I’ve seen a lot of posts around lately about people who always finish books they pick up.  They feel wrong if they don’t finish them.  I don’t have that problem.  I’m a ruthless DNFer (did not finish).  I don’t even need a good reason.  Here’s a few books I didn’t finish lately and the reasons why.

If you are a person who needs to finish every book, you may want to cover your eyes.

The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes (The Sandman, #1)The Sandman, Vol. 1: Preludes and Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman

I’m a huge Neil Gaiman fan but I’ve never read Sandman. I’ve heard forever about how good it is but I never got around to it. I finally picked up a book of the whole thing. It was heavy. It was boring. Yeah, I said it. I went through about 40 pages waiting for something amazing to happen and then I sent it back to the library.


The Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern TimesThe Bloodless Revolution: A Cultural History of Vegetarianism from 1600 to Modern Times by Tristram Stuart

This one hurt. I was excited about this history of the vegetarian movement. But then it went on and on with English men fighting over what interpretation of Bible verses could mean that you should be nice to animals. I just wanted to slap them all and tell them that they didn’t have to justify compassion by jumping through semantic hoops. Maybe they could be just kind without the Bible condoning it? Finally, it irritated me so much I gave up.


Shadow Scale (Seraphina, #2)Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman

This is the sequel to Seraphina, which I loved. This book was suffering from second book syndrome though. It was setting up the next story instead of having a compelling story of its own. I forced myself though 3/4 of it before I admitted that I just didn’t care what happened and I sent it back to the library.


Written in the StarsWritten in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

This is a book about a girl being forced into a marriage and trying to get away from it. It should be upsetting but I was just annoyed by the parents. There is only so much stupid I can take and listening to a whole book of “You shame us, you horrible female child” was getting on my last nerve. It is 2015 in the U.S. Get over it.


Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1)Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews

I should have liked this book. It is urban fantasy but for some reason I couldn’t get into it. I knew it wasn’t for me when I wasn’t excited about listening to it when I was driving. I returned it to Audible. I think that is the first time I’ve done that.



The Private Papers of Eastern JewelThe Private Papers of Eastern Jewel by Maureen Lindley

This is based on the real story of a Chinese woman raised in Japan who worked as a spy. That should be good but in the forward the author talks about how she came across the story and wanted to tell it from the woman’s point of view to make her seem less thoroughly bad than the press described her. Yeah, that didn’t work. She was completely unlikeable which can work sometimes but not really in the whole “I was bored so I slept with my foster father because I could” way.


Maybe I don’t feel bad about not finishing books because I get them from the library.  No harm, no foul, just send them back and try something else.  Maybe I’d feel different if I bought books.

Do you finish every book you start?  What will make you put down a book?



12 Replies to “Why I DNF”

  1. I used to be one of those that would have to finish everything I read. That’s back when my TBR pile wasn’t over 1000 books. I got to the point where if I was having to force myself to read a book because I wasn’t really enjoying it, but I had 1000 books that were probably awesome waiting, I figured I was wasting my time. So I start to get a lot more choosy on what I spent my time on. If something doesn’t grab me in the first 100 pages, I won’t force myself anymore. There are way too many other awesome books out there to waste time on ones that I don’t like.

    Shannon @ The Tale Temptress April Discussion

  2. I notice that with age I’m becoming more and more ruthless as well. I’ve had Shadow Scale in my audio TBR since it came out but somehow have a bad feeling about it (also loved Seraphina). Magic Bites was also a DNF for me, mostly because I just couldn’t stand more vampire books.

  3. No, I’m a total DNFer! However, even if I have a good reason for putting a book down, I still don’t like doing it. I do feel bad. But, I figure life is short and the list of books I want to read is not! So, if I’m not enjoying a book for whatever reason, usually I’m going to put it down so that I can move on to the next book on my list of never ending books to read. There are so many great books out there, so why should I waste my time on a book I’m not enjoying?

  4. With books I pick out from the library or borrow, even buy for myself – I don’t have much of a problem not finishing them. My TBR is really far too extensive to spend ages reading books I really don’t enjoy. I will make an exception for some classics – I’m motivating myself to read War & Peace this year. My guilt comes in if it’s a egalley or ARC and I give that extra effort. At times I wonder if this is the right way to go about it though.

  5. Oh thank you I’m not the only one! I read A LOT. But… what’s the point in finishing a book that just isn’t for you? So often I feel I ‘should’ read a book and find myself battling between giving up on it or being stubborn. Unfortunately life is too short to read books we don’t like! (PS Idid the same with Sandman – beautiful but loooong…)

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