Tuesday, October 10, 2017


DNF... Did Not Finish.  Which is pretty sad, if you ask me.  I hate not finishing books - especially ones I paid for.  Bleh.

I'm pretty good about finishing the books I start.  I think that's because I'm pretty good at picking the books I grab to read.  But every once in a while, I start a book I can't or won't finish.

Sometimes it's only a page or two in.  And, most of the time, it's not because those pages didn't grab me.  Usually it's because the author has done something to irritate me in the first couple pages.  If you're already annoying me so close to the beginning, it doesn't bode well for my enjoyment of the rest of the book.  The other day I started a book and in the first few paragraphs I was like 'nope, don't want to be preached at for 400+ pages.'

Sometimes it's farther in.  That might be for various reasons - I learn something annoying that I can't get past, there are so many editing errors my brain is starting to hurt, I've discovered the main character is too stupid to live... Those kinds of things.  I DNF'd a book yesterday that was gripping and well written and the MC was smart, but the author had ratched up the squick factor so high, it was stop reading or have those scenes imprinted on my brain for all eternity.  Which was too bad because, like I said, it was a very gripping story.  :shrug:

There are books over the past 43 years I probably should not have finished for that exact reason.  They're in my head and they always will be.  (And movies I should've never watched.  :shudder:)

Anyway, I've DNF'd more books this month that usual and it's early in October yet.  That comes from trying new things, I guess.  I'm not going to stop trying new authors and new books, though.  I'll just chalk it up to being the price I pay for expanding my horizons.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, you'll almost never see exactly which books I DNF'd.  I don't review them.  And if I've already said I was reading it in Goodreads, I'll usually delete the book from my library so it doesn't look like I've DNF'd it.  Whoever the author is, they don't need that kind of negative press from me.  Chances are good that whatever made me put the book down wouldn't be the same experience for other readers. 

What makes you put a book down?  Have you had any of those recently?  (No identifying stuff about the books, please.  We're just chatting about the act of DNF'ing.)


  1. Do you return the DNFs? While people who read the whole book and then return it tick me right off because they're scamming the system and costing me money, I have no problem with someone returning one of my books if they truly gave up and DNF'd it. I 2 books on my DNF shelf on GR and that's to remind me why I didn't enjoy the books and/or author. I made sure not to "publish" that fact and the notes are my eyes only. I didn't return either of them at the time and I'm sorta wishing now that I did.

    Most of the DNFs are Kindle Unlimited (ie. free to me) books and I simply stop reading and return them. I don't list a book as being read until I'm a day or so into it.

    What makes me DNF a book? Poor writing, plodding story, cardboard characters, poor editing, certain situations (though I tend to stay away from the storylines I know are my hot buttons). Oh...and political agendas! I read for the same reason I watch TV--for ENTERTAINMENT! If I want to be "enlightened," I'll search out material. I don't want it in my romance, suspense, or SciFi thank you very much. And...I need more coffee. Sorry for that last bit of Ranty McRantypants.

    1. I don't return books. I also don't return milk that goes bad too early. Probably should, but I don't. But that's me. Lucky for me, the recent DNFs were free books. Except for that one from the thrift store and it was a quarter. (They don't do returns there anyway. Meh.) I'm really really careful what I spend money on these days, though.

      Rant away, dear. It's good for you. And I agree with you wholeheartedly.

  2. I DNF for much the same reasons, but especially Too Stupid to Live within the first fifty pages.

    I tossed one (to the used bookstore) for treating the reader as TSTL. I put up with the weird punctuation and the heavenly angels vs. devils thing, but when they explained quite carefully what would happen if the MC did X, and the MC did X in the very next chapter without thinking twice (or even once!), I just had to quit before I shoved the book into the shredder. (Good thing I don't have a shredder.)