Why It’s Okay to DNF Books

If we’re not all familiar with the term, here’s a fact for you: DNF means “did not finish”. The abbreviation has become a verb in the bookish community: “I didn’t like this book, so I DNF’d it.”

People tend to turn their noses up at people who DNF books, especially if they proceed to review it/give it a rating on Goodreads, or any platform really. It’s a tough call, but I believe it’s completely okay.

woman wearing brown shirt carrying black leather bag on front of library books

Photo by Abby Chung on Pexels.com

There is literally an immeasurable amount of published books in the world, and thousands more are published every year. It’s become my philosophy that if I’m reading a book and I’m not enjoying it, I shouldn’t have to suffer my way through it. I’ve got dozens of other books on my TBR (to be read) shelf that are calling my name. If this one book that I’m reading is making me miserable, or taking me forever to get through, there’s no shame in putting it down and picking up something more interesting.

Because here’s the thing: it’s your life. You can do whatever you want. You can read whatever you want. Screw what the snobs tell you; if you don’t like that book, you don’t have to read it. Simple as that.

Now when it comes to reviewing the book on Goodreads, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with leaving a short explanation as to why you weren’t into it and why you DNF’d it, because those feelings are completely valid. However, I have found that for books that I DNF before the halfway point, I will leave off a star rating as a respect to the author since I didn’t complete the book. If you read more than half the book though, I think that can be up to you if you’d like to give it a rating or not.

You are the reader, and if you’re not happy with a book, pick something else! You should not have to put yourself into a slump to make other people happy. Make you happy.

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2 thoughts on “Why It’s Okay to DNF Books

  1. I used to be the type of reader who thought if I started a book I had to force myself to finish it, even if I didn’t like it. As I got older, I realized that this was just making my reading experience more negative than positive and it was causing me to read less books. I completely agree with your thoughts in this post. Though I tend not to review books I DNF’d. If I read half of it and skip to the ending, then I’ll review it, but if I stop fifty pages in or less, then I don’t think I’ve gotten enough of a grasp of the book to review it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Definitely agree with that, and I definitely don’t write full-on reviews for books I’ve DNF’d. I sometimes just post a paragraph’s worth of explanation: basically why I decided to DNF it. But I definitely don’t give it a rating if that’s the case!

      Liked by 1 person

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