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When Do You Just Give Up On a Book?

Up until last December, I almost never DNFed books. It pretty much only ever happened when I had to return a book to the library before I finished it and just never bothered to get it again. So really, I'd never decided to DNF a book - it just happened. And then Dash & Lily's Book of Dares happened.

I wanted to like this book. I really like David Levithan, and the concept sounded really fun and interesting. But by the time I was about 20 pages in, I knew that this was not workign for me. I managed to push through for another 100 pages or so, mostly because I literally had nothing else to read, but at that point, I just knew that I didn't want to finish the book.

Since then, I've DNFed 3 books. THREE whole books. That's almost as many as I'd ever DNFed before in my entire life. And after I thought about it for a while, I figured out that the books I DNF fall into 2 categories:

1) I really dislike the book and I can't bear to read it any longer.

Books in this category:
Why not continue? I know that there are people who don't DNF books because they want to see whether they get better. Sometimes, I do this, too - I'm not really enjoying the book, but there's potential for improvement, and I want to give it a fair chance. But once in a while, I find books like these where I frankly couldn't care less if it improves, because even one more unimproved chapter is too much.

2) I'm bored and I can't think of anything that might happen that might interest me.

Books in this category:
Why not continue? Both of my recent books in this category have been pretty long, which hasn't helped matters. If I'm a few hundred pages into a book and I don't care about what's happening, and there's another few hundred pages to go, there are times that I just don't want to push through anymore when I could be doing something else.

Both categories boil down to the fact that I have other potentially better things to read.

I think that the last time my TBR was a reasonable length was seven years ago. I've already accepted that even if I ever do get through it, I'll be about 90 years old. But when I'm reading a book that I'm not enjoying for one of the above reasons and I don't care whether it gets better...why not move on? For all I know, the next book on my list could be a new favorite, and why would I want to put that off?

Do you DNF books? Which ones? When, and how often? What's behind your decision? Did I miss any reasons? Tell me in the comments!


  1. Oh my gosh, I struggle with this too! Your categories pretty much sum it up for me, but I sometimes set down books temporarily and never find the motivation to continue. There's just kind of a stigma to DNF, right?

    1. Yeah, that happens too! That was how Outlander started out for me - I set it down with the idea that I'd take a small break with another book and then go back to it, and then that never happened. And there's SUCH a stigma. Sometimes it seems like it's worse than a completed 1-star!


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