Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Tell Me Something Tuesday: How Do You Handle DNF Books?

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion post hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings where a wide range of topics from books to blogging are discussed. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.

This week's discussion question is:

(note: for anyone who does not know, DNF = 'did not finish')

We've all (probably) been there: you've just started a book and it's not grabbing you yet, so you tell yourself to just hold on, maybe it'll get better -- but it doesn't. Then comes the question: push yourself and finish it or just give it up? Some people have no qualms with putting down a book, and some people hate doing that so much that they just push through. There is no right or wrong way, so I think DNFs are always an interesting discussion!

Personally, I will DNF a book if I am just not feeling it. I definitely try to push myself and give any book as much benefit of the doubt as possible, but sometimes it just doesn't happen. Or it even happens that sometimes a book might not actually be something I don't like, but it just doesn't fit my current mood, so I have to put it down and promise to come back to it later.

Where DNFs gets really tricky is when it comes to advanced review copies/galleys. If you have agreed to read and review a book, does that change how you feel about not finishing it? Do you feel obligated to finish a book? For me, I always try to finish any book that I have explicitly said I will read and review. Fortunately, I've not had many issues where I haven't wanted to finish a book I've agreed to review, and that's probably partly because I try really hard to screen the books that are offered for me to review.

Another area that lends itself to intense consternation regarding DNFs  is whether or not to review them in general. I usually like to leave a review for DNF books in order to explain why I didn't like it or what went wrong. This way others can still see your thoughts and also whether or not this is an issue that might bother them or if it's something that they, in contrast, love to see in a book. However, I also don't think it's vital to leave a review, because if I didn't want to spend time reading the book, I might not want to spend time leaving a review. It really just depends on the situations and reasons why I DNF a book.

But in the end, I think it's important to realize that we can't necessarily love every book we pick up, and that's okay! There are far too many fantastic books to read out there to waste time reading something you don't enjoy.

So now I pose the same question to you: What do you concerning DNF books? Do you have any problems with not finishing a book? Do you review them or feel obligated to finish ARCs? Let me know below!


  1. I get most of my books from the library, so I have no problem not finishing them. If something's not working for me, I don't want to spend hours reading something I don't like. I generally don't review DNFs, though.

  2. Hmm, I used to be very nervous about DNFing (as in, I never did it. Ever) but I realized that I was reading things that I just couldn't connect with and I didn't have the time.
    I will DNF ARCs, primarily because I don't receive them directly from publishers. No one asks me to review them. I usually get them on NetGalley, Edelweiss, or at library conferences. However, I will give a brief summary of why I DNF'd, but no star rating.

  3. I'm they type of reader that will have a dozen books on the go at any time. Half end up DNF, but sometimes a book that's soured or bored me, after a second (or 3rd or 4th) go, will turn out to be a gem.
    Money, by Martin Amis, is an all time fav. Gave up in the 1st chapter in 20th c Literature. Some in the class thought it brilliant, so I tried again. And gave up. After two more attempts in subsequent summers, the voice clicked for me and I burned through it in two days.
    Similar story for Trainspotting (I. Welsh).
    I've since decided that a gorgeous, eloquent sentence, just one, will make me push though.