Do you DNF? If you’re not familiar with the term, it stands for Do Not Finish, and refers to when you give up on a book for any reason.
I struggled with DNFing books for a while, and would force myself to plod through a book that I wasn’t enjoying. It wound up turning reading into a chore, and I would spend so long reading a book that I didn’t want to be reading. Why did I do this to myself? Part of it was because I remember having to do this in school, and I guess I got into the habit of just finishing books, whether I liked them or not. (Most of the books I had to read for classes weren’t of the enjoyable variety). Part of it was because I hate not knowing what happens, even if I don’t like the story. (To this day, I’ll sometimes skim through the end, or just find a summary that includes spoilers if I’m really curious to find out what happens). Part of it also was that I hate feeling like a quitter, giving up on a book that an author really works hard on and pours their heart and soul into, even if I don’t connect with it personally.
But what I’ve come to realize is, that I don’t have to finish every single book that I start. It’s a personal choice, but I know that I can DNF a book if I’m not enjoying it, and it’s okay. I don’t have to feel guilty about it, and neither should you. There are a lot more books out there that I will enjoy, so why spend time pushing myself to read a book that I don’t like? Reading is my hobby, my escape, my way of relaxing, one of my forms of self-care. If it starts to feel like a chore, it’s a sign that this isn’t the book for me. So I switch to a different book that is more my style.
Here’s some reasons why I might DNF a book:
- The material is offensive or triggering, without serving a purpose.
- I can’t get invested in the plot.
- I can’t connect to the characters.
- There’s too many plot holes.
- The plot isn’t believable.
- There’s a lot of spelling/grammar/formatting errors.
- Nothing is happening in the story.
- The writing style isn’t for me.
- The character doesn’t grow or change at all.
- I’m just not in the mood for that book right then — sometimes I’ll go back to it later.
- Stereotyped characters.
Do you DNF? If so, what makes you DNF a book?
Categories: Bookish Posts