Let’s Talk Bookish: DNF’ing Books

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme that was originally created and hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books starting in August 2019, and was then cohosted with Dani @ Literary Lion from May 2020 to March 2022. Book Nook Bits has hosted since April 2022.

October 7th: DNF’ing Books
(Mint @ Mint Loves Books)

Prompts: DNF is an acronym that stands for did not finish. What makes you DNF a book? How often do you DNF books? What’s the silliest or pettiest reason why you DNF’d a book? Do you review books that you DNF?

I never used to DNF books – not deliberately, anyway. I more tended to have the intention of finishing, but would put it to one side ‘for the time being’, and pretty much forget about it. However, seeing as I have so, so many books to read now, when I am really not getting on with a book, I will DNF.

I feel like my bar is getting higher, too. There’s definitely some stuff in the past that if I were to read now I’d DNF based on content, even if I’ve read and liked the author previously. But usually if I DNF a book it’s either atrocious formatting – unfortunately bad formatting is very common when dealing arcs, but if it’s readable I’d push through – or bad writing, either because there’s errors everywhere or it’s just poorly written. If I feel bored, or frustrated, too early on, I’ll DNF.

I don’t DNF books very often, as it really does take a lot for me to truly give up on a book. And since I started noting DNF books on Goodreads just under a year ago, I have DNF’d four. One because I really couldn’t get into the grimdark fantasy setting of it, one because within pages I was fed up with the bad writing, one was an audiobook where the voices were all different volumes and the writing was a little off, and the last one more recently because the information contained was kind of boring, and formatting errors made the book too much of a struggle.

Silliest or pettiest was probably when an already bad book got worse by having the MC so obviously, clearly flirting with the love interest, then being like “Oh no I wasn’t flirting, was I? No. Was I?” It really annoyed me, and there were other issues on top of that, but the MC herself I just really disliked.

As for reviews, it depends really. If it’s a NetGalley book, I will give some feedback, possibly only on NetGalley. If I’ve got a fair way into the book, then I’m more likely to review it. I don’t mind posting negative reviews, but it also depends on the reason I’ve DNF’d it – is it worth reviewing if I, say, only got a few pages in? Probably not. Is it worth a review if I stopped because something about the book was objectively not good? Then yeah, probably.

What about you – do you DNF books? And what’s the silliest or pettiest reason you’ve DNF’d?


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