you for sharing your point of view, and for reading this post!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup, totally! It’s not as if reviewers don’t get that authors pour a part of their soul into their writing. We also put our souls into reading and reviewing books. Mutual respect is the least we can have for one another.. But hey, humanity, right?

        If I DNF a book, I really never pick it up again, haha. Even thinking about it makes me go “Nope, I didn’t want to keep on reading in the first place.” Maybe that’s something I should try changing..

        You’re welcome! 😀


  4. I used to not be able to DNF books too, but lately I’ve been loosening up. I do tell myself that I’ll probably give them another chance in the future too, but it has helped me read more freely. Nice post!

    Liked by 1 person

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