The Dread of DNF’ing Books

Ever dread DNF’ing a book? I do!

I don’t do it very often, as I am very selective in the books I read because my reading time is precious. Five pages in and I tossed a book aside. My first DNF of the year, too! I always give books a few chapters and ARC’s a few more than normal books before tossing them aside.

No, I will not tell you the title or author of the book. But I will tell you my reasoning why I couldn’t finish the book and why I am writing a post about this particular book.

We all know books shape intelligence through narration and essential information. This information loops through our brains and we either get “bored and distracted” or “interested and hooked”. When we get “bored and distracted” all the information we just read is considered “non-essential” information. DNF books fall into the “non-essential” category because of personal preference. I didn’t particularly dislike this book, more so I saw potential in the plot through a lengthy editing process. I was bored with the repetitious sentences and bored with information unfolding as the chapter progressed. I also saw myself in this book. How I was when I first started writing, really fucking bad. The first five pages of this book reflected how I was when I started writing, and the difference between myself and this author is — this author published a book and I didn’t. I still haven’t for those exact reasons. All those things considering, I commend this author for putting their work out there. Confidently seeing their story printed and gaining an audience who sees something differently than I do.

But I also I cheated. I had to see if I was the only one who felt this way. So, I read reviews on Goodreads and Amazon, and it turns out that I am not the only person. There have been plenty of reviews feeling exactly the same way I do. And then there were reviews on the other side, five and four star reviews. People loved this book, but didn’t see what I saw in the writing, leaving raving reviews.

While I love four and five star reviews, three star reviews is where the honesty is at. The reviewers who will confidently pick apart a story and logically explain their reasons for their rating. Three star reviews are my absolute favorite to read.

I know this won’t be my last DNF book for the year, but it will be the first that hurts the most. The dread of DNF’ing books is hard on this reader.




6 thoughts on “The Dread of DNF’ing Books

  1. I also once had a book like this one. I’m not one to DNF a book very easily. I’ve set myself the mark of reading at least 100 pages and if I still feel like throwing it aside? I’m allowed! At least at that point I really do feel like I gave the book a fair chance of picking up [in whatever way].
    Once I threw it aside after.. I think three or four chapters? Mostly because the writing got on my nerves, but also because women were constantly being seen as lust objects instead of actual people. And.. well.. the title of the book kind of made me think it would be the exact opposite of what the author did. Maybe it changed throughout the book? But it was simply too hard for me to continue reading without wanting to rip it up. [Good thing it was on my Kindle :’)]

    Sometimes this happens. We can only hope the authors take our criticism to heart and try and improve their writing accordingly. [Or in my case, try and work on NOT portraying characters / genders in a disrespecting way.]


  2. Can you at least reveal the publisher? I’m not sure the same rests with the writer, because writing can always be improved. But publishers are supposed to be the gate keepers, forcing us writers to up our games.


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