So, something pretty unusual happened to me last week: I DNFed a book. Something even more suspect happened, too: I DNFed without giving it a lot of time for me to end up getting into it. Yep, I DNFed, and at probably about 7% of the way through the book. What is going on here!? If you know me, you know that DNFing is kind of… not something I do. I haven’t done so since May of 2015. So… yeah. This is what my DNF shelf looks like in case you doubt:

FOUR books. Out of 650 read. So… yeah.

Well, in the spirit of the year of “Whatever the hell we want!”, I decided to do… whatever the hell I wanted? Yes. Now, in the past, here is the narrative of how I would (not) DNF a book:

Shannon begins a book that she is bound to dislike. Her friends have cautioned that said book is a mess, not her style, or some other such warning that she simply refuses to heed. It will be okay, she tells herself. I will like this one, certainly. She seems to see the book as a challenge to overcome, as if by not reading it, she is failing.

As she begins the book, she starts to realize how wrong she was. This book is not good. Or, it is simply not for her. But, remiss to put it down without giving it a “fair chance”, she keeps reading.

The book gets no better, but Shannon realizes she has read nearly half. So, since she has spent the time on it, she reasons it may as well count for a Goodreads challenge, or a review, or something other than a DNF. She reads the book to its conclusion, and feels wholly unsatisfied and unhappy with her life choices.

This is what I do. It is a mess. But last week, between my very apparent apathy, and reading Madalyn @ Novel Ink’s review, I finally decided to just… not read the thing.

RoseBlood Review

But this got me thinking about DNFs in general, and why I for one am always insistent on giving a book “a fair chance”? And I know not everyone does, but I have certainly seen other bloggers, reviewers, and readers who do the same. And my question is… do we really need to?

If you want to give a book a chance from a purely personal perspective, then by all means, have at it! But my refusal to give up on a book was some sort of weird guilt. And I am not sure that I should be feeling that guilt. I suppose if I had requested a book for review and not given it a shot, that would be a bit of a reason, since clearly I had been anticipating it, and asked for it. But outside of that? Maybe we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. 


In seriousness though, maybe life is too short to worry about making sure every book that crosses our threshold deserves some kind of automatic effort? I am starting to think this is true, and I hope I can keep it up!

So here are my questions for YOU:

  • Do you “force” yourself to read to a certain percentage? (I used to tell myself I would give the book until 20%, but as you can see above, that never worked out.)
  • Are you okay with not finishing a book in general? Or does your DNF shelf look like mine?
  • Is there a difference for you whether the book is a review copy or one you bought/obtained some other way?
  • And lastly, have you ever felt guilty about not finishing a book, or felt guilty and forced yourself to finish it?

Let’s talk about this, friends! I am curious! 😀 

Posted January 17, 2017 by Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight in Discussion, Discussion Challenge / 69 Comments


69 responses to “Should We Always Give Books a “Fair Chance”?

  1. I have tried to say that I would give a book 50 pages or 10% (for a review copies), but I find that if the book sucks in the first ten or twenty pages, I would rather stop and find something better. For personal reading, I don’t force myself to read a certain amount of the book. I have no problem DNFing a book unless it was a book that I was into. Then I try to vow to myself that I will come back to that book some day (it hasn’t happened). If it was a book I didn’t like, I remind myself not to write a review about it because I feel that I didn’t get the full view of it.

    • BWHAHA I do the SAME. THING. with vowing to come back to it. So far it happened only ONCE, and only because of peer pressure, and it did NOT turn out well, I am afraid. I don’t review those either- I have only reviewed one technical DNF, because I read 52% AND then the end so… I felt like I knew enough to talk about it. But I normally don’t (so, the other 3 books 😉 )

  2. Sam

    Too many books, too little time. I have lived by this motto during my reading life. I read for pleasure. If a book is not for me, I will DNF or put it aside. I recently DNFed an ARC and felt a little bad, but I tried! I really, really tried, and I just could not bring myself to read more of that book.

  3. YOU’RE BREAKING MY HEART.? Roseblood has been a total favourite of mine this year!! But at the same time *pats shoulder* not every book is for everyone and that’s totally okay?!? I mean, I’ve probably mentioned before that I have a serious inability to DNF. I will actually torture myself through books I KNOW I HATE because I can’t DNF. Part of it is guilt? But part of it is hope that it’ll get better. Aaaand part of it is because I hate unfinished business. And I got through all of 2016 without DNFing and I was proud of that.? I’m ludicrous. I KNOW.

    I do think it’s fair to give ARCs a very big chance though? Just for the fact that we’re given them for an honest appraisal and it’s hard to do that with not reading much! (Although I STILL think one can DNF an ARC if they wish.) So that’s kind of my opinion, but I would never judge anyone who DNF’d a book early. We bookworms know our needs and tastes??? And when you’ve read half a billion books sometimes you can just TELL super early on when it’s not working!!

    Do whatever you want. 😉 That’s the spirit.

    • GAH I know, I know. I will DEFINITELY be the black sheep here. But that is also part of why I didn’t want to even continue- because I don’t think my review would even HELP anyone, you know? Since the book is just NOT for me? I am also the worst at DNFing, and did not DNF any books in 2016.

      I DO agree about review books- BUT I think the caveat is unsolicited review books. Because like, I would not have requested this, because I do not think it was for me. So like… to force it didn’t make sense, you know? If I request it though, yeah, I am probably going to finish it unless I REAAALLLLY cannot do it. Which is rare, as you can see 😉

  4. I usually read 10 or so pages and toss it if I’m not into it – but I don’t consider that DNF – I do that a lot and don’t count them in my books tally at all because it’s kind of like just sampling. If I read through about 1/3rd or so and then give up – then I consider that DNF since I invested a lot of time. And it’s truly hard for me to let go. I’ll usually go at least half-way or more – and even then the books haunts me after I give up!

    • Oh I agree, that is a good point! I don’t really do that *too* often, but I used to do it a lot more (pre-blogging) where I would get the samples from Amazon, and then if I didn’t like the first bit, wouldn’t continue, and I didn’t count those either. And YES- the time investment is seriously the WORST, because I feel like… I NEED to gain something from investing in it.

  5. Jinger Kat

    I try 50 pages or so and if it doesn’t appeal to me then I give up.
    There are a few exceptions, my book club books I try to finish or if someone has given me a personal recommendation

  6. Techeditor

    I almost never DNF a book. That’s because it is either written by a favorite author or I have previously read numerous reviews of that book so know I need to give it a chance . But I have given up on some after reading 50 pages. I never feel guilty about it, though, because I have so many piles of books to read and because I am always donate The book to the used bookstore at the library. Somebody will like it, I figure.

  7. Deena

    Good question! Ive found that rarely DNF a book. I think the reason for that is probably because I’m also a writer, so I know the hell that goes into writing a book. I’ve only not finished probably 2 or 3 ever, but I’ve had to push myself to finish probably a dozen. I’ve returned books to the library without even cracking them at times. I totally get the guilt thing – like, shouldn’t we stick it out because patience and persistence and all those other poster board p words like PRIDE? Lol! I also avoid a DNF so I can say I’ve read more books – even ones I don’t like! Maybe that’s just me, though. ?

    • Ahhh I do see your point! It’s funny because I have found myself thinking from the author’s perspective too, and I feel like… maybe I would rather someone NOT finish my book than hate it? Idk though, talk to me if I ever get one published, I may feel completely differently 😉 HAHAH NOPE not just you, I do the SAME thing with not DNFing because I want the book to count toward my reading total. Glad I am not the only one! 😀

  8. 1) I try to read the first hundred pages of full length novels. But if I’m really not that into it…. I put it down.
    2) I have too many books that I’m dying to read on my TBR to waste time on something I hate.
    3) If It’s a review copy I will finish it. But I won’t lie… sometimes there is skimming involved.
    4) Honestly I’ve never felt guilty for not reading a book because my mom taught me that part of loving reading is being able to put down something you hate. You’re only hindering your love of reading. But I realize that there are many people out there who pressure themselves to finish every book they start. So stressful. I already have stress in my life and DO NOT need extra. No thank you! 😀

    I loved this post. Hope you’re having a great day!

  9. Love this because I almost DNFed a book this weekend at about 25%.The reason I kept going was three really – It was an ARC so I try to finish those, It was short and in reviews there was a twist. Well I finished it and I should have DNFed lol. I always try to finish a book but I will so DNF. I think I had 10 last year. There are just too many books. I try to make it about 20% too but I have DNFed earlier. I love the spirit of the year of “Whatever the hell we want!”. 🙂

  10. I always just get super nervous…like, what if it does get better and I’m missing out on something good, yanno? I talk myself out of DNFing a lot and I think I should probably start doing it more. DNF is not a bad term, it is not a bad thing and I should do it A LOT more actually. There are way too many books out there that I don’t need to waste it on a book I’m not loving or even liking at the time. If I decide to pick it up later for some reason then, cool, but I need to know when it’s time to actually put a book down and move onto something else.

  11. I used to always push myself through a book. Feeling like I had to finish it. Well, these days I just don’t have time for that. If a book doesn’t hold my interested, then I give up. I don’t have a set number of pages really. I do kind of give it several different times of picking it up and trying it. Because maybe it’s just the mood I’m in sometimes. I’m very glad that I gave a recent book, The Bear and the Nightingale enough of a chance, because it turned out to be pretty good in the end. But the beginning was very slow for me. My DNF list gets longer and longer. And I like keeping it on Goodreads, because who knows, maybe some day I might want to go back and try one of them again. Great post!

  12. My DNF shelf has 2 books on it. It should have a ton more. I want to get better about DNFing, but I’m currently in the middle of 2 giant books that I’m not enjoying. I keep putting them down, reading something else, and thinking I’ll come back to them when I’m in the mood for them. The mood hasn’t happened yet, but I can’t bring myself to DNF. What if they suddenly get really good? I’ll never know if I don’t finish them.

  13. I’m really bad at DNF’ing myself. Mostly because my internal monologue resembles yours a lot. I just try to read as much as possible, because I think it will get better. And then I’m almost halfway, so I might as well finish, right? And sometimes it works: like I have book that was really difficult to get into, but then at the 30 or 40% mark I find that I’m really starting to love it. But sometimes, it doesn’t…
    So I also want to work on DNF’ing more quickly, but I know it will be difficult because the guilt and the what ifs will haunt me.
    Maybe I have to trick myself into DNF’ing… like pick up another book in the meantime and say I will get back to the other book when the mood is right. And if I never pick it up again, maybe it wasn’t meant to be… Like DNF’ing through a guilt-free detour or something 😉

  14. Tammy V

    I do try to go at least 30%. Always feel guilty about dnfing a book not matter what. I know how much work goes into writing them. Mainly I DNF ones that I simply cannot force myself to read or I can tell is a book not for me at all. Even have a shelf that is “not for me” rather than DNF. DNF carries that stigma with it I think. To be realistic not every book out there will be for me and I want to at least try.

  15. I usually have no problem with DNFing books– I’m a mood reader anyways, so if I’m not feeling a book, I make a snap decision as to whether I should put it aside for later (when I’m more in the mood for it) or just get rid of it permanently. I try to give ARCs and review copies more of a chance, but still, I will definitely put them aside if I’m not into it. Life is too short to read mediocre books! Great post, Shannon!

  16. I think we should be able to do whatever we want when it comes to reading books and finishing them, but at the same time I also know I will often feel that i have to give the book a chance. I don’t DNF a lot, but I have gotten better at it. Sometimes you just know a book isn’t for you.

    But even if I don’t like the book from the start once I start considering DNF’ing it, I always read a few more chapters at least to make sure. And I once had this book that started off so slow and then after 100 pages it did a complete turn around and I gave it a 5 star. So I always know things like that can happen. But finishing a book you’re not enjoying isn’t fun either, then you waste all that time while you could’ve been reading something better.

    I also have had books where from the first page I knew it wasn’t going to be a book for me and I even have DNF’d a few books right at the start. Usually my method is to read until reading becomes a chore and after that i usually give it a few more pages and then DNF. I like your motto of doing whatever you want, that’s a good thing to keep in mind.

  17. I always try to give books a fair chance. Especially ARC’s. I try to read a certain percentage and then see if it works for me or not. I TRY to complete books more even if I’m not enjoying it though. But sometimes the writing style really just doesn’t work for me so I DNF, but I always point out that it’s just for me that it’s not working and not that the book is bad. It’s just not for me.

  18. I was curious about my own stats, and it seems I have 45 books on my “abandoned midstream” shelf, opposed to 2135 I’ve finished. Of course, that ridiculous number is partly because I’ve added a bunch of books I read before I joined GR, and I obviously only remember the ones that I really liked (or hated, but finished). I have zero problems giving up on a book that isn’t doing it for me, but I’m pretty good at choosing books I’ll like. It helps that I’m not involved in the review/ARC world. That would be tough. I think you kind of have to finish a book you got for review purposes, which is one reason why I don’t do that!

  19. I don’t DNF too frequently, either – I think my DNF shelf only has six books, and only one of those was DNFd in the past year – but I don’t force myself to continue reading when it becomes apparent I’ll not like the book. For some books, like Sea of Glory by Nathaniel Philbrick, it took a grand total of ten pages. For others, like The Hollow Hills by Mary Stewart, I was almost finished when I decided to ditch it.

    Ellie | On the Other Side of Reality

  20. I try not to DNF books, but I take as long as I need to with a book. I read slowly in general, and I am not really involved in *having to* review anything necessarily. So, it’s all for fun. But, I do feel like I should try to read what I have. And, if I don’t like a book, I stop reading for a while.
    Interesting discussion, Shannon!

  21. I always try to give ARCs a good shot, but if I’m not vibing with a book then I’m putting it down. Sometimes I can tell that the time is just not right and I mean to come back to it later, but others I’m just 100% done with and have no desire to touch.

  22. I feel guilty when it’s an e-arc, because I’m like ‘I asked for this, so I should do my beeestest to finish it’. Although the fact alone that I think this is enough indication that it won’t be a 5 star read. With the rest of the books, it’s not as hard. I have this thing where when I can’t handle reading a book anymore my head starts to ache. That’s when I know I have to move on.

  23. Inkling

    I used to NEVER DNF a book, mostly because I was curious about the ending despite not liking the book. Which may or may not have been a cover for guilt. One day I realized I had too much other stuff I was interested in to continue wasting time on a book I wasn’t enjoying. I always tell my students that I just want them to try the first 50 pages or first 4 chapters (just like awards judges do) and if they don’t like, they can return the book. I’ve finally started taking my own advice. Leisure reading is for fun and I’m going to keep it that way.

  24. If I got the book for review, I usually try and read as much as I can. I’m pretty good at figuring out what will work for me though – even if I don’t LOVE the book in the end, so I tend to not DNF. It’s pretty rare. However, I don’t think there should be guilt. If it’s not working for you in the beginning, then move on…I’m sure the authors/publishers don’t mind a negative or DNF review out there anyway, right? ahha

  25. This is such an interesting post and I love the questions you’ve asked. For me personally, I don’t usually have a specific percentage or page number I need to read to – if I’m feeling like the book and I aren’t really clicking then I just DNF it. There are so many books out there that it doesn’t really make sense to continue reading one you aren’t enjoying. Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! <3

  26. Loved this post, Shannon! I personally don’t mind DNF-ing books because I believe life is too short to read books we don’t like 😛 buuuut it’s all relative. Like for ARC & review copy I always try to push through as best as I could because I feel like it’s my privillege AND obligation. That doesn’t mean I don’t DNF them though, I still do IF they’re just that bad :’)

    With books I purchase on my own, I’m less hard on my myself. If it’s a physical copy I will still try my best to read until the end, esp with books with so much potential because I love giving them the benefit of the doubt. Also because I HATE seeing unread books on my shelves 😛 with ebook, I don’t really care. If I hate it or simply ain’t feeling it I will DNF. Which is ridiculous because ebooks STILL cost money, I just can’t literally see them hahaha 😛

  27. Towards the end of 2016, I’ve begun to DNF more books and that’s because I’m trying to get through my Kindle freebies that are taking up space. I give all books the at least 20% standard, but I find with freebies and indie authors I’m quicker to give up if there are more problematic elements that I can’t look past.

  28. Kel

    I will typically finish review books (unless it’s absolutely *impossible* to read another word–which only happened once). The publisher was kind enough to provide a free copy; the least I can do is finish it. And, you know, NetGalley stats and stuff… >.>

    Otherwise, I DNF as I please, though I typically know whether I’m in the mood for a book (or will hate it) within the first chapter. If I’m not enjoying it, off with its head! 🙂

    (Side note: this doesn’t take into account my absolutely strange law school reading habits where I seem to purposefully pick up mediocre writing I know I won’t love or even like, but they’re quick reads and I finish them just to take a break from school/work/life.)

  29. I usually finish what I start but that being said, I think life is too short to force yourself to read anything that you don’t want! I end up just being critical of the books I choose to read.
    I might give ARCs a little more of an effort (especially since I’m usually the one that requested it), but I don’t force it if it’s not working for me. (Or I use the power skim!). I actually need to keep better track of my DNF, if it’s a DNF than I usually don’t bother with a review of any sort or a shelf for them haha.

  30. I saw on tumblr, 2017 is the year of succeeding out of spite, so I’m with you. lolz. I sometimes feel sad to DNF, but if the MC is being shitty, or the book doesn’t leave that eternal dragging phase, I’ll just be like, “Whatever. I can’t tolerate you.” and let it go.

    I love the name of your personalized GR shelf, btw. I feel like renaming mine now lmaoo. I heard Roseblood was soooo problematic, so I removed it without reading. Which is something I hate doing, actually. I love giving every book a fair chance, unless their syno bore me to tears. I can’t remember my last “serious” DNF, but it was definitely Unrivaled by Alyson Noel because that book was so lame and very LA-esque tbh.

  31. Yeah DNF!!! I don’t like DNF’ing necessarily but I will, if it’s not working. Although even as I say that I have a book right now on my Nook that I’m halfway through and I’m bored. So it’s sitting. And that’s part of the reason why I WILL DNF… cause the damn thing will sit there and screw me all up. I have other books to get to! I don’t really do a certain %- I just go by feel. And yeah it might be different if it was a review copy, but since I don’t do very many of those I have the luxury I guess…

    Long story short- don’t feel bad. DNF! It’s liberating.

    I could listen to Bellamy say that all day by the way… well, not all day but you know. It’s just The 100 anticipation that is suffusing my life…

  32. Sorry to hear that Roseblood didn’t work for you 🙁 I’ve been debating about whether I will love it or hate it and it’s making me reluctant to start reading it.

    I DNF at the first inkling of not liking a book. If it’s working toward getting <=2 stars by the time I'm at 10%, I'm usually done and move on. Otherwise I go into reading slumps and just stop reading in general because I don't WANT to read the book that I'm working on. Soooo … Lesson learned the hard way: Michelle does not force herself to read things she doesn't really like :p

  33. Emma Rose

    For me it depends. I feel guilty when I DNF a book, but then I also feel guilty when I waste my time and read a book that I absolutely hate and dragged my feet with finishing. If I am reading a book that I just don’t like, especially if I’m past the 50% or 60% mark in a book, I have to finish it to see what kind of train wreck it’s going to end up. I keep telling myself I’m not going to read books that I don’t want to, but feel like since I bought them, I should read them. Like right now, I was looking up books in an anthology I am thinking about reading and most of the books got bad reviews and I’m still on the fence as to what to do about it. Same with a sequel book. The first book was a 3 star take it or leave it rating and I don’t know if I want to read the sequel. But I probably will, because possible train wreck. I have gotten a lot better about quitting a book if I’m not enjoying it.

  34. When I DNF a book, it’s usually like 75% of the time a case of me not wanting to admit that I’m DNFing. Like I tell myself, “I’ll come back to this” and I never do. It’s to the point where my Currently Reading shelf has the most random books on there from forever ago, because I still think that I’m going to make myself go back and finish. HAHAHA, it’s funny because I can’t ever remember doing that even once. The other 25% that I cognitively DNF’d, I skimmed forwards just to see what happens– but no matter what actually happened, I was never going to finish– because those books were ones that I HATED and like offended me with how terrible they were.

  35. My DNF list is as crazily short as yours. Like, I think I’ve only actually DNF’d a few random self-pubbed books that were so horribly written that I couldn’t do it. Ironically, I ALMOST DNF’d RoseBlood, but I went through all of your steps in my head (like, almost exactly—are we sure we’re not somehow just alternate versions of the same person?) and when I got to that magic 50% mark—the point where I feel like, “Well, now I’ve just already put too much time and effort into this book to just let it count for nothing”—I did something a little different. I skim-read the rest of the book. I mean, I read it, mostly—I definitely got the gist. And when there were some more interesting parts I read them more carefully. I still actually ended up forcing myself to just stay awake until 1 AM and finish my skim-read just so I could be DONE with the darn book, but it still felt better to me than stopping. But I’m crazy that way.

  36. I don’t DNF books often, but sometimes you JUST have to for various reasons. Usually when I’m feeling ‘meh’ about the book I’ll start reading reviews on GoodReads and Amazon to see if I’m the only one. If others have the same complaints then I feel better about abandoning a book.

  37. I’ve DNFed at 5% and at 85%. I just wander off sometimes too and forget that I was ever reading a certain book. I have zero DNFing guilt. I figure if I was loving it I would want to keep reading it.

  38. I think that we should give books a fair chance. I have not been in the mood for a book but a second read on a another time makes me like or love a book more. The only reason that I’ll drop a book completely is when a particular book has negative representations

  39. I know you’d mentioned this post already but I’ve now gotten around to reading it! It’s weird how we’ve both got the same idea. I am all for giving a book a fair chance from my own personal happiness. Just because someone says negative things about a book, if I’ve gotten my hands on a copy I will still give it a go because I don’t like to form a whole judgement on what others have said. I like to read until I’m a bit of the way in but I am totally okay with putting it down.

    I think we bloggers are way too hard on ourselves making ourselves read books we aren’t enjoying. Sometimes it’s because we were sent it for review and sometimes it’s simply because we seem to think we have to finish the books we start. Whatever the reason we really don’t need to. We can do whatever the hell we want and I, personally, want to read books I enjoy. The only time I let myself feel guilty about not finishing a book now is when it’s been recommended by a friend. I like to give those books a chance because they deserve it, someone thought to tell me about it. In the end, though, I will read and not read what I want. I will always tell publishers if I won’t be finishing or reviewing a book they’ve sent me and considering I’m not getting paid to do it why should I feel bad about it?

  40. I typically don’t DNF books mainly out of pure stubbornness and a sprinkling of guilt. However, having said that I tend to read books that I know I’ll enjoy, or books that have aspects that I tend to enjoy. Thankfully that way of reading has meant that I’ve not DNF’d a book in the past year or so. The most I’ll do is give up on a series, so if I didn’t enjoy the first book I have no worries about dropping the series. At the end of the day I read books that interests me instead out of obligation.

  41. I hardly ever DNF a book, but I do it occasionally. I did DNF a book in December and gave it until 32%, but most of the time I usually give it until 20% like you. If I get really bored or confused more than three times before the 20-30% mark then I think it’s time to DNF lol! I read RoseBlood and really did enjoy it, but there have been books that I hated that other people loved, so to each their own! Fun post!

  42. I am quite okay with DNFing a book and I usually DNF it when I know it’s really not interesting me. I am not really scared to DNF a book either because a book’s main purpose is to educate and entertain and if both aren’t happening, there isn’t any point reading it! I know a lot of people didn’t like Roseblood so I don’t think it’s bad that you DNFed it!

  43. I’m OK with DNFing. I didn’t use to be, but in the last three-ish years I have opened by eyes and expanded my horizons. I really try to read to the 25-30% mark to at least give a disastrous book a chance. I have been pleasantly surprised by some books I wanted to DNF around this mark, so I try to at least read to that point…just in case I *do* end up liking it. Most of my books are review books – very few I’ve purchased, so if I was sinking money into books and not liking them then I would not be too happy. When I first started blogging I felt guilty. Especially for direct author review requests. I would FORCE myself to finish a book no matter how miserable I was. Ain’t nobody got time for that today!

  44. ADDING ANOTHER COMMENT TO THIS WONDERFUL POST that even though you threw it together it was GREAT.

    Do you “force” yourself to read to a certain percentage? (I used to tell myself I would give the book until 20%, but as you can see above, that never worked out.)

    Look it’s like I’m doing homework! With essay questions and everything! So first off. I used to force myself to at least try to finish the book. In 2016. When my GR challenge was 100. Now that I have completed my GR challenge, in 2017, I CAN DO WHATEVER I WANT. And that means DNFing books. Though I will probably be more prone to DNFing ARCs rather than physicals because I bought that shit.

    Are you okay with not finishing a book in general? Or does your DNF shelf look like mine?

    I have about only 5 books on my DNF shelf too. It’s okay. But I have only read about…what. 300 books now? 200? But like I said in my ABOVE ANSWER, it is 2017 and I do whatever I want now. Not wasting time on books that suck.

    Is there a difference for you whether the book is a review copy or one you bought/obtained some other way?

    YES WOW YOU ARE JUST PREDICTING MY ANSWERS. I didn’t pay for the review copy, so I am more likely to DNF it. On the other hand, I really want the physical copy to be good because I paid for it and I DON’T want it to feel like wasted money. Some people might say “Val you should finish that book the publisher gave you” and to that I say “I do whatever I want because it is 2017”

    And lastly, have you ever felt guilty about not finishing a book, or felt guilty and forced yourself to finish it?

    Yes in the year that must not be named I felt guilty at times. Which is why I ended up finishing the book. Now I can DNF or not read whatever and that is fine. I mean I might give it a chance since I have it for review, but like you, I will most likely DNF this. Mainly also because I did not like The Architect of Song. Oh well.


  45. I used to force myself to finish books until I just hit a wall and just asked myself why was I making something I enjoy so damn hard. And that’s what it comes down too — I do this because I enjoy it, I don’t want it to be a chore. Every so often I do stumble though — this week, I was torn bc I’d asked for a book to review and it sounded AMAZING … and it wasn’t for me. My eyeballs hurt reading it. And I had to be remidned publishers liked honest reviews more than anything

  46. I stopped feeling guilty about DNFing a long time ago. It was for my sanity. Forcing myself to read a book makes me really unhappy and books are my happy place, so I don’t want to be unhappy. I do feel guilty sometimes. Especially if it’s a book that everyone else seems to love. But oh well. I do hate when it’s an review copy, but I do what I want! 🙂

  47. I always force myself to finish books, even when i really don’t like them – although its a habit I want to try and break this year! However I always feel guilty or worry that I will miss out on “the good bit” – although sadly that good bit often never comes. I’m starting to realise life is too short to spend on books not worth reading.

  48. Grace Osas @ Somewhat Reserved

    I do try to give books a fair chance. I also have this weird guilt with not finishing books. I would DNF a series but not a book? Then again, if my friends/people I follow on Goodreads say a book is bad, I’m gonna BACK THE HECK AWAY. seriously.

  49. I am the same as you, in that I hate to DNF, and very rarely do it (in fact I can’t actually remember the last book I didn’t finish). I think a lot of it is guilt for me too, for not giving it a fair chance, but I also hate to have wasted my time by reading a book so far, only to give up, which when I think about it is pretty flawed thinking…I then waste even more time finishing a book that I’m not enjoying!

  50. Mostly I read to halfway and decide whether to go on or not. I just DNFed one because it took me ages to read a book and I just wasn’t interested in it. If it’s a review copy, I mostly force myself to read through it though so I can give it a fair review.

  51. I struggle with DNFs too! I didn’t use to do it as much when I was younger, I think, but now I have less time and give less fucks, so I tend to DNF more often. Usually I’ll tell myself I’ll keep reading for a few weeks, but never feel like it and then eventually I have to admit that I’m just really not into the book. 😀 Sometimes it’s just a matter of me not being in the mood for it at that moment though. If it feels like the writing really isn’t for me I’m much more likely to DNF. It has happened that I thought a book wasn’t for me, but when I kept reading I really liked it though, so I try to give most books a chance. But I definitely think DNF’ing can be a good thing, because SO MANY BOOKS TO READ IN SO LITTLE TIME, SHANNON. I think my biggest issue is that it always feels like something ‘unfinished’ if I think back to DNF’d books. I don’t usually skim, but I try to just do that now, if I’m really not into a book!

  52. I’m going to be honest, I DNF at the drop of a hat and not even sorry when I do it. I’ve had to check Goodreads to see how many I haven’t been able to finish and out of 953 reads, 72 I haven’t been able to finish. That’s not too bad, right? That’s why you mostly see positive reviews from me, anything I’m not enjoying I tend to fling out the nearest window, even review copies. Not only do you have to take the time to a read a book you haven’t enjoyed but then review the book you couldn’t care less about. I think life is short and we’re all too time poor for crap books. Free yourself Shannon, free yourself from bad writing, bastard authors and shit storylines. FREEEEEDOM!

    Sorry, got a bit carried away there.

  53. I rarely DNF but for different reasons. The main one being: I know what I like. For good or for bad, I tend to stick with the genres I love and I don’t often play outside the lines. I have no issue with that. I know what I like to read and so that’s what I seek out and read. I feel zero pressure to read whatever everything else is reading or read a genre that I have no interest in or pick up a book I *know* I don’t care about just because everyone is raving about it. Also, I’m pretty damn picky about what I read. My reading time is limited so I refuse to spend that precious time (if I can help it) on mediocre books. Or books that I’m not 100% wanting to read. I pick books that I’m excited about and that I’m almost positive I’m going to love. Because of that, very few DNF’s. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen – there are always those surprise let-downs – but after 4 decades of reading I have a mighty fine grasp on what I’m going to love.

  54. This book is on my TBR for this year… arrrghhh but I am also DNF a lot. I honestly don’t like to spend even more time than is necessary to read a book that I don’t enjoy. Although, I do envy people who can…so KUDOS to you, Shannon!! <3

  55. Jo

    My dad always told me that if you start a book, you have to finish it – “How can you say you don’t like it unless you’ve read the whole thing?” So for a very long time, I would make myself read every damn page, even if I knew I wouldn’t like it from the start. Apparently, though, my dad only meant if you got past the first 100 pages. If you can’t get that far, then it’s fine. Pfft, wish I had known sooner. I do still feel this guilt, though, if I don’t finish a book. A book has to be terrible for me to give up on it – really bad writing, or if I find the way it deals with certain topics offensive. I’m trying to start giving up on books if I find them boring, but it’s difficult! Having it hammered into me that I have to finish for so many years, it feels like I’m breaking a serious rule, and I can’t always do it.

    I know it’s going to sound weird and kind of selfish, but I have a harder time giving up on a book I bought than a book sent for review. I spent money on this book! I can’t give up on it, or it’s a waste of money. But even though I say it’s easier to give up on ARCs, as I said, I still struggle most of the time anyway.

    Great discussion!

  56. We’re a polarizing pair over at The Honest Bookclub, because my co-blogger DNFs like 70% of the books she picks up and I NEVER DNF anything at all. Last year I HATED a book, suffered through 40%, then put it down – but not in a DNF capacity – rather, I chucked it back into my TBR. BECAUSE GUILT. Because HOPE (that it gets better). And because my philosophy professor instilled in me the whole “Know something inside and out before venturing to criticize it”.

    So the whole section on past!Shannon’s reading habits – TOTALLY relatable.

    Having said all this, is DNFing something that should NOT be done? Aaaaaaaaaabsolutely not. In fact, if this is what makes YOU happier (and it sure sounds like it) – I hope you continue to do it in the future. Anything that makes us feel like we’re succeeding in a yearly bookish resolution is probably a good thing. This also applies to dog-earing and writing into books and whatever else “taboo habits” some readers have. IIIIIIII am anal about my books being perfect and pristine. But IIIIIII also recognize that others may feel differently. Because, here we are, championing diversity, but allowing none when it comes to actual reading habits.

    Also, I now officially fear Roseblood – you being the third person today who DNFed it among my GR friends. Yikes.

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