Posted in Chit Chat

Reasons why you really shouldn’t feel guilty about DNF-ing a book

Ahh, the dreaded ‘Did Not Finish’. These happen. And so does the guilt. That happens too.


But here are some of the things I tell myself when I start to feel bad about sincerely DNFing a book.

1. There are so many books. So many. Like, too many to EVER read all of them. Therefore, wasting time on a book that you’re not enjoying, for whatever reason, is a ridiculous thing to do.


2. It’s not your fault if you don’t like a book. You can’t like everything. It’s the same as food. Everyone has their own tastes.


3. Are you feeling bad because it’s a popular book, or an author that you normally love? Welp, similar to above. Odds are that you won’t like EVERYTHING. And yes, it sucks when your opinion doesn’t match what the majority of others (and often those others are well-established and #goals bloggers) but seriously. Let me reiterate. Do not waste time on books that you are not enjoying.

4. Are you feeling bad because a publisher has sent you this book for review? This is only slightly trickier, but you can only be honest, right? If you really want to give feedback (however that was agreed, IF it was agreed) then just point out some of the reasons why you think others might like the book, but ultimately it wasn’t for you. On the flipside, you are not being paid to review books (if you are, congrats, and get away from here and finish that book! DNFing is no longer a luxury on offer for you). In any case, always be polite about it, but you don’t HAVE to finish a book. You tried. That counts.


5. You are not letting anyone down. Don’t force yourself through a book because you feel like you have to blog about it, or whatever. Just because you’ve moved it to ‘currently reading’ on Goodreads does not mean you have to move it to ‘read’. Heck, move it to ‘read’ even if it’s a DNF. You still “read” some of it.


6. You can always come back to it. Yup. Use your preferred method of bookmarking (dog-earring is disgusting though. Just sayin’) and put it on the shelf for later. You can always try again another day, it’s not going anywhere. And shhh… no one needs to know, if you don’t want..


7. Don’t miss out on all the GREAT books because you’re reading all the POOP ones.

How do you feel about DNFing books?



YA writer. Epic reader. Professional procrastinator.

21 thoughts on “Reasons why you really shouldn’t feel guilty about DNF-ing a book

  1. Agree with all of this! I always feel guilty when I want to DNF a book, especially when it’s an ARC from NetGalley or the like. Always good to remind ourselves that there are thousands of other books out there to rave about, and it would be a shame to waste reading time being bored or slogging through a book you don’t like! Nice post. 🙂

    1. Aw thanks! I think I’ll always feel a little bit guilty about a DNF. But I’m learning to accept it as an ‘ok’ thing to do as a blogger/reviewer. 🙂

  2. Great Post! I am currently i that situation, not finishing a book,but if I do try and finish it, it will put me in a reading slump. Also I don’t rate books that I do not finish, so it’s saving the book from getting a 2 or 1 star rating. 🙂

    1. That’s a really neat way of doing it. I’m getting really good at spotting duds before I even buy/borrow them now so I rarely have to give a rating lower than 3. I have to have some serious issues with a book to give it less than 3 stars. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Yea… I don’t like DNFing books, but sometimes you just can’t go on. The pairing doesn’t work. You’re not meant to be together. You have to let it go…

    Well, I might’ve gone overdramatic, but you already know what I mean :D. Anyway, it usually takes me ages before I more a book from “maybe to finish one day” to DNF shelf, but it happens and I have no regrets.

    1. Good! I’m glad. I think feeling regret is even worse than guilt! And you were overdramatic at all. We books peoples are very passionate about our reads. And that’s a good thing. 🙂

  4. I used to feel really bad about DNF-ing books, but lately I’ve been accepting the fact that I just won’t like EVERYTHING I read– it’s not a reasonable expectation! I still usually finish the majority of the books I start, but if I’m really hating it and it’s before the halfway mark then I feel better about putting it down. Great post!

  5. Great post, and not just applicable to books! Can be used for TV Shows, Video Games, any sort of media really! I know too many people who get hung up on finishing stuff solely because they’ve started… Sometimes its best to move on!

    1. Definitely! I DNF video games all the time. Either I get fed up of failing the same mission, or the storyline is just zzz, or whatever. I just move on to the next game. 🙂

  6. I used to hate the feeling of DNF-ing books and I try not to but sometimes, you just have to stop.

    This is a great post, by the way. There’s no point pushing and pressuring ourselves to finishing a book we’re not even enjoying.

    And I LOVE your blog design. It’s cuter than a puppy wrapped in a fluffy towel. OK, maybe equally as cute.

    1. Haaa! Thank you! And it’s true, you can give a book everything you have but sometimes it’s still not enough to keep you reading it. Best to move on to something that’s gonna rock your world!

  7. I totally agree with this post. I usually feel awful if I buy a book and I cannot complete it because not only have I spent money on something I thought I would like, but, I also want to love the book because I will have been recommended it by someone (I suppose I should use my library more often), and there’s nothing better than being able to discuss books with people!

    1. Oh definitely. It feels disappointing too when you’ve spent good money on something you’re just not enjoying. That’s why I try to borrow a lot of books from the library. Especially if I’m not sure about them. If I go on to love it I’ll buy a copy for keeps 🙂

      1. The one in my village isn’t as good as what it used to be now that different volunteers have taken over, with it been known for being in the mining industry, most of the books are about the history of the town! I love to look at the selection before I make my mind up 🙂

  8. Oh jeez yes, i just can’t trudge through books when they’re boring, uninteresting and/or finding myself wanting to throw the book into a shredder. (that last part happens when i find myself trying to force read) its ugly.

Talk to me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s