August 18, 2014

DNFing Books

Before blogging, that term was a foreign concept to me.  I didn't even hear it until I'd been a book blogger for a few months.  DNF stands for Did Not Finish, as in, I did not finish this book.  I know there were lots of times before I started reviewing books that I put something down because it was too inappropriate for me, because I was bored, or because I just didn't like it.
When I found out about the term, I started giving myself the freedom to DNF books.  It's still something I struggle with (with some books more than others, especially if I've DNFed a lot lately).  In the last year, I've stopped reading about 30 books.  Many bored me.

For example, Tsarina by J. Nelle Patrick.  Beautiful cover.  Cool concept.  But I was expecting to see more of the Romanovs.  So when I didn't and there was this mysterious rebel, who I realized would be a love interest, I was done with the book.  But tsarist Russia is such a fascinating time, so I hope to find another book from the time of the Romanovs that I like more.

This next book, I'm not even going to name.  I DNFed it because there was just too much weirdness, there was too much inappropriate content, and...the author exhibited some bad behavior on Twitter.  She was very rude about a semi-bad review and she claimed all book bloggers are aspiring authors who can't get published.  I was already close to DNFing her book at that point, and that was the final nail in the coffin.

There were other books that I really wanted to like but just didn't.  These include Vicious by Victoria Schwab, Wanted: Dead or In Love by Kym Brunner, Dear Mr. Knightley by Katherine Reay, Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong, Sekret by Lindsay Smith, and Let the Sky Fall by Shannon Messenger.

I've also started giving myself the freedom to write DNF reviews (hence the three that went up in the last 10 days).  I'm also to a point in my life where I'm very busy so what reading time I have has to be spent on books I'm going to give at least 3 stars.  I still often feel guilty when I have to DNF a book (especially if it's for review), but I've realized I need to give myself permission to say, "I don't like this book.  I shouldn't have to force myself to read it."

What causes you to DNF a book, and how long do you read before saying you're done?  Does DNFing make you feel guilty?  Let's discuss!  Leave a comment below or tweet at me or something. :)


  1. Hi Emma! This was a great topic. I personally hate DNF'ing a book because guilt usually grows within me. But there are times where I succumb and cannot handle the content in books. You've obviously stated most of my reasons, so I'm not going to bore you with those.
    It's sad to here that an author would have that type of behavior to bloggers! Sometimes DNF reviews are fine because your readers can know the good, the bad, and the ugly.

    - Marcey @ Readical

  2. I am terrible at DNFing books! I have such a hard time putting them down. Partly because I feel guilty, partly because I wonder if it will get better. I literally think I've put down one book this year. :( It's definitely something I'm trying to work on because why waste time on a book that's not working for me?

  3. I have the opposite problem--I'm way too free with DNFing. The only reason that makes me feel guilty is that I don't like the names. I DNFed Graceling and Throne of Glass about 20 pages in because the naming convention sounded contrived.

  4. I used to hate DNFing books when I first started blogging but then I realized that there are way too many books out there that I'm DYING to read and I shouldn't spend my time on the ones that I'm just not feeling. Since then, I haven't had as many reading slumps :)

  5. I honestly hate DNFing books simply because I've read books that are much better in the second half than the first half, and I want to give books a chance. I mean, sometimes the book turns out to be good the second time you read it.
    Usually the reason I would DNF a book would be if it took me like 4 days to finish 50 pages and I literally have to force myself to read. And no, I would not consider it a DNF if I only read like 10-20 pages in. That's more like a sampling (?), so I couldn't judge from that.

  6. I hate DNFing books- I've only done it twice so far. Once was with Emma (because I was bored and didn't want to deal with the train wreck I could see coming) and once was a Ted Dekker book that just seemed weird. There are a few books that I wish I'd DNFed, though- namely Green, by Ted Dekker. I do not like that book.

  7. I've read (and really liked!) Shannon Messenger's middle grade series. It's cute and fluffy and all good fun. But I'm a bit hesitant to read Let the Sky Fall...why did you stop reading it?

  8. I didn't actually start calling it DNFing until quite recently. It makes me feel guilty when there is an official title for it. :) There weren't many DNFs for me in middle grade as the language and everything was practically nonexistent. But as I moved into YA lit, weeeeeeeel...
    I DNF books because of language, romance, topics like vampires and other stuff like that. I tried to read Love Letters to the Dead recently and I couldn't finish it. I did skim through till the end but the topics and language and the crazy Christian aunt kind of turned me off. I usually read until I can't stand what I'm reading anymore. I occasionally skip past parts, hoping that it will get better soon, but that doesn't normally happen.

    ~D. Skye <3

  9. I also let myself have the freedom to DNF any book that I just can't get into. Coincidentally, I also DNFed Let the Sky Fall and I barely started Sea of Shadows but already didn't enjoy it. However, I did LOVE Vicious, so it makes me sad to hear that you didn't enjoy it enough to continue.

    Thanks for the post, Emma!


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