Let’s Talk Bookish: DNFing books

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! If you want to join in the bookish discussion fun, check out the September 2022 prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

DNFing books

(SUGGESTED BY Mint @ MINT LOVES BOOKS)
Prompts: DNF is an acronym that stands for did not finish. What makes you DNF a book? How often do you DNF books? What’s the silliest or pettiest reason why you DNF’d a book? Do you review books that you DNF?

TO DNF OR NOT TO DNF? THAT IS THE QUESTION!

So I guess I should start this post by answering this question and the answer is mostly no and I hardly ever DNF. That said, if you go to my Goodreads page, you’ll see that I have a DNF shelf because my goal every year is to put down books that don’t work for me. However, I usually end up feeling guilty about it and then never end up doing it, so I’d say it takes a lot for me to want to DNF a book but it also kind of depends on my mood.

This brings me to that DNF shelf of mine that currently only has two books on it… I’ve been thinking lately about getting rid of this shelf because I so rarely DNF but I also kind of want to keep it to hold myself accountable. That said, it makes me feel bad having just these two books on there because I feel like it puts the books + authors under a somewhat negative spotlight (even though in the grand scheme of things I’m a little nobody on the blogosphere or GR and don’t have much influence).

SO, WHAT MADE ME DNF THESE BOOKS?

I don’t want to name the books here but the titles on my DNF list include a small-town holiday romance and a historical fantasy. One of the common elements is that the writing didn’t work for me. The historical fantasy felt very clinical which wasn’t compelling to me and the holiday romance was written in a very “all tell, no show” manner that made it tough to connect to the emotion of the story.

I tried to get through more of the romance (as it was also the first book I DNF’d) and there were other elements to the story that bugged me and that finally pushed me to give it up. I find it irritating when things don’t make sense in a story—the dots don’t connect or the way the characters act don’t make sense and it would be an implausible situation in the real world. For example, in the romance the small-town was set in a foreign country but everyone spoke English all the time and it felt so unreal. Plus, the fact the FMC was a high-powered lawyer and she just took off without warning her colleagues and continued to evade their questions while she was away didn’t make any sense. All of these elements irritated me to the point I didn’t even want to read anymore so that made it ‘easier’ for me to put it down.

DO I REVIEW BOOKS I DNF?

I didn’t review either of these books but I think for the romance, I made a note with a reason for why I didn’t end up finishing the book, though that’s definitely more for personal reasons (my memory is weak) than anything else. I think if I ever DNF’d another book, I would do the same and just add a small note with the points for why I didn’t enjoy it but I wouldn’t write a full on rant (probably) because that’s just too much effort! 😂

Do you DNF books or do you have a hard time DNFing books? What’s the main reason you DNF? How long does it take for you to decide you’ll DNF?

16 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: DNFing books

    • That’s a good rule! I think I tried following that rule a couple of times but then my brain always tricks me into sticking with the book because “what if it gets better in the next 5-10%?!” 😂 Sometimes it does but most of the time, in my experience, it doesn’t. But I guess my brain thinks it’s worth it for those occasional wins, lol.

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  1. You have only DNFed two books? That’s amazing. I DNFed a book this week (and last week too). I don’t review DNFs (other than feedback on NG/EW because I must – the ratio!!!). I don’t feel like I can report on just part of a book, but that’s a me thing

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    • Yeah… I don’t tend to DNF books and just power through them and usually regret doing so. I don’t know why I really have to work on convincing myself to put a book down! 🙈 BUT I have put books aside to pick up at a later date and then haven’t gotten around to picking back up again, so maybe those should count as DNFs too even if I still have an interest in reading them? Yeah, I don’t rate a book that’s DNF but I do write notes (not so much a review) about why it wasn’t for me.

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    • That’s great! It’s one of my goals every year and each year I don’t really make that much progress. It still takes a lot for me to DNF but I’m feeling the “winds of change” this year (slightly) 🤣

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  2. I’ve gotten so much better at dnfing! There are times that I know I will just continue to skim because something irritated me and I go to reviews to make sure I am making the right decisions. Other times I just am not connecting. I will say that I very rarely dnf arcs because that makes me feel bad. 😂

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