PSA: DNF – The Divisive Issue of Our Day




Last month I spoke up about Book Reviewers and the lack of integrity and honesty I found and how I thought most reviewers were crooks, swindlers, liars, cheaters and general all around ne’erdowells. I obviously didn’t include myself when thinking of those terms, as I am a Paragon of Virtue and the Rock upon which this Blog stands.

Virtue doesn’t desert me because I tied it to a chair in my living room!



This month, I feel like discussing something with a little more nuance, something not so cut and dried. Did Not Finish.



This subject is so open for discussion that I am getting primed just thinking about it. DNF’ing is the working out of each person’s philosophy behind their book reading. While not everyone is going to dive into the nitty gritty of all the why’s and wherefores, everyone at leasts thinks about DNF’ing and if it is for them or not. Once you’ve made the right choice and do DNF a book, then so many factors come into play that it is a veritable paradise of reasonings. I love complicated subjects like this because it shows the inside of a person on so many levels. On to the Bookstooge Philosophy of DNF’ing a book.

What generally happens when I score a point in any debate


Now, my general Rule of Thumb is the Nancy Pearl Rule of 50 Pages or 10%. She summarizes it as such:

I live by what I call ‘the rule of fifty,’ which acknowledges that time is short and the world of books is immense. If you’re fifty years old or younger, give every book about fifty pages before you decide to commit yourself to reading it, or give it up. If you’re over fifty, which is when time gets even shorter, subtract your age from 100. The result is the number of pages you should read before deciding.

As a “rule of thumb”, that works out pretty well. However, I don’t subscribe to it as a “Law”. While there might be the Laws of Thermodynamics, there is no Law of 50. For good reason.

Spongebob and I are in complete agreement on this issue. There is no Law of 50. 

Triggers, or the suchlike, are another good reason to DNF a book. Triggers can run the gamut from the emotional to the intellectual. Something that you’ve experienced in the past and can absolutely destroy you when reading about a like instance in a book, like rape for instance, is an emotional response that causes you do stop reading that book. Or perhaps the author starts espousing views about Aliens and Humans, ala Scientology and suddenly, nothing else they can say matters as your mind can’t accept such thinking (by the by, I’d dismiss any non-fiction author who started down that particular path). But the thing is, everyone has something that they hold inviolate, even if they don’t think long and hard about it.

For me, I’ve definitely got some DNF triggers that cause me to pull the plug like that

* snaps fingers *

  1. Blasphemy is top of the list. Similarly, the denial of Christ’s divinity (ie, His Godhood).

  2. Another one is the inclusion of sexual perversions. In this day and in our culture, that tends to be the one I have to deal with the most. It’s like a minefield now.

  3. Another one is rape or gruesome violence against women and/or children. My soul revolts against such a thing and I won’t tolerate it in my entertainment.

Those tend to be The Big Three for me.


Other reason I have for DNF’ing a book can be summed up like this:

  • I hate every single character and wish they were dead. They have to be REALLY bad though for me to DNF because of that. Most likely I just won’t read any more by the author.

  • I’m bored. If I go into a book expecting to be entertained and I’m not, forget it. I read for fun and my reading time is as precious as gold to me. If an author wastes that, I’ll cut them off at the knees and enjoy doing it. But again, I have to be REALLY bored.

  • Social Justice bullshit. I have very little tolerance for that nonsense. The people who think that way and participate in such things are fools and I want nothing to do with them or their silly ideas. Mainly because there is no thinking involved and when you can’t even talk rationally to someone, there is no point in talking. Proverbs 23 says this: Do not speak to fools, for they will scorn your prudent words.

And really, I think those additional 3 items wrap it up. I don’t DNF very much, even if I will rate a book extremely low and rake it over the coals.

Now, on to the part I’ve actually wanted to write. I don’t usually ASK for your opinions, as I’m almost always telling you MY opinions, but in this case, I actually DO want to know your thoughts on this issue. A lot. Write a comment, please. A short one, a long one, a post length one, a post with a linkback. Just something. If you don’t normally comment, take this time to carefully considering commenting for the first time. Do you DNF? If so, what causes that? There are as many permutations for DNF’ing as there are readers and I want to hear about them.


bookstooge (Custom)




95 thoughts on “PSA: DNF – The Divisive Issue of Our Day

  1. I am a quality not quantity reader Bookstooge, in that I don’t read (novels) voraciously but get huge satisfaction when I find a good one. But as I get older I get less tolerant of poseurs and general cuntiness so, if it’s not enjoyable pretty soon, it goes to the bin. I also always apply the ‘Page 100’ principle. If I get that far and the book I’m reading is boring me then I’ll give it up without guilt and move on to something else immediately. Life’s too short to get stuck on bad books (Gide applied the 100-page rule to Proust’s monumental work, and made a bit of a poor-call… as is the case with all ‘rules’, the best examples are often the exceptions.) I tend to find that three things really turn me off. First, I don’t like books with highly unsympathetic main characters. “As Meat Loves Salt”, by Maria McCann, is narrated by someone who’s so unpleasant, not to say psychopathic, that it becomes quite disturbing. Another book I read had the opposite problem: a heroine so spineless and ignorant of the world that I longed to reach inside the pages and shake some sense into her.
    Second, I read a lot of physics books, and I’m fairly knowledgeable especially about it. This can be a curse, as I’m a bit of a pedant.
    Thirdly, I hate cliche and predictability. All too common, alas. I like to be surprised and entertained, not bored or lectured to.

    NB: Someone recommended the Thomas Covenant books to me, based on the fact that the ‘hero’ did something ‘a bit bad’ but you’re meant to like him anyway and then he gets better. Then I read some of them and was appalled. I can’t empathise with a character who commits a crime like that, nor can I ‘support’ a writer who creates a character like that, so I abandoned the books and have no desire ever to read them. Have you ever read them?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hurray, a comment!

      Do you know where the 100 Page Principle originated from? I just did about 60 seconds of googling and saw it on a lot of bloggers pages but with no “origin” story.

      Thankfully, between not reading very much non-fiction and there not being a ton of Surveying…..In Space books, I don’t have to worry about being turned off by idiots writing what they don’t know about 😀

      As for Covenant, I read all 6 books back in highschool and my memory is that I didn’t like him, or the world he went to or how he acted in general. I’m fuzzy enough that I can’t even recall what crime you’re talking about. Not sure I ever read anything by Donaldson ever again though…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not sure why but I hate leaving a book I’ve started unfinished. No one’s watching, no one cares, it’s not homework; I can’t put my finger on it (I think maybe I’m subconsciously imagining my mum saying “nobody gives up in this family …”; meant as a threat, not as a statement.) I’d love to know who invented the 100-page rule…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I agree with you about that desire to finish something you’ve started. I suspect it is something in our psychological make up.
          Probably doesn’t help that society is full of the message that “quitters” are bad and that eating your vegetables (no matter how nasty they taste) is good for you.

          So, since you don’t know who invented the 100 page, where did you hear about it? Or was it something you worked out on your own at first?

          Liked by 1 person

  2. I think my only trigger for DNF is sheer boredom and I usually give a book about 50-100 pages before quitting. The 100 page marker being generous and probably more because I can feel like something interesting might happen soon and either it does or it doesn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it amazing just how MANY boring books get written? I realize that not everyone gets bored by the same exact thing, but still, it seems like a plague amongst authors.

      Do you review/record your dnf’s?

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I applaud your good decision! 😀

      So many people, myself included sadly, keep on reading waiting “for it to get better”. Most of the time it just doesn’t and needs to be put down like a rabid wolf 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I try not to DNF a book because I feel really bad for the author so when I DO DNF one, that’s a huge clue as to how utterly terrible it is. I’ve never heard that rule of thumb (the one where you subtract your age from one hundred) but once I’m old and grey, I think I’ll probably adopt it. It’s weird, one of my school teachers and I had discussed this a few weeks back. He told me that life was too short to read bad books which is why he’s so picky about the books he reads.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀

      When I was in highschool, then bibleschool, I NEVER dnf’d a book. Even if I was completely miserable I finished it. That desire has waned as the years roll by though.

      Keep the Pearl Rule in mind though, it mind start coming in handy.

      And bravo to that teacher. I’d shake his hand right now 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the idea of abandoning books – I think it’s the logical course of action for making the best use of one’s reading time.

    I’m just pathetic at putting it into practice myself. There’s always some underlying curiosity that keeps me pushing through, even if it’s only “How bad will this get?”. I’ve abandoned books in the past, but it’s been a long time since that happened. I can’t even think of a specific book to give as an example. In those cases it was usually due to boredom, and it was rarely a conscious “I’m going to stop reading this book” decision. It was more of a slow tapering off of my reading time until I realized I wasn’t picking it up anymore and decided to start a different book. These days that couldn’t happen; I expect to spend time reading each day, and I only read one book at a time, so it would have to be an intentional decision to abandon my current book in favor of starting a different book.

    That isn’t to say I’ll never abandon a book, but it would probably be an event worth marking on the calendar due to its rarity. I think if I read indies more often, I would probably abandon books more often because a larger percentage of those books are just plain badly written and incoherent and that’s more likely to push me over the edge than anything. I also wouldn’t have any trouble abandoning a non-fiction book that I chose to read for a specific reason, if that reason wasn’t being met. Unlike an individual book, I don’t have any trouble abandoning a series that I’m no longer enjoying. I think that’s because of my habit of reading a series more-or-less all at once — if I don’t enjoy a series enough to want to spend several weeks in that setting, it’s time to move on to something else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Indeed, the idea of the DNF versus the practice of DNF are two very different things!
      Half of the impetus for this post (besides last months’s PSA post) was that I ended up dnf’ing a book at the 68% mark and that really got me thinking.

      Curiosity. Man, what a killer. We keep on hoping and wishing and before you know it, we’re at the end of the book and scratching our heads.

      And that is a great point about how ones reading “style” can affect it too.

      Since you have only “so much” time each day, does that change things do you think? ie, if you had 6hrs a day to read, would you be inclined to dnf a book than if you only have 1hr a day?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hmm… interesting question! I think, if I had 6 hours to read each day, I’d probably be more inclined to DNF. With 6 hours a day I’d be able to get a lot more books read, so theoretically wasting time on a bad book would seem to have a smaller impact. But it would be a lot harder for me to spend 6 hours in one day pushing through a boring book versus splitting it up across multiple days.

        I do think it would be easier to learn to bite the bullet and DNF fairly early in the book like you propose, versus doing it later in the book like your 68% example. The further I get, the more invested I am in seeing something through to the end after I’ve already put so much time into it. That Altered Carbon book I read recently, the one with the horrid dog scene, somebody I know on GR abandoned the book at 91% when she read that scene. I think I would be physically incapable of abandoning something so close to the end no matter what I read.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I was wondering how reading a mediocre book for 1hr a day instead of 4 would change things. But unless you quit your job and experiment until you go homeless, I guess we’ll never know for sure 😉

          I find it amusing how you reacted to that person who dnf’d at 91%. I can totally relate to that person though, so I understand even if that particular issue wasn’t a problem for me.

          So, does that mean you really don’t have any (or very many at least) instant stop triggers for reading? That must be nice…

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Regarding the instant-stop triggers, I really can’t think of any. There’s always a chance I could discover I have one if I read the right (or wrong) book. 🙂 That doesn’t mean there aren’t things I hate to read about, or that I’ve never been horrified by anything. I have occasionally walked away from a book and found something else to do for a while in those cases. A certain horrible scene in The Sheep Look Up comes to mind.

            As far as theology/philosophy, I’m less likely to have trouble with that. Even if I completely disagree with everything the author is saying, there’s some entertainment for me in that because I argue with them in my head. (I do the same thing with music that has stupid lyrics on the radio while I’m driving.)

            Really the thing that’s most likely to annoy me enough to make me want to DNF a book is either too much repetition (like those Discworld science books), or a writing style that I find unusually difficult to follow and don’t care enough about the story to want to put in the extra effort (like Zelazny’s Lord of Light).

            Liked by 1 person

  5. I pretty much never stop at around 50 pages.

    Sometimes I bounce off of a book immediately. Like within the first chapter. Usually when this happens I sort of expected something else, and on picking up the book I realize it just isn’t the sort of thing I want to read at the moment (or ever). I don’t write posts about these or enter anything on Goodreads.

    For other DNFs it usually comes around halfway through. The middle act is usually the biggest slog in a novel (especially with trad pub’d books these days). For those I have usually read enough to have very definite ideas on the book, so sometimes I write DNF reviews. I also mark them as 1-star and DNF on Goodreads for tracking purposes.

    I rarely DNF books though. Maybe 5% of what I pick up.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So the first chapter dnf’s don’t get a mention at all eh? I would ask how you remember to avoid said authors in the future, but your last sentence pretty much takes care of that! 😀

      Now that you’ve mentioned that 5%, I should go check and see what my percentage is. I’m guessing its pretty low too. Well, under 10% anyway…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. For me, it’s often characters, boredom, writing quality. I don’t need to like the characters, but I should care about them/be interested in what happens to them in order to continue reading. If I’m bored, then it’s be a struggle to continue. I generally prefer to give a book a fair chance, maybe 50 pages (as you mentioned above) or a little more, but if I can’t stand the writing, then I’ll quit after a few pages in.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Funnily enough I posted my first DNF a few days ago. I was scared I might upset fans of the zombie genre or the author. What i got was less but a few comments… I do like the 50 page or 10% rule. I think I should try it out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really helps weed out the mediocre books. Some books are so bad that you HAVE to stop them,but others? You keep limping along hoping it gets better. The 50page rule cuts the legs out from that so you don’t waste time.

      Not that I listen to my own advice very often mind you 😀

      I saw that dnf and was proud of you for stating all the reasons why. Did you follow through and get rid of it from GR?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. There are a lot of reasons for me to DNF.
    1. It sucks my will to live. If I would sooner do housework than read then the book is destined for compost.
    2. If it bears no resemblance to the blurb that interested me in it.
    3. Weird names I can’t pronounce. This happens mostly in fantasy but if you name characters zxysthxsys and stuff like that then that’s a sign to me that you (author) are younger than 12 or you’re trying to distract from horrible writing. It’s too irritating. Stop
    4. As you mentioned already, triggers. They can vary. I couldn’t read about death and Alzheimer’s after my mother died.
    5. Too many adjectives- making up word count! It also becomes very boring.
    6. I just can’t get into it. I don’t like the characters or don’t ‘feel’ them.
    As you said, there are so many good books, I don’t need to read crap!
    I’m very fond of going through kindle unlimited and finding new authors. They don’t have to be brilliant, they’re learning their craft but I think as a story teller, you either have it or you don’t. I can accept weaker areas here because I can see potential and I’ve seen some really improve and it’s a joy. Some are dreadful too but it’s definitely worth a chance.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Preach it for that blurb that lies outright! Man, that is so frustrating when that happens, isn’t it? And I can’t even blame the author then, just the rat house of the Publishers :-/

      I am glad you are willing to go through the Kindle Unlimited. I just can’t do it.

      So what do you do with your dnf books? Pretend you never started them or review/rate them or what?

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I’ve just DNF’d a book and I thought I’d feel guilty but actually, I just felt relief. In all honesty, I probably read too much of it before I abandoned it (I could tell in the first ten pages it wasn’t going to be for me) but never mind, it’s over now 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I like the 10% rule, that makes sense!

    I notice I’m getting a bit mental about choosing the right books for myself. Getting more picky & picky.

    Normally I start out with a sample to see if I like the style of writing, where the story goes, the characters etc. But that’s just a first impression. Even though I am able to weed out quite a few books this way, it’s only a snippet and I still might not like the book.

    The moment I notice that I am forcing myself & looking at the page number OR trying to convince myself to read a certain amount this day so I can jump into something more fun (^^), I know it’s not the right thing. And then I drop it. No more discussion with myself^^ I TRY to give it 10% even if I don’t like it, in case it’s getting better. But sometimes I dnf even before that. I dropped ‘The Grace of Kings’ recently after 7%.

    And then sometimes I have those books that I am enjoying a lot, until I lose interest in the middle… -.- or a trigger warning comes up. I have those as well. When I see a love triangle, I burn the book. Sorry, I just CAN’T stand those and I don’t even want to give them a chance anymore.

    Also not a big fan of the Stockholm syndrome, which unfortunately appears a lot, in some form or another. I don’t want to read about protagonist a falling for protagonist b even though they’re treating them like crap the whole time. Abuse is NOT sexy.

    So yeah.. sorry about my rambling.. to sum it up: I don’t enjoy reading a book anymore and rather do something else= I drop it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the ramble. Long comments are the best!

      I chose 10% since I read so many ebooks and since a lot of the books I tend to read are also in the 500page range, 50 pages=10%.

      I tried samples about 10 years ago and they didn’t work for me so I had to give up on the idea of trying to weed out things that way. It sounds like a great idea though 😦

      And amen to love triangles and stockholm’ism! Makes me wonder about some of the authors who write such things :-/

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I’ve learned through the years to DNF, and have applied the Pearl rule in the wake of my change (I used to finish all bad books because I thought I was going to live forever, apparently)…but you know what my current issue is? I don’t exactly DNF, but I stick a bookmark in it in total abandonment. I think I probably don’t just “call it” and move on because I’m not blogging, so I don’t have a pressing need. But man, I’ve bought a lot of bookmarks this year and I’m just now realizing how many must be living their best life right now, snuggled eternally in between pages…

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks BC for commenting.
      I hear you about the change in perspective in “living forever”.

      It made me laugh to hear how you “set aside” a book with a bookmark but didn’t call it. DNF’ing is such a mental thing. Here I am writing a post about it with my little tips and tricks and everyone else is chiming in with theirs and it all comes down to that most bookworms just don’t want to stop, even when they DO want or know they should.

      I’m sure the bookmark industry, or somebody on Etsy, is thanking you right about now 🙂

      On a more serious note, how are you doing overall?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bookworming styles…there should be a meme for that. There are as many ways to deal with things as there are bookworms. We should give ourselves labels and hashtag the heck out it. 😛

        I’m doing pretty good – my A1c was abysmal last check…and we had to fight about the pump. It’s such a frustrating fight, make it affordable and I’d LOVE to feel awesome all the time! Lol

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Sorry to hear you have to fight for the pump. I had to give up on that years ago and it still makes me sad.
          Bummer about the a1c too. What is abysmal, if you don’t mind me asking? I think my worst was a 9.9 about 4 years ago.

          And thanks once again for commenting. It is really nice to hear from you and since I don’t communicate outside of this blog very well and you’re just on GR, well, diverging paths and all that 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It’s knowing the pump is awesome and amazing and works so well for me and being told that I need it…but not being able to afford it that sucks. They should know this by now and shut up about it, lol.

            9.2 😳 I have another check coming up and I should have a much better result. It’s amazing what a little regular checking will do…I just slip into the habit of…not…checking. *shrugs* I’ve done 6’s without a pump. I know it’s possible for me…

            Yes! Someday I’ll start blogging again. Raising kids is great and all, but when they bust your laptop…you quit blogging. I’m getting pretty amazing at thumb typing though – like millennial level good. I should do something with this new skill. 🤔

            Liked by 1 person

  12. I have OCD and one of the ways it manifests in me is that I don’t ever DNF. I tried once and it was awful, not finishing just kept bothering me and I couldn’t stop thinking about it even after days. So even if I don’t enjoy a book, I will reading it cover to cover, even if I have to hate-read it. And then I get the wonderful cathartic release of writing a negative review guilt-free.

    On the flip side, several times I’ve disliked a book in the first half only to love it to bits by the end, and those situations make me glad I don’t DNF. I will say this doesn’t happen a lot, though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. OCD. Ugh, you have my sympathies 😦

      That being the case, are you a lot more careful of the books you start then? Do you do a lot of checking out beforehand? Because I know we’ve talked about this a little before in regards to negative reviews and 1starring but even if you stick firmly to a genre or 3, you’re going to find stinkers.


      1. Yeah, I’m a lot more careful with the books I choose these days. I don’t get too many 1-stars as a result, but 2-stars are still a common enough occurrence. My instincts can’t catch all the stinkers, unfortunately – but I think I’ve gotten good at only reading books I know I’ll like!

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I have no problems with dropping a book I don’t like.
    After about 10% i usually know if i’m going to finish it or not, however in rare cases the first 10% is inconclusive, so i go up to 30%.
    Usually DNF if i find the story boring, or the story is nothing like what the blurb suggested (i.e. i’m expecting a chilling psychological thriller, but everyone is boring and the book turns out to be erotica – true story), or I hate all the characters or the writing is just not for me.

    There are books i finish and end up rating 2, but i usually finish them because they still have something that i enjoyed. For example liked the writing style, even if the story was not so great. Or the book was pretty good and i thought it will be a 3, but the last few chapter ruined it and turned it into a 2.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am glad to hear someone say they have no problems with dnf’ing. Gives me hope 🙂
      So many people, me included, do struggle with it so knowing you don’t is an encouragement.

      Bummer about that erotica book. That sounds like a real bait n switch.

      So do you rate/review the books you dnf? You mention about rating 2star books as ones you finish but are dnf’s auto 1stars for you or do you just ignore them?


      1. I usually just ignore them. I have a separate shelf on Goodreads for DNF books. I rated i think two of them as 1.
        One was the aforementioned erotica book. It was bad even at that cuz it was really boring. I actually haven’t read erotica, so not sure what to expect, but i’d think it should be more interesting at least… 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Brilliant post! Such a great topic! And I love the rule of 5- even though I reallly struggle to DNF things- even if it has one of my “triggers” (SJW stuff will make me hate read and there are emotional subjects which will make me not pick the book up in the first place). Personally I think the books I have the easiest time DNFing are the ones that bore me, cos not only do I lack the drive to finish, but I also know I won’t have anything interesting to say if I review it (yes, I finish books just for the sake of the review sometimes- I reckon there are tons of bloggers that do that too though 😉 )

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I occasionally DNF books but it’s very rare. I think because by now I’ve gotten pretty good at determining whether or not I’ll like a book before really starting it. The fact that there are so many reviews out there now helps in that regard. When I do decide to DNF it’s usually because I’m completely bored or can’t get into the writing style. Every so often I’ll power through, though, either because I want to try and understand better what it is that’s not working for me or it’s nonfiction that is more work to read but I still want to pull the important information out.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. DNF? Me? Without hesitation or regret. As for the triggers, that is such a complex question. It could be literally anything. I have DNF’d a book (a biography) after reading the translater’s note that said something like “This translation has been abridged. If you really cared about this book, you would learn French and read the original version.”

    Other than sheer dumbassery, I DNF mostly because I just don’t care about the characters or the plot, or because there is no plot, or because the author comes across as an idiot. I definitely DNF those, tho sometimes it is so much fun actually reading to the end to gather more material for a rant review. I like a rant review. (I do not seek out to write these, tho. I do prefer reading books I enjoy.)

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am speechless at that note! Are you really serious about that?

      I had to laugh at the rest of your comment, as I can so relate to that. And indeed, a good ranty post every once in a while really clears out the head space I find…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am serious.

        “The present book is an abridged and edited English version of Olivier Todd’s biography of Albert Camus, which was published in France in 1996. While all relevant information about the life and work of Albert Camus has been retained, some material not of sufficient interest to the British and American general reader has been omitted to improve the narrative flow. Anyone seeking more background detail can, of course, consult the original French. The notes at the end of the French edition have also been deleted. While one of the virtues of Todd’s book is his energetic research, in order to keep this edition an accessible length we decided to integrate necessary information into the text rather than including the extensive documentation of sources. Again, scholars can turn to the French edition for a full accounting.”

        This was from a biography of Albert Camus.

        My original post is here:

        Liked by 5 people

              1. Hahahaha! Funny you should ask that.
                I just started a book today, Empire, a novel in the Warhammer universe. I’ve been struggling with staying interested in Warhammer and I was only 5% in and realized I was wasting my time as I simply didn’t care.

                Liked by 3 people

                    1. LoL. That’s another trigger for me actually. Writers not making sense or not getting to the point. I like a bit well-written flowery prose, but content over form for me every.single.time.

                      Liked by 1 person

  17. In the past I have felt bad for DNF-ing books, but in the last year I just don’t care to continue on with books I’m not enjoying. Life’s too short and all that. Usually, I stop reading due to lack of enjoyment with the narrative, characters I can’t connect with, or too damn much proselytizing. The later has become more and more of an issue for me in the last few years, as SFF seems to be on a crusade to include mandated contemporary socio-political crusades into all stories. Honestly, I’m just sick of authors’s creating political pamphlets masquerading as entertainment. I read for fun, not to be preached at non-stop by people who then get on social media and tell me not to buy their books because I don’t bow down to their every socio-political leanings.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I try to give books 100 pages before I DNF, though there have been some books that were so awful I put it down before then. I DNF for a few reasons including it’s boring, the humour just sucks, or I outright hate the characters. I can push through most of the time, but sometimes you just come across a real dud.

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  19. I’ve had two DNFs this past week. My general rule is around entertainment and whether I could be reading something I actually find entertaining or interesting instead. Both failed to meet that entertainment threshold for different reasons. The first was interesting but all over the place narratively and lacking characters you followed. The second was one of those overwritten award-winning fantasy novels that wears a badge of self-important twaddle with pride.

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  20. When I started blogging, I stopped all DNFing, because I felt I had a responsibility to finish any book I might mention on my blog. A few years of boring books broke me of this, and I’ve started DNFing again. I haven’t done much lately, because I’m reading a lot of sequels in series I like, but I’ll run out of those soon….

    I usually DNF out of boredom, because the plot is going nowhere. I also DNF for overly-descriptive writing, which I guess is a form of boredom also. Instead of reading that a character puts on a shirt, I read how he puts his head through the head-hole, his right arm through the right-arm hole, then his left arm through the left-arm hole… I think a lot of readers can skim over this stuff, but I’m doing a lot of audiobooks, and it just grates on me when someone is reading it out loud.

    Oddly enough, I push through the offensive stuff rather than DNFing. Of course, the author gets a bad rating and no future purchases, but I can’t recall any DNFs for this.

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  21. I definitely DNF books, but I don’t have any hard & fast rules about when or why. Boredom is my biggest trigger, since I’m reading for fun. (If it’s not fun, why keep going?) Though there are plenty of other reasons which will cause me to DNF, they’re usually subjective and changeable. Something that will cause me to DNF a book tomorrow might not be as big a deal a year from now. Or a book that I DNF’d last year might be one I enjoy today.

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  22. I do DNF! I have so many books to read that as soon as I lose interest in it or if I don’t like it from the start, I abandon it to the charity shop bag and start something else. I read for enjoyment and I’m not going to spend a week reading another 250 pages of dross when I wasn’t liking the first 50! I generally reach a decision by the 50 page mark but if it’s really bad I stop earlier than that. For example one book had about 60 swear words in four pages and that was enough for me! Basically as soon as I lost interest, I’m out of there-if it is mind numbingly slow and boring, if I hate the characters, if the plot is dreadful, if the tropes are lining up to annoy me etc! I do review everything I read including DNFs so I can share why I stopped reading it and give other readers a bit of detail to help them decide if they want to read it or not.

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    1. Hurray!
      I am always glad to see someone who enthusiastically dnf’s.

      Sometimes I think readers get in a rut and just keep rolling along with being bored just “because”. And then they try to look for that one good nugget in the book to justify the whole thing.

      Just toss that rubbish into the garbage 🙂


  23. I encourage everyone to do what would make them happy. I personally don’t DNF the books I pick up since I’m one of those that believe that you got to know the whole story before you give your appreciation (positive or negative) of it. And since I tend to review everything I read, it’s almost impossible for me to drop a book. If I ever do end up giving up on something, it’s definitely because it’s awfully written. It’s the only way you could make me not want to read your stuff.

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  24. I don’t DNF as once a book is started I’ll finish it in some form or another–actually reading it word for word or begin skimming, depends on how much is left. If I receive a book through GR First Reads or LT Early Reviewers, I’m going to read it all the way through because of the ‘honest review’ they ask you to give.

    I’m currently 40% into Red Rising and frankly it’s a whole of “Hunger Games in Space” (though “space” is relative). I can predict a lot of things that are going to happen and frankly if I’m not really engaged while reading it tomorrow I’ll just begin skimming it and once finish forget about reading the other two books (which will be a first for me).

    And given my reviews of the rereads of the Op-Center series, the fact that I’d actually give up on a series that I’ve already purchased should speak volumes.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. So far The Hunger Games is better, now the other two books in the THG series had their issues but the first book was definitely the best because the main character wasn’t looking to take out a dystopian government just survive a death game.

        In Red Rising, I’m basically mentally clicking off all the things that are just twists on elements from the entire THG series. There is 6 years between THG and RR so there would be no surprise that there is similar elements, but a lot are just flat out copies though changed enough to not be accused of plagiarism.

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  25. Yay! I’m so glad you wrote this post!
    I never used to DNF. I would slog through to the bitter end, no matter how long it took me.
    But my life will not be long enough to read all the snooze-worthy, jerk-off, horrific, utterly objectionable and/or badly written nonsense that’s out there. And so I now DNF with a clear conscience. My main triggers are: love triangles (Just don’t! Rargh!), rape, dreadful English, and repetition (I have a memory, you are not a TV show, get on with it). If I can see the ending coming I’ll often quit too, unless I am invested in the characters and having fun.
    My boss told me about the 100 page thing which I find pretty useful. And I like the Nancy Pearl Rule of Fifty. I’m writing that down! 😀

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