Why Do I DNF Books?

I feel like this is such a controversial but necessary thing to do as well as to address. I haven’t seen many others really talk about why they mark certain books as DNF (Did Not Finish) so I thought I’d let you all know my reasonings. I’m the type of person who, if I’m not enjoying a book, just won’t finish reading it; I feel no obligation to force myself to read it if I’m not enjoying it and that’s the end of it!

1. Couldn’t get into the story line.

This one is very simple, but there are certain books that I start reading and find that I’m just not enjoying because I don’t like the story line. The story line is the most essential part of a book for me as it’s what drives me through and so if I can’t get into what’s going on, then I don’t see the point in finishing it.

2. It’s boring. 

Similarly to the first point, I can understand a story and still not want to finish it. Sometimes I’ll get about 100 pages in and realise that I just don’t care for the story, the characters and what happens to them so again, I’ll just stop reading it.

3. It’s problematic. 

This is quite a big one. If I’m reading a story with sensitive/trigger subjects and they’re handled poorly or are offensive, then I just won’t continue reading it. Or if a book doesn’t have the necessary trigger warnings. I’m just immediately put off and feel no obligation to finish it.

4. Writing that’s too dense.

I’m a strong believer in reading for enjoyment. As much as I enjoy a challenge, sometime’s the writing can just become too dense for me and feel too much like I’m analysing a book for class.

5. I’m not in the mood.

This one is an obvious one. I’m definitely one for reading what I’m in the mood for, no matter my personal deadlines, what’s recently come out or what other people are talking about. The amount of times I’ve tried to read a fantasy book and ended up putting it down for a contemporary is unreal. But to be honest, as this has nothing to do with the book or the writing, a lot of the time I’ll end up going back to it at some point.

6. I’m in a reading slump. 

Reading slumps. Ugh. The worst. I manage to get myself into reading slumps an awful lot these days solely due to the fact that I’m a full-time university student. Studying history means that my eyes are glue in books, articles and other various pages and so when I’m finished, I feel no urge to go home and read more. Sometimes I try but finding myself not enjoying it at all, which sucks.

7. Didn’t like the characters. 

If I dislike the main character(s), I see no point in continuing with the book because 9 times out of 10, they will annoy me too much to enjoy the story. I’ve had experiences in the past where I’ve put up with the characters because the plot was amazing but it ended up getting ruined because of how much I disliked the characters.

8. They’re predictable. 

If I hear the words ‘surprise, surprise’ pop up in my head, I know it’s time to DNF the book. The books I enjoy are the ones that keep me guessing, and the ones that are just completely unpredictable because it really keeps me on my toes. Books that have a ‘plot twist’ that really wasn’t a plot twist annoy me so I just don’t read them.

If I don’t like it, I won’t make myself finish it and it’s pretty much as simple as that. I know that some people really hate marking books DNF and force themselves to finish books for many reasons, but for me, I really don’t see the point. Books are for enjoying, you should want to read them and be excited and if, for any reason, the one your reading it just isn’t doing anything for you, don’t be afraid to put it down! It’s nothing permanent, you can always go back to it!

What are your opinions on marking books as DNF?


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One thought on “Why Do I DNF Books?

  1. I’ve never DNF’d a book, but only because I’m extremely stubborn and like to apparently torture myself haha. I think the only thing that could cause me to DNF is if something was super problematic or triggering. I totally understand and support the concept though. Life is too short to be reading books we don’t like. I wish I could do it more, haha.


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