Friday, July 29, 2016

FF Friday: In Which I Discuss All Things DNF

Feature & Follow is a weekly blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. This week, we’re talking about the dreaded DNF (Did Not Finish).

All Things DNF

Do I DNF books?

Not as often as I should. I have problems with quitting, so I often force myself to finish a book which I’m not enjoying, even though that’s utterly ridiculous. I read for fun. If I’m not having fun, I should stop, right? Unfortunately, my brain isn’t that logical. I’ve only DNFed two book so far this year. I should have DNFed more. If you’re curious, the DNFs were Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson and Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan. I DNFed Mistborn because the  author's writing style felt amateurish. I DNFed Say You're One of Them because the dialect got on my nerves.

What makes me not finish a book?

Amateurish writing is the biggest culprit. This is why I tend to stay away from self-published books. I’m a complete writing snob. If I don’t like an author’s writing style, I’ll quickly get irritated and stop reading. I also don’t have much patience for slow or predictable books. I like suspense and mystery. Another reason I DNF is if I feel like an author is trying too hard to manipulate my emotions. I’m rebellious and don’t like books pushing me around. I especially hate it when angsty characters throw themselves giant pity parties and expect me to feel sorry for them. I always feel more annoyance than pity because I'm heartless.

When it comes to classics and experimental books, I came up with a bookish mathematical equation to help me DNF. If the equation below is true, there's a very good chance I'll DNF the book.

Effort it takes to understand the story > Enjoyment I get from reading the book

Do I ever un-DNF a book? Do I give books a second chance?

I haven’t so far. Like I said, I'm heartless. There are so many books in the world and so little time! I’d rather read something new than give a DNF book a second chance. I don’t even keep books that I DNF.

Do I review books I don’t finish?

It depends. If I make it most of the way through the book, I write a review that explains why I couldn’t finish. If I don’t make it very far, I don’t review it. It doesn’t feel fair to criticize something I barely read.

Do I think DNF reviews are mean?

They can be, especially if the reviewer attacks the author or fans of the book. I try to be nice in my DNF reviews. Every book has at least one good thing in it, so I try to mention a few things that I liked about the book, even if I didn’t like the book as a whole. My number 1 rule of book blogging is "Don't be a jerk." I try to keep that in mind when I review DNF books.

Those are my views on the dreaded DNF. How often do you DNF books?

The follow part of FF Friday: If you are a book blogger and you leave a link to your blog in the comments below, I will follow you on Bloglovin’. If you want to be friends on Goodreads, TwitterBookLikes, or G+, that would be awesome, too. Click the links to go to my pages on those sites. I’m looking forward to “meeting” you. 


  1. I don't DNF a ton. A lot of times I will set it aside because it may be a mood thing. I have picked up two previously DNFs and actually really enjoyed them. I did try them in audio and that made a difference. I don't think I have done a DNF review yet though.

  2. On Goodreads, I have 495 books listed as read. My DNF shelf has 5.

  3. Very thorough post! I especially agree that if you review a DNF book, you should NEVER rip up the author or fans :) New Bloglovin follower!

    Emily Anne

  4. I don't DNF as often as my mental sanity requires but that's the completionist in me. I'll post reviews for any DNF with my reason why I stopped and any other thoughts. Negative reviews aren't necessarily bad (from a reader perspective) assuming the reviewer doesn't go out of their way to be cruel.

    Love this post! :) Have a good weekend and happy reading!

    Austine @ NovelKnight

  5. I also have problems with quitting, with everything in life. In the last year and a half I'm slowly coming to a realization what someone had in their post today about even winners quitting, it's just a matter of when is the right time. I will really struggle to finish a book, forcing myself to even though I don't enjoy it. I have DNFed 4 books since I started blogging. I don't DNF before the 40% mark. If I DNF, I write a review. Just like my other reviews, I include things I liked and ultimately what made me quit the book. Even for 5 star reviews, if there is something that nags at me, I'll make note of it in my review. "Good" reviews don't have to be 100% glowing, and "bad" reviews don't have to be 100% trashed. I think sometimes we forget that. They are honest.

  6. I do a lot of DNFs--usually when I just plain lose interest. Lack of interest is a huge problem for me; I can struggle through almost any writing style and even the worst characterization, as long as the story still interests me :)
    There was one book I couldn't finish--Son of Fortune--just for its habit of having the protagonist be an onlooker for these horrifying situations and never once try to help anyone but himself. It was the most frustrating thing in the world and I couldn't force myself to read another word of it.

  7. I also have a problem with quitting books! I don't know why, but I do the same as you and just push myself to finish books I'm not enjoying...and I'm not really sure why. Maybe it's optimism of hoping it will get better (it rarely does) hehe. Until recently I'd only DNF'd one book, but then I delved into the world of free ebooks and ended up with a whole bunch I DNF'd. Mostly due to amateurish writing, a couple because of content being much different than described (and nothing I'm interested in at all).

    I personally haven't reviewed books I've DNF'd, but I do think it's good to see people leave a simple review of "I didn't finish this" and briefly explain why. It can be just as helpful as a negative review from someone who did finish, imo.

  8. Awesome post! I usually don't review books I've DNF since I've always felt that it wouldn't be fair to review a book that you haven't finished.

    Here’s my FF

    Old Follower

  9. I DNF very rarely. Like 3 books in the year and half I started book blogging. I am pretty meticulous to do my homework for books that help me not get so many duds. Unfortunately sometimes things can't be helped like if the description doesn't match the book. Following Twitter!

  10. Wow!! I can't believe you called Brandon Sanderson's writing amateurish! XD I've never actually read anything by him, but I know he finished the Wheel of Time series, so it's surprising that you don't think his writing is up to par! I DNF books way more often than you do, I think, but just because I've decided life's too short and there are way too many book! Haha! I also write DNF reviews if I've made it more than maybe 30% into the book. I also try really hard to be nice about it though. Great post!

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds

  11. Oh, wow. I will try to forget what you said about Mistborn and Sanderson's writing. It certainly isn't the best around, nor his best, but the world building and characters are top notch. His other books are also fantastic, at least in my estimation, haha, with The Way of Kings and that series being his best by far.

    Did you find yourself DNF'ing books more often before you were a blogger? I did! But I still DNF quite a few books. I read 30 pages and stop if it doesn't interest me. This is how I end up reading mostly great books and reviewing them!

  12. I don't DNF, so I get you. I just can't bring myself to stop reading partway through a book. Even if it sucks, I still want to know what's going to happen. And I have had books get better on occasion. Plus I feel like it's even more a waste of time if I read half a book then stop. At least if I finish, ok, maybe I didn't enjoy it, but I still gained *something* from it, so it doesn't feel like a waste. But I'm one of the odd ones out since I know most people DNF. I almost DNFed one book this year because I could tell immediately the writing/voice of the character wasn't for me, but it ended up turning out ok.

    I like that you don't review books you DNF early. Obviously everyone has the right to do whatever they want, but it kind of bothers me when people give low ratings and negative reviews to books they only read like 10% of. Like you said, it doesn't seem fair to criticize a book they didn't even read.

    Anyway, I probably should allow myself to DNF at least on rare occasion. Maybe if the book is over a certain number of pages, that seems like a good guideline since forcing myself to read 200 isn't so bad, but 600 would just be miserable lol. Great post!

  13. I caaaan't DNF. AGH. It just...nope. It's too hard! I just want finished books on my shelves, even if I hated them haha. Although I do think DNF'ing is a smart idea, I just wish my brain was better at letting go. ;) But if I do DNF (and I have done so, like, 4 times) then I at least make myself go 100-pages in. Just to see if it gets better.
    UGH to those annoying whiny pity parties too. >_> I'm completely heartless most of the time and like, I DON'T CARE. JUST DO SOMETHING INSTEAD OF WHINING, CHARACTER, SHEESH. XD

    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

  14. It’s not very often I don’t finish a book. I always try to finish a book. I do agree that if you can predict a story, It could leave the reader being bored. I love your bookish mathematical equation! That's a great guideline to follow. Thanks for commenting on my blog! I'm following on Twitter, Goodreads, and Bloglovin.

  15. I think I feel the same way about DNF-ing. I agree that if I don't mesh with the writing style it's really hard for me to continue with it. For me, one of the last books I DNF'ed was Me Before You, I just didn't connect with it and didn't want to push myself through it. I have been reviewing-ish my DNF'ed books but I just talk about why I couldn't get through it. I find it easier to DNF library books than the ones I have purchased, probably because I didn't spend money on them.

  16. You my friend are strong too stick with books you don't like at all I for one can not go on anymore after reading 100 pages. If I don't like those 100 pages I quickly DNF the book. Thank you so much for stopping by my #FFF. Old Follower.

  17. Great post! Amateurish writing does bother me as well. I've begun to read more independently published books due to friends and also some bigger authors going that way. But that is always one of my gripes with those, as well as editing. Thanks for stopping by my DNF post. I'm a Bloglovin follower!

  18. "Don't be a jerk" is generally a great attitude to have, not just in blogging. :)

    Yeah, I DNF books sometimes, but like you said, not as often as I should, probably. I actually managed to chew through Mistborn but gave up on the series. I also gave Sanderson's Stormlight Archive books a chance but I DNFed that 1000-page monstrosity after about 150 pages. I just don't like his style. I know he has tons of fans but his books aren't for me!

    I'm actually making an effort to DNF more books if they're horrible (or drop series if I'm not interested anymore) because I just don't have time to waste on bad books.