Books, Uncategorized

Not Finishing Books

Not finishing books, or DNFing as we in the book community would commonly say, is something that has been at the top of my mind recently.

I thought that I wasn’t usually one to DNF books unless I had a valid reason like having to read a certain number of books over a short time scale for college, university etc, needing a temporary break from a a chunky book, I’m not in the right mood for it… that kind of thing.

But when I was sorting out my new book journal (something I’ve been wanting to do for a while) I’ve discovered that I have been DNFing a lot of books since the start of the year. I have at least two a month and I don’t know if I just started being really picky or I’ve come to the conclusion that life is too short to continue reading books I’m not a fan of.

If that is the case, then why did I finish books like Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, An Abundance of Katherines by John Green when they were clearly not books that I enjoyed?

Maybe it’s because they are popular books? That I personally needed to see what the hype was about? And maybe because I thought that I would come to like them the more I read and understood the stories.

It obviously didn’t work like that because I still don’t like them.

So what makes me decide whether I DNF or continue a book?

The only response I can think of is my own stubbornness and curiosity. If I know that my friends like a particular book, I want to be able to join in our group chats instead of feeling left out because I didn’t finish it. Though, I wouldn’t feel bad that I didn’t like it because I know that my opinions would be valid and taken into consideration. What it then does is create a balanced discussion, even if I was the only person to not like it. It would tell me that whilst our book tastes might be similar, we each still do have our own personal preferences.

On the other hand, when I do DNF a book, especially if it is a popular and well-loved book, I feel annoyed with myself because I should be able to finish it regardless of my personal feelings. But then the other side of the coin is that I finish a book I don’t like and get annoyed with myself because I know I should have stopped reading it.

For me, DNFing a book doesn’t seem so straightforward as it ought to be.

And for that I’m opening this up to all of you.

What is your stance on DNFing books?
Do you get to a point during any book, when you think this isn’t for me?

Thanks for reading and have a good day!

7 thoughts on “Not Finishing Books”

  1. DNFing has always been hard for me. I’m getting better at it. That feeling of pushing through a book just because feels worse to me than just putting a book down. To ease the giving up feeling I always tell myself I can pick it up again if I want to. That way its more like a pause until i’m ready to officially DNF it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean. I’ve ‘paused’ quite a few books, the most notable ones being Queen of Shadows and A Court of Mist and Fury. I came back to them in the end and managed to finish them but they were on pause for a few months before I picked them up again.

      I do tend to DNF more nowadays but I do struggle with that “should I have powered through” feeling because some books do have a tendency to get better towards the end. For me Fangirl was one of them. For the most part I really find that book dry and boring, but the ending surprised me as it was better than everything that came beforehand.

      It’s a hard one really.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I like to think of myself as a completionist, but there are times where I don’t finish a book just because I get distracted. I haven’t really stopped reading something because I didn’t enjoy it. At times I just push through DESPITE hating it, even if it’s torture for me. When I went through my reading slump, there were books I thought were incredible, but one day I’d put it down and forget to pick it up again until MONTHS later. So far, there aren’t any books that I’ve DNFed, but I can understand why someone would.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I did that with Queen of the Tearling. I started it, maybe got a couple of chapters through and then put in down because I got distracted by a new release. I will hopefully be picking it back up this month (after a year or two) so I hope it lives up to expectations. I know with my three May DNFs I stopped reading them because I either hated the characters or the writing – or with the Young Elites just decided that I wasn’t too bothered by the series anymore.


    1. Yeah, that seems to be the general reasoning behind not finishing a book. That’s usually the main reason for me although I will also take into account the writing style.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have only DNF’d 3 books (on purpose, I don’t really count ones that I’ve left to be picked up again at a later date) and that was only because I genuinely could not connect with the plot – in all 3 books, I was bored out of my brain and just could not, for the life of me, finish the book. But there are some occasions, like you said, where I’ve been stubborn and force myself to finish the book, even when I know I hate it. I’ve decided to stop doing that, because poor books aren’t worth my time anymore.
    Great post! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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