Babble,  Bookish Stuff

Book Babble: Why I Don’t DNF Books

DNF: Did Not Finish. Do you ever read a book that you dislike so much that you want to put it away? Do you actually put it away. or do you keep going?DNF: Did Not Finish. | Some people never DNF a book in their life, others DNF more than they complete. Some people review their DNFs, others think it’s unfair. Basically, lots of people have lots of different opinions about not finishing books! In my new Book Babble (aka bookish discussion) I share my thoughts and opinions on DNF’ing books.

First of all, I do not DNF books. In all the time I’ve been reading, I think I’ve done it once. The one I can remember is The Vampire Diaries: The Hunters: Destiny Rising. What a title! Jeesh! Long story short: I own the entire series up until the part before Destiny Rising, then read this one as ebook on Scribd. I hated it, my subscription was ending and it put me in a reading slump. What I usually do, though, is put books away for later. I once started reading The Maze Runner and couldn’t get through at all. Months later I picked it up again and I actually enjoyed it! Same goes for Safe Haven (by Nicholas Sparks) and I’m sure there must be more.

Why I Don’t DNF

 I simply don’t have enough money for books! That might sound kind of weird, but if I DNF every book that I can’t get through, I’ll end up not having anything to read. This also has made me very selective of the books that end up on my TBR. My TBR is actually not that big at all. But Ayla, how is that even possible?! OH MY GOD! Yeah, I know, don’t worry, I know! Basically, that means I only read books that know I will like and enjoy. Of course, it can always turn out differently, but so far I’ve been “lucky.” I don’t need to DNF anything because I love what I read. This is also why I sort of stay away from the books people recommend me if I’m not sure about the books. I usually say “Oh, I’ll check it out!” And then I do, but only like 5% actually ends up on my TBR.

Reviewing Unfinished Books

There’s quite a discussion about whether or not you should review unfinished books. Some say it’s unfair to the author, but I don’t agree. Of course, it sucks when you’re an author and you see a bad review of your book. Maybe the reviewer feels bad about a DNF or low rating, so they end up not posting a review at all. I’m a strong believer of reviewing books, though. Any and all books, no matter how bad you think they are. Okay, maybe there’s a line, but I don’t know what it is exactly. Reviews are people’s personal opinions of books. Your review is definitely different from your neighbour, best friend or fellow reviewer. You like or dislike different things and have a completely different image of the same book.

How to Review a DNF

This goes for both DNFs and negative reviews. It’s how I would personally write a negative review, but of course, you can do it any way you want.

When I’m negative about a review, I keep it short. No need to go into negative detail! I mention the things I didn’t like, but I really do try to find at least one or two things I did like about the book. I also usually end my reviews with the positive thing. Kind of like bad news before good news. Also, it’s important to mention how far you’ve come in the book if it’s a DNF. The only place I publish my negative reviews is Goodreads. I won’t post them on my blog unless it’s a very anticipated read and/or a popular book. Basically, a “blog worthy” book. For example; I didn’t review Percy Jackson my blog because it’s “old” and not that important. If I read a book like Throne of Glass and didn’t like it, I would publish it on the blog because it’s popular and lots of people love it. Get it? I actually love Throne of Glass and wrote a review on it, don’t worry, haha! Also, I don’t publish negative reviews on store’s websites and I definitely do not actively share them with authors! This last bit is really important!

I really value honest reviews. Don’t sugarcoat it. If you didn’t like a book, you just didn’t like it! Negative reviews are just as important as positive ones. Don’t feel bad about negative reviews, some people really value them! I know I do!

What do you think about DNF’ing books and negative reviews? Do you share them? Or do just keep the negativity to yourself?


  • Sara Strauss

    I try not to DNF books either, but there are a rare few that I just couldn’t get through and when I’m absolutely dreading reading a book or it just doesn’t make any sense then I know I have to close it for good. I agree about writing short reviews for DNF’d books. I’m actually currently reading Vinedar Girl and at one point I wanted to DNF it, but I’m going to stick it out.

  • Vanessa Wolfe

    Wow, this was a really good post. My reading resolution for 2017 is to stop reading bad/mediocre books even if I started them. I think this post implies you don’t want to waste money. For me, I don’t want to waste my time. I already DNF 2 books this year because I have a TBR pile of books I know will be a hundred times more amazing. Of the two DNF books, one I received blindly through a subscription service and the other I never read the reviews and simply expected it to live up to it’s name/summary. Those were exceptions, I suppose. This post is helping me add to my reading resolution. Now I will be a lot more selective about my book selection process (no matter how much hype is around the book). Thank you!

    • Ayla

      Hi Vanessa! I’m so glad you find my post useful. It’s indeed about money for me, but also time! Both are limited, and I think we should spend them wisely. Good luck with your reading resolution!

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