Putting down books or DNFing (DNF stands for Did Not Finish) is a contentious topic within the book community. Many people don’t like leaving books incomplete. Other people feel they have to reach a certain amount of pages before they can give up on a book.
Personally, I DNF a lot. If I don’t get into a book within the first few pages. Or at least see some promise. Then I will put it down.
I’m both proud of this, and I’m not. No one wants to give up on a book. Whether we’ve bought or borrowed, if we’ve picked up a book then we want to read it. We want to love it. Giving up on a book might mean we can move onto reading something that we’ll actually like. But it’s still disappointing. So by DNFing a lot I both free up space. And I also wind up getting a lot of books that I don’t actually like.
That probably means that I don’t have the strongest idea of what I like and dislike in a book.
I think that something we need to remember is that there are a lot of books out there. And we’re not going to like all of them. Even those we will like, we might not like the first time we try to read them. It’s okay to put down a book because you don’t like it, or you’re just not in the mood.
I get that it can feel easier to say why you didn’t like a book if you finished it. Sometimes a book can even get better really close to the end. But reading a book you don’t like can slow your reading down and even make you not want to read. What’s the point of that? There are so many books out there that we already know we want to read. We should be reading those rather than trying to stick it out with something we don’t like for reasons that, let’s face it, don’t always make sense.
It’s completely up to you if you also record what books you DNF or not. I don’t include mine on spreadsheets or GoodReads as I don’t want to count an unfinished book. That’s my personal preference. But I’m not going to finish a book just to record it if that makes sense. You can DNF books and count them towards your reading goal, or you can leave them off. That’s completely up to you. But if you aren’t putting books you don’t like down because you don’t want to record unfinished books…just stop. Put the book down, don’t record the book and give yourself a break.
With the way the world is, we need to be willing to give ourselves breaks where we can. If we don’t have to finish a book, we shouldn’t if we’re not enjoying it.
What are your guys’ opinions on DNFing books? Let me know down below.