DNFing, dropping, not finishing. We’ve all done it: put down a book without finishing it. Although I try not to DNF very often, I live by a motto a dear friend of mine told me: “Life is too short for bad books. Drop that sucker.” and so I do. In this post, I’m gonna talk about a few books I DNF’d, why I did, and my personal rules for 🎶🎶 letting gooooo.
Rules of Engagement
By no means are these hard-and-fast rules. I break them all the time. These are my personal reasons for DNFing a book.
a. 100 pages:
I usually give a book until around the 100-pages mark to draw me in. If I’m having trouble connecting with the story or the characters by that point, I probably never will. And so the drop begins.
b. Subject matter:
Some books come with trigger/content warnings, and some that don’t need to have one. I’ve read a few books where the plot line was distressing or made me upset. And so the drop begins.
c. Grammar police:
This mistake is more common in ARCs/self published works than those that have made it to the Barnes & Noble shelf. I do try to overlook things and fill in the correct word/tense when reading a mistake, but when it becomes so excessive that it’s taking me from the storyline…
d. Pacing Issues
Some books are too fast to keep up with. Some are too slow to be interesting. Some books have you 98 pages into the story without so much as having met an opponent/adversary….after 98 pages, the “problem” should be evident or at least hinted at by this point. Why are we still still meeting characters? Why are we still world building? Bye.
A couple examples:
1.Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian. I absolutely loved the cover for this book and the synopsis sounded good too. However, after starting I saw that the subject matter was a bit too dark for my tastes and it made me sad to read it too. So dropped it I did.
2.The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokahi. Again a book that presented with such promise. I gave this book 100 pages and I was not enjoying myself. This one I felt was missing something: a prologue/prequel chapter. I felt like I was dropped into the middle of the story (which is fine) but there was some sort of secret conversation/meeting that everyone knew about except the reader and we were just forced to be headless….?
Of course there are exceptions to every rule and there are rules that I employ that aren’t outlined here.
So what about you? Do you DNF books? What causes you do so?