Bookfessional: DNFs (or Calling It Quits).

Posted December 2, 2016 by Jessica in Bookfessional, Jessica / 14 Comments

Bookfessional: DNFs

There are as many reactions to DNF(did not finish)-ing a book as there are different types of readers.

Some people will quit a book if the first few pages don’t grab and keep their attention, while others will stubbornly continue until they read the last word on the last page, even if any hope of a turnaround has long since been lost.

I’ve done both under different sets of circumstances. I’ve DNF-ed a book before I finished the first chapter, b/c that’s all it took for me to know that I hated the heroine (and if I hate the heroine, what’s the point?), and I’ve refused to quit, b/c author-love.

BUT. Most of the time, I’m somewhere in the middle. Or it’s more complicated . . .

For example, right now, I’ve been hovering at the 44% mark in Stephenie Meyer’s THE CHEMIST since the day after it was released.

I refuse to admit outright defeat, b/c I unabashedly love Meyer, but . . . the issues are large and numerous.

And sometimes that works for me. I’ll take a break for a few weeks (or months, OR years), and then I’ll pick it back up again and finish it, no problem.

Other times, I notice that my “currently-reading” shelf on Goodreads has me in the middle of 25+ books, and I have to clean house.

It’s too soon to tell which THE CHEMIST will be, b/c like I said, I refuse to admit defeat.

We’ll see, I guess.

What about you? Are there any books that you refuse to DNF? Do you quit any book, any time?

Jessica Signature

My name is Jessica and I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I’m trying my hand at writing, but mostly I read. My favorite genres are Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, and the YA versions of those genres, but if there is a book of a different color getting lots of buzz, I’ll read it too, just to be informed. If I’m not reading or writing, I’m probably on Goodreads or Pinterest or baking blueberry pies because I love them.

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14 responses to “Bookfessional: DNFs (or Calling It Quits).

  1. I DNF for lots of different reasons too and I have plowed through a book or two that I wasn’t extremely interested in at first to love it in the middle and End but rarely do I let myself get that far if I am not loving it at the begining. Some times I can just tell the writing style is not going to fit and put it to the side. I normally try to give a book 50 pages or about 15 to 20% or so before DNFing and I have did like you and put one down and came back to it later. If one has been in my Currently reading on Goodreads for a long time and I don’t care, then I chuck it.
    Stormi Johnson recently posted…12 Days of Horror ~ Day 2

  2. I try to get through about 30% before I declare it a loss. There was one I stopped after five pages because it was a story with its own world building and started immediately after the last book ended.

    It is still a hard decision to just toss it but with so many books to read, it get to a point of why bother? If I can’t make it through the first half, then there is nothing going to happen in the second half that will make me suddenly have book love.

    I know it’s a complete loss if I am choosing busy work (like laundry) instead of reading.

  3. Kimberly

    I’ll try to read at least four chapters before I give up. I was forced to read so many books in high school that I cannot bear to do it now. The worst is when you’re excited about a series and it has good reviews and you just…can’t…(Stormwalker).

  4. I used to always finish a book no matter what. But now if I get partway and nothing us working for me, I have no problem DNFing. Sometimes if I feel like it’s more me than the book, I’ll pick something else up and return to it later. I am a mood reader, do sometimes it’s just me.

    I did learn that beer to DNF and move on because so many books and so little time to waste. 😉
    Chrystal recently posted…Ten Books I’ve Added To My Must-Get-My-Hands-On List Lately

  5. I didn’t even know that Stephanie Meyer had a new book out.

    DNFing is hard with me. If I DNF a book – it’s usually within the first 20% of a book – but then I feel guilty for not giving the book a chance. I hardly DNF after the 40% mark because I figure that I had put enough effort into it.
    Amber Elise recently posted…Winter Bingo

  6. I’ve started to DNF books. Before I would read them. Now I try to at least get through the first 3 chapters; before call it DNF, though I have known at the first few pages the book would not work and so I end it. Really each book is different. I did just read a book “Barbarian’s Mate (Ice Planet Barbarians, #6)” that I should have DNF’d. The heroine – selfish selfish selfish and their was no way she could redeem herself in my eyes. I’m still wondering why I read the whole thing.
    Angela recently posted…Books That Need More Attention Giveaway Hop ~ 12/3 -12/16

  7. I have no set rule on DNF. As soon as I lose interest in the book then I quit and start reading something else. I refuse to spend days struggling through things I’m not enjoying. Life is too short and too many other book adventures await! My record was quitting after 2 pages when I counted 51 f-bombs and similar foul language on the two pages and decided to stop!
    chucklesthescot recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #158

  8. I DNF on a case by case basis. Like you, I recently read an author whose previous works I’ve loved, so I couldn’t admit defeat. I finished the book, and while it wasn’t an all out bust, it certainly didn’t compare to the others I’ve read.

    I try really hard not to DNF, but it happens. And it took me a long time to come the place where I felt like it was OK to do.

  9. I find that when a book pisses me off (there are massive plot holes or the characters are ridiculously stupid), I want to finish it to review it to warn people away. I tend to DNF books that don’t make me feel anything. Books I finished to warn others: Amber Fire, by Lisa Renee Jones, Canadian Wolf (Alpha Force #7) by Linda O. Johnson, and Deadeye (Mutant Files #1) by William C. Dietz. That last one pissed me off so much!!

  10. I like your answer that “it’s complicated.” I used to be a reader who never, ever, ever DNF’d. But then I started blogging and realized just how many books there are out there to sample and do I really need to spend time on a book that I clearly don’t like?!? Honestly though, I’ve not DNF’d many. I was reading a YA fantasy book a few years and and it just wasn’t clicking with me. I asked my older daughter, whom I often ask advice from, how far I had to read in a book before I could give it up? She gave me some formula that took into consideration the number of pages and percentages (I’m a word girl not a numbers girl) and she figured I essentially needed to read 3/4 of the book. Well, I ended up reading the whole thing because why give up if you’ve gone that far, right? AND I ended up appreciating the story, so…
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…Books & Crafts #8 ~ #BookBlogger #CraftCircle

  11. JenM

    I used to never DNF, but I would tend to read several books simultaneously and put down the ones that didn’t grab me, thinking “I’ll pick it up again in a few weeks”, but then of course, I never would finish it. These days, I’m more honest and willing to admit that’s it’s a DNF. If the book isn’t grabbing me, I’ll try to at least make it to 20-25% although sometimes I don’t even get that far. Other times, I don’t actually DNF but if I’ve gotten at least a third of the way in and the book is boring, I’ll skim the rest of the book just to see what happened. I count those as finished, but give them a D or C- rating.