DNFing Books | Reclaiming My Time and Views

Salutations friends! Today I’m putting up an article that’s a little bit different compared to the content I usually put on my blog. As of recently, with being sick and all, my head has been mulling over my thoughts on DNFing books. For those who don’t speak the lingo, DNF means ‘did not finish’ in book dragon terms. DNFing in the book community is definitely a polarizing subject, kind of like the conversation topic of audiobooks. You will hear conversations that go on for days on whether or not to DNF. You may be wondering what sparked this thought process and that is due to a conversation I was recently having with the lovely Kayla at Books and Blends about our current buddy read.

With all of this in mind, my head has been spinning, mapping out my own personal views on DNFing books. Now, I have never been someone who quits a book. I have that “I’m not a quitter, I’m a winner” mentality so DNFing was never a full concept I liked to participate in until the summer of 2019 when I read the worst book imaginable. In 2019 I read and reviewed a book called Things We Lost in the Fire. This is a book I wouldn’t even wish upon my worst enemies. This book really opened up my eyes to a lot of things including my reading limits and when it’s time to say ‘enough’. I DNF’d this book at 75% and I wish I had DNF this book a lot sooner.

That book changed the way I read, my views on DNFing, and really looking at my time investments. Since reading that book, I have started to really prioritize my reading and how I want to invest my time. Also, my reading average has gone up a little and since I’m investing my time into books I love more often, I’m okay with that. As for the books I have DNF’d, well, there could be a number of reasons why it landed in that pile.

📖 The content was just too much.

In the case of the Things We Lost in the Fire, this is the category for books that take too much of a heavy toll on mental health or cause a decline in physical health. Whether the content in too detailed and graphic or the content becomes far too dark that it causes the mental state to think negative thoughts, this is the time to put that book down and not touch it with a ten foot pole.

📖 Better saved for later.

These are the overly hyped books. If you know me, I have a lot of overly hyped books that I’ve been dodging because I don’t want to disappoint anyone or be let down myself. Hype can be such a powerful and influential thing. To avoid the hype and make sure I go in with a clean slate, these books get put off to the side and are saved for a time when I’m in the mood for it.

📖 It’s boring and it feels forced.

These are the books that are taking forever to have any action, anything interesting, and content that captures the attention. It could also have the feeling of characters being forced into situations and the whole atmosphere feels off somehow. It may not even be the whole book, either. This may be the case with flashbacks, books divided into sections, or books close to 1000 pages. Sometimes it’s timing and other times the book isn’t for you, and that’s okay!

📖 Those typos!

This is one of the more rarer situations, but I find that it does happen. I’ve had a few published works come my way that drove me absolutely mad because sentences weren’t making sense, two-three words were spelled wrong in every line, or there would be odd spacing in words. Arcs will always get a free pass from me for having spelling errors, but if your book has been published and there are that many errors… Someone did you dirty and I don’t have the time to waste trying to figure out what each sentence is suppose to say especially if your book is 400-500 pages.

📖 Did you really just do that? That’s offensive!

Another rare one for me, but an important one. It’s not that I don’t find offensive content in books, but more so that I’m not hearing enough people talk about that content or I’m watching reviews for books so closely that I won’t touch an overly offensive book. An example of this would be the content in Serpent & Dove. I talk about it in my review, but there was a lot of content that rubbed me the wrong way and there are others who have gone into greater detail than what I have.

📖 Why are there seven POVs?!

Whether this is just a pet peeve or a tic that’s really triggering, I really can’t stand multiple povs. This is something I’ve always had issues with and I’ve finally realized that I won’t touch a book if it has over three povs. There have been some rare exceptions with books having five or six povs and it works out for the story’s benefit. However, most books with five or more povs will never get touched or put off to the side because it muddles the story-line and plot, there’s too many characters to try to keep up with, and details tend to fall on the back burner.

Okay, friends! That covers all of the reasons why I’ll DNF a book! I’m sure there are a few others lurking in the catacombs of my mind, but those are a few for right now. Please feel free to tell me in the comments below some of the reasons why you DNF a book or if you don’t DNF a book, then tell me how you keep yourself motivated to keep reading a book you’re not truly feeling. Until next time Chapterlings, may your reads be five stars, I love you! 💙


12 thoughts on “DNFing Books | Reclaiming My Time and Views

  1. DNFing was the best thing I ever did for my reading – hooray no serious reading slumps in 2019! I hope it ends up helping you too ♥️♥️ I feel like it’s especially important for books with really difficult subject matter like you said. I’ve definitely put down a book because I knew I couldn’t handle it mentally/emotionally.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 2019 was when I started to really DNF books and it honestly changed my life. I want to spend 2020 doing more of DNFing when I’m not really into the book. At the end of the year, I started DNFing if my attention wasn’t gripped by the end of chapter two or in the first fifty pages, whichever came first.

    Liked by 1 person

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