Bookish posts · Discussion

Discussion: DNF-ing books

img_4043After seeing Ashleigh from A Frolic Through Fiction post on Twitter about wanting to put down and DNF a book she was sent for review it got me thinking about the subject of DNF-ing a book.

DNF stands for “did not finish” and it is when you decide to put a book down half way through and most likely never pick it up again.

The guilt of not finishing a book

Most bookworms have a massive TBR pile and if you are like me then you feel a guilt when you buy ore books only to add them to that pile of books you still need to read. So DNF-ing a book just makes this even worse because you have bought a book thinking you’d like it and 100 pages or less into it you just put it down never to be read again.

If this is a book you were sent for review like the one Ashleigh was on about then this makes it even worse because you feel like you own that publisher a review. Therefore you need to keep reading even if you don’t like it.

An honest review

However, surely but DNF-ing a book it shows your true opinion of it as it was just that bad you couldn’t continue reading it. Despite how we want to be nice and write good reviews about books to keep publishers happy so we keep getting sent more books, we own them an honest review. Therefore, even if published prefer getting good feedback, the bad feedback can be more effective as it tells them why people don’t like it and hence forth didn’t finish it.

Therefore, surely DNF-ing a book you were sent for review shouldn’t be a bad thing as it can hep give feedback to the publisher – as long as you write a review saying why you DNF-ed it.

Ploughing through

Sometimes it can be better to DNF a book instead of ploughing through because the chances are you will resent the book even more.

I had to DNF Scarlet by Marissa Meyer because I couldn’t get on with it, but a year later I went back to it and fell in love with it. Sometimes DNF-ing a book isn’t a bad thing, it just means that you’re not in the right mind to be reading it at that moment in time.

What do you think about DNF-ing books? Should we plough through anyway or put it down if it’s not enjoyable? Can you still review a book you DNf-ed?






7 thoughts on “Discussion: DNF-ing books

  1. I very rarely DNF a book. But there have been MANY times where I wanted to. I am one of those people who feel guilty for not finishing a book. And I’m also one of those people who believe you shouldn’t rate a book without finishing it. Reviewing it to let people know why you DNF’ed it is one thing, but rating it I feel would be inaccurate and unfair because you didn’t even give the book a chance to get better in the middle/end. This can be a touchy subject sometimes, but that’s just my opinion. Which is why I seldom DNF books. BUT since I started blogging I have read many posts on this subject where people have pretty much convinced me to NOT push through a book I’m not enjoying. I mean, why should we waste precious, valuable reading time on something that we don’t like? So, I agree with that 100%. The blogosphere has just about changed my mind about DNF’ing a book. (Although I will always feel the book shouldn’t be rated if it isn’t completed.) Great discussion post 👍🏼


  2. Ooh I’m glad to have inspired this! I think if you get to 100 pages and still don’t enjoy it, then it’s fair enough to mark it as DNF with an explanation why, rather than a review (which is what I ended up doing in that case you showed). The guilt is there, but forcing yourself to read can cause a slump. Also, I wouldn’t have continued if it was a book I bought, so I shouldn’t treat a review book any differently – that wouldn’t be an honest to me.


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