Today I wanted to talk a bit about DNFing books. I feel like opinions on not finishing books are split right in the middle. Some people do it a lot, and others can’t imagine not finishing a book they’ve started. I haven’t met a person who feels indifferent about it.

When I was younger I definitely belonged to the latter category. I finished every single book I’ve ever started, even if I didn’t particularly enjoy it. I thought I had to see it through and read to the very last page because maybe it got better? I couldn’t possibly know if I disliked the book if I didn’t read it all, right?

Wrong! It took me a while, but I’ve learned how to DNF books and honestly it’s such a relief. If I book isn’t working for me for any reason at all, whether it’s the pacing, characters or the writing, and reading it feels like a chore – I put it down. I’m not risking a reading slump just to finish a book I’m really not enjoying. I already want to read more books I can possibly read in a lifetime, so why waste time on the bad ones?

That being said… I still read books I rate 1 or 2 stars, but in many cases I don’t realise how bad they are until I finish them and reflect. And sometimes I just… hate read.

Here are the books I’ve DNFed recently (this year so far).

  • Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough
  • Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare
  • The Gunslinger by Stephen King
  • A History of What Comes Next by Sylvain Neuvel
  • All the Pretty Things by Emily Arsenault
  • A Good Father by Catherine Talbot
  • Disappearing Act by Robert Sheehan

Some of these I’ve DNFed because I didn’t mesh with the writing (A History (…) and the Robert Sheehan book), some just didn’t hold my interest (all the thrillers on the list), The Gunslinger was just too weird and I think I’ve grown out of Cassandra Clare, as much as that pains me to admit.

Do you DNF books? What was your most recent DNF?

Thank you for reading.

Talk soon!

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