Why I DNF Books

Hello fellow readers! Today I want to talk a bit about why I DNF books, and what reasons usually cause me to DNF a book. If you don’t know, DNF stands for Did Not Finish and it is a term used in the book community for when someone decides to not finish the book they are currently reading.

A lot of people choose not to DNF books. But I personally have no problem with putting down a book I’m not enjoying. There are thousands of books I want to read and I’ll never read them all in my lifetime, so why should I waste any time reading something I simply do not enjoy. The reasons I will DNF a book are:

⚫️ Not enjoying the book as a whole
⚫️Problematic views that are seemingly accepted in the book
⚫️Too confusing/writing style I don’t enjoy

If I am not enjoying a book, I will put it down and sometimes try again later in case I’m just not in the right mood for it. Or if I just know it’s not the book for me I will fully DNF and never look back.

By “problematic views that are being accepted in the book,” I mean things such as women degrading, sexual assault, abuse, etc. being presented in the book and not being challenged. When these things are just accepted or viewed as a part of the story and none of the characters are thinking “this is wrong” or “I want to change things” I usually give up on the book. I am all about reading people standing up against oppression and other wrong doings, but I don’t enjoy reading these things when they are not at all challenged. An example of a book I DNF’d due to this was:

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

This book had sexual assault, degrading of women, and animal abuse, and no one said a single thing about that. It was just accepted, and even the main character (who these things were happening to) didn’t even question any of this. I was patiently waiting for someone to stand up and say something, but I got about half way in and nothing. Once I realized it was just a part of the story I had to DNF it.

Finally, if the story is confusing or if I don’t like the writing style, I just can’t enjoy the book. If I’m confused about what is going on in the story I will definitely not want to continue reading. I read to enjoy the books and get engrossed in the story. I simply can not do that if I have no clue what is going on or if the writing just doesn’t make sense to me.


While I have no problem DNFing a book, it doesn’t really happen that often. I tend to pick books that seem interesting to me so I usually enjoy what I am reading for the most part. I have only DNF’d one book this year and it was due to lack of enjoyment, and the book was very confusing. That book was:

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

I sadly did not enjoy this and I decided to set it down at about 100 pages. The synopsis intrigued me, but the writing and the plot just were not for me.


Do you DNF books? Have you DNF’d any books this year? Let me know! Thanks for checking out this post!
Happy Reading 🖤

6 comments

  1. I have the same reasons for DNFing books, and I definitely understand what you mean. Sometimes I’ll pick them back up if I think I’ll enjoy it more now or think it deserves another chance, but then there’s some that I simply cannot finish.
    Wonderful post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree. Like I always used to tell my kids when they were yelling at the tv while playing video games. it looks like you aren’t having any fun if you are getting so upset! Why bother doing something that you aren’t enjoying? I really search out books I think I will like since there are so many good ones out there. So I rarely end up reading books that I don’t enjoy. I have only actually had to DNF a few of them.

    Though I usually feel if I made a commitment to an ARC request I should try to finish a book. And the few I would have thrown down as DNF and didn’t because they were ARC commitments ended up much better than I would have expected. Mostly they were slow and a bit boring in the first half but when it came down to it, the story ended up needing most of that background information that was given in that slow first half and the second half ended up making up for the first half.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s rare that I’ll DNF a book, although I have gotten better about it, and part of it is that I think I’m easy to please haha If the book is just OK, I’ll push through. Really the only thing that makes me DNF a book is when I literally just can’t get through it and my eyes start glazing over hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

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