Bookish Blatherings #25: What Makes You DNF a Book?

Posted August 4th, 2015 in Bookish Blatherings, My Features / 43 comments

Bookish Blatherings banner 2

Welcome to Bookish Blatherings, a Bad Bird Reads feature where I ramble about bookish or bloggerish things and hopefully you will join in on the discussion.

I feel like it takes a lot for me to DNF a book. I always try to stick with a read. I would say at the 40-50% mark, if it’s not meeting my standards, I will put it down for good. The least I ever made it in a book before I DNFed it was 15%. To stop that early it has to be an extreme case. Maybe it’s stupid on my part to give books that much time to get better, but I think I am an optimist when it comes to books I read.

gif boring 2 opt

But what I really wanted to talk about was what makes me DNF a book. I feel like there isn’t any specific story characteristics that make me stop reading a book for good. I can handle and put up with most things, even when I hate them. So what warrants a DNF for me is being just plain BORING! I can do slow pacing or slow parts of a book. But if a book never gets exciting or interesting, what’s the fucking point? Books are suppose to be entertaining. Period. If you can’t keep my attention, I’m moving on. Even the things I hate, like killing off a love interest, I can handle because at least it’s interesting. But there is nothing worse than a boring book.

How far into a book does it take for you to give up on it, and what does it take for you to DNF a book?


Modified banner photo credit: Wurzeltod via photopin cc

Bookish Blatherings, My Features

, , ,

43 Responses to “Bookish Blatherings #25: What Makes You DNF a Book?”

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Yeah, there has been a few times were I just knew pretty soon I wasn’t going to finish a book.

  1. kindlemom1

    I usually do the same unless, like you said, it is an extreme situation from the very start and I just can’t read it.
    I do try really hard not to DNF books but it does happen.

  2. Angel

    It depends. Sometimes I DNF as early as 15% or as late as 75%. Most of the time, the reason why I DNF a book is because the characters annoy me.

  3. Red Iza

    Boring, like you, or too many characters with side stories – like it happened to me recently. I went as far as page 300, but I quit. Recently, I’m also getting tired of clichés : I finished two of them last month, but it was because they were short. I don’t want to have the feeling I’m reading the same book all over again !

  4. Ashley

    Oh god, these days I’ve been DNFing left and right. I’m going through a weird ass funk. I feel like I’ve become so critical that I DNF anything that doesn’t impress me… and these days it’s so hard to impress me. I’m DNFing books that are objectively perfectly fine (or even good/great) but they just feel so “been there, done that” to me that I’m not impressed and I stop reading.

    A few weeks ago I stopped reading a book at 80%. I read it and liked it just fine (like, not love) but at 80% I was just like, “I’m not feeling this anymore.” There wasn’t a single thing that happened to make me think THIS BOOK IS BAD or whatever. I just got bored. I no longer felt like I cared about the story. And since there wasn’t anything objectively in the book that caused that, I think it was just me and my weird ass funk.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      That is weird but I get it. I think the busier you get, the more you want to just read the amazing books. No time to waste like the days of young.

  5. Lekeisha

    It really depends on the story, and how I take to it. I have DNF’d books at less than 15% before because I couldn’t find it in me to start back up again. And that usually takes about 3-4 weeks. I have one now that I started about a month or so ago, and I’ve only gotten to around 5% and I just can’t seem to start back reading for some reason. Heck, I don’t even know what it’s about because I haven’t gotten far. It just started out too boring. The reason I haven’t given up is because I hope to get into it one day and if it still doesn’t give up the goods, I’ll DNF it.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Yeah, I have had a few books were I just can’t pick them up again.

  6. Bob @ Beauty in Ruins

    Boredom certainly does it every time. I DNF’d a Dean Koontz read yesterday when I looked back and realized the sum total of plot development in the last 150 pages was that a few characters had made it down the stairs.

    Life’s too short and my shelves too full to waste time on books I’m not enjoying.

  7. sherry fundin

    I don’t think I have ever quit at less than 50%. I am sure I can count on one hand how many books I did not finish. If I am still bored at that point, no action and no interest in the characters, I MAY put it down. Sometimes I finish anyway, but since blogging and ebooks, I have too many to read and no time to waste. 🙂

  8. Carrie

    Excellent topic! I’m with you, it takes me a lot to DNF a book. I could count on one hand how many books I’ve DNF’d… except I can’t remember them… hence the DNF in the first place. Just not memorable and not enough interest to keep me motivated to continue reading. It is very rare though.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I think I remember most of my DNFs because It was so traumatic for me to not finish a book. lol.

  9. chucklesthescot

    For me, as soon as I know the book isn’t for me, or as soon as I get bored or lose interest, I quit. That can be at ANY point in the book. I read to be entertained and if the book isn’t providing that for whatever reason, I refuse to waste more time on it!

    My reasons for DNF include slow moving plot, whiny or bullying MCs, stupid love triangles that dominate the plot, instaluv, the MC being bullied by mean kids at school, blatant copying of bestselling books, cliche plots etc.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I love how well you know yourself. You’re like, this shit is not working for me, bye bye!

  10. David Waid

    I am like you in that it takes a lot for me to not finish a book. I have read all the way to the end of more than one bad book, utterly certain it was going to turn around with a surprising flourish at the end. Argh! However, my ritual for bad books, which makes me feel somewhat better regardless of how far I make it, is to hurl them across the room when I hit the DNF point. The lame-pigeon fluttering of its pages as the book arcs toward the far wall acts as a soothing balm.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Hurling DNF books across room. Never thought of that! Gotta try it next time.

  11. Manisha

    I really like this post!
    I usually hate leaving a book unfinished. It makes me so guilty but I cannot say I’ve never done it. I personally hate books that have similar repeating scenes with bad dialogues. It makes it impossible for me to step over the first twenty pages. Bland books or writinf fall into the category too.

  12. Jaclyn Canada

    I’ve always admired how you stick with books as long as you do without DNF’ing. I’m pretty bad about stopping very early if I’m not hooked in the beginning few chapters then I don’t want to continue. I would say I generally DNF about 15% but have made it to 60% before and still DNF’d. It’s not just being boring, but also if I don’t have a clue what’s going on then I’m done.

  13. Tika

    I’m with you, I really don’t have a particular thing that makes me DNF a book. It used to be insta-love, but I recently read a book where it happened quickly, but it was done so well that I ended up not minding it. I will say that now I don’t have much patience as I used to, so I typically will DNF a book around 40-50% if I can’t push through it. I used to be one of those readers that couldn’t put a book down, but eff that! If it’s boring, the writing is shitty, or if the story just isn’t for me, I will sit it down, even at 10% which has been done lol.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I feel like I need to put books down sooner when they are not fitting.

  14. Christy

    It’s different reasons for me. Some depend on my mood and what I reading. Usually, though, it’s because something about it irritates the hell out of me. The last book I DNF’d was Amber to Ashes … oh, lordy … the characters, terrible cliches, major eye-rolling induced scenes … I couldn’t take it. I stopped about 20-30% in. So it varies.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      LOL, bad characters would be like my second reason. I need to connect with characters.

  15. Melissa (My words and pages)

    I think I’m one of the few that pushes on in a book that I should DNF. I just have this feeling I’m going to miss something that’s going to happen soon…. I think I’ve only DNF-ed two books that I can think of. One was because of the enormous amount of info dumping that bored me and the other was just not doing anything for me.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      Oh yes, info-dumping is the worst! I always think something is going to save the book but I often end up just wasting my time.

  16. Blessie (Mischievous Reads)

    I try to avoid DNFing a book early into the story, like 10-15% because usually, nothing really happens at the beginning, but if it gets to the 30-50% mark and everything is just so blah, I gotta say bye to it. I don’t have any specifics as well, but sometimes, it’s because something about the book irritates (not in the good way) me, like the characters or the story plot or the writing, those kinds of books usually end up in the DNF pile.

  17. Karen Blue

    Boring is my number one DNF reason as well. I have also DNF’d because I hated the characters and/or the plot was not plausible. I try to stick it out to the 50% mark, because some books I wanted to DNF have ended up getting really good around there.

  18. Caitlin

    My dad (who taught me to enjoy reading) has a rule: if you get 100 pages in and the book hasn’t grabbed you yet, give up. I have a really hard time doing that, though. What generally happens is if I get to the 100 page mark and am not feeling it, I keep reading, but then start another book so I can keep my reading momentum going. If I keep reading the first book and finish it, then yay for me! If not, it just sits around until it’s been so long since I’ve picked it up that I don’t remember what it was about. At that point, it just doesn’t get finished.

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I kind of like that process. You know if the book is meant to be if you ever pick it up again, kinda.

Leave a Reply