Talk to Me: Do Not Finish (DNF) Books

featured photo cred: Intelligence is sexy

So, the other day I was reading a book that I won on Goodreads. There was not much in the synopsis but enough for me to believe it was a romance of some sort between an employee and her forbidden boss (he’s rich and powerful and he pursues her – you know the drill). Well, I got a whole heck of a lot more than that (lets just say it made 50 Shades seem PG-13). At the 27% I knew I didn’t like this book and wanted to put down. But, since I won it in a giveaway I thought I should at least get to 50% so I can give a rating and move on.

Move on? I always tell myself I want to do that but then I get to the 50% mark and say “I already came this far, try and finish the book…”

I say this to myself because I already spent 1 – 3 days reading a book and then to DNF, to me wouldn’t count as a book read. And, lets be honest: I created a hefty goodreads reading challenge goal (100 books read for 2018) for myself and need the book count.

I am too competitive with myself and I see how reading a book you hate is not enjoyable and should move on – for all parties involved but I just can’t – that stupid book count.

My questions to you are:

  1. Do you count DNF books as book’s read? If yes, is it after a certain percentage? If no, does it pain you?
  2. When do you give up on a book and categorize it as do not finish? At that moment when you know a book may not be for you: do you give it a bit more time before ending or do you stop abruptly?
  3. Are there any words of encouragement you can provide to give others the strength to give up on a book and feel no remorse?

Tell me anything else you feel about DNF books. I am still mad at myself for wasting two reading days on something so bad and need to be better at putting my foot down. Again, that stupid book count (I do see how this is all my fault and not the book counts, but I am deflecting blame; it’s easier to blame goodreads 😉 )

13 thoughts on “Talk to Me: Do Not Finish (DNF) Books

  1. It’s SO HARD to DNF a book that you’ve spent a significant amount of time on! I created a separate shelf on Goodreads so I can shelve books as DNF without marking them as “read.” I don’t count DNF books as read (and thus towards my goal) because I didn’t actually read the whole book. I also don’t rate them unless there are SERIOUS things wrong with it that the world needs to know! If it’s just not for me, I mark it DNF and move on. I hear you about giving it to 50%, but then once you get that far you’re like “Well, I already spent this much time…”

    To be honest, life is too short to read books you know you don’t like. I have over 2k books on my To Read list on Goodreads, and it just keeps growing. There’s NO WAY I am going to read all these books. I look at it this way – what great book out there am I missing out on while I’m wasting time on a book I hate? Let it go – DNF and move on. As far as books read goals go, I know I read more slowly if I’m not enjoying a book, so I’m more likely to hit my goal and read more books FASTER if I’m enjoying them, versus slogging through a book I hate.

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  2. Hi,
    If I get more than halfway then I still count it as read (novellas count and they would often have a lower word count. 🙂 )
    If I reach a point in a book where I just want to be away from it and it feels like a chore then I wouldn’t carry on at all (Having said that I find it really hard to walk away from even a book I really dislike)
    My words of encouragement would be this… we read for pleasure and if it’s making us avoid our kindle (etc..) then you will find no pleasure and that makes writing a sensitive review incredibly difficult. Give up and write a sensitive review about why that book wasn’t for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t like to DNF books and I used to try and push through them, no matter how long it took. I’ve now come to the conclusion that it’s better to spend my time reading books I enjoy instead of forcing myself to finish a book I don’t like. I don’t typically count a DNF as a book read for my challenges.

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  4. If I get only a short way through and really don’t like it, I’ll DNF. I don’t mark it towards my count though. If I get 50% of the way through I’ll keep going regardless. Sometimes it happens that a book will greatly improve in the 2nd half.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a great topic. I can count on one hand the amount of books I DNF. It breaks my heart every time. However, my new years resolution this year was to stop wasting time. I spend a lot of my free time reading, and it never feels like a waste to read a good book. But over the years there have been a lot of bad books where I finished and thought to myself, “why didn’t I stop hours ago.” I can’t remember a time when I thought about stopping a book and was later glad I didn’t. So now if a book really isn’t working for me I try not to feel bad for spending my time on books I enjoy.

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  6. I used to resist the DNF but I have decided it is usually the kindest thing to do for the author and for myself. I don’t consider them as read but goodreads seems to do that when I mark it DNF…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I try to finish all the books I read, as in my head i have this little conscious telling me that the author spent a long time writing it, the most you could do is read it – sad I know.

    However, there have been times when I just couldn’t finish a book, but I usually know not long in if it is going to be like that, so I give up and I don’t mark it as read, but DNF on Goodreads (only if I’ve remembered to mark it as currently reading).

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think for me it depends on the book. If it was a book I was given for review, I try to make it to at least 50% so I can still give decent feedback on it out of courtesy to the publisher. If it’s just one I’ve picked up, I give it about one chapter past the point I feel like it might not be worth finishing before I give up.

    And no, I don’t count DNF books as read, and I just remove it from all my Goodreads shelves completely (suppressing the memory of terrible read perhaps?)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I feel your pain. I don’t count DNF books towards my reading goal. So with that in mind if something is really a struggle I usually stop reading it straight away and then go off and read something I really want to read. I may or may not come back to the abandoned book. I found a couple of books I received through netgalley were pretty bad and unfortunately I tried but couldn’t finish them. So now I am careful about what I request.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I don’t count them as read, and usually give up earlier than 50%.
    Sometimes, when a book is so bad that it pisses me off, i just read it till the end out of spite so i have all the ammunition for my review to explain why it was so bad 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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