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Books for Thought is where I post a discussion topic related to books, reading, writing, or something pertaining to one of the three. I hope you’ll join in, and discuss today’s topic of


You see a book. You like the sound of the book, or you’ve read a book by the same author and liked that book. Whatever the reason, you decide to read Book.

You start Book. You kinda sorta definitely know from the fist word/sentence/paragraph/page/chapter that Book is not for you. You’re filled with conflicting emotions. See below.

Emotion A: You bought/requested/borrowed this book. You have already spent x amount of time on this book. You should finish this book, especially if you’ve inferred that you’re going to write a review for this book.

Emotion B: There’s that quote – “so many books, so little time”. You feel this quote deep in your soul. Your TBR is toppling, swaying, at threat of crushing you beneath its great paper weight. Your Goodreads shelves would be bursting if they were real shelves. There’s 500 more fucking pages left in Book, and you just don’t know if you can do it. You want to cast it off, leave it be, move onto the next book in hopes that it’ll be better.

So what do you do? Do you finish the book because you’re not a quitter, you promised a review, you want to just slog through to the end? Or do you leave the book because your time is valuable and Book is not and dammit you just don’t want to read it anymore?



Do you DNF? (Did not finish. Don’t ask me how tense works with this acronym. It has its own tense. It defies tense.)

I used to be a staunch book finisher. If I hated a book, I would read it anyway. What if there’s something I like about it later on? Also: I like finishing things. But then I realised the sense that Emotion B made. I really don’t have time to be reading shitty books that are 600 pages long. I don’t read as a form of torture – I read to enjoy myself. So why would I waste my time on a book I am really not enjoying in the slightest? If I’m over 50% of the way in, and nothing is inspiring me to keep on reading, then I don’t. I don’t keep reading. Being a finisher be damned. Being a reader with hundreds of books on my TBR (electronic and physical) and limited time be … not damned.

I proudly DNF books now. I simply don’t see the point in continuing a book if I’m not enjoying it. If I don’t want to finish it. I can move onto bigger and better books (though hopefully not bigger than 600 pages). I can leave Book in the dust. I can DNF.div
What about you? Do you DNF? Why/why not?


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Posted on: November 8, 2016 • By: Chiara

34 Responses to The Art of the DNF

  1. Pingback: Why I DNF | Books for a Delicate Eternity

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