Saturday 27 February 2016

To DNF or not?

I've been thinking today about DNF's. Most people that are writing or reading reviews probably knows it, but DNF means Did Not Finish. Before I started to write book reviews (for real) in 2014 was the idea of not finishing a book, not a big deal. Then, I discovered Goodreads, I started my own blog over at Booklikes and I joined sites like NetGalley and Edelweiss. And, I started to receive ARC's (Advance Reading Copy) and that's when DNF's started to play a big part in my life for suddenly I was given books and I was expected to write reviews and as much as I did and still enjoy that, sometimes a book is not that good or just not to my taste. So what to do?

Well, sometimes I forced myself through a book and even 200-300 pages long book can feel pretty long when you dislike it and I often noticed that my mood turned sour when I was reading something that displeased me. It even made me get sick and tired of reading altogether. So now and then I started to DNF a book. I felt a bit guilty about writing to the publisher and informing them that the book didn't work, and I do still feel a bit guilty. I have been given this ecopy and sometimes send home a book for free and I failed to like it. What's wrong with me?

But last year in December was I going through my book at NetGalley, trying to get my ratio up and wonder what on earth possessed me to request some books. And, I realized that I can't keep forcing myself through books, I needed to set a limit. I will read 20% of the book and if it's not working for me will I DNF it and it has pretty much made my life better.

Yesterday I read a book and I DNF't it at 50%. Why? Because I knew that it would not work for me. I felt that every page just made me more and frustrated with the story, I disliked the main character to a point that I even raged about her when I talked to my mother and made her dislike the person too. So, I quite and then I wrote to the publisher and explained that the book didn't work for me. I think it's actually better to stop early, write perhaps a short "review" about why the book didn't work for you rather than forcing your way through the book and writing a review about how much you dislike the book. In the end, this is a hobby, and no hobby should make you feel bad...

  • How do you feel about DNF? 
  • Do you always finish a book?


  1. I don't love DNF books but they're inevitable. I usually do a short review stating why I didn't like/finish it. It goes back to being honest in reviews. Sometimes I will offer to do a preview or spotlight instead of a review. Life is too short to read books we don't like. Awesome post.

    1. Yes, I prefer to write a short "review" that just explain why I din't finish the book. I think a spotlight or a preview is a perfect compromise. You don't have to feel guilty writing a bad review instead you are advertising the book because there are people out there that will love the book.

  2. It's worth giving it a fair go - only this week I had a 5* review where the reviewer said they didn't think it was going to be for them at first, but then ended up absolutely loving the book. So you don't want to miss out on those, but at the same time life's too short to persevere once you know it isn't for you. Other things arem ore important. I wrote about this the other day on my blog: