To DNF or not to DNF: Why don’t I give up on books?

If you had been following my blog for a while you might have realized that I don’t give up easily. Sure I come back here on my blog and bitch about how hard the book was to read, but I don’t usually give up on the book or as we book nerds call it DNF aka Did Not Finish. 

I do wonder if that is a wrong thing to do sometimes a lot of times. I mean there are literally millions of other books in the world and why am I not reading something else that I would actually enjoy more. Well my dear fellow nerds, I am gonna tell you why. 

Millions of books DNF

10. I want to give it a chance or two.

I know many people who believe in giving up on books if they are not enjoying it in the first 50 pages! Oh but not me. I totally believe in second or er.. even fourth chances. I just don’t want to wonder how the book was after I quit on it. See I am just being fair. 

9. I have spent way too much time on it.

I generally read fairly fast. It is only when I struggle to like a book I take longer to complete it. But I don’t want to give it up since I have already spent too much time on it. You see the conundrum- to give up or not! 

8. But… they all have read it.

It is a no brainer that there is a high chance that I will pick a book that has been on the blogger buzz. Sometimes it is all about what wanting to be on the cool kids group, even if it means reading a dreadful book for a long time. It is our cruse. 

Cool kids DNF

7. I need to see the adaptation!

I have a weird rule when it comes to book adaptation. Books before screen. Yes, when I hear about the new movie / series that is being adapted from a book, I would want to read the book before the visual details could spoil my imagination. I want to see my own movie inside my head before I could watch the larger one. I am sure most of y’all understand what I mean!

6. But I love this author.

As any bookworm would do, I have some serious author obsessions. It goes without saying if I read a book by an author and I love it, I am gonna pick their next one too, irrespective of the reviews and rumors. And even if I don’t like it right away, I somehow believe that I will grow on to to like it. Of course I have been let down by this assumption far too many times for my own good. 

5. I promised them I would review.

Of all the reasons I have stated above, only this one could be considered legitimate.

As you all know I am currently open for accepting books for review and manuscripts for beta reading. And when I do accept such books/MS, I feel obliged to read it completely before I review them. Even if I hated it all the way. 

4. ‘What is wrong with me?’

Most of the books I pick up for reading or add to my never ending TBR list are from other bloggers’ recommendations. While I don’t necessarily read the blurb or review before I read a book, when I struggle through a book and I am this close to giving up, the glowing recommendations it had had received pop up in my brain. That takes me down on a spiral that ultimately leads to ‘what is wrong with me?’

wrong with me DNF

Solution: Read it and read it fully you might like it. 

3. I work towards a goal, people

On a similar note, I have a personal rule that I would rate, review and / or count the book towards my reading challenge only when I finish a book. It means when I DNF a book, I don’t get to rant about it or even to add it up on my yearly challenge. With the yearly reading slump I am getting onto, I can’t afford to do that, can I?

2. But it is a classic.

You all know it. Reading Lolita or the Tale of two cities is always gonna be a bumpy ride. I can’t think of reading a classic without giving it up a few times, for a short while. I somehow get back to them and finish reading them even if it is a long term project. I mean what is life without a few challenges, right? RIGHT?

1. I have given up on my life.

Let us face it. Being a book worm and freelancer writer I do not have a life outside books and my laptop. So what am I losing in reading few more hundreds of pages before I can truly say ‘I hated this book’? I have given up on my life and books have taken over it. 

Regret nothing! DNF

Do you DNF comfortably? Or do you find reasons, like me, to keep pushing yourself? Are there any other reasons that you don’t give up? Let me know the most recent book that you DNF-ed.


45 responses to “To DNF or not to DNF: Why don’t I give up on books?”

  1. I’ve come a long way in my reading to know that I can’t spend countless hours, days, weeks with typo-ridden, grammar wrong books. I almost…almost put Eye of The World down several times but stuck with it because my fiancee told me it gets better in the end. He was right. The middle was not good.
    I put down books because I have promised myself that though knowing the end of the story is important, if I can’t tell what is going on, it’is not imports t enough to try and translate what this author is trying to say.

    However, if I get special requests, I read them all the way through and I give them honesty even if it’s wrath. I am never mean, just honest.

    You have to understand when you are an avid reader of five to six books a week at the other end of 40, you lose a lot of patience with books that have no direction, are boring, written terribly, or are simply not for you.
    But, by then you’ve refined your tastes.

    • Thank you for your long comment and I loved it. I totally understand the point about badly edited / written books. They definitely irk the hell out of me, as well. These days I dread picking up such shady looking books even, thanks to those few books that have disappointed me.

  2. I didn’t used to DNF books, but I do now. I don’t feel good about it, but for me personally, there are so many books I want to read that I’m okay DNFing something I’m not enjoying. I’m super impressed with people who don’t though – you’ve definitely got more staying power than me!

  3. I wish I had your determination! Usually it only takes two chapters, at least, for me to know whether I’m going to like a book, by the writing, or not. I don’t push myself to finish a book anymore because I have too many on my TBR!

  4. I almost never DNF—#10 and #9 are big reasons why for me. I really want to give a book a chance, and by the time I’ve done that, I feel like I’ve invested too much time to quit. It’s like all that hard work I put into the book was worthless! I did recently DNF a book, though. My new(ish) review policy is that I won’t post a review for a book if it’s less than four stars and I slogged through almost 175 pages of a 450 page book and realized that it wasn’t going to make it to that range. So I stopped and let the publisher know I wouldn’t be reviewing it. It was actually pretty freeing! Not sure how often I’ll manage to do that, though.

    • Would you still DNF if it was something that you chose yourself (I mean not recieved for review) and then struggle to read it?

  5. I never used to give up on books, but I have kids now, a house, pets, and a manuscript of my own to finish, so if I’ve given it a fair go and am not enjoying it by the half-way mark, I DNF it. I hate to do it, but needs must! I do try to finish classics, though (Moby Dick is my white whale). 🙂

    • I have lots of such classics that are pending but I just hope I will finish them some day, I haven’t given them up yet.

  6. I’m the opposite 🙂 a Professional DNFer 🙂 but these are all reasons that keep me reading a book longer 🙂 If the book is becoming a movie I HAVE to finish it 🙂

    • I need to read a book if I am gonna watch the movie / series soon. That is something I can’t change. And Kudos on doing a professional job at DNFing!

  7. I used to stick it out and finish books that I hated. But it was causing me to lose motivation in many aspects of my life that I knew it was unhealthy for me to continue. I absolutely love your dedication to the books you read! <3

  8. Coincidentally enough, I was thinking of the same topic to do for my today’s discussion post 😀 Now I have to think of something else.
    But I loved your reasons and like you, I don’t DNF the books either, whether I am enjoying it or not. Because, there is always that feeling, you know, what if the book turns out good later on?

    • Exactly. Am stuck between that and the guilt of spending too much time on a book we don’t like while there are so many others that I want to read. Sigh!

  9. You know, it’s funny because I used to stick it out for the very same reasons you listed but then I realized I felt like I was torturing myself by keeping with a book I absolutely did not like. Usually, for me, if it’s slow I can plow through. But if by the first quarter I just do not like at all, I’ve just started DNFing. Too many books for me to get stuck on one I don’t care for I figure!

  10. The struggle is real – but I believe it is often the kindest thing I can do for an author and myself, better than giving them a negative review for a book I did not enjoy.

  11. I have to say I’ve given up on a few books in my life, because well I’m a mood reader. Sometimes I just can’t get into a book for the life of me and that would be the only reason why I would not finish. I can say though that I sometimes have to put down a book for a few months and then I make my way back to it. But then I have to read the last chapter again to remember where I left off. sigh. Sometimes it is easier to just DNF it.

  12. I avoid DNFing especially if it is a tour that I am on. The last time that I did it was an audiobook. The narration and story totally grated on me.

    • I would never DNF something that was for a tour. But that is why I have reduced the number of blog tours I join to.

    • Right? Wasting time on a book that won’t end but we can’t quit as it would become a wasted time, ah the irony.

  13. I used to be like that too, but lately I’ve caved and started DNFing more. That said, I still only DNF after half the book, but if I’m bored stiff (or worse – triggered), I just DNF now. It’s been a much better experience, I have to say.

    “They have all read it” is a good one, I will admit xD

    I still count it when I’ve DNFed a book but read it at least halfway. Don’t hate me >_> xD

    Great post!

    • Trust me, most of the books on my TBR comes up from other bloggers’ shelves. So I feel the compulsive need to like it.

  14. I definitely struggle to DNF oops. 😭😂One of my biggest reasons is I don’t feel I can fully review/rant about it if I don’t know the ending?! I mean DNF-reviews are totally fine and I don’t mind when other people do them. But I always feel like I need to finish if I’m going to review haha. And I also hate unfinished books. I’ll think about it too long!!

    • I would feel too guilty to write a review for something that I DNF-ed, as well. Your problems sound exactly like mine.

  15. I used to do all of this! Almost all, anyway. Now, I prioritise. Some books I leave open to come back to, but I DNF – for now. Some I know I’m never going to wind up finishing so I do DNF, but I make it clear in reviews that, a) it’s probably not the author’s fault, it’s just where I am now, and b) it could be someone else’s cup of tea, it’s just not mine. There is too little time for reading in my life these days so I have to put the books I actually enjoy first.

  16. I’m nothing like you 😉😉😉 I just believe there are too many books to read.. and I’m such a mood reader and go into slumps very easily, so I just go by my gut feeling and dnf a book if I’m not feeling it..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *