Learning How to DNF | Rants & Rambles

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Hey Bloggers!

Welcome back to:

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Rants & Rambles is a weekly feature where I share my own personal thoughts and opinions about both bookish and blogging related topics. As stated, these are MY OWN opinions and while you can choose to disagree with it, I hope that you at least respect it.


This week on Rants & Rambles I want to discuss:

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So for the new year, I decided to bring back my weekly feature!

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Last year I wrote a discussion post titled Why I Have Yet To DNF and discussed all the reasons why I had trouble DNF-ing books and how I believed that I did not have it in me to EVER DNF a book. Bookworms gather ’round because I’m here to say that things have changed: THIS GIRL RIGHT HERE HAS FINALLY DNF-ED HER FIRST BOOK!

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Yes folks, you read that correctly. The girl who never thought she would ever DNF a book has finally eaten her own words. 

I know for a lot of you bookworms out there this may not be a new concept, but for me, it was a big thing to do. I don’t take DNF-ing books lightly, mainly because not finishing a book gives me so much anxiety and I start to worry and feel bad that I have done something wrong, when in fact it is okay to not finish a book (or so I’m learning). We are not always going to love every book we read, so why waste time reading a book you’re not enjoying. Life is too short for such nonsense.

So for 2017, one of my reading goals is going to be to learn how to DNF books and to become better at it. And no, this is NOT going to be easy for me because I’m still a firm believer in finishing a book no matter what. I definitely don’t want to make this habit, but I do want to become more comfortable with the idea of DNF-ing a book. Learning how to DNF books will also help me when it comes to deciding what books I add to my TBR as I’m hoping I become better at realizing what works and what doesn’t work for me. This DNF-ing concept may work in my favor after all. 

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This discussion post is rather short, but I want to open the floor up to all of you for you all to give me your own tips and tricks when it comes to DNF-ing books. How do you know when it’s the right time to DNF? What are some reasons for why you a DNF book? Do you even bother writing a review? I WANT TO KNOW ALL THE THINGS so feel free to share your thoughts about DNF-ing books in the comments below.

That is all for this week’s Rants & Rambles. I hope you enjoyed my random thoughts!

What are your thoughts on DNF-ing books?

Let me know in the comments!

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23 thoughts on “Learning How to DNF | Rants & Rambles

  1. I don’t like DNF-ing either especially with ARC’s or a book someone has recommended to me. I feel like I’ve let someone or the author down somehow, and I am always determined to finish the book.
    I’ve DNFed 3 books in my life. I feel it’s okay if I don’t like a book and want to move on to a better read. But, I have to give the book a chance. I force myself to read at least half and then If I still don’t like it, I will have to DNF it. I usually DNF because it’s extremely boring, or If I feel that I just won’t be able to finish as I am eyeing some other amazing books on my TBR! Most of the time, I come back to the book at a later date. Maybe it’s when I’m in a reading slump, or when I just feel that the book might work, I always give a second chance. Maybe I STILL don’t enjoy it and it is permanently in my DNF pile but most of the time, I get through it.
    I don’t really review DNF books since I can’t write a review. It would be unfair to say the book was boring as A WHOLE since I didn’t read it all. I think it’s a little unfair to review a book you didn’t finish so I don’t do it. GREAT discussion!

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    • The book I DNF-ed was an ARC and I felt so bad because I try my best to not request ARCs I don’t think I would like. I too usually try to force myself to finish the book, even if it means skimming over a few chapters because at least then I can write a decent review, but I just can’t waste my time anymore. Plus, there are a lot of great books coming out this book, so that too may have been another reason why I DNF-ed.😅😅 I ended up writing a little paragraph on GR just stating why I couldn’t continue reading, but I don’t think I would ever do DNF reviews on my blog. I also didn’t rate it because I don’t think that would’ve been fair to the book or author. Thank you for your thoughts about DNF-ing books!

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  2. I had a trouble DNFing books I didn’t actually enjoy reading because I felt guilty. After all, I finally decided to DNF one of the novels I was reading in December. That was like wooooooow, did I just really do it?
    The reason for it is that I felt like I was forcing myself to finish the book even through the writing was horrible, I wasn’t interested, couldn’t connect to the characters. So I think once you feel like you are forcing yourself to finish – let it go, baby. Reading should be an enjoyment, not a torture!
    What book did you DNF?

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    • I ended up DNF-ing The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova. I’m not a big fan of steampunk, but I wanted to still at least give the book a chance. I got stuck at 20% and I couldn’t force myself to continue. At least now I know that steampunk will forever be a definite NO for me. I felt really bad at first, but then I managed to finish a book another book the next day and I realized that if I had stuck with reading The Alchemists of Loom, it would’ve probably taken a week for me to read and it would’ve pushed me back on my reading schedule and then I didn’t feel SO bad about DNF-ing.

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  3. I have never DNF’d a book which is maybe partially because I only tend to read books I’m know I’ll like. It’s definitely something I need to start doing though if I happen across a book I’m not enjoying, I just hope in that situation I wouldn’t feel too guilty!

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  4. Like you, I wasn’t a huge fan of DNFing but I learned in 2015 that it wasn’t fair to me or the book to keep going. You aren’t going to like every book and that’s a hard lesson to learn. So it was my goal in 2016 to not necessarily DNF more books, but not be so hard on myself to make the decision. And I have to say, I had a much better reading year by not “wasting” (that’s not the best word to use but you get what I mean) my time reading books that I was struggling to enjoy. Less slumps and I got a hell of a lot more books in despite that.

    My personal guidelines is that if I’m not totally enjoying a book, I give it 50 pages (or 20% if I’m eReading). And if I don’t care what happens after that benchmark, I DNF it. Most of the time, I don’t even make it that far–I’ve gotten a good handle on what I will like early on now–but it is nice to have a guideline to default to when the time comes.

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    • I should totally make a guideline for myself in the event I ever find myself contemplating about DNF-ing a book, which I’m sure will happen again. I should create like a little checklist for reasons why and when it’s time to DNF for myself and I could probably even use this guideline for writing up my review. I think me forcing myself to read books was also the reason why I fell into three reading slumps last year so I’m going to try avoids those this year!

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      • It really does help! It’s nice to have something decisive to fall back on because I know I suck at making decisions 😛

        It’s something I keep in mind too when it comes time to write the review as well. I often find when I write the review it reaffirms my decision to DNF.

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  5. I also get anxiety about DNF-ing books. I just can’t mentally do it. Every time I just feel like I need to know what happens, how it ends. I always feel like not finishing a book is cheating & I don’t do it. (for me, not others. I don’t judge ANYBODY for dnf-ing anything ever. I just can’t do it in my own reading world it seems)

    I wouldn’t mind getting over that though & start being more open to dnf-ing myself. I kinda wish I would’ve dnf-ed Fates & Furies by Lauren Groff last year cause I absolutely hated that book & felt like I just wasted a bunch of time because I just couldn’t let go, you know?

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    • You basically just described how I used to feel about DNF-ing books until I kind of couldn’t take it anymore. I do admit though that I do look back and question if DNF-ing was the way to go, that maybe the book could’ve gotten better and I wasn’t giving the book a fair chance. DNF-ing is not an easy decision to make and it’s not for everyone and you are definitely not alone in your feelings about DNF-ing. I think I still have a long way to go before I ever decide to DNF another book.

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  6. From a fellow never-DNF-er, CONGRATULATIONS! ❤ I honestly understand and FEEL the struggle. I hate DNFing books; I feel like I am doing a disservice to the author (who worked so hard on the book!) and I feel like I may miss out on an opportunity esp if the book got better AFTER the place I DNF’d it.

    I actually DNF’d for the first time at the end of last year; the book was False Hearts by Laura Lam. It wasn’t a bad book per se – I just couldn’t connect to it and I was starting to resent reading it — which was the sign for me to stop ASAP. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, CW! I’ve gotten to the point where I was dragging through a book and resented the fact that I decided to pick it up in the first place and that’s what I’m hoping to avoid this year. These books also ended up putting me in reading slumps after I finished them so if DNF-ing books help me to avoid reading slumps, then I’m all for them.

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  7. I’m not a huge fan of DNF-ing books either, I’ve only DFN-ed two (and I only started reading one of them because my friend liked it and asked me to, I wasn’t very excited about it to begin with; I DNF-ed the other one because I couldn’t get along with the writing). The only advice that I have is: try to read at least 25% of the book and then you decide if you want to stop there or if you think it has potential to get better. But you’re absolutely right – we shouldn’t waste time in reading books we don’t like!!

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  8. Pingback: January Wrap-Up & February Most Anticipated Releases | The Daydreaming Bookworm

  9. Pingback: January Wrap Up 2017 | My Midnight Musing

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