Sunday, February 16, 2014


DNF-ing sucks. I get interested in a book, get all excited to read it, and...I end up not even finishing it.

I really don't like to DNF, especially when I got the book from an author or publisher. It makes me feel a bit guilty. But, at the same time, I would be doing a disservice to both me and the author/publisher. For me, I would have wasted time struggling to get through a book, when I could have spent it reading other books that I would have liked in my somewhat formidable review list. For the author/publisher, I would only end up giving a half-hearted review.

See, when I DNF, I don't mean that I dislike the book. I have no issues writing negative reviews, but those mean that something kept me interested the entire way through, even if it turned out bad. DNF means that I was so uninterested that nothing kept me engaged enough to read on and, quite frankly, I harbor absolutely no feelings about the book. Not good, not bad, nothing. I was disinterested to that extent.

I don't think I have a certain point in the book where, if I'm not interested, I quit the book. As in "if I'm not interested at 25% through, I'll stop." I've DNF-ed halfway through books, within the first few chapters and, once, within the first few pages. I think the point for me is when I realize that nothing is going to keep me engaged and it would be pointless to continue reading.

I don't post DNF reviews on Imagine a World. Nor do I turn in DNF's to publishers. The only mention of it that I put up is a quick note on Goodreads, more for myself to keep track of the books I've read than anything else. Why? I don't think it's fair for me to put up a review when I didn't even finish a book. I don't think I would have seen enough of the book to give it a rating. There wasn't anything that I disliked that I can mention, nor something that I liked. So, I prefer to just move on. I see DNF's not as the book was bad, but that it wasn't for me. Because, every book that I've DNF-ed had people who ended up liking it. If I was that utterly disinterested, then I figure the issue was an incompatibility. The book just wasn't for me. 

I used to feel guilty about DNF-ing, but I've decided that it's the best thing to do when I come across a book that fails to engage me. I don't do it too often-maybe one out of every 20 books I read-so, when I do, it's very necessary. I know that there are varied thoughts on DNF-ing, but I'm comfortable with my way of doing things, and I leave everyone to theirs.

So, what are your thoughts on DNFs?


  1. I still feel guilty about DNFs so I tell myself that some day I will come back to it again and maybe by then I might just finish it. It hasn't happened yet to any of my DNFs but I feel less guilty this way and who knows, maybe I really will go back some day to finish the book!

  2. I totally understand the guilt. It still creeps up on me occasionally. But, sometimes, I'll read a book and only kind of like it the first time, only to love it the second time around, so maybe something similar will happen with your DNFs :)