TOPIC // What makes you DNF books? (Did Not Finish)

I’ve been curious about this. 

It’s very rarely that I actually DNF a book. Like, I’ve DNF-ed 2 books in the past that were in the middle of a series, but only recently DNF-ed 2 more – one being a standalone, the other a starter to a series. But I know some people really know to a T what they like and DNF way more often. Either way is totally fine!

I wonder, though, what makes you DNF, then?

I think I’ll just list off possible reasons, of course adding when it’s a reason for me, and see what y’all think. I think it’s really hard to get me to DNF a book, so let’s see how many I get, hah.

These are the books I didn’t finish:

Eclipse (Twilight #3) by Stephanie Meyer

Hunted (House of Night #5) by P.C. Cast

Passenger (Passenger #1) by Alexandra Bracken

The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff



  • How about just a slow, non-engrossing story? Maybe you don’t like fast-paced?

This definitely varies between individuals – everyone finds different paces and plots to be better than others. So this would probably be a reason for just about anyone. I’m on of them! I have trouble getting into sloooow-paced stories.

Out of the 4 I listed of my DNFs above, that’s part of the reason I stopped with Passenger and The Replacement. They were super slow and the intricacies of the stories didn’t rope me in.

  • Lacking connection with characters? Are they too boring?

boredThis actually isn’t a common one for me. I know lots of readers like to really connect with the characters and I totally get why. I love it when I just fall head-over-heels for one. But, unless they are just really boring, I don’t have too many issues with connection. I don’t exactly look for characters I can relate myself or my life to. If it happens, cool! But, really, I’m escaping reality, so I want to live different lives, y’know? But the boring thing has happened.

I’d say The Replacement kinda fits that for me – the main character.

  • Maybe the character is just too annoying?

That’s an option, too. I don’t like the whiners or the know-it-alls or the vain ones.

I found Bella from Twilight to finally get really on my nerves in Eclipse. Just me. I just wasn’t a fan of her.

  • Maybe a problem with the romance? Too quick? Too slow? Can’t feel the chemistry?

Even if, sometimes, I don’t feel the chemistry, I can stick with a book. Some relationships get better along the way, others don’t. This would never be a sole reason I DNF a book. It has to be a mixture of things. I’m not always a fan of insta-love, but haven’t had it bad enough to DNF. I’ve been into slow-burn a lot, lately. Or maybe it just wasn’t handled well even without any problems with pace or chemistry?

Passenger was one that included this reason. I did not feel the chemistry at allHunted, though, is one where I didn’t mind the pacing and I could feel some chemistry between characters, but I didn’t like that it almost turned into something like a love octagon! And I have nothing against characters that are just finding what they like, experimenting, what have you – but I didn’t like how the MC was handling it, I guess…

  • Too violent?

I’m all for action, blood, and violence. Now, I like it to still flow well with the story, have some purpose. I especially love the unexpected ones. But I know some people don’t really care for it. Granted, they probably are the ones that don’t read fantasy or supernatural stuff, hah. Lots of fighting in those, generally. Or maybe you just don’t want it written super explicitly.

  • Is there a trope that, if done poorly, turns you off?

Plenty of tropes to choose from! I, personally, notice tropes, but don’t actively dislike them. But if they are done poorly (my threshold for poorly is actually way more lenient that others’, I’ve noticed), it’s a turn off. And clichΓ©s are clichΓ©s because they are so popular, anyway. There’s so many I could list: enemies-to-lovers, love triangles, special snowflakes, lost prince/princess discovered, etc.

brave give up

  • Did you try a genre and just couldn’t do it?

I don’t have this problem too much. I don’t read much contemporary stuff, unless it’s m/m for some reason. And I don’t touch non-fiction except in school. But fiction-wise, I’m pretty open. It has to be so boring to me or something for me to drop it.

Those were just some of my ideas right now. There’s probably loads more – do you have more specific DNF reasons? Feel free to comment any that I haven’t mentioned! I want to see what I missed and if I can relate.

I may not have DNF-ed much in my life, but sometimes I can get ideas of ones I could end up dropping. *shrugs*

Thanks for reading. Ta-ta for now, worms!


32 thoughts on “TOPIC // What makes you DNF books? (Did Not Finish)”

    1. Yes, all very good, valid reasons! Especially the cheesy and eye-rolling ones; relatable! It’s so hard to get into books with confusing writing…
      You are most certainly not alone!


  1. I really don’t DNF either. Literally the only time I can recall DNFing was years ago when I had drifted away from my bookworm ways for a while during college. And during that time, I had started both Interview with the Vampire and Catch 22, both books that I had read and loved during high school, but they just didn’t feel the same when I tried to re-read them, and I kind of just accidentally DNFed them both lol. Like, I didn’t make an actual decision, I just put them down and then oops never bothered to pick them back up.

    But yeah, I haven’t DNFed any since then. But for me it’s not that I don’t know what I like. It’s that I feel like I accomplished more, I guess, if I finish the book, even if I didn’t like it, than if I stop partway through. I still feel like I gained something, and I do like to know how it turns out. You know, I feel like I’m constantly explaining why I don’t DNF, I ought to just make a post about it. You’ve inspired me! Haha. I do think all the reasons you listed make sense though. I can understand why other people DNF.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Totally understand. I haven’t necessarily fully gotten out of my bookworm shenanigans, but I’ve accidentally DNF-ed books due to reading slumps πŸ˜‰

      I’d love to see all your reasons in a post! I’m glad I could help! Feeling accomplished is always a good feeling πŸ˜‰


  2. I usually DNF a book when I find it too slow for my liking and/or I’m not connecting with the story our characters and I find myself not caring what happens next. If I don’t care what happens in the book, it feels like a waste of my reading time to read that book.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I also agree with you all about time being precious, and there’s so many more great books out there that we could be enjoying! That’s why I get so aggravated with myself sometimes when I persevere through a horrible book and have wasted all that valuable reading time. Maybe I should be more open to DNF’ing if the moment arises that it needs to be done! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great discussion post!

    I agree a lot with Anna. I prefer not to DNF books for a couple reasons. The main reason is because I feel like the book and author deserve a chance to redeem themselves later on in the book. Another reason is because I feel like I can’t accurately rate and review a book that I don’t know everything about. So like Anna, if a book has me to the point of wanting to throw it at wall and I feel like I’m not gonna make it through it, I will start skimming through the rest of the book to at least get an idea of what’s going on and the outcome.

    What really irks me and pushes me to the point of almost DNF’ing a book is BOREDOM. I need something interesting and exciting happening. It doesn’t have to be constant, but if the writing is dull and monotonous, it drives me insane. I can usually handle different types of characters with no problem, even the annoying ones. It’s always the writing and plot that can really bother me if it isn’t how I want it to be. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. *nods vigorously* yes, I like to give all books the chance they deserve. But everyone will ultimately like different books, so if I really am getting bored or annoyed, I have to let it go. But it really does take a lot for me to drop it! I try to skim ahead, too, to see if anything will be coming up that can draw my attention back πŸ™‚

      Monotony is enemy. Writing and plot can sometimes make even the most annoying characters shine!
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts! This is my first real discussion post and I love seeing what people have to say!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t DNF books, I just like to finish a story that I have started. If I’m not enjoying a book I will skim read it, as I want to finish it even if I’m not completely reading it. IF I DNF a book it’s because I’m hating the characters (especially the main one) and the story is boring me to death. Sooo if it’s not that case, I’ll finish a book. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Lots of persevering readers here today! Can’t say I’m as tough as that, but it’s still hard to really make me not enjoy a story at all x)
      But yeah, dragging stories and bad characters seem to be the main factors for those who DO DNF.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I rarely DNF but I have no problems DNFing a book because my thing is, there are way too many books in the world that I can be enjoying more. I DNF for a lot of the reasons you posted. It can be that the book is dragging too much, I don’t like the story, the characters, or the plot. Sometimes it can be that the book has a trigger that I can’t read about.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I try to avoid DNF’ing when I can. I have this hang up that I need to stick it out just in case. I feel guilty if I DNF. Which is ridiculous because I already have nearly 300 books on my TBR. But I have twice that I can remember. Once because I absolutely hated the characters, and another for a story line that just droned on for chapters about nothing of significance.


  8. I agree whole heartedly with Passenger. I wanted to love it, but I just couldn’t. I’m very similar to you though where it’s not hard for me to relate/connect to characters. I always find something that draws me to them. But I rarely find myself trapped with a DNF.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah, I tried, too… I even skipped to the end to see if I would be tempted by what happens, but meh. I just had to quit.

      Yes, I’ve seen some that easily DNF books, but I try and rarely, I just want to give up to move onto something better.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally get you. That’s why the 4 I’ve DNF-ed are rare occurrences. I don’t like DNF-ing and sometimes I do the same, where I skim ahead to see if anything piques my interest. But it doesn’t always work out.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I know this isn’t quite a DNF moment, but am I the only person who gets really into a book, then stops reading for one day, and then doesn’t pick the book up or even read at all for months, no matter how hard I push myself? I’m probably a minority here, but I was just interested.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No, no! I do that, too! It’s not even that I don’t like the book – I could be loving it! But sometimes I just somehow put it down and don’t pick it up again in for EVER. So it’s not really a DNF, but pretty close and a bizarre occurrence (O_O)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do it with most books, that’s why I try and read them quickly, and then my friends moan at me, but it’s just so I don’t risk putting it down. I’m hoping blogging and reviewing books is going to help that though!

        Liked by 2 people

          1. I’m giving it a go to try and socialise more, sounds weird but I’m hoping it works. And to try and get back into reading, haven’t read a lot in the past month or two.

            Liked by 1 person

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