It’s OK to DNF a Book | Discussions at Dawn


It's OK to DNFHey guys!

Welcome to the first Discussions at Dawn. This is where I will talk about hot button issues, book related topics, and other things I find interesting.

It’s OK to DNF

There is a huge taboo against DNF’ing a book. Some book bloggers and readers are for it, and some are against it. As you can tell from the title I am the former. It’s OK guys, it really is. When I first started blogging I thought of DNF’ing a book as a negative habit. I would sit there and force my self through a book I just wasn’t into anymore. This would result in me being in a sour mood and negatively effecting my review. It wasn’t until months later when I was reading a fantasy book I received from the publisher for review that I decided it was time for my first DNF. I could not get through this book for the life of me. It was the best feeling ever. Here is why:

Saves You Time

The reason I say it saves you time is because your time as a reader/blogger is very valuable. So why waste it on a book that you are absolutely not loving. Move on, there are other amazing books you can spend your precious reading time indulging in. I know this is the case for me. I work a full time job, which means 40+ hours a week I am grueling away. That doesn’t leave very much time to spend reading. So I treat my reading time with care. I don’t waste it forcing myself through a book.

Save Time

Better Moods & Less Stress

Back when I didn’t DNF a book because I thought that was a negative habit, I would be in very sour moods. I would dread picking up the book I wasn’t loving and giving me unnecessary stress. I was giving myself frown wrinkles and that is not a pretty sight. But now that I do DNF books that I’m just not into, I go into better books with a brighter mood. I don’t remember when I last stressed about reading a book. No more frown wrinkles or furrowed brows. Only smiles of enjoyment!



Prevents Reading Slumps

I used to get into the biggest reading slumps ever. Last year after forcing myself through a dreadful book, I unknowingly was putting myself into a two month reading slump. I just could not pick up another book after forcing myself through a book I should have DNF’d after 30%. Now that I am OK with DNF’ing a book I haven’t had a reading slump all year. It’s a system that works for me, so hopefully it works for you as well!

Reading Slump

Don’t Feel Bad

I get it. As bloggers we get a lot of books to read for review purposes. We feel obligated to read them all, even the ones we are not enjoying. But put it this way. I would rather DNF a book, give my reasons and NOTΒ provide a bad star review then end up giving the book a 1 or 2 star because I absolutely hated the reading experience. Don’t feel bad about DNF’ing. I’m sure an author would rather you DNF their book rather then giving them a horrible review for others to read.

Feel Bad

Again I want to stress that it is OK to DNF a book. It is not bad karma and you mind and body will thank you for it. No one wants to force themselves to do anything. Maybe start off small and put the book down for a while and pick it back up. Whatever works for you!

Until next time,

Sig New


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Jesse Nicholas lives in Toronto, Canada. He is an aspiring writer and one day wishes to have a novel published. Along with writing, Jesse enjoys music, travel, trashy TV, and is an avid reader of anything in the Young Adult and Fantasy/Sci-Fi genres. He is currently posts reviews on the novels he reads on his blog, and spends hours upon hours coming up with ideas for a future stories.

31 thoughts on “It’s OK to DNF a Book | Discussions at Dawn”

  1. Nothing dnf-ing gave me an almost 6 year reading slump. i hated book blogging at that point that I only posted 3 or 4 post per year and no post at all in 2015. I’m improving with dnf-ing books. I dnf after 50 -100 pages. At what point do you dnf?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was the same when I first started out!! I kept thinking that DNFing a book was a really bad habit and what if the book gets better?? I don’t know when it started, by one day I just couldn’t take it anymore and I just stopped reading whatever book it was and I felt so relieved!!! I try not to dnf books if I can help it, but I don’t have a problem doing it if I do and then justifying why I did! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hardly ever DNF books, but I know it’s something I need to do more! Because I hardly ever get books for review I won’t do it with them, but I’m getting better at putting down other books. I think I need to give myself a page limit – if I hate it 50 pages in, I’ll stop reading, or something like that πŸ™‚ Great post,I love your reasons!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m personally not against DNF’ing books, but I won’t do it, myself. I just never feel comfortable leaving a book unfinished, even if I hated it. It makes me feel worse than just giving it a bad review. But I would never get mad or anything at someone for DNF’ing a book, themselves. We are all allowed to do what we need to keep ourselves happy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My thing with DNF’ing books is that I won’t give a star rating on GoodReads. I feel like the star ratings are for people that actually finished the book. If I DNF a book, I will write in my review my I DNF’ed it but leave no rating. I think other’s should do that too.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. DNFing books is not a sin. I’ve always been a DNFer and it definitely saved me from books that would lead me to a huge reading slump. Forcing myself to finish books that arent working for me gets me into a reading slump that could last me for months and I hate that. But this is for me personally. I know everyone’s different so if you’re okay with DNFing or not okay, that’s all good. πŸ™‚


  6. At first, I did not want to DNF books at first because I feel guilty and sad for the author but now I learned to accept that books are like food. You may take a bite and either leave the rest uneaten or finish it all up. And I agree with you about being in a sour mood whenever you are forced to finish a book. Lol. That is so real!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I used to hate DNF-ing books, but I’ve actually started doing it a lot more recently for the same reasons you’ve listed. Reading should be enjoyable, and I realized there should be no reason why I’m spending days and sometimes weeks forcing myself to finish a book I find dull and monotonous. I love this discussion idea, and I can’t wait to see what other topics you have in store for us, Jesse!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I needed to read this, I always feel so bad especially if I am asked to review a book by an author but sometimes I also get the feeling they expect a high rating for asking me to review their book. Not all authors of course, I have just dealt with one or two who definitely didn’t really like honesty. But that was more a 3 star read not 1 or 2.

    I always used to try to continue with a book I hated to see if it picked up but I definitely need to learn just to give up and move on and that’s ok.
    Great Post Jesse!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great post. I am “currently”reading a book sent by the author (haven’t opened it since august) but I’m not really enjoying it. The vocabulary is out of my league,for one reason. But even though I have no difficulty to DNF a book I bought, I feel guilty for a book I got from an author or a publisher…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I have a really hard time DNF’ing. But I am much more capable of actually doing it now than I used to be. Not every book is for every person, unfortunately. And since there are so many books out there that I DO WANT TO READ, I am going to make sure those are the books that take up my time!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post!
    I used to hate to not finish a book. I would feel so guilty and forcing myself to read it resulted in me just completely hating it so much. I would also refuse to read another book until I finished it, which could take weeks! I started to finally allow myself to DNF books. At first I would feel guilty, but then the more I did it the better I felt about it LOL. Now I have no problems doing it and it helps, because I can save time for books I actually do want to read and enjoy.


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