Saturday, January 7, 2012

Discussion: DNF-ing

If you follow me on Twitter, you probably already know that the last two books I read were disappointments. And with one I even went as far as DNF-ing it.

*To DNF: to not finish a book you started reading

I always, ALWAYS feel sad when I do this. I never used to in the past, cause I feel frustrated not knowing how it ends. Or there's the chance of missing out on a great book if it picks up. Those are both things that make me hesitant to DNF a book. But with the amount of books I have both on my e-reader and on my shelf and the limited amount of time I have nowadays to actually do my reading, I've become for lack of a better word 'better' at DNF-ing.

I don't want to read something I don't like. It's as simple as that. I do a lot of things I HAVE to do for my internships and life in general, reading should always be something I WANT to do and not something I force myself to do. So now when I don't feel excited about continuing with a book, I ask myself if it would be better to DNF it and move onto something that I will enjoy.

Sometimes I'm not invested in a story enough to want to continue, sometimes it annoys me so much I want to throw the book across the room. A sure-fire way for this to happen is to have a whiny protagonist. Things that are also discouraging to me: insta-love in the first 15 pages (I mean, seriously?), unbelievable storylines, insta-power (instant mastering of complex skills with no good explanation for why this happens), the main character attracting 5 love interests, nothing happening for 200 pages. There can be any number of things going on, but most important: I find myself not enjoying the book.

I always try to make it to 100 pages to give a book a fair chance. I mean, that's about 2 hours of my life, I can usually pull through to do that. Sometimes I dislike the book so much I only make it to 50. And I think only once or twice I've closed a book after 5 pages.

But then comes the next part: I'm a blogger, what do you do with books you DNF?

I've seen some bloggers post periodically about the books they DNF-ed. Some choose to review them. Some rate them on Goodreads.
As for me, I don't post reviews on the books I DNF-ed because I feel I can't do that based on 50-100 pages. I do however rate them on Goodreads. It could be argued that's not fair if it's not based on the full novel, but I think it also means something if I dislike it enough to DNF, because then I REALLY disliked the book. If there's any hope it will turn up for me, I keep reading.

So, what about you guys? Do you DNF books? Feel horribly guilty and sad about it (like me)? Do you review/rate them?


  1. I don't feel bad when I DNF a book. A bit sad because of course I buy every book with the hope that I will enjoy it, but like you I don't want to read books I don't enjoy.

    When I DNF a book I don't review it because I only review the books I truly enjoyed reading. But I think doing short reviews on DNFd books is in general a good thing. Often these kinds of reviews can help other readers a lot.

  2. What will usually cause me to DNF a book is if it is offensive to me -- which usually occurs if it has a lot of swearing (like F-words every couple of pages) or graphic sexual scenes. But even if I don't like the book very much, I also have a hard time not finishing the book -- It makes me sad to invest the time in reading it with no payoff, and I get impatient to know how things end. I usually don't review DNFs, although sometimes I post about them every once in awhile. I don't rate them on Goodreads either, mainly because I don't want them to show up as a book I have read or want to read.

  3. It's funny Daisy, I just finished Nevermore - Good God belive me, I wanted to spot reading after half way through. It was, I don't know, I didn't understand anything. The story was lets say ok, but damn what the hell was it about? Whatever. I was seriously thinking about stopping. I had 100 pages left. Uh huh, and then I decided to finished it. Maahhhh, I didn't like it even in the end. Nop. There will be a sequel, which sure I won't read. I was actually so sory about it, because I've read so many good things on goodreads. What a disapointment :/

    I totally get you, what you mean Daisy! ;)

  4. I hate to DNF too! I rarely do it, but it's something I'm going to have to get better at because when I don't care for a book it slows down my entire reading schedule. Great post!!!

  5. Well, I don't usually comment on the books I DNF-ed but last year I made a list of the books I most notoriously didn't like enough to finish.

    I'm actually writing a DNF review right now because it's a sequel to a book I had read before and that I quite liked, so I feel like it's okay to do it, though I usually wouldn't bother.

    I completely agree with you that we shouldn't read stuff we aren't enjoy it, I hate making reading a chore, and I feel overwhelmed enough with my TBR pile as it is!

  6. I love the Daisy Discussions idea :-)

    As for DNF-ing, I do it sometimes. The only time I feel guilty about it though is if it's a book my readers voted for me to read in those monthly polls, or if it's one of the rare review books I take on. As for reviewing it, I'll review it if it was SO horrible that I can't imagine anyone actually finishing it - really bad characters or plot or something. Then I'm usually writing the review partly to vent, and partly to warn off other readers, lol.

  7. I do exactly what you do. I don't review it (if I didn't get very far.. if it inspired enough hatred within me I may). But I do rate it on goodreads and give a little description of WHY i rated it low/DNF.