5 Signs You Should DNF Your Current Read

This is a dilemma that every reader will and probably has experienced one time or another.  It’s stressful because no one picks up a book expecting they’re not going to like it. We always want to enjoy the books we read but sometimes that just doesn’t happen.

What’s DNF?

DNF stands for Did Not Finish. These are books that you start reading but don’t finish or give up on and don’t plan to come back to. You can DNF a book at any place in the book. Generally, I don’t DNF a book if it’s too early on or if I’m too far into it. It usually happens at the 100-200 page mark or 20-30% mark.

Why is it a dilemma?

It will be especially hard if you’re similar to me and like to finish what you started. If you’re reading a physical book, chances are that you bought it with your own money so you don’t want to waste it by giving up. The book might also be one that you highly anticipated or others speak highly of and you want to like it too. I find that it’s easier for me to DNF books I’ve borrowed from the library because well, it’s not mine. But I still want to give each book my best shot before doing so.

How do I know if I should DNF it?

Not liking a book doesn’t mean you should stop reading it right away. Some books get better as they go on and you just need to give it a chance. However there are several indicators of when you probably should just stop reading the book.

Here are some signs you should read something else:

  1. You dread going back to it

Reading is supposed to be relaxing and exciting. If you’re dreading going back to the book, then you’re likely not enjoying it. Why not use your time to read something you enjoy instead?

  1. You don’t feel connected to the characters

Maybe you feel distanced from the main character, they’re unrelatable, or even annoy you a lot in a bad way. Sometimes no matter how good the dialogue and relationship between the characters are, you just don’t feel connected to them.

  1. You want to search up spoilers

I’m sure there’s a bunch of you that will want to search up spoilers for books you like, but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the times where you get to the point of not wanting to read the whole middle part of the book and go through the story but you still want to know how it ends. 

  1. You’re starting to skim and passively read

When I’m reading a book that I’m fully immersed into, I wouldn’t want to rush the reading process because I don’t want the book to end! But sometimes you may find yourself reading faster and faster until you’re basically just skimming.

  1. You’re constantly checking how close you are to the end of the book

Sometimes this isn’t a bad sign, but I usually find myself doing this when I’m rushing to finish a book. How long until the end of this chapter? How much percent have I read so far?

Some of these things just happen naturally even if you’re enjoying it! Identifying with one or more of these things doesn’t mean you should stop reading your book. But sometimes it might mean that. 

I hope this is helpful and relatable. It never makes me happy to DNF a book but sometimes it really is necessary. Let me know in the comments below if you’ve ever struggled with this dilemma!

Published by Andrea's Book Corner

Lover of books, book reviewer, book blogger & YA fantasy author in progress! WIP: Project Arenegedden

30 thoughts on “5 Signs You Should DNF Your Current Read

  1. I am terrible at not doing this. There are only two books that I can think of that I DNF my entire life. I can almost always finish any book that I start. I do not hate any book. There are just a couple that I could not get through.


  2. I reluctantly finished a best seller a few days ago and I’m still mad about it! I kept holding out that the MC would gain dimension but it never happened. I thought ‘all those sales and readers can’t be wrong’, but for me, they were! Nice entry, thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This happens to me too. Whenever I don’t enjoy a book that everyone enjoys it makes me feel like it’s my fault so I usually give it a little bit more of a chance haha!


  3. I quite literally never DNF (unless the book genuinely terrifies the daylights out of me or triggers me in a really unhealthy way). I just can’t handle leaving something unfinished haha! Even with series – I can dislike the first book and still read the next 4 just to see what happens and if it gets better. I’m terrible about just putting a book down and leaving it. Buuut I can see the appeal, for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow you’re awesome! I’ve gotten into slumps before because I forced myself to read something I didn’t like but I think your mindset is so good! It almost feels uncomfortable to not finish a book or series.


  4. I feel like I do this way too often, but maybe I’m just really picky with the books I like. I don’t know, sometimes if a book doesn’t catch my attention or make me interested in the first 50-100 pages I give up. But as you said, that’s mostly with the books from the library. Great post!


  5. A lot of these things I definitely related to. Especially not connecting to the characters. Usually that’s my big sign I need to put the book down. It’s also so funny with the timing of me finding this post, because I am currently struggling with whether to muscle through this one book or not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh what a coincidence! It’s definitely hard to connect or be engaged with a story when you’re having difficulty connecting to the characters. Let me know what you decide to do with your current read!


  6. I am so bad at not doing this! I kind of feel guilty for not finishing them if that makes sense! I only DNF a couple of books and usually try to get back to them again later, but sometimes it’s not your book! Thank you for sharing x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The guilt factor is so real! For me, when I put down a book in hopes of returning to it, I end up drowning in my tbr and never get to it! It’s something I really should improve on 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  7. Thanks for posting! there are many books that I have had to DNF simply because they were boring. Why should we waste our time on a book that we don’t enjoy? Life is short. There are many books. read books that are interesting to you.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I abandoned “A Song of Ice and Fire” because I just couldn’t get myself to like the characters. Not that they were bad, but I just somehow couldn’t care less about them. The TV show, too.

    Same with “The Princess Diaries” after the third book. In the fourth, the main character/narrator became so damn boring…!!

    Both the times, I just stopped reading and went to the internet to see how the series ended. Even then, I didn’t feel like wanting to know how it all came to that end.

    I do not regret these decisions.

    But I do regret having bought a book by my fellow countryman, because even if the cover and the plot were splendid, the execution was just too much for me to tolerate! Bad grammar, unrelatable main characters were the major problems I had.

    I do regret buying it at an airport. I may just end up donating it to the library, but it won’t fetch mu money back.

    Liked by 1 person

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