Discussion: DNFing A Book And What To Do Afterwards

This was accidentally posted early, sorry.

This is something that's been on my mind lately, so I wanted to discuss this with everyone to get other people's opinions.

I really used to hate DNFing books. I used to believe that if I wasted my money on it, I had to finish it. If I accepted it from a publisher, I had to finish it. If I invested any time in it at all past the first chapter, I had to finish it. But I realized that DNFing books is simply part of being a book blogger because you can't force yourself through something that is making you struggle so immensely.

This epiphany came after I was sick for 9 days. I was unable to read at all during those 9 days, so I was really excited to pick up a book again. The first book I decided to pick up because it was next in line? NAMELESS by Lili St. Crow. This book was marketed as a Snow White re-telling. I was really excited for it, but I quickly began to dislike what I was reading and I chose to DNF on page 102 after reading an excerpt that had me shaking my head and going, "enough is enough." So that's just what I did.

But then I was struck with a huge question...

What do you do after you DNF a book?

Do you just forget about it, mark it as DNF on Goodreads and move on? Do you review it negatively as if you didn't DNF it? Do you explain why you DNF it? I've seen different bloggers do all of these things. This is really a case where to each is their own. So, I decided to share my thoughts about why I chose to DNF NAMELESS. 

The entire purpose of my blog was to use this a memory-book almost of my thoughts on books. I created this blog because I would find that I was having trouble remembering prequels when their sequels came out a year later. I have no problem sharing my negative views in a positive manner and I want my thoughts to be recorded, so in a review-style format I recorded why I chose to DNF and included the excerpt that ended it all. You can find that here.

Will I post it on Goodreads for others to see? Yes, they're my thoughts. But to avoid any drama I openly acknowledged that my thoughts are based off of the third of the book that I read and I openly admitted the page number of where I left off. If any huge twists change any of what I wrote later on in the book, I'm unaware of it because I did not read that far. And honestly, I feel good doing this, knowing my thoughts are still getting out there in a detailed manner because I want them out there, but I'm unsure if I'm doing it in a proper way.

What do you do with your DNF books? What do you think of my new solution? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!


  1. I mark them on the Goodreads shelve I made: gave-up. I don't give them any stars. My one star is for a book I still managed to finish. I always write down a little text, explaining where I DNF it and why. If I don't like a book, I will tell that :) I am now so much easier with DNF than a year ago, because now I realize: why waste my time on reading a book I don't like, when I read because I like it? There are so many great books out there :)

    I like your new solution!


  2. I've never not finished a book, so I can't tell you what I do, but I can tell you what I would do if that ever happens. I'd probably do the same as you: write what page I stopped at and explain why I stopped. I don't think there's anything wrong with DNF reviews, they're just as valid as reviews for books you finished. As long as they're not simply "This book is a pile of crap so I couldn't finish."

  3. I've only done two or three "real" DNF reviews, and I've only DNFed 6 since I've become a book blogger. If I DNF before the 50% point, I mark it as such on Goodreads and write maybe a paragraph explaining why I couldn't finish it. Usually I try to stick things out until I'm halfway in, and if it's still bad I mark the book DNF on Goodreads, then write a fairly short (3-4 paragraph) explanation as to why I couldn't finish, then post it on Goodreads and my blog.

  4. On Goodreads I have a DNF shelf where they go. I don't give them a star rating but I do make notes about why I couldn't finish it.

  5. This is great subject Lili! On my side of the DNF, I'll mark it on my DNF shelf and then do a short post, sort of like a mini review about why I didn't like it and why I DNFed and if I'll ever finish it. Etc.... I don't do to much with them.

  6. When I DNF a book, I mark it as DNF on Goodreads and write a paragraph explaining why I was unable to finish it. Up until today, I never reviewed them on my blog, because usually I don't have much to say about books I don't finish. It's hard to me to pull together more than a paragraph and if that's all I'm going to say then I feel like there's not much point in writing a review.

    But just recently, I did not finish a book and I actually had a fair amount to say about it so I decided to post the DNF review on my blog.

    I guess I don't mind what people do. But in my opinion, if you don't have enough to actually say for a review then there's not much point posting one. But if you do have enough to say that will help people decide whether or not they want to read a book, then that's great!!

  7. I DNF a lot -- I have such a huge reading pile that I just can't slog through a book that isn't for me.

    I LOVE reading other people's DNF posts -- it's very interesting to see what makes someone decide that they aren't really liking a book. I don't write DNF posts myself, mostly just because of lack of time. My only exception is for books I've request through NetGalley etc -- then I write a short explanation as to why I'm not reviewing the book.

    Jen @ YA Romantics

  8. Thank you for talking about this. As a reviewer I've been wondering what to do myself. I have the added burden in my reviews of also being an author, so I'm extra careful because I know how hard it is to write a good book.

    As both an author and a reader, I REALLY appreciate it when the reader explains why she did not finish the book. I like the idea of not rating with stars but marking it as DNF and a short paragraph as to where and why.

    As a reader, that paragraph may make the difference between if I give the book a shot anyway. Sometimes a reader DNFs because it pushes a hot button that isn't one I have. Other times it's the level of writing or style that drives her crazy.

    As an author, when enough readers provide similar feedback you know you have a problem that needs to be addressed. I know I surely don't want books out there that people are buying and then unable to finish.