Do You DNF?

Do You DNF?Over the past several months, I’ve been trying to focus on quality over quantity with my reading. This doesn’t necessarily mean every book I read needs to be the BEST book ever but that I’d like to be reading books that thoroughly entertain, teach me something new and interesting, or bring something really special to the table. So I’ve been abandoning books more readily than I ever have in the past.

Although I’ve proclaimed to be fine with putting a book down when it’s not working, it’s been a fairly rare occurrence in my reading life. But as I’m getting older and realizing just how many books there are that I’d like to try, it’s getting easier to DNF (did not finish). It’s entirely possible I’m also getting more particular in my preferences and my patience for poor quality is waning as I read more, making it easier to decide to put a book down.

There are a few reasons why I might DNF a book:

1. The timing/format is wrong.

I’ve tried some books that deal with topics or themes that I just couldn’t handle at the time. It might be anything from the death of a loved one to something too creepy when I’m already stressed. And as a reader who enjoys using multiple formats (print copies, e-books, audiobooks), I find that some formats work better for some books than others. When I put these books down, I usually intend to go back to them at some point when the timing is better or in a different format.

2. I couldn’t connect with it.

This tends to be the hardest category for me. These are books that don’t necessarily have anything wrong with them and the timing and format is right, but something just isn’t clicking for me. Although sometimes I’ll realize it fairly quickly, most often I stick with these for the longest amount of time before putting them down. And sometimes I’ll consider going back to these at another time as well.

3. Poor writing and editing.

These are the easiest books for me to DNF. When I come across several spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes within a couple pages, I know it won’t be a book for me. This tends to be an issue more often with independently published (and especially self published) books, which is unfortunate because I like to give them a chance.

So I’m curious! Do you DNF books? If so, what are your reasons?

19 thoughts on “Do You DNF?

  1. I agree. I HAD TO finish every book I started when I was younger. Now, I give it a little while and if it’s not doing it for me, I set it aside.

    Like you, Nicole, I find that sometimes I just don’t connect with a book due to timing or some other reason. I tend to hold onto these the same as you do, and sometimes go back and try again. But if I set it aside because there’s a super annoying character or something is too implausible to make sense, then I’m likely to just donate to the library.

    I’m sad to hear that you often find misspellings/typos/grammar issues in self-published books. All of mine are self-published to date and I work with an excellent editor to make sure that this doesn’t happen. Kudos for giving indie authors a try from time to time though! That’s fantastic and one of my goals this year as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m finding more and more people saying they used to finish every book they started but are now starting to put books down that aren’t working for them.

      Not all the self-published books I read have many mistakes, but I do find that it tends to happen more often. Some are very well written and edited, though! That’s awesome that’s one of your goals – good luck!


  2. I like the idea of DNF’ing and am a huge proponent of it but the reality is that I tend to dnf a series more than a particular book. Unless a book crosses certain lines for me, I tend to tough it out. If it is a standalone I’m a bit more cognizant of it’s shortcomings and will either dnf or rate it very low and rant on it in a review.

    But if a series dips below 3 or just barely stays at 3, I’m very likely to dnf the series and possibly just leave the author alone 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As you said, lately I’ve been realizing that there are a lot of books out there that I think I will enjoy, so why would I spend time on a book I’m not enjoying?!
    Tbh, I don’t DNF books a lot, but lately I’ve been doing it more often, I read for enjoyment, so if I don’t enjoy a book, I should not read it 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

  4. I too feel that time is limited and I am putting down books that I just feel aren’t working for me. Most recently I gave up on Dan Brown’s Origin because I 1) guessed the villain and 2) got tired of the glacial pacing and chapter ‘cliff hangers’. Writing has made me far more critical a reader that’s for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I loved da Vinci code and Inferno. I’m writing a second draft of a Dystopian future with AI central to the story so Origin should have really appealed to me. I wonder if I’d read it before I started writing if my opinion had been different?? I’ll never know 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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