discussion highlights

Discussion Highlights: DNFing

Last Week’s Discussion:

As a reader who has way too many books and never seems to have enough time to read them, I prioritize. I try to read shorter books to make it look like I’m reading a lot. :p But wouldn’t it be easier to just stop reading books I didn’t enjoy? Wouldn’t that allow me so much more time? So why don’t I do it? Let’s ask the discussioners!

Cassiopeia’s Moon said:

“I also DNFed my first book this year. I felt awful! But later I felt glad, I didn’t waste my time on it. But I still see it as bit of a failure 😛Completely agree with you though, we should talk more about the books we DNF as well. Give the reasons to why.”

Cathy said:

“I can’t remember the last book I DNF. I think the only time I would was if I found the material offensive or it was shot through with typos. Luckily that hasn’t happened.”

Tiff said:

“I recently just dfned my first book ever! I just could get into it at all and it was confusing and making me not want to read. I think I got 60 pages into it!”

Tanja said:

“I think it’s amazing that you had your first DNF experience only recently. I used to beat myself up for DNFing, but now I look at it in a different way. It simply was not the right book for the present time, and taking it up again at some later point might work. So I postpone, rather than DNF.”

Jessica said:

“I DNF heaps of books. I figure there are too many out there waiting to be read to put up with a bad one. I don’t review books often (I’m a writer not a reviewer), so I tend to not even bother reviewing DNFs. However, perhaps if more people did, less trash would get published? Maybe?”

Adam said:

“When I was younger I used to DNF books once in a while, though I think more often I only read the books I felt confident would not disappoint me. In more recent times I’ve become more reluctant to DNF. […] Though I will say, while there aren’t too many books that a DNF, there are series that I will DNF. “

Natalie said:

“Basically, I used to NEVER, ever DNF. I read so many books that I didn’t like—they weren’t necessarily bad books; it’s just they weren’t to my taste. Eventually, I decided that my time is limited. […] I feel very strongly that if a person does not read the book in its entirety, they should not review it. That is different, in my opinion, than posting a blog entry about a book with the reason for making it a DNF. “

Adrienne said:

“I feel like I need to do my best to explain why I did not finish a book though, instead of just saying that I did not like it. We go in to great detail about why we like books, and we are honest, so we should be the same with books we don’t like or don’t finish. I honestly think it is up to the reader to choose to finish a book or not, but I think if they are open and honest about books they like, they should be open and honest about the ones that didn’t make the cut.”

Shanah said:

“There are so many amazing books I want to read and it makes sense to not waste time on something I don’t like – but it’s still just so hard! I’m working on it! As far as reviews of DNF’d books – you hit the nail on the head! If you were so passionately uninvolved in a book – review it! “

Ali said:

“It’s very unusual for me to DNF a book particularly if I received it for free in exchange for a review. I don’t think it’s fair to review a book I haven’t read to the very end. As a result I have forced my way through some truly horrendous books.”

Katie said:

“I’ve only DNFed I think 4 books ever, all “classic literature”. Usually it’s because if the older book is making a lot of social commentary about a time period I know absolutely nothing about then I have no idea what’s going on. […] At the very least, I am usually curious to find out what will happen. It’s hard for me to be so completely uninvested in a book that I’ll give up on it.”

J.W. said:

“I can’t recall ever intentionally DNFing a book. I can think of a few I wish I had. Most of the time, I put a book aside, telling myself I’m just going to read something else for a while and get back to the book in question a little later. Then I don’t. Is that intentional? shrug

Emma said:

“If I’m going to abandon a book, I usually do it without even noticing – I’ll move on to something else and then realise three months have passed since the last time I opened it. Lots of the time this happens before I’ve got too far in, so I can’t justify even a DNF review, or I’ve completely forgotten what happened, so again can’t write a review.”

Trent said:

“I love my Kindle, but I will admit that I’ve DNFed more Kindle books than paper books. I think its because they are easier to ignore.”

Stephanie said:

“So DNF away bc according to your life, at 30, if you read an avg of 86 books a year, you’ll only read 4,000 books before 70. That’s not a lot. Gotta read the good stuff.”

Sophie said:

I agree that to prioritize our time, we should DNF books that are wasting our time. On the other hand, I understand the argument against reviewing books that we’ve DNF’d. However, I believe that it depends on how the review is worded. I think it is appropriate to review a DNF’d book if we state that it is DNF’d and state the reasons why we DNF’d it, keeping in mind that we missed the last x% of the book.

Well, it seems that most people don’t mean to DNF a book, but it just happens because they can’t get into it. It’s more an accident than anything else. And it’s much harder to DNF a book that’s been received specifically for review because there is a certain sense of business and obligation to finish those books. Still, DNFing seems to leave a bad taste and it may be a while before readers/reviewers become more comfortable with this completely natural idea. For now, I guess I’ll be the leader and gain the ridicule to pave the path towards acceptance. :p (I’m a reviewing pariah already. hAhaha!)

Check out this week’s discussion on Thursday at 10am EST:
Sub-Genre Abyss

15 thoughts on “Discussion Highlights: DNFing”

  1. Omg I DNF like crazy. I give a book 50-100 pages and if I cannot get into it, it’s over. I don’t owe anything to you book! My mindset is: I give you my time to be entertained and I’m not suffering through hours of torment for you! I leave one star rating for books I don’t finish and leave a review of why I DNF’d but now I’m wondering if shouldn’t rate them…………..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are so organized!!! 😀 That’s awesome. I wish I could get myself to set a quota like that, but alas, I’m too easily guilt-tripped by the inanimate, emotionless book. 😜

      Personally, I don’t leave a rating for a DNF book. But that’s because of my rating system. 1 star means that I at least finished the book. Thus, a DNF can’t be given any stars, but… I do wish Goodreads had a DNF option. That way there was a way to rate the book without stars, you know what I mean?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I totally get what you mean! My rating system is different, 1 star is when I DNF a book or I WISH I had DNF’d a book hahaha.

        There should be a huge group memo that is sent out to every reader in the world on the universal rating system. I would get on board!

        Liked by 1 person

          1. I agree. Goodreads needs a better DNF system. I don’t know that they ever would because they WANT users to finish books, but come on, that is unlikely. And I fully support half stars!

            Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so glad you used my math one, bc us bookworms know that 4,000 books is nothing when there are hundreds of thousands released each year. Gotta focus on what you enjoy bc your life is too short!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this post. I think to each their own on this one. There’s so many books and so little time though, so I support the idea of a DNF if you aren’t feeling it. I also think it’s totally fine to post a review with reasons why you DNF. I just don’t think it’s fair to leave a star rating if you haven’t gotten the full picture. But that’s just my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes! There were quite a variety of opinions, but a lot of that had to do with reviewers vs non-reviewers. I’m with you on not rating the DNFed book. It’s not fair to judge a half-baked cake. 😜

      Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    2. completely with you on this! I don’t want to push myself into finishing a book that just doesn’t get it’s hold on me. But I don’t rate or review the book if I really don’t finish it. Luckily I didn’t DNF many books so far, but there have been some I just put aside and never picked up again and eventually sold those books. Well.. plenty more ‘fish in the sea’ right 😉 With my obsessive amount of unread books on my shelves there’s always enough reading material so I don’t feel very guilty if I DNF a book. I’d rather spent my time on a book I at least like instead of pushing myself to finish a book I don’t like.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, exactly. So many books, so little time! But it is definitely important to be conscientious about how we’re discussing books that we don’t finish, since our words definitely impact the overall success of the book. With book blogging comes great responsibility. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

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