Ramblings | Reasons Why You DNFed That Book

I haven’t written a discussion (or as I like to call them – Ramblings) post in forever, so forgive me if this is a little bit rusty. This topic actually came to me yesterday when I read an interesting article about Why Readers Stop Reading and it got me thinking about why I’ve DNFed books in the past.



We’ve all been there, we’ve all done it, no matter how shameful we tell ourselves it is some books just can’t/don’t deserve to be finished. But what makes you as a reader decide that it’s time to give up on this book for good? For me personally there are just certain things that I absolutely cannot stand and more often than not this will result in me putting down a book and never picking it up again.

 Weak writing paired with a boring plot or main character will definitely result in a DNF result. Most readers read to escape reality and to be honest my life is pretty boring already, I don’t want my books to be boring as well.

 If the book fails to capture my attention within the first few initial chapters you have lost me for good. I hate books that take forever to capture your attention. I know these books usually have some of the best endings, but why can’t it start out equally as good (looking at you Gone Girl, but seriously the ending is so good).

 When things start to get a little bit too ridiculous. Sure there have been some far fetched things happening throughout the book, but then the author just throws in this ridiculous plot twist that wouldn’t even make sense in a Fantasy novel, yet alone a Contemporary one. This is the fastest you’ll see me close a book. Some imagination is perfectly fine and normal, but don’t take a book to such an extreme that it becomes unbelievable (specifically talking about Contemporaries, YA Mysteries and Thrillers and General Fiction).

 Bad editing, grammatical errors and inconsistencies in a book is another thing that instantly puts me of finishing the book. ARC’s aside I expect a finished copy of a book to be grammatically correct and edited perfectly. As for inconsistencies in plots, they literally drive me crazy! As an author (and editor) surely you should be able to remember what the colour of the car is that you’ve been using for most part of the novel…

I very rarely DNF a book, but when I do it is because of the above mentioned reasons. I hate not finishing a book, it makes me feel kind of empty inside, but sometimes it needs to be done!

Have you ever DNFed a book? What are some of the reason you have for not finishing books? Do you feel bad for not finishing books? Let’s talk about it in the comments!

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26 thoughts on “Ramblings | Reasons Why You DNFed That Book

  1. I like this rambling! I was just thinking about the topic of DNF-ing books recently. I generally feel bad when I make the ultimate decision to not continue reading a book. I`m a bit of a mood-reader, there are certain types of books I have to be in the mood for to enjoy. So, I will sometimes put down a particular book because I know I`m not being fair to it and then pick it up later (sometimes over a year later). So when I actually come across a book I absolutely feel that I can`t get through and DNF it I usually end up feeling bad. Sometimes in the past I`ve even tried to pick one of them back up and give it another try, and it just still won`t happen then I know I made the right decision…and I stop feeling as bad. Lol…hope that made sense. Happy Reading!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I try to keep my DNF books to a minimum, because I also feel bad. There have been books that I’ve picked up and put down and then read them at a later stage, but some books you just know that you’ll never be able to finish 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Same! Renewing books at the library is just bleh! And totally agree, if I struggle to get into a book I’m mostly likely not going to finish it. Except if it’s a review copy, then I might try a little bit harder 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree with all your reasons for DNFing a book. I particularly pay attention to typos and errors, they’re a big turnoff for me. I can accept a couple if it’s an indie author, but after a while it just takes my mind off of the story. I give the book a hundred pages to conquer me.

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  3. I try to make a point of finishing every book I read. That’s not to say I don’t want to DNF a book once in a while. Just yesterday I read a book that I really couldn’t stand – I thought it was awful – and it frustrated me so much I felt like just hitting my head against the desk. Anyways, I completely agree with the reasons you mentioned above. In the most recent case I would have liked to DNF the book because of several of the reasons you mentioned.

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  4. I am normally unable to bring myself to DNF. It is a hang-up of mine. I just go in with such a commitment that I cling to all hope. Life is too short really, but we all have our quirks. But I remember doing this twice. The story was just droning. After completing nearly half of the book, nothing had happened 😦 I certainly do not condone anyone for DNF’ing. I wish I could do so more often. I have too much I want to read.

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  5. All of these things are legitimate reasons why I might DNF a book. But especially weak writing with a boring plot. Life is just too short for bad books. I only get so much time to read anyway…I don’t want to spend it on a book that makes me want to fall asleep! 🙂

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  6. I hate it when I DNFed a book, but sometimes it’s just inevitable. I think all of your reasons are very valid, and I couldn’t agree more. My main reason for marking a book as DNF is when I can’t connect or relate to the characters. But here’s the thing that I hate the most, it’s when I’m 65% into the book and then if gets boring! THAT’S JUST THE WORST, I’m torn between finishing it (because I’ve already wasted so much time with it) or marking it as DNFed (because why waste anymore precious reading time?). Sighs, good thing these rarely happens to me. 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I’m 50% in I always try to finish, because I’ve spent so much time on it already 🙈 The worst is definitely when the book is boring! I don’t normally DNF a book when I don’t connect with the character, that would just influence my rating 😊

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  7. I rarely DNF books as well, in fact in the past few years I think there have only been two or three. But when I do it’s for a lot of the same reasons you brought up. Especially when it fails to capture my attention! I have a terrible attention space, except for when it comes to reading, so when a book can’t capture my attention I’m like nope. I’ve also DNFed books for not liking characters or because they took a serious topic and twisted in ways I didn’t like. I always end up feeling bad when I don’t finish a book but like you said sometimes there are books you just can’t bring yourself to finish. Great post! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve only ever DNFed anything a few times. Usually it’s not an intentional DNF; I don’t suddenly stop reading the book and just completely give up on it because it’s so awful. I just start reading other books, sometimes am in a reading slump, the book is just slow, or it might be that the book really is horrible, and I slowly drift away from it into other things. Whatever the case, it’s always hard to admit that you’ve given up on a book!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is hard to give up on books, especially books that might have been sent to you for review. I have intentionally just put down books before, where I’ve made the decision that this book is just not gonna work for me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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