Today I wanted to write another discussion style post to talk about DNF-inf books. For those of you who don’t know ‘DNF’ stands for ‘Did Not Finish’, so if someones says they DNF-ed a book it means that they didn’t finish it for one reason or another. I know this is a subject that some people have mixed opinions on, so I wanted to share mine and start a conversation because I love hearing other people’s points of view on these sort of things. Feel free to leave a comment telling me your opinion on DNF-ing books and any books that you have DNF-ed, so that we can have a discussion. I would love to know your thoughts, but for now let’s get into my thoughts on the subject:
I know that some people don’t like to do it because they feel guilty about not finishing a book they have spent money on and feel as if they have wasted the time they’ve already spent on it by not finishing it. I also know some people don’t think you should DNF books because you might like it if you keep on reading or it might get better. I, personally, don’t think there is anything wrong with DNF-ing books. I completely understand people who don’t want to DNF books because they feel guilty about it and I am guilty of this, but I don’t agree with continuing to read a book you are not liking or getting on with ‘just in case’ it gets better. Let me expand…
I personally think that if you have read maybe 100 pages of a book and aren’t enjoying it for whatever reason, then it is perfectly fine to stop reading. Most people have a pretty good understanding of what they do and don’t like in books, so if they have started a book and aren’t getting on with it (whether that be because of the writing style, genre, characters or topic) then why carry on? If you’ve only read one chapter, then perhaps you should give it a bit more of a chance before you ditch it, but if you have read enough to get a feel for the story and don’t like it then why waste your time reading something you don’t think you’ll like? Maybe if you read on you would have liked it, but you can always come back to it at another time if you feel like you should give it another go. Everyone has their own opinions and likes and dislikes when it comes to books and most book lovers I have talked to have a good idea of whether they are going to like a book or not by the synopsis, so 100+ pages in is plenty of information to make a judgement on.
I think I can speak for most readers when I say that we have all been in the position where we feel guilty about DNF-ing or not liking a book because of the time commitment we made to it or the amount of money we spent on it. Books are expensive and they do take a good chunk of time to read no matter how fast or slow a reader you are. I am generally quite good at picking out books that I will like and have had very few instances where I haven’t liked a book that I have bought. I am also fairly secure financially and still live at home, so I don’t have to worry about money all that much. I do appreciate though that it is a big issue for some people, so my advice for those of you that aren’t as secure financially would be to try e-books (if you already have a device to read them on) because they are cheaper or make use of you local/school library. You could also try looking for books in charity or second hand book shops because they are much cheaper there or see if a family member or friend has the book that you can borrow. When I was younger and wasn’t earning any money, I made use of the library at my school and read books off of my mums bookshelves and, as a child, I would go to the local library every week and leave with a stack of books before returning and swapping them out the next week.
The time commitment issue is a bit harder to solve though. I have 100% been in this position. I read ‘the Ashes trilogy’ by Ilsa J.Bick last year and I knew I didn’t like it by the end of the first book/beginning of the second book, but I kept reading and forced myself to push through it because I had already bought the books and spent about 10 hours reading, so it would be a ‘waste’ if I just abandoned it. In the end I did DNF them, but only at the very end of the last book (I literally had 50-ish pages left) because I couldn’t make myself read those last pages when I didn’t care what happened. I realise now that those 10 hours I had spent previously on reading wouldn’t have been wasted if I had DNF-ed the books when I wanted to and let me tell you why:
They weren’t a waste because I had learnt something from them. I had learnt that I don’t get on with slow paced books and I don’t get on with books about zombies in them. That was valuable information to know and if I had simply put them down when I realised that and given them to someone else to read and love then it wouldn’t have been a waste of time, but since I didn’t do that and I chose to read on, everything after that did become a waste of time. I was no longer learning anything from them and was simply forcing myself to read something I didn’t like because I felt I had to, which was in fact a waste of my time.
To sumarise everything I just said, what I am trying to say is that ‘if you don’t like a book, stop reading it and move onto something that you are enjoying.’ It wasn’t a waste of your time because you have learnt more about your likes and dislikes as a reader. If buying books is an issue for you then look into other methods of attaining books, so that you don’t have to feel guilty about ‘wasting money’ and always remember that you are not obliged to like/dislike/read or not read anything. We read for fun and if it stops becoming fun, then you are doing it wrong. You should never have to feel guilty or ashamed about what you read or don’t read or how much you read. Not everything is about your goodreads goal.
Those are all of my thoughts about the topic of DNF-ing books. I hope you enjoyed reading my little ramble! Feel free to leave a comment below telling me your opinions and how you feel about DNF-ing books. Have you ever done it? I’d love to have a conversation with you!
Goodbye for now!
Over and Out