Bookish Discussions: The Dreaded DNF Marking

Today’s Topic is DNF’s aka Did Not Finish books!  We all have those books.  You mean well.  You pick it up and are either so excited to find out what happens or are a bit skeptical.  Then you get 5, 10, 15, 20 pages in and you’re cringing every other page.  Soon, you get to page 50 and can’t take it anymore.  However there are some people who refuse to mark books as DNF’s.  Let’s get to the bottom of it!

I think for me personally, I’ve only DNFed two books in my life (the other books are just pending for a long time when I stopped in the middle like Little Women – I’ll still finish it!).  Those were Extras by Scott Westerfeld and A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.

I DNFed Extras because it just wasn’t interesting.  I was already losing interest in the Uglies series and the ending of Special’s was a good enough ending for me.  And then he decided to add a book onto the TRILOGY.  Bleh.  If you liked Extras, sorry if I’m offending you but I just didn’t like it at all and it was such a struggle to pick up the book and force myself to read it.

As for A Short History of Nearly Everything, well I just don’t think I was ready to read that level yet.  I attempted it when I was in 9th grade and that might have been a bit soon.  I’ll probably try it again one of these days to try and learn something.

Do you DNF a lot of books?

The main reason I think we as readers DNF books is because we simply don’t have the time or energy to devote to books we know don’t have a chance in our ratings systems.  There are so many books in the world to get to and there is only so much time so if something doesn’t show promise within 50-100 pages (depending on your DNF policy) then it is subject to be DNFed.  A lot of times – especially if it’s a R&R book – I’ll keep going even though I want to DNF the book simply because there is the possibility it will get better and I own it to the author to give a full and complete review based on the entire book.

I suppose that’s really the reason why I don’t DNF books much anymore.  About half to 3/4th’s of the books I read are R&R books and when I say I’ll review an author’s book I feel like I’m giving them my word I’ll try my darndest to get through it and give them an honest perspective on the entire book.
Have you ever DNFed a R&R book?
In the long run, it is probably better to DNF books you don’t want to waste time struggling through when you know it’ll earn a one star in your book.  Or is this just me?
What is your opinion on marking books DNF?

0 thoughts on “Bookish Discussions: The Dreaded DNF Marking”

  1. I don't DNF books often. I feel like I need to finish, even if I give that book 1 star. But, I have DNFd a few because I didn't like the content. If I'm in a reading slump, I'll put a book aside so it doesn't zap my reading energy out of me. But, I'll usually try to get to again, someday. I especially won't DNF classics because even though they're hard for me to read, they're usually worth it in the end.


  2. Me too! It doesn't feel right to stop in the middle of a book. Ugh yes that is terrible if you're in a reading slump and the books you're picking up just aren't helping. Usually when I'm in a reading slump I'll try to reread books that I know I loved. I won't DNF classics either! Since they're classics they have to be worth reading right?


  3. I don't typically DNF books. I have stopped in the middle of books because I put them down and forgot about them, but I fully intend to finish them eventually! There's only been a couple of books that I proper DNFed. I feel bad about not finishing a book, especially now that I'm reviewing for my blog. I figure I should review the books I don't enjoy just as much as the ones I love. And if an author asks me to read their book or I get an ARC from a publishing company, I feel obligated to give it a real go and try to finish it, no matter what.Still, I can't blame people for DNFing a book. There's so much stuff to read that it's not great to waste your time on something you aren't enjoying. I kinda wish I would DNF more often, since I've read some meh books lately, but I'm a bit of a completion.Vicarious Caytastrophe


  4. Me either – thank goodness there's someone else! I feel like if I don't read the ending I'll always be wondering how it ends… Exactly! You can't just review the good books! Then, how would you have anything to compare them too? For sure!Haha basically my life story. So many books so little time!


  5. Exactly, that's mainly why I DNF'D when I'm so bored and not getting into it, there are so many books out there, especially when I have review copies lined up that I have to get to, but you know, sometimes I wish I didn't, because I almost DNF'D two this year so far within the first 50 pages, and you know what? The book did get better, and it ended up being a 4 star. I do hate DNF'ing review books though, because I do feel bad about it, but sometimes you just have to, because yeah, I think the author/publisher would prefer you to DNF (and pass it on to somebody else or give it away, if it's a physical copy) than writing a negative review.


  6. Yes! There's only so much time you can devote to a book! That's the worst if you DNF a book before it gets better and there's no one to tell you to hang in there and get to the good stuff. It's a good thing you kept reading! For sure!


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