Saying Yes to DNF!

Hey Booklovers! I recently came to the conclusion that we readers like to beat ourselves up over not liking a book. I get it, I promise I do. I’m guilty of the same thing but here’s the thing, this year I decided it’s okay to say yes to DNF. It’s okay to not want to finish that story, and here’s why:

Firstly, there is a lot of books out there. Or in the words of Jay Kristoff “Too many books. Too few cenuries.” and so my reasoning is this…Why waste your time reading a book you are not enjoying just for the sake of saying you read it? I’ll save you some inner arguments and tell you that there is really no point. There is absolutely no reason to ruin your reading experience, there is no reason to trudge through a book you don’t love when you could fall head over heels for the next one on your tbr.

I understand there has to be some time to settle into a book. That things might not be there straight away but in 50 pages you might find yourself enjoying the story after all. How many times have you thought “Ah! not to worry it will pick up soon.” but it just hasn’t? Too many I’ll wager. The amount of books we go through a year as bookworms means that evidently we are going to come across a few bad eggs (or perhaps more accurately…a book that just isn’t us). That’s okay. Settle in, get a feel for the book, and see if it’s grasping your attention. Normally as a rule of thumb I ensure to read at least 100 pages before I DNF. That’s my minimum. I will normally give a lot more pages when it’s a chunky fantasy book for obvious reasons. But I really don’t want to force myself to go on in a book I’m not having fun with, and lets be honest…I don’t have to; neither do you!

We often feel a sense of shame for not completing a book, but that feeling is no longer welcome in my book (see what I did there). Bad puns aside, you shouldn’t feel bad for not loving a book. Everyone has likes and dislikes, and it really is no exception with books. Stop being so harsh on yourself. Allow yourself to the freedom to DNF when a book isn’t suiting you. Say Yes to DNF.

What are your thoughts on DNFing a book? Does it kill you, or could you not care less? Let me know in the comments below. 

19 thoughts on “Saying Yes to DNF!

  1. I’m really bad at DNF’ing, actually. I’m a completionist, so unless I read the whole damn thing I feel pretty guilty. Although if it’s a series and I didn’t like the first book, I won’t read the others. I do make sure to read all the way to the last page in at least the first one, though. Whoops! I’ll have to try and follow your advice a bit more this year, I guess 😛

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    1. I used to be the same, I just had to complete a book before giving my verdict, but nowadays I’ve just not got the patience to sit through something I’m not enjoying, and I owe it to my crazy and never-ending tbr pile to move onto something else 😂

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  2. I also have a 100 page rule! I can’t give up until I’m at least 100 pages in because sometimes it picks up by then and I’m into it. But if I’m 100 pages in and still not enjoying it, it’s time to put it down and grab something else

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  3. I used to struggle a lot more with DNFing that I do now, I think I’ve become a pickier reader and with having more demands on my time I see reading as precious and if I’m not enjoying it I move on. However, I do find that I pick better these days and I don’t have that many books I want to DNF.

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    1. Yeah me too, I’m busy a lot of the time, I have kids, and I don’t have time to be wasting my precious reading time on books that arent making me want to turn pages! I don’t dnf a lot by any means, I am better at picking what suits me nowadays but I do come across one or two every now and then.

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  4. I always feel shame about not completely sure what book or even for not saying nice things about it… But if the book is just really bad and I can’t reading it at all anymore.. then I have to drop it only happened once so far years ago!

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    1. You can’t like everything you read, and sometimes we need to kiss a few frog before finding our prince/princess 😂! It can be difficult but if it’s not enjoyable then whats the point? Reading is supposed to be a fun passtime, not hard work 🤷‍♀️😂

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  5. There’s just one book that I didn’t finish and while it was a struggle to put it down and break up with it, I don’t have any regrets… We simply weren’t a good match. Maybe later in life I will give it another try but for now, we’re just not there. I’m talking about The remains of the day.

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  6. I always feel really bad about not finishing a book but then I usually give myself a pep talk and I don’t feel so bad especially once I start seeing the number of books on my tbr and on my shelves at home there are just too many books to discover to just try to finish a book you’re not enjoying the last book I couldn’t finish was Caraval also we can always pick up the book we didn’t finish at a later date it will always be there 🙂

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  7. I used to hate DNFing a book but now I’m perfectly fine doing it. There are just too many books to read, so read the ones you really want to read. 🙂

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  8. I appreciate reading how many other people have a hard time DNFing books. One of your above “commenters” referred to themselves as a completionist. Love it. While I’m not a completionist across the board, when it comes to books I am. Reading about other people and their DNF criteria makes me think about how I feel when I read a great book versus how I feel when I read a so-so or straight up crappy book! Makes a world of difference to get excited to read more about that character or by that author.

    However I’m also an aspiring writer, working on my first novel, so when I read I’m also learning and that makes it that much more difficult for me to put a book down. But I like the idea of having criteria, like triggers or minimum page count. I just might have to employ them this year.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I also write, so know that it is essiential to read the good and the bad to work on your craft, but like I said in the most I will no longer beat myself up over not liking a book. I won’t force myself to read something that makes reading a chore, because I don’t believe it’s worth the struggle, and it normally puts me in a slump 😔

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