An honest list of when to DNF a book

Have you ever started reading a book and found that you were thinking about what you were going to make for dinner instead? Or maybe you have found yourself thinking about another book you really wish you were reading at that moment? These may be signs and symptoms of your need to DNF.


DO NOT PANIC – you do not need to finish every single book that you read. I know it can be hard, especially if you are someone who needs to finish ever book you start. But come on peeps, life is short! If you don’t like broccoli, you aren’t going to eat it (well, I won’t). So why force yourself to read a book that is slowly killing you?

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I will make it easy for you. Here are a list of reasons why you can DNF, and if you do end up DNF’ing and you need someone to blame…I’m your girl πŸ™‚

1. Repetition of a word

I recently stopped reading a book because the main character kept calling his parents “the parentals”. At first I was like, no biggie. But then he KEPT calling them that on every single freaking page. I couldn’t handle it. It didn’t help that the writing was pretty average as well, but I wouldn’t have minded it that much if there wasn’t that word repetition. Call them your parents, or mum and dad, or aliens! Just STOP calling them “the parentals”!!!!

2. The main character is an idiot

Especially if it is in first person. You are stuck in this persons head so in a way you become that person. I have DNF’d books because the MC is overly bitter, whiney, self-righteous or just an outright douche. And it can be absolutely frustrating when the MC’s every decision is wrong or stupid.

3. Lack of plot

You know the stories where you are just like…where the hell is this going? Why am I still reading this?Β If you are finding yourself confused or bored then just stop. You need to move on.

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4.Β Β The author is prejudiced

You may notice this either in the undertones or it is boom in your face. Unless you plan on writing a very ranty review about it to deter other people from reading it, why continue on? What are you going to get out of it apart from a headache or a nose bleed? There is no place in the world for hate, and unfortunately publishers only see dollar signs which is why some of these horrid stories end up being published. Move on to your next book and don’t read or promote this authors work again.

5. Animal cruelty

I absolutely cannot stand it. It will make me cry, it will make me angry. Too much of this stuff goes on in the real world as it is, and it upsets me. Why the hell would I want to read it in a book? If there is even an inkling that the animal will die, I stop reading.

6. You have just found out the author is a bit of a prick

Case in point. I loved the Outlander series, I thought Diana Gabaldon was great. Until she tweeted a really snobby, pretentious and kind of mean tweet to a fan. Now do I want to continue reading her books? No, not really. Some people are able to set the artist and art apart, but I am not one of those people. While there are certainly worse authors out there who say some absolutely horrible things, they need to remember why they are where they are. They need to remember their fan-base. They need to not be dicks.

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7. The genre is not for you

You like fantasy but you thought you would give that crime/thriller book a go. If it isn’t tickling your fancy and you want to go back to magic and fairy dust, just do it. Good on you for giving a different genre a go, now get back to Middle Earth!!

8. Life

Sometimes you may find that the book you are reading doesn’t really sit well with you because of wherever you are in your life. There have been books that I have put down because of my anxiety/depression, and I found that the book I was reading exacerbated it. With these ones, you may want to come back to them later when you feel like it isn’t going to affect you negatively. And that’s ok!!

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Life’s to short to be reading books that you don’t enjoy. You would stop watching a movie or tv show if you didn’t like so why make reading any different? Books are meant to be enjoyed, don’t settle for anything less.

Steff xx


21 thoughts on “An honest list of when to DNF a book

    1. I always used to feel bad for not finishing a book, but now I don’t care. If a book isn’t grabbing me I will move on. Us bookworms have waaaay too many books to read to drag our way through a book we aren’t enjoying. Thanks πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I always used to force myself through books I didn’t like, but I can’t be bothered anymore. There are too many books out there to read, why waste time on ones that you aren’t enjoying. Yay I’m glad, and just remember you can blame me if needbe πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I love your post, it’s so great❀. I really can’t continue a book if I don’t like the main character and less if it’s the only point of view that I’ll have throughout the plot. So in summary I think it’s more important to just enjoy what you read, right?😊

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  2. This is a great list, Steff! While I do not agree with every single point, most of them ring true to my own experience as a reader.
    I don’t DNF books all that much… I might have DNF’ed about five my whole life. I do have a bit of a problem giving up on a book, which I’m trying to change because ain’t nobody got time for that!
    Thanks for the advice πŸ™‚ I’ll try to apply it to my reading!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read an article recently that said that even if you aren’t enjoying a book it is good to still continue with it. I can’t remember exactly why, I think it was along the lines of it provides you with a learning experience and teaches you to be more critical. So there isn’t anything wrong with not DNFing a book. I guess the main thing is read for the enjoyment of it πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading!!


  3. Great post!! I rarely DNF books myself but have zero problem doing so if I’m not enjoying the book and lack of plot or not liking the main character are huge reasons why I’ll DNF. Also, sometimes the wrtiting style. There’s just some writing styles that don’t work for me and they completely pull my focuse from the book. But yeah, I see it as there are too many books and way too little time to spend it on a book you aren’t enjoying! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree with writing styles. That’s why I haven’t been able to finish the Lord of the Rings series 😦 I just can’t grasp Tolkien’s writing style, which is disappointing because I loved the movies! Thank you so much for reading πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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