Why I Try Avoiding DNFing Books at All Costs

Posted December 10, 2016 by Adalyn in Discussions / 13 Comments

Everyone’s done it before. We’ve all started books then put them down just because we couldn’t keep going. I try to avoid DNFing books as much as possible. However, there are some times when I know that I just cannot keep reading a certain book. Even if I do DNF a book, I try to come back to it. Usually though, when I do do this, it turns out the book was just as bad as I thought.


In the past few months, I’ve actually DNF’d two books: Magnus Chase #1 and A Torch Against the Night. Even though both of these books had such high ratings, what made me dislike them so much?

For Magnus Chase, that’s a hard one. I read until about page 50 (whoops) before giving up. The story was just plain boring and so unlike Rick Riordan’s other books that I’ve LOVED. One of my friends even obsesses about Magnus Chase daily.

This is a really unpopular opinion, but I wasn’t a huge fan of An Ember in the Ashes. I bought A Torch Against the Night hoping I would enjoy it a lot more and finally see what everyone else does in these books, but nope. It was, again, boring and confusing. The main characters are horrible and I hate reading from their POVs. I liked Helene, but other than that, I was really not liking this book. So for that reason, I’ve put it aside, at least for now.

I also DNF’d The Book Thief and Insurgent in the past. For some time, I put The Wicked Will Rise aside and finally decided just to read it. In the end it turned out to be worse than I thought.


Like I said, I usually DNF books that are boring and don’t have anything going on. I stopped reading The Book Thief about 30% of the way through just because nothing was happening. It was impossible for me to get into the storyline. I knew that with over 300 pages left, there was no way I could.

Not being able to get into a book is the WORST. I hate it, but it tends happen more often than you would think. A lot of times that I can’t get into a story, I’ll keep reading. But there are times where I just can’t keep going on. And it sucks.

Sometimes the writing style is so bad that I can’t keep going on. I almost DNF’d the Shatter Me books because of the writing style. Everyone seems to love the writing in Shatter Me, but it just wasn’t for me. These books still managed to entertain and interest me, so that’s why I didn’t DNF them.

Or there’s the characters. I stopped reading The Wicked Will Rise at first because I hated how spoiled and show-offy the main character was acting in comparison to the first book. She bothered me so much, I left the book alone for about a year. When I picked it back up, I only came to realize she was worse than I had thought.


I don’t like DNFing books and I try to avoid it as much as I can. At times I stumble upon books so boring and annoying, I just can’t keep going.

In my opinion, DNFing books isn’t a bad thing. A lot of people say that it is, but I disagree. I mean, I read because I want to. There’s no point in wasting my time on a book that I’m not even slightly enjoying. Because it’s nice to see what happens in the end and to get closure, I keep reading most books. But some? It just feels like a waste of my time.

Do you like to DNF books or no? What are some books you have recently put aside and why?

13 responses to “Why I Try Avoiding DNFing Books at All Costs

  1. I posted something earlier this year about why I don’t DNF books, but I guess it kind of depends on your definition of DNFing. Because I never consider reading a few pages to be a DNF, but there were two books this year that I stopped at 10%. and that’s a little more iffy. But once I’m past 10%, I just keep going because, if I stop, then I feel like I just wasted all the time I already spent reading. And I’ve read numerous books in the past that I strongly disliked at first, even for the first half sometimes, but they really did get better. So then I worry that if I DNF I’m not giving the book a chance and might miss out on something good! But I agree that there’s nothing wrong with DNFing, it just depends on what makes each reader happy!

    • Adalyn

      I just went and checked it out (great post, btw 🙂 ). I’ve read up to like page 30 on a book and gotten bored and just kind of put aside, not really considering it a DNF. I guess you have a good point though. Sometimes I don’t really start to lose interest until after 10% and it just starts to drag on, but if i’m not enjoying it from the start, then I’ll definitely DNF it around 10%.

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  3. I certainly agree with you on this topic! I really try my best not to DNF books, because I do like to give them a fair shot, but occasionally I have had to DNF books because there was just no way I was ever going to get through them. I almost DNFed An Ember in the Ashes too! I did end up finishing it because it was an audiobook and I was on the bus. I don’t think I’m going to continue the series though. Because I hate DNFing books, I’ve only ever DNFed seven all together. Those being: Tease by Amanda Maciel, Mafia Girl by Deborah Blumenthal, The Poor Man’s Guide to Suicide by Andrew Armacost, Lingering Echoes by Erica Kiefer, Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas, Dreamfire by Kit Alloway, and Angelfall by Susan Ee.

    • Adalyn

      The only one I’ve read out of those is Heir of Fire, which makes me sad. 🙁 I do see why people wouldn’t have liked it though. Kind of like Divergent, which I hated, and Sabaa Tahir’s books. DNFing a book can be hard, but in the end it’s kind of nice. It’s like, I hated that book so much, it’s nice to just no longer have to think about it or anything.

  4. I hate DNFing books. It feels so wrong to give up when there’s always the chance that it could get better. That said, if I’ve considered DNFing a book, I usually regret finishing it.

    • Adalyn

      For sure! Sometimes I regret DNFing books when I see all sorts of hype around them, but at the same time, I would’ve just regretted finishing them.

  5. I hate DNF’ing books too! I avoid it if I can..and I’ve actually gone all year without DNF’ing!! *flails* Although I’m reading The Well of Ascension right now and I hate it so much I’ve read 100 pages and haven’t picked it up in 2 weeks. And there’s only 500 more pages to go. *cries* So I might quit it??? But we’ll see. I really hate unfinished business!! But sometimes a book doesn’t work for a reader and it’s totally okay to move on to better books, right?! Life is short! And we might as well spend our free time reading what we love and not torturing ourselves.

    • Adalyn

      That’s so long! I’ve kind of failed at that… I haven’t DNFd a lot of books, but I have stopped reading quite a few. That’s the same way I felt about The Book Thief. It’s so boring and there’s just so much more left. I totally agree though! 🙂

  6. I hate DNFing books – in fact I’ve only ever DNFed 2 books and I can’t remember the last one I DNFed. I used to feel guilty not finishing a book but now if I honestly don’t care about what’s happening in the book, I won’t finish it. I don’t DNFing a book is a bad thing but I like to have closure. Great post!!

    • Adalyn

      Thank you, Emily! 🙂 I don’t like DNFing books either because it makes me feel kinda bad, but I would rather do that than keep reading a book I know I’m not going to like. I will finish most books though because, like you said, closure is nice.

  7. I don’t usually DNF books, but I started doing it this year and it was seriously SO liberating! There were just a few books I read that I could just tell weren’t for me and that I wouldn’t suddenly start liking. If I’m considering DNFing a book, I try to find one thing in the book that I care about. If I can find that thing, I keep reading for that. If I can’t, I feel no guilt in DNFing. Some of the books I’ve DNFed recently are The Dark Days Club and The Loose Ends List.

    • Adalyn

      I’ve never thought of that before. That’s actually a really good idea, and now i’m going ot have to start doing that. 😉 I’m surprised you didn’t like The Dark Days Club though. It took me awhile to get through, but in the end I really enjoyed it! What turned you off about it?