My Musings

Let’s talk DNF books!

dnf books

Hello, holla holla playa, bonjour, ciao, guten tag, hola, namaste, salaam, zdrastvuyte, salut, yo, sup, whassup!

Today I thought we’d take a look at books we DNF, a topic that’s been broached many times before on various blogs but never on my blog. So, while it’s not an original idea for a post, it’s original to my blog and well, you all know I’ll put my own sarcastic and fun spin on it! πŸ™‚

I’ve been lucky with reading and DNF’ing books. The only one I can remember not finishing before I started blogging was The Silence by Tim Lebbon, I didn’t agree with something that happened at the end of the first part and decided that the book wasn’t for me, I’m fairly sure that I had a ‘no fucking way’ moment and even though I was enjoying the book I stopped reading. Last year, while blogging I read a couple of books that I didn’t enjoy but didn’t consider DNF’ing them either.

A couple of weeks ago, I read a book called The Truants by Lee Markham and I really struggled with it, finding it to be the first book that I was seriously considering DNF’ing since I started blogging way back in March of 2016.

I did actually finish the book and you can find my review !!HERE!!Β if you want to check out my thoughts and why I didn’t enjoy it. It was a real struggle, I couldn’t shake what had happened at the start and the question of ‘do I want to keep reading’ plagued me throughout the rest of the book, I even took time away from the book while I decided if I wanted to finish it or not. The book itself is only 250 pages and I’d already read 50 pages at the beginning. That only gave me 200 pages to get through, which was the main reason why I actually bothered to finally man up, say ‘fuck it‘, grow a pair and finish reading.

Yes, I was also interested to see how the story played out, I admit that. I guess we all have a sick infatuation with putting ourselves through the wringer at times, continuing on with things when we know we shouldn’t. The main reason though was the short length I’d got left to read, I thought at the time that 200 pages isn’t much and I was able to get through it, but if the book had been a hefty fantasy tome of 650 pages and I’d still got 600 pages left to read, then I wouldn’t have finished it, I’d have thrown in the towel, tapped out, quit and failed.

The whole experience got me to thinking, how long do you give a book before you DNF it?? Why do you DNF a book?? And, what do you do with books you DNF??

Firstly, this is a question for you all without any input from me. In hindsight, I’ve come to realise that while those 200 pages in The Truants didn’t kill me, they were longer than I first thought and looking back, I now realise that I could and should have been reading something that I enjoyed! Simply put, there are far too many books as it is without bothering with those you don’t enjoy, ain’t no-one got time for that! Can you say ‘Drew is dumb’ because here I am! Let’s all chant together, you can clap like The New Day and in a similar vein to ‘New – Day – Rocks’ you can use ‘Drew – is – Dumb!!!!

Let’s make this perfectly clear, there’s no shame or guilt in DNF’ing a book, whether it’s a review copy or a book you purchased yourself. You tried it, it wasn’t for you and you chose to move on. There’s nothing wrong in that at all.

So, my fellow bloggers, how long do you give a book before you DNF it or do you finish every book that you read???

Secondly, let’s look at why we DNF books.

There’s a variety of reasons why we don’t finish books, not just bloggers but readers too (cos, you know, bloggers are readers too, I have to make that point just in case any fuckwit is still proclaiming otherwise).


If you don’t engage with the characters then there’s a good chance you won’t finish a book. If you find that you don’t care about their fate then what’s the point in continuing reading about them? Are you bothered if they live or die? Fail or succeed? If the answer is ‘no’ then why carrying on reading the book?


Are you bothered about the story? Is it generic? Stereotypical? Captivating? Engrossing? Do you want to find out what happens? Surely if the book pulls you in with a captivating story then you’ll eagerly devour the pages but likewise, if you find the story generic and familiar (you keep thinking I’ve read this exact story before just with a different title by another author) then what’s the point in reading to the end?

You might lose your eyes:

Going blind is nothing to joke about and I don’t mean that hence ‘losing your eyes‘ and not ‘eyesight‘. What I mean is that you might be sat outside in the sunny weather, reading, maybe bird watching (the feathered variety and not the female) when suddenly, you spot a raven! You might think ‘wow, GRRM has sent a raven to tell me when Winds of Winter is finally being released‘ only for the bird to claw and peck out your eyes. Flying off with your eyes dangling from its beak, to chow down on them when it gets hungry. No eyes = no reading which means you wouldn’t be able to finish the book you’re currently reading and hence, technically it would be a DNF!


If the book is slow paced and nothing much happens you might find your attention wandering, or find yourself skimming the pages until the next big event. If the book is slow and laborious and you find it a struggle to get through, then you might well give up.


Each author has their own style, does the author’s writing pull you into their story or do you feel detached from the book? Do you as a reader like an author’s style? If you struggle to connect with the writing style used then you will find the book a slog to get through.

Formatting errors:

I had a few books from Netgalley last year that had terrible formatting and a few Kindle books over the year’s too, both paid for and free and while it’s only an occasional occurrence in ebooks, the shoddy ghjkhfuckhghfff formatting aashfuckghhh does lower gfhfuckdsghj the enjoyment in gjgdfuckvjiu reading, as I have just proven with the illegible words slipped in (sniggers) between the proper words in the previous sentence and you find yourself struggling to even read the pages with the dodgy formatting. Anyone spot the real word hidden within the illegible babble?? It’s the same in all four!

Grammar and spelling:

For me this isn’t a big deal, I doubt I’d know what the correct grammar was if it smacked me upside the head anyway! I can totally understand how to some people it would be a deal breaker as it can be construed as unprofessional. In fantasy (the best genre) you quite often find the wrong words used (off the top of my head The Traitor Son Cycle which I love suffers from this) and yes, it does take you out of the moment, but it’s not a big deal when you add in a number of made-up languages and words that are incorporated, just mildly irritating. However, for any genre, it is slightly annoying as you question if the book has been proofread.

Voices in your head:

If you hear voices in your head (not necessarily the ones that whisper and tell you to kill people, there are others too, or you might just be possessed by a particularly mouthy spirit that tells you what sarcastic comments to make) then they will influence your reading. If you always obey and listen to them regardless of how crazy their advice and they tell you to ‘stop reading‘ then, you will stop.

Something that transpires in the book:

When reading, it’s irrelevant if you are loving the book or not, you come across an event/course of action by a character that occurs during the story and you completely disagree with it. It goes against your morals and/or beliefs, subsequently ruining the book for you and making you stop reading, thinking WTF?! Really?! Hell no!! Are you fricking kidding me?!


Your time might come to an end. You die, your candle burns out, your light fades, you might be murdered, hit by a train, devoured by flesh-eating ants or piranha, sat on and squashed by an elephant or maybe, just maybe your head might explode from straining to hard on the toilet! Depending on how you lived, you find yourself up above or down below. Though as everything is actually a sin, when my time comes, I’ll see you all chilling with Satan. Where I will be forced to read smut books and listen to Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift for all eternity – shudders at that horrendous prospect! But, if you croaked, then you will, unfortunately, be unable to finish the book you were reading, ergo making it yet again, technically a DNF.


Maybe the book just doesn’t pull you in, there’s no hook that makes you want to keep reading and you find the story to be a complete snooze fest. Nodding off to sleep, to wake with a start, finding drool on your Kindle/tablet/book only to try a few more pages to discover that you’ve dozed off yet again and that puddle of slobber has grown!

It’s just not for you:

It happens, you start a book, there’s nothing wrong with it, it ticks all the boxes that make for a great read, only to discover that you’re really not in the mood for it, so you DNF it to come back to at a later date.

Have I missed any reasons to DNF a book??

I’ll throw this one in as a bonus.

Do covers affect if you finish a book or not?

Maybe you have a book that has a truly awful cover that makes you barf every time you see it. You think to yourself ‘time for reading‘ only to pick up the book and look at that cover, barf! Would you be able to read the book if the cover made you sick or would the book end up consigned to the DNF pile?! Obviously, you could just have a sick bucket next to you whilst reading. Or, you could tear off the cover or cover it up somehow, defacing the book…..but could you really do that when creasing the spine is a travesty, would you really deface a book to read it?! πŸ™‚

If you read crime/thrillers that feature a dead body on the cover do you need to finish the book to see if the killer is caught? If you read fantasy and the book features a specific scene, do you read until you’ve got to that scene just to find out what happens? If a book of any genre features a character you like (even if you hate a book you might like a character) do you feel the need to finish so you can find out their fate? Can you tell I added those bits just to pad this section out before I get to the fun stuff!

OK, the fun stuff! If heaven forbid you read smut books, you know the ones I mean, those x-rated books that feature an image of a male with glistening granite oiled abs on the cover (the book cover version of top-shelf booby magazines, only with abs instead of bosoms) do you need to finish the book because ol’ Studley on the front is staring intently at you? You DNF the book and put it away, only for everytime you walk past your bookshelf Studley’s eyes seem to follow you, imploring, begging “why won’t you finish me off? You started, got a grip and then just left it hanging” – obviously I mean the book you dirty minded people! Does a Studley on the cover persuade you that you need to finish him off?! πŸ˜‰

FYI, yes, I’m fully aware that the cover of a book holds absolutely no relevance whatsoever to whether or not you DNF it! I merely thought it was funny and it amused me! πŸ™‚

Thirdly, what do you do with books you DNF??

I don’t mean, do you throw the book away? Bury it in the garden – out of sight, out mind? Set fire to the book and watch it burn? Or, you could find an exorcist to purge the book, getting rid of the evil spirits found within that are polluting it?

When you finish a book, you write a review, maybe straight away, maybe a few days or even weeks later, after you’ve had time to sort out your thoughts and feelings, but in the end, you will review, it’s part of being a book blogger.

Do you rate books that you DNF? If ‘yes‘ do you point out and make it clear that you only got so far and rate what you read? Or, do you rate the complete book under the assumption that it wouldn’t have improved?

Do you write a full review even though you haven’t read the entire book? Or, do you just offer your thoughts on how far you got and explain the reasons why you DNF the book? If you write a ‘full‘ review for the entire book then, I’d have to ask and question how could you review a complete book if you only read part of it?

Do you post your review on your blog, Goodreads and Amazon, the same as you would for a book you had read? Or, do you just post on your blog or on Goodreads and Amazon instead?

Some people don’t like to be negative on their blogs, they might find a DNF review to be a negative type of post and decide against actually writing a review. Perhaps instead, they just email the author or publisher privately to explain why they DNF the book, keeping it personal instead of public. Would you agree with this? Or, do you think that your blog readers have a right to know why you DNF a book?

I haven’t had to do this yet and hopefully, I won’t. But, there’s always a chance that I will DNF a book as you, unfortunately, can’t love all the books that you read. For me, when/if it happens I think that I’d write a post called a ‘DNF review‘ with no rating and just offer my thoughts on why I couldn’t get on with the book.

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86 thoughts on “Let’s talk DNF books!

  1. I always used to finish books. But as I get older, I have less patience and also less concentration. Why should I waste my time on irritating characters, unfunny jokes and careless writing (Fay Weldon take note.) And I’m less prepared to put in an effort, so I think I just struggled though my last chapters in a foreign language.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. There are not many DNF books for me. There were a couple I almost DNF, but kept going as others said it would be worth it. One ultimately was not for me, and the other actually got good in the last 1/4 of the book and I ended up liking it.

    There has only been one book since I have been reviewing that I DNF and it was early on. I was approached by the author about reading her whole series she was planning on writing. I said lets start with the first one and see if I like it. WELL….. I was iffy with it at 32% in and gave up at 52%. I just couldn’t read it anymore. It was not the description she said it was and it was just DRAGGING for me. I sent her an email and responded back. Later I noticed she unfriended me on FB. REALLY!?!?! Because I couldn’t finish your book!?!?! Wow.

    Looking back, I know some things I could do better now on my end since I’m not a ‘baby blogger’ anymore. I didn’t even tell people the author or the book it was. She also took her book off Amazon and her website down. I’m totally guessing here, but I think she got more negative feedback for all that to be taken down. Since all that I recently saw that she has changed her pen name and redone the book and has two more in her series.

    Needless to say, I will not work with her again.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ‘baby blogger’ I like that term, I used to use it too.πŸ˜‚

      That sucks unfriending you just because you couldn’t finish the book, we can’t like all the books all the time.

      I hate that, when the description is different to the book and it turns out to be something different to what you were expecting.

      Definitely sounds like she had more bad feedback to do all that. Bad feedback can’t be helped, it’s life but sadly some authors who want an honest review decide when it’s negative that they don’t like honest feedback.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep- when your an author and you want honest feedback, you better be ready for it. I gave it a decent try- over halfway when I was debating in it at 32%

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post Drew! I DNF quite a lot these days for various reasons but the main one being that it didn’t hook me within the first 50/100 pages. Funny you should mention about covers because I have a book for review and I really don’t like the cover and it’s putting me off picking it up. I’ve read a bit of it but that cover is just baaaaaaaad! Maybe I sound tear it off but that feels like vandalism, plus a friend recently read a bit and liked it so I can’t tear the cover off if I’m going to pass it on. :/

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I try not to judge by the cover, but I have seen some BAD covers! Also when several authors use the same stock image and you see it over and over. I mean come on and pay someone to do a decent cover without a free stock image. You don’t want your cover looking similar to someone else’s do you!??

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Ha!πŸ˜‚ That whole cover bit was just sarcasm to get my disdain for covers with abs in! Didn’t really think covers would affect DNF’ing a book but they definitely affect if you want to buy it or read it at times, regardless of the genre we read, we do all love a nice cover.πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I can’t remember the title (THIKK it was ‘Alice’). It was a trilogy based on Alice in Wonderland but was happening to a woman named Alice who was certified insane. The premise intrigued me. The formatting was so hideously bad that I gave up after three pages.

    Another was a warhammer fantasy novel called Blood For The Blood God. Very gory, lots of battles, but after getting half way I just thought the plot was far to linear so dropped it like a bad habbit.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I normally give a book 100 pages then give up if not getting on with it. Most books seem to pick up around then. I haven’t DNF’d for a while though but I remember giving up on The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman as I didn’t like that they knew something bad was going to happen to the girl but they couldn’t do anything to stop it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fun post as always! I don’t DNF books very often and usually it’s (A) either something that offends my believes or views, or (B) when the book spends months and months on my night table weighing on my consciousness.

    I am getting over the idea of “not being negative” on my blog and try to always post reviews on the books I read, even if I absolutely disliked it. (always staying very polite ofc πŸ˜€ )
    But there also were situations when I DNFed or disliked the book to the point of not wanting to talk about it, write or even think about it. Then I usually e-mail publishers and explain the reasons behind my decision.

    Next week I will actually be posting a review on a book that I did not finish because there were quite a lot of things that I liked about it. I just wasn’t gritty enough to finish it πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I tend to go for fun posts on my blog.πŸ˜€

      Ha, polite is definitely the way to go, not sure I manage that with some of the stuff I write but there’s no point ranting about a book when you could explain politely the issues that you had.

      A great people don’t want to be negative on their blog and it’s definitely valid, can’t fault them for it and as you say, if the books that bad then you just want to move on and forget about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I have to say I’m pretty good at selecting books so I rarely DNF them, and I rarely read anything under 3 stars. I stopped reading self published books for one thing, and I really do research, read lots of reviews, and see what my blog friends are reading before I commit to a book. Once in a while I read a dud, but not too often.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Great topic! I’ve been feeling bad about something for a very long time and this is a great opportunity to get it off my chest. When I was in the 5th grade, I committed to reading every word in Webster’s Dictionary. I made it thru the J’s and gave up. I decided that the book just wasn’t for me, so I gave it a DNF one star rating. There were a few words that were offensive to me, and the cover was totally bland, so….Thanks for the opportunity to share.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think this is always a good discussion point, and I’m always interested in how people deal with these situations. I have dnf only one book since I’ve been blogging. I did review it and said that I dnf, and why. But I only put it on my blog, and privately mailed the Author to say that I wouldn’t be posting it on Amazon or GR. Surprisingly, a few months later, he emailed me to see if I wanted to read and review THE SAME book!!! I guess I didn’t offend him to much!
    You are completely right when you say that ‘there are too many books in the world to enjoy ones that aren’t for you.’
    Great discussion point, (with nice sarcasm along the way) πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.πŸ˜€

      Have to include the sarcasm, makes the post more fun and as I’m not an eloquent writer it just adds that extra.

      Ha, that could be true that you didn’t offend him too much or, he’d forgotten that you’d already read his book!πŸ˜‚

      That’s true, it’s definitely cool to see others thoughts on a subject like this.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I really really try to finish all books I start however, if I get to the point that I just don’t care anymore, I will skim through it to the end. The reason I don’t usually finish a book is because it is just plain boring or predictable.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post Drew. I have DNF’d a few – I always used to persevere whatever but not any more. If I’m not grabbed by the throat within the first 50/60 pages then its curtains for that book. My usual reason for abandoning is just a slow/boring storyline. Unlikeable characters don’t bother me at all but I do like to either like or hate – if I’m indifferent to them and really don’t CARE what happens to them then I’m more likely to DNF. I don’t review on the blog, I just mark as DNF on Goodreads without any star rating or comment.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. “You might just be possessed by a particularly mouthy spirit that tells you what sarcastic comments to make…”. That cracked me up. πŸ˜‚ Overall, I found this article very relatable. I typically don’t DNF something, but often enough it’s when something has a great premise but terrible execution. And covers usually don’t affect me, but some are just…bad. No other way to put it.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Great post! (as a lot of the other people have already pointed out :P)

    I find it hard to DNF a book (Except for Outlander… I was so glad to put myself out of my misery). Basically, I DNF a book when the main character annoys the living daylights out of me (this is often with first person narratives), when the story is just dull/uninspiring/tiring/anythingthatisnotworthyourtime, or when I feel like I’m going to write a negative review about it if I finish it only because it’s just not for me at that specific point in time (I tried to read a book originally written in chinese and for some reason I just couldn’t get into it because it wasn’t my cup of tea. I DNFed it and wrote a small review which contained why it wasn’t for me but also why it could be just the book for other people). I don’t rate the book because I haven’t read it all (can’t rate a book based on 100 p instead of the original 1000 for example). The time I give a book before DNFing it depends on how eager I am to try to like the book :’) Or not try and just give up for my own sanity haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.

      Lmao sanity!πŸ˜‚

      That’s very true, can’t really rate a book if you’ve only read 100 out of 1000 pages as you don’t know the story or characters, especially in fantasy when lots of the time nothing happens in the first hundred or so pages.πŸ˜‚

      That’s very true, even if we DNF a book it doesn’t mean that others won’t like it.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hahaha mostly (for some obscure reason) I tend to finish fantasy books no matter what since I know that there’s usually a “warming up” sort of thing haha I’m very forgiving and willing to finish fantasy and historical fiction :’) Really picky too. If I’m not sure if there is a remote chance that I’m going to like it there’s no way I’ll even attempt reading it.

        Liked by 1 person

  14. I review books that I mark as DNF, I feel like I should let readers know why I DNF’ed it. I don’t have a hard time DNF’ing books, I don’t like wasting my time reading something that I’m not enjoying when I could be spending time reading something that I know I’ll enjoy.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I love this post! How long I give a book before I DNF it depends on what I’m not liking about it. If it’s that it doesn’t pull me in right away, I usually push through that, because some of my favourite books have lousy beginnings (Les Miserables, for example). So, I try to hang in there a little longer until I’m sure that the entire book is just not interesting. Maybe until about halfway through.

    If it’s the characters, it kind of depends. I’ve pushed through entire books where I couldn’t stand any of the characters. But it has to have A LOT of other stuff going for it. (Or, I have to be camping or something and only have one book with me and nothing else to do.)

    What makes me DNF a book faster than anything, though, is style. A book might get more exciting later on, a character might develop into a better person, but the style of the writing is not going to change. One time I DNF’d a book on page 9 because I hated the writing style. Conversely, I’ve pushed through some books that I hated just because the style was so beautiful. Which means that’s possibly my biggest criteria for a good book.

    Usually, if I DNF a book, I don’t speak of it ever again. One time though, I did do a post called “Good Thing I Got These From the Library” about two books that I DNF’d and why. That’s rare though.

    One more thing: Sometimes there are books that I didn’t finish, not because I didn’t like the book or don’t want to read it, but because it’s not the book I’m in the mood for right then. Usually, I end up returning to those ones later on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.πŸ˜€

      Totally agree about pushing through if you’re not immediately pulled in. I’m a fantasy fan and the amount of books that start off slow and don’t pull you in straight away is a lot so yeah, definitely got to give them enough of a chance to draw you in.

      Some authors certainly do have their own styles that you either love or hate. If you don’t get on with the style then it would ruin the book.

      That’s definitely a valid point about the book just not being for you at that time. I’m very much a mood reader and need to read what I’m in the mood for otherwise I don’t enjoy it.πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Oh Drew… so many questions! πŸ™‚
    Hmm… well, I normally DNF if I’m just not feeling it; or when I’m feeling like I’d rather do something else other than read.. that’s a sure sign the book isn’t going well… I’ve DNFd for a variety of reasons… Lolita for example, because it was just too gross. Other titles because there was action but without feeling connected to characters I just didn’t feel engaged, some books because they just pure ‘wtf’.. Sometimes, even though the premise of it sounds good, the execution is so poor, it makes me fall asleep.. so I throw in the towel because the TBR is a mile long and ain’t nobody got time for books that don’t sit well!
    As for ratings… depends on why I DNFd the book… if it’s a really good reason to DNF AND I managed to read enough to have a valid opinion I rate, mostly though, I don’t and then it’s just a reason of- it simply wasn’t for me, so no rating.
    It all depends πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Damn, if Lolita was to gross for you then it must be bad!πŸ˜‚

      That’s very true, it’s a sure sign you’re not enjoying a book if you’d rather be doing something else. We want a book that we’d rather be reading than doing other stuff not the other way round!πŸ˜€

      That’s true about the TBR pile, always more books. Though, I’ve never read a book that’s made me fall asleep……yet!πŸ˜‚

      Agree about rating, if you’ve read enough then fine but I don’t get when people read 10 pages out of a 600 page book, give up and rate it. Sure, they didn’t like it but can’t rate a whole book when you’ve read so little.

      Ha, lots of questions, yep, some nice sarcasm thrown in too though.πŸ˜€


  17. I usually DNF a book if it terribly culturally appropriates, and I know that I won’t be able to have an objective opinion about it. That’s the main reason. Others are if I’m genuinely bored or of my mind and I can feel it leading to a reading slump, but I try to read at least the first 100 pages of the book before I do that. Books for reviews, I always force my way through them so I can provide the best feedback possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Great post! I rarely DNF a book. The last book I DNF’d was because of a horrific death scene of a cat, and I had just lost my cat, and I decided that the book was not for me to read at that particular time (the book was well written and I fully intend to return to the book someday, just not anytime soon).
    Now that I’m blogging, I rarely DNF a book even more! (Just one DNF in the past 2 years!) I just read an ARC recently that I would have DNF’d had I not been reading it for the publisher. But since it was an ARC I felt compelled to finish the book and that way I could write a cohesive review of why I didn’t really care for it.
    I usually try to push through a book I’m not enjoying because something could happen at the end that completely changes how I feel about the book. Case in point: Barbara Kingsolver’s The Lacuna and also Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose. Both of those books were book club reads for me, and I started the books and was bored out of my mind. But then about 3/4 of the way through the books started clicking and both had extremely strong endings that made the slow build up completely worth it. Had I DNF’d I would’ve missed out on two fabulous books.
    So, I dislike DNF’ing as I always feel guilty about it. But then again, life is so short and there really are so many great books out there!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s very true, so many books and not enough time to read those you’re not enjoying. Totally agree about something happening near the end, I mainly read fantasy and often you never know what’s likely to happen or change from the beginning to the end.

      Ah, that’s total understandable with your cat, my dog had to be put down and a month later I started reading HEX, same breed of dog in it and I knew what was going to happen and while I struggled through I shouldn’t have done as it really ruined the book for me as I was still suffering from my own dog.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. 200 pages can seem like 1000 if you’re not particularly enjoying the book. Hell, ten pages can be a struggle!
    Death and losing your eyes…you’ve been quite thorough in your research as to why we might DNF a book πŸ˜› Glad to see you’ve got all areas covered! πŸ˜›
    On a serious note, though, some excellent points! Totally agree with you on DNFing a book because of something that transpires within it. I was reading a book last year, way back when I first started my blog, and this guy had mind control powers (typical paranormal romance trope, another reason for you to make fun of the romance genre :P) and he was really creepily abusing his power. I couldn’t read anymore because it was so messed up but was being passed off as romantic!?!?! I didn’t do a review, but I did do a post explaining why I didn’t finish with examples to back up what I was saying.
    Hmmm I’m not the one to ask about DNFing books with “an image of a male with glistening granite oiled abs on the cover”, but I honestly think you should read one yourself and see if it does influence your DNFing πŸ˜› Could be a social experiment! Just kidding, you’re probably one of the last book bloggers I couldn’t imagine reading smut/romance πŸ˜›

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s very true as I found out, those 200 pages were a nightmare to get through.

      Ha, yeah, death and losing your eyes. Well, obviously I wasn’t going to just list the normal reasons for DNF’ing a book! I’m not the best writer and like to add some humour and fun into my posts to hide the fact that my writing sucks!

      Hey now “another reason for you to make fun of the romance genre” is rather unfair! The ‘making fun of’ is only in good humour and fun, no offence is meant though I’m not sure that I’ve ever actually made fun of the genre or its content merely the ghastly covers!πŸ˜‚

      I doubt I’d even be able to start one of ‘those’ books, the cover would make my eyes bleed and I’d have to DNF before I started due to bleeding eyes!πŸ˜‚

      I think there’s far better social experiments than Drew reading one of ‘those’ books, shudders at the thought!

      True, can’t disagree with you on that, I’m definitely one of the last bloggers likely to read smut!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, good content is more important than written style, but I have to say, your writing doesn’t suck! I’m an English teacher by trade and while I won’t dissect your posts or anything like that (because that would be really weird), I will say that your writing most definitely doesn’t suck πŸ™‚
        They do say don’t judge a book by its cover ;D Beneath those glistening abs might lie a story of drama, heartache, deception and loss! (Very rarely with romance I’m learning, hence why I’m migrating into other genres)
        Also, I like how you say ‘those’ books πŸ˜›

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Bwahahahaha, yeah, that would definitely be weird! Though I’d guess that if you did dissect my posts then the results would be weird anyway as I write some weird stuff!πŸ˜‚

        “Beneath those glistening abs might lie a story of drama, heartache, deception and loss!” – did you manage to write that without laughing?!πŸ˜‚ I guess they do contain ‘loss’ as the guy on the cover has lost his clothes!πŸ˜‚

        Ha, ‘those’ books, I have to try and be polite at times!πŸ˜‚

        Liked by 1 person

  20. Daaamn what a blog mate… my first DNF happened this year with a (sad to say) Terry Pratchett, book was called Dark side of the sun purely for the fact that when i got to page 100 i still had no idea what book was all about. I got some of the humour, but I think sir Terry’s way of thinking was just waaay beyond my grasp of English. I was very dissapointed not in the author but in myself. In general, when I pick up a book there will be no opening a new one till its done. I have however, two seny dnf books but i see it more as HNFY (have not finished yet) its Moby Dick and Dante’s Devine Comedy. They are personaly to me mammoth books to finish. I read them when i get a chance and feel like there are enough braincells left to deal with the concentration needed to pay attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I normally get samples of books that I want to read on my Kindle and mostly I know after reading them, whether I want to know more or not. I’ve been very careful with new books – I always do a lot of research before I decide what to buy. Just because often the blurb doesn’t tell me what the book is really about. Or the book is totally different from what it says. There may be dragons on the cover, but NOT IN THE ACTUAL STORY!

    So when I start a book and notice I don’t like it, I will still try to read about 15-20% to give it a chance. If I still don’t like it after that, it’s not worth my time.

    The biggest problem for me is, when I can’t connect with the characters. If I don’t care about them, I don’t care about the story.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Gosh! Following this thread has been an educational experience. With some exception, I only critique prepublication nonfiction, for a fee, in my field and such is never posted for public consumption. To continue with my comment above, when I posted my review of Webster’s Dictionary on Goodreads, I thought that was the end of my mission. But, I got an email from Mr. Webster. He asked if I realized that I had given his dictionary a one star rating. I had submitted my review without any star ratings, so I went there and checked. Sure enough, he was correct. I deleted my review and resubmitted it. After all, I had only read through the Js in his book and there just had to be a lot of great words after that to read. Since I’m a pacifist, I knew that I would object to some of the words related to violence or war, but I didn’t intend or want to impose my “like” on a book review. It didn’t work. Maybe Goodreads automatically generates a one star rating if someone doesn’t score a book. Each of you are a lot more experienced than me on that site. Anyway, to make a long story short, I ended up resubmitting my review of Webster’s Dictionary with a three star rating. Maybe Webster’s is not as good as Oxford’s, but who knows? It seemed like the right thing to do at the time since the weakness was within me and not necessarily within the dictionary. Of course, that all happened a very long time ago. Take care and thanks for the experience. I’ve learned a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. There are MANY reasons why I may not finish a book. I used to be incredibly stubborn about it, and refused to DNF anything. But after creating a shelf on Goodreads titled “Should have DNFed” and seeing how many books I was adding to that, I realized something really needed to change. So I created a DNF policy for myself πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Ha! Not finishing a book because the cover made you barf! That made me laugh. I’ve probably read a whole bunch of books that I probably shouldn’t have finished, a lot of the reasons you’ve mentioned. I don’t know what it is, but I just like to power through whatever I’m reading so that I can give a proper review of what I thought of the book. To me I’d never review a book I didn’t finish because I feel like that’s unfair. Like the book could have gotten better, but how would I know if I didn’t finish it. I just like to review everything I read so for me, in order to do that I read everything., plus I’m a fast reader so it doesn’t bother me if I’m wasting my time because I’m not wasting that much of my time.
    Loved reading this, your wittiness is entertaining to read! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha, I think I went a bit over the top with a cover making you barf, funny though and thanks, I try to be entertaining in my posts.πŸ˜€

      Damn fast readers!πŸ˜‚ I guess if you read a book a day it’s all good, but for slow readers like me we have to pick and choose what we think/hope we’ll enjoy.

      That’s very true, if you don’t finish then you don’t know if it’ll have gotten better. I’m a fantasy fan and anything could happen in the last 100 or so pages and if you’ve only read the first 50 then you don’t know the conclusion or even the whole story to write a full review.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I definitely don’t read books in a day, but I spend roughly 3 days per book (although lately I’ve been slower than usual.) But I get where you’re coming from. If you don’t have all the time in the world to read all the books, then you have to be choosier.

        Oh gosh, and fantasy is such an anything can happen genre that you really wouldn’t know where the story could go! That would be such a false review if someone was to do that. I would never feel right doing that.

        Liked by 1 person

  25. I do not DNF very often. I usually try to give books a full 20% before throwing in the towel though if I can. If I DNF sooner, it is usually due to the nature of the content striking a real chord (to be honest that rarely ever happens with me).

    As far as why I DNF – there are too many factors (a lot that have been covered here) to name. It all boils down to the content though. If the story isn’t connecting be it characters, etc. it just is not. I will often re-shelve DNFs for a later time. I am a big mood reader. So sometimes approaching a title at another time can make a world of difference πŸ™‚ I would never ever DNF a title for the cover haha. Else why even pick it up?

    I think we know each other well enough to know I do not write DNF reviews. I may make mention or discussion of my challenges with a book, but I will not review someone’s hard work that I did not actually complete. I feel that even in the last 15 to 20% of a book, so much can happen to change the game. I definitely never post ratings that affect an author’s standing on media sites if I did not complete the title. I will generally submit feedback in an email if it is a review copy and leave it at that. These are all personal preferences though. I have seen plenty of DNF reviews that are ok πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, that’s very true about DNF’ing a book due to the cover, if the cover made you barf then you wouldn’t even have bought the book, that’s a technicality I didn’t think of! Though that whole cover bit in the post was meant as fun and sarcasm.πŸ˜‰

      That’s very true about the 15% – 20% hell, for fantasy the last 10% can pull it all together and change the entire book.

      Yeah, it seems unfair to rate a book, especially a 1* rating as the person DNF it, I think you have to respect that just because it wasn’t for you, it might be for someone else and it seems unfair to rant over an authors work when you’ve read so little. Criticism needs to be constructive, can’t just hate on something for the hell of it, too much hate already in the world as it is.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Personally I have only DNF’d a couple books but I go in with the mindset that I should enjoy a book, unless the purpose is to challenge me however then it typically evokes strong emotions and that keeps me interested enough to finish.
    I don’t do a full review on books I DNF however I will do a 1 star on Goodreads and also shelve it as a DNF. On my blog at the end of the month I will note all books I’ve read and have a section for books I’ve DNF’d but that’s it.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. I have not set time but I have no problem dropping a DNF on a book. Life is too short and some books are horrible and some books are just not to my tastes. Bad characters early on are the best way to get me to pull that trigger.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Ugh, the dreaded DNF. It’s pretty rare that I come across a book that’s so bad I can’t finish it, but when I do it gets donated to the library so other poor folks can have the same experience I just did. :p Actually, I just feel pretty bad about throwing books away- like, who does that!? I’ve DNF’d for several reasons- humor that doesn’t jive with me, bad characters, and cringe-worthy story lines are the main reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “when I do it gets donated to the library so other poor folks can have the same experience I just did” – how nice!πŸ˜‚

      That’s very true, I don’t understand why people would just throw books away, it’s a waste as even if you didn’t like it some crazy person might, as you say, give them to the library, even a charity shop, etc but throwing them away, nah, pointless.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. Oooh great post Drew!

    OK, I’m a DNF fan! Don’t like it? Move on. I don’t like to not finish books but I have no problem doing it. I will DNF anywhere from a chapter in to near the end, I recently DNF’d with about four chapters left because I just couldn’t take anymore. The story was doing nothing for me and I felt nothing for the characters at all.
    I do review them, in all the usual places, I’m honest that I’m only reviewing based on what I read and that I gave up reading because of xyz. I have no problem having a negative review on the blog, it’s not a regular thing and it gives some balance to show you are objective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that’s very true about negative reviews showing that you are objective when it comes to reviewing. Especially with people ragging on bloggers for all their reviews praising books, at least a DNF review tells them to f#ck off and that the blogger does review objectively.

      Nothing wrong at all with DNF, being honest about only reviewing based on what you’ve read is definitely the way to go.

      Liked by 1 person

  30. This is a great post!
    To my recollection, I have only ever not finished two books. The first was Memnoch the Devil. I couldn’t stand the extreme religiousness that it when into. The second was One Bite With a Stranger. It was pure pornographic smut. I couldn’t believe how long the sex scene went on for. I just couldn’t keep reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. First things first, I totally enjoy the tone and tongue-in-cheek humor of your posts, and this was a very fine example indeed πŸ™‚
    DNFs, though not many, are something of a constant with me: if by the 20 percent mark of the book I’m not engaged, I move on to greener pastures. Time is short, my reading queue reaches comfortably from her to Proxima Centauri and back, and I have very little patience… So I always admire people who have the strength to move forward to the (bitter?) end of a book they are not enjoying: I always think they are hero material!
    What do I do with DNF books? Well, since I read almost exclusively ebooks, they still end on the backup folder of my external hard drive, but I don’t look at them fondly as I do with the books I loved… πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.πŸ˜€ I like to think I’m quite funny in my posts so it’s nice to know that others think the same.πŸ˜€

      Ha, that’s one damn long reading queue! 20% seems more than fair to me to give a book a chance and you’re completely right, people who struggle through with a book they aren’t enjoying to the end definitely are heroes!πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  32. Losing your eyes and voices in your head. Boy, oh boy! Hahahah I personally never DNF books. While it doesn’t mean I won’t ever do so, I just prefer going through hell and completing the book in order to be able to back up whatever I’ll have to say about the book when reviewing it. Definitely appreciated this post and all the various reasons one can have for DNFing a book! Great post, Drew.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. For me, it all depends. Sometimes I give up on a book after a few pages because I hate the writing or I immediately dislike the protagonist and won’t be able to spend a couple hundred pages with them. Other times, I give up later on because the plot or characters have weakened or the story is dragging and I’m too bored to continue with the book.
    If I have something to say, then I’ll post a review. But I always mention that I DNF’d the book and how far in I got.
    I usually hold on to books I DNF but since I ran out of shelf space, I started giving them away.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh God, if you hate the protagonist straight away it makes for an awful time reading and yeah, a few people mentioned the writing, luckily I’ve not read a book (yet) where the writing has been so bad it’s made me stop reading.


  34. Being a perfectionist, DNFing doesn’t come easily to me, and there is a whole lot of guilt tangled up with the sense of failure of giving up, especially if it was an ARC. Perhaps it comes from an overinflated sense of importance that I think the publisher will lose sleep over my DNF or remember me for the rest of their days and never grant me a preview copy ever again, that makes the book haunt me in my nightmares, screaming: you gave up on me! On the other hand, with full time work and other stuff demanded of me, life is too short to spend on a book I hate, or which bores me to death, at which point your point about dying halfway through the book would come true. If my dusty skeleton is ever found clutching a paperback, I at least want it to be a good one, not the one-hundredths attempted clone of Gone Girl with that killer twist you won’t see coming (because you died of boredom waiting for it). Actually, I DNF’d a book today, and my ramblings are just excuses to escape the guilt that is still haunting me – I know I will go to hell for this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think publishers mind if you dnf a book to be honest as most like honest feedback and while everyone is different and what one person dislikes another might like, there’s also going to be others who have the same view and might dnf the book due to the same reason or finish it and then comment on it in the review that certain things ruined their enjoyment of the book. It’s all about being honest and we can’t like all the books all the time unfortunately.


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