The Different Types of DNF Books

The different types of DNF books

Hi guys! before we start and in case someone doesn’t know, DNF =Did Not Finish. Now that it’s clear, here we go!

A long time ago I wrote the only post on my blog that it’s about DNF’ing books. I talked about the only 3 books I had ever DNF’ed at that point (here’s the post). This may seem strange to some people because I had only DNF’ed 3 books in all my life, but the fact is that until 6 months ago or a year maybe? I finished every single book I started. If I didn’t finish it, it was because I was truly hating it or I was so bored that I fell asleep.

Nonetheless, that has change and now I won’t keep reading a book that I’m hating, that I’m bored reading or that I’m not really enjoying. This doesn’t mean that all the books that I stop reading  are the same type of DNF books.  I feel like there are levels that go from I’m just not in the mood for this book to I won’t ever pick up this book again and no one can change my mind. Here are the types of DNF books I encounter often: 

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1. The “I’m just not in the mood” type of DNF book

These books are the ones you read the first 5, 10 or 15 pages and you know that it would be unfair to keep reading the book because you are not in the mood for it and no matter how good the book is, you would simply not enjoy it. It’s particulary common to find this type of DNF books in the shelves of the mood readers around the world. These are the books that you know you’re gonna pick up later when you are in the mood. So it’s kind of a temporary DNF.

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2. The “I gave it a real chance & didn’t convince me” type of DNF book

These are the books that from the very beginning you have reservations about, there’s something about them that doesn’t convince you; maybe the writing style, the characters, the world building… a lot of times you’re not even sure what it is, you just know that you have to convince yourself to pick up the book or maybe it takes you hours to read a few pages, until finally you accept that it’s not the book for you and stop reading it all together.

With this type of books, you may be persuaded to pick them up again. Maybe if you weren’t that bored with them or if it was just one small element that didn’t convince you or if someone says that the book gets a lot better.

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3. The “I was enjoying it but it lost me at one point” type of DNF book

These are the books that you were loving, you thought you were gonna give them 5 stars, there were exactly what you wanted, what you were expecting… until suddenly, everything begins to go down hill and the very promising start goes to waste because the book doesn’t deliver what it promised in those amazing first pages. These books may be great for the first 30%, 40% or maybe 50% of the book and then they fall apart and let you brokenhearted. These are some of the most disappointing books for a bookworm, they play with our emotions making us believe we have a new favorite book and then they crash and burn.

Again, with this type of books you may be persuaded to pick them up again, if someone says that it picks back up after a little bit or if someone says the ending is great or if it’s a series and someone says the next book is amazing.

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4.The “I’m not picking it up ever again & no one can change my mind” type of DNF book

These are the books that you know for sure you are not gonna finish. Maybe because you didn’t like the writing style, maybe you found them boring, maybe you hated one of the characters, maybe there were so many plotholes that you couldn’t stand it, maybe there was ableist/racist/homophobic/discriminatory content in the book that hurt you or made you angry …there’s so many different reason why you would stop reading a book and know with absolute certanty that you won’t pick it up again and no one is gonna convince you otherwise and these are the definitive DNF books.

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Ok, so those are the types of DNF books I encounter often. Now tell me about your experience with DNF’ing books in the comments! Do you DNF books often? What books have you DNFed recently? What type of DNF books do you encounter more often?  What other type of DNF book have you encounter? 
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12 thoughts on “The Different Types of DNF Books

  1. I’m the 4th type, other’s I can push myself to read them to the end but when there is something triggering or disturbing, I’m like, nope, never again. I have had only 2 or 3 in my life, usually I read synopsis and maybe some reviews, so mostly what i read I know there is a good chance I will like it. But some synopsis can be very deceiving…

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    1. I used to be like that, but now I have learn that for me, personally, it’s better to stop reading some books and maybe give them a chance later on. I DNF books a lot more often because of that. I do try to read the synopsis and reviews before reading the book but as you said, that doesn’t always work. Picking a new book is always an adventure, you are never sure what are you gonna get…

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      1. yep, I think that as I keep reading more books and my TBR pile keeps getting bigger, I might become less benevolent with titles and will DNF more, I guess time will tell 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so bad for number 1! My shelves are full of books I’ve thought would be great, then have read the first few pages of and decided I wasn’t in the mood. They then end up accidentally abandoned and never picked up again! One day though I’m sure I’ll get around to trying them again!

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  3. I almost never DNF books and when I do it’s almost always the first or last kind of DNF. I should get better at DNF’ing books I’m not enjoying, cause it’s such a waste of time to finish something just for the sake of finishing. But no matter how awful a book is, there’s always that glimmer of hope that it’ll get better and that always keeps me reading.

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  4. This all is me haha I never used to DNF a book but…priorities. I don’t want to waste time reading something I won’t enjoy. I’ve also become okay with leaving books unread for a while and then picking them up later because, as you said, I may not enjoy it right now but in a different mood I would!

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    1. Learning to leave books unread for a while and then picking them up later was one of the hardest things to learn for me. I used to feel that if i had started a book I needed to finish it even if I wasn’t in the mood. It was only after I started to not enjoy books I knew I would have like if I was on the mood for them, that I decided to just stop reading them.


  5. I DNF a lot of books these days. (I’d say an average of one a week.) Most of my books fit one of two of your types. #2: the books that I have reservations on and the first few pages does nothing to convince me otherwise. These are usually the books that I was interested in when I first saw them, but I waited so long to read them that my reading tastes drastically changed. (Those are the ones that hurt a little, because I could see past me liking them.) Or #4: the books that just set me off in such a way that I can’t touch them EVER again. (Usually those books can be most aptly summed up as racist, misogynistic, homophobic unpleasantness. Or romanticized rape. I’m depressed by the amount of books I’ve come across where one love interest rapes the other.)

    I also have another type of DNF – ones that just bore me. I wouldn’t put them in #4, personally, because I could be convinced to continue reading if I heard from some trustworthy sources that I should keep reading it. (For me, this would fall near your #3.) Anyway, I love this post! DNFs are a subject that’s near and dear to my heart.


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