Posted in Reading

Thoughts on DNF (Did Not Finish)-ing Books

So I’m a pretty stubborn person. Okay, I may be the most stubborn person I know. When I start something, I am determined to finish it. That’s it. The end. No questions. For as long as I can remember, that’s been my mentality with books. If I pick one up, I owe it to the book, myself, the author, the universe, the muffin man, etc to finish it. I finish what I start. That’s just who I am.

Or is it?

Over the past year or two, I’ve been reading more and more. But that also means I’ve been putting books down with substanceless promises of oh, I’ll just come back to it later, and NEWS FLASH I never do. Why? Because if I put the book down, it was probably for a reason.

So even though I’ve always believed myself to be morally against not finishing books, I find that sometimes, that’s the answer.

Not every book is going to fit everyone’s fancy. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea or size of shoe or cereal of choice or what have you. Just look at every famous book ever. There are 5 star reviews and 1 star reviews for every single one of them. Because what’s a perfect book for one person might be the worst book ever to the next. We all bring different backgrounds and baggage with us when we pick up a book that influences our reading experiences and in turn, determines whether or not we enjoy a book. And that’s just the way the world works.

So. What’s the point of this ramble, you ask?

I suppose I’ve decided that DNFing a book is not the source of all evil as I once believed it to be. Because the thing is, if I’m not connecting with or enjoying a book, and  I know that’s not going to change, no matter how much more of the book I read, what’s the point of forcing myself through it? Especially when I have 50 or so unread books sitting on my shelves, staring at me, waiting for their turn?

Life’s too short to read bad books.

If you’re not enjoying it, there’s no shame in setting it aside and picking up something else that better suits you. Give that other book to someone else, someone who will connect with it and understand it and believe it to be the best book ever.

Do you DNF books? Feel free to add your 2 cents to the comments. I’d love to discuss with you!

Write (and read) on, friends! 😉




Hello! My name is Katie and I like to write. If I'm not writing, I'm probably reading, running, playing with my dogs, or eating peanut butter ;)

One thought on “Thoughts on DNF (Did Not Finish)-ing Books

  1. I used to never leave a book unread, and even now I rarely do. There are however a few (two specifically that come to mind) that I just couldn’t bring myself to keep reading. If it gets to the point where I am not reading at a time when I usually would or I pick up the book then find something else ‘better’ to do then it is time for me to put down that book altogether. Usually the main problem for me is the pacing of the novel. The main ones I put down are long books with slow pace because they seem to drag on even longer. I do intend to return to these books one day, and maybe by then my tastes will have matured.


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