Discussion: DNFing books

Hey guys! I really liked putting together last week’s discussion on Goodreads so I decided to make discussions a weekly feature! 🙂 I think I’ve seen a couple of different bloggers post their thoughts on DNFing books, so I thought I’d share mine too, especially since this is something that I argue with myself over on a regular basis.

I will fully admit that I rarely DNF books. It breaks my heart to do it. If I had to tell you the last book that I didn’t finish, I don’t know that I could remember. I HATE to abandon a book that I’ve started. When I do put it down, it’s never with the intention to abandon it completely – I always tell myself that I’m just taking a break and I’m going to read something else then come back to it. I don’t know if I would ever DNF a book otherwise.

Why? Well, most of the time I’m afraid that if I decide to stop reading it that I’m missing out on something really good that happens later on. Even if I’m only 30 pages from the ending and the book has just been terrible so far, the possibility that those last 30 pages are really good makes me afraid to stop reading. Another reason is that I’ve already committed time to the book, so why not just suffer through and finish it? If I’m already halfway through, why give up now? And of course, I can’t stand not knowing what happens in the rest of the book, even if I don’t like the book (and sometimes don’t like or care about the characters).

But there are times where I wish I could bring myself to just admit that the book isn’t for me or at least isn’t something I want to read right now. (There’s always the possibility that this book that seems really boring to me right now might be exactly the type of book I need a few weeks, months, or even years later.) The main conundrum for me is that I have so many books that I want to read and that I’ve heard wonderful things about, so why in the world am I wasting my time reading this book that I’m not even enjoying?! It’s times like those which make me wish I didn’t have such a hard time deciding to DNF a book.

Luckily, this is only very rarely a problem for me. Maybe it’s because I’m easy to please or maybe I’m just good at picking out books that I’ll enjoy, but I rarely find myself hating a book that I’m reading. Maybe that contributes to me not wanting to put down a book – I’m not used to disliking books and I don’t want to admit to myself that I’m not going to enjoy everything I pick up.

So, what do you guys think? Do you DNF books often? What makes you decide to put down a book? Tell me your thoughts below!

22 thoughts on “Discussion: DNFing books

    • I especially have a hard time DNFing ARCs because I feel bad that the publisher/author sent me a copy and I feel obligated to finish it and review it. But I know plenty of bloggers do it so I shouldn’t feel so bad haha Which John Green books did you DNF, if you don’t mind me asking?

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      • I felt the same way at first about ARCs. I kept forcing myself to read them and ended up in a huge slump. I fished Paper Towns but I’m not sure how. It was a miracle I made it through after Margot disappeared. I had to DNF An Abundance of Katherines. The math was too much for me. I just couldn’t handle it. I felt like I was in school. I still need to write my reviews for those, but I was holding off since they were not rave reviews.

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      • I haven’t read An Abundance of Katherines but I did read Paper Towns which was an alright book in my opinion. I’ve read a few of his books but the only one that I thoroughly enjoyed was TFioS. I definitely feel like his books tend to be over hyped.

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      • Yes, I agree. TFIOS was so good. I started with that one, thinking the rest would be as good and was really disappointed. I guess his writing gets better over the years. I like his writing style, so I’m hoping his next book will have some of what I liked from TFIOS.

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  1. I really try not to DNF books. I think I’ve only done it less than 10 times in my entire life. Even when they really suck, I try to finish it. But recently, I’ve come to realize that I have so many more books that I’m truly interested in and that it’s alright to stop reading one that I’m not enjoying. So I’ll probably start DNFing left and right now, haha!

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  2. I rarely DNF books because if I paid money for the book might as well finish even if it is bad. Even in my T5W, I got through most of them. There is only a few books I DNF, but those were the rare exception that the book was terrible.

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  3. I usually don’t DNF books because I’ve usually spent money on the books, and I want to get my money’s worth. Even if a book is bad, I’ll do my best to skim the rest of it so that I can feel better about buying it. I only DNF book if it’s too hard to get through. That being said, I’ve learned to not buy books that I’m not sure if I’ll like, so I haven’t DNF’d book in probably four years now!

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    • If I’m not sure if I’ll like it, I usually just wait and grab it from the library! I don’t have that much money to spend on books most of the time, so I try to save it for books that I know I’ll like so I don’t have that problem. But even when I got a book from the library, I still don’t like to DNF it haha I can’t handle not knowing what happens in the rest of the story, even if I haven’t liked it so far.

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  4. I don’t give up easily and that’s been good because I’ve been nicely surprised by some books I would have initially put down. A good example is my recent read of The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I only have one DNF. The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon. I was just over it by that point in the series. That was in 2008 when I was laid up with a broken foot. If I didn’t finish it then I don’t guess I will!

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    • There definitely have been times where I was glad I didn’t stop reading books that I didn’t like in the beginning. Most recently is Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender. I hated the MC in the beginning but I really liked the book as I got further along and the MC’s character development was well worth sticking through it.

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  5. I rarely DNF books too. I just don’t feel like I can give a book a fair rating if I haven’t finished it. It also doesn’t happen a lot to me that I can’t stand a book – if it does happen I usually just put it down and get back to it after a while. I am not very easy to please, but I do think I’m quite good at picking books I know I will love. 🙂

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    • I feel the same way. I’m always wary of saying that a book was terrible and telling other people what I thought if I hadn’t finished it because what if my complaints are addressed/fixed later on and I just didn’t get to it, you know? I fully admit I’m relatively easy to please haha I’ve always been that way but I think now that I’m actually reviewing everything I read I’ll be at least somewhat more critical just because I’m paying more attention to positives/negatives so I can point them out when I review.

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      • I’m relatively easy to please when it comes to certain things. But I am very strict when it comes to stuff like human rights. If the characters are terrible people and it’s never addressed, and they just keep being jerks without anyone doing anything about it, that brings the book down to a very low rating for me. Characters can be discriminating, as long as it’s addressed and solved and it’s part of the story. But if the characters are homophobic or racist or sexist or whatever, and it’s portrayed as okay, that definitely ruins the entire book for me.

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