It's Alright to DNF That Book (Seriously, everyone does!)

So you are reading a book and this happens....:

Then You  realize your at that point...: 

There will be a multitude of reasons why someone DNFs a book. They didn't connect with the characters, it was too slow, it didn't interest them, they are bored. What ever the reason it happens. Bloggers are busy readers and we often don't have the time to drag ourselves through a book that we aren't enjoying. I DNF more books then a probably should, but then again: Why am I wasting my time on something I'm not enjoying? DNFing a book is not something I like to do, I am not Oprah handing out DNFs left and right. But there have been times that I've DNFed two books in a row. My biggest questions have always been, when is it acceptable to DNF and what happens if it is a review book. 

I always try to push myself past 25% of the book. Typically not much happens in that time for the book to either be a bust or fail. Sometimes it is. The latest I ever DNFed a book was 61% because I convinced myself it was going to get better. Sometimes, that is the worst thing you can do. If you are considering DNFing a book ask yourself these things: 
  • Is there any connection to the characters at all? 
  • Do you car how it ends? 
  • Can you read more then a few pages at a time before taking a break? 
If you answered yes to any of those then it is probably safe to say that you're over that book. uif I have any connection to the character or any question of how it will end I will stick to the book because then I know that some small part of me wants to finish this out. 

Sometimes I will be in the middle of a book I was enjoying and I'll get book mail, suddenly my current read doesn't seem so interesting anymore. I don't DNF this book. I simply put it on hold. It basically means: I want to finish this. But not right now. 

I currently have 9 books that I want to eventually go back too. 41 books that I have officially DNFed. This is from the middle of 2014 until now. (So, that is 50 books that I just haven't pulled myself to actually love.) 

But as a blogger I have a long list of books for review, that need my time rather then a published book that I can always go back to later (Or not, depending). But DNFing review copies makes my heart hurt a little. Publishers only have a limited amount of galleys to send out and they were kind of enough to send one to me or digital galleys are capped once they reach a certain approved ratio. I feel if I DNF that book, I took the chance from someone else who might have really enjoyed it and actually finished it. In these cases I make myself finish the book, even if it is going to take me a week. If I really can't, I will let the publisher know in my "feedback" that this one wasn't for me and I will talk about what I liked, disliked, and whether I would give the book a shot again in the future. 

So, I made a poll and asked 25 other readers/bloggers via Twitter at what point they DNF a book:

Here is what they said: 

So DNFing something done more often not. More often then people actually finishing a book it seems. So if you are worried about DNFing a book, it is okay! 

Here are some books I have DNFed in the last few months: 

A Court of Thorns and Roses  by Sarah J. Maas // DNF @ 35% 

Why did I DNF this one? It was slow. I was already going on my fourth day of reading it and I had no desire to know what was going to happen next. I think it being over hyped so much was another reason I struggled with it. But by the fourth day I should have already been a book or two past this one. << Check it out on Goodreads >>

The Prey  by Tom Isbell // DNF @ 61%

I DNFed this on because of the writing and it was hard to follow. I stuck with it longer then I typically would have but I had hope it was going to get better. Sadly it didn't. This book was also a bad case of insta-love between the main characters after knowing each other for only hours. <<Check it out on Goodreads >>

The Young Elites  by Marie Young // DNF @ 32% 

I was really disappointed when I DNFed this one. I LOVE Marie's writing but TYE was way too slow for me. At 32% not much had happened in regards of plot. I dragged this one out for TWO WEEKS! That is fourteen days. Don't ask me why I did. << Check it out on Goodreads >>

The Raven Boys
 by Maggie Stiefvater // DNF @ 27%

A lot of people were a little shocked that I DNFed this one. I didn't DNF it ONCE but TWICE. I was intruiged enough but I really wasn't caring about how everything would end, and the POVs changed too many times for my liking. << Check it out on Goodreads >>

 I know, I know I DNFed The Raven Boys. I am going to give it another shot eventually

I am not suggesting for you to DNF a book, I am trying to bring across that it does happen and you won't be the only one who has DNFed a book. Was this post any help at all? Where do you stand in DNFing a book? Let me know in the comments below!


  1. Amazing post, guys! I've been DNFing more books lately because honestly, life is too short to force myself to read something I'm not enjoying. I try my best to give a book 25% before dropping it and I feel like that's a fair amount. In the end, blogging is a hobby that I love, so it SHOULD be fun! =)

  2. Great post! The hardest problem I have with DNFing is identifying if I'm actually not enjoying the book or if I'm going through a slump. It's not uncommon when I'm slumping to be enthusiastic about a book when I pick it up and while I'm reading it, but to just be unable to pick it up again afterwards, so I end up with piles of half-finished books around the house like a little graveyard for my reading goals. In these cases I find it helpful to ask if I was enjoying the book, or earlier installments in the series, at one point, or if I picked up the book and never enjoyed it. I also like to remind myself that DNFing now is not a commitment to never reading the book.

    Hahaha, two of your DNFs are books I loved, and a third is high on my TBR. I guess I just don't mind slow-pacing as much? It probably helps that I studied English lit at university, and most of what I studied there was slower-paced than even the most crawling YA.

  3. A very helpful post to new bloggers like me. Yeah, I'm still new so I haven't DNF any review copies yet. This will come handy in the future. I've also read somewhere that even though you DNFed a book, you may still post a DNF review stating the reasons why you did not finish it. :)

  4. This really helped me! :D Sometimes I have a hard time distinguishing between genuine disinterest in a book, and if my busy every day life is just affecting my ability to read. Like I recently got Dash & Lily's Book of Dares. I was really excited about this one, and I couldn't wait to read it, but I had stuff to do. Rooms to clean. Meals to cook. Guests to entertain. In four days I had only managed to read 90 pages. In times past, It's only taken me one day to read a 400 page book! So I was like, "Is this dragging because I don't have time or is it just slow?"

    Once I thought it through I realized that it was just slow, and I didn't care about the characters at all. So I've DNF'd it.

    I think DNFing a book is rather sad. Especially one I was so excited for. But like the person above me, Jennilyn V., I think posting a DNF review is okay. I'm going to do that :)

    Wonderful post! Again, those criteria for not finishing a book are really helpful!

  5. I do not finish a book if the writing is really bad or the characters are really annoying. I can take annoying up to a certain point before it drives me to want to throw the book or my Kindle against the wall. I do put many books on hold for various reasons, but intend to finish them.

    I appreciate you sharing this, thanks.

  6. Thanks for this! I always feel so guilty for DNFing a book that I usually read it anyway and then review it to the best of my ability. But maybe I will start DNFing so I'm not wasting my time on reads that I don't like.

  7. Great topic! And not something I see people talk about a lot. I really don't like to DNF but it happens. There are too many good books to spend time forcing myself to read one that just isn't clicking with me. And I'm so with you on The Raven Boys! Although, for some insane reason, I forced myself to finish it. Painful! I Just. Didn't. Care. The plot seemed vague and convoluted. I didn't connect with a single character. And the writing didn't blow me away like it seemed to with everyone else. Good for you for calling it when you did. Wish I had! LOL

  8. I have only DNFed a ew books but it always does hurt my heart whenever I do it. Most of the time, I DNF because I just cannot get into the book and I honestly am super bored. I agree though, we all have books we need to read and the last thing I need is to spend 2 weeks on a book I won't even finish. It's so sad because the book I had to DNF one time was super hyped and I spent my own money to pay full price on it. *cries* This was a great post, thanks for sharing! ;)

    ~Kaitlin @ Next Page Please!

  9. I am very easy in DNFing a book and I am a happier reader for it! I used to try to always finish a book, but it almost never paid off, so I just felt like, "screw it, there are better books waiting for me". I do try to push to at least 25%, but I've DNFed books as early as 3% and as late as 67%. Sometimes you just know it's not going to work out.

  10. Literally stopping by this post to say just one thing - I have never DNF'd a book. I've always stuck it out, read it through, whether I hated it or loved it, and then reviewed it... I think I've just invalidated your post's title ;D I personally have nothing for or against people who DO DNF! It's just not a habit or thing of mine. I can't let myself just stop!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!


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