Do You DNF a Book?

Do you DNF a Book.png

Today I’m going to be talking about how I feel about not finishing review copies. Reading is supposed to be enjoyable, so do you finish a book that you aren’t enjoying? What do you do? Make sure to comment below so we can talk about our opinions.

As a book reviewer a lot of times I have books that should be read my a certain date. When I receive Advanced Review Copies it is understood that I will review the book, hopefully right around the publication date. So a lot of my reading is dictated by publication dates. But as a reader I go through bookish phases, where sometimes all I want to read is fantasies or sometimes I will read mysteries and thrillers for an entire summer. There are times when I really don’t want to read a 500 page intricate fantasy, I want something lighter and more fast paced.

I am a mood reader.

I am a strong believer that you have to read the right book at the right time. If you are looking for a fast paced read, it can be the perfect time for a thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat. If you’re on the edge of a reading slump it might not be the time to start a slow burn fantasy or historical fiction book. But sometimes publication dates force me to read books before I’m in the mood for them. There are many times when I start a book, but I’m just not feeling it so I set it aside. This happened several months ago with The Dragon Republic, and when I picked it up again later I wound up giving it 5 stars.

The issue with mood reading.

The only problem with mood reading is that I seem to go through long phases where I read the same genre. Last summer I seemed to exclusively read mysteries and thrillers, and this summer I seem to be on a fantasy kick. While it’s great to really dive into one genre, sometimes I can get really burnt out of reading the same types of books over and over again. If I read in order of publication it would probably force me to switch genres more often.


I set books aside rather than DNF (did not finish) them.

Most of the time I have requested a review copy because I know that I’m going to like it, so when it just isn’t catching my interest I set it aside for another time. But this winds up leading to a problem. Since I set it aside, I didn’t write a review for it. Sometimes the books that I set aside start piling up and I will get to a point where NONE of them look appealing. I try and give them a second chance, and a lot of times I will find one that catches my interest and wind up being glad that I gave it another chance.

Sometimes books are just not going to be for me.

As a book blogger I feel pressured to write a review for every ARC that I get, even if it’s dragging and I am really hating the book. Not only do I feel pressured to write a review, because honestly it’s no issue to write about a book you didn’t like, but I feel pressured to finish every book that I start. I don’t like writing a review for a book that I didn’t finish. What if it got better towards the end? I feel like I’m not qualified to write a review if I didn’t actually read the whole thing.

How do I avoid getting titles that I don’t actually want to finish?

A while back I did this in depth post called ‘What Makes a Great Book?’ I looked at all of my 5 star reviews and saw what they had in common. Now when picking out ARCs to request I try to stay true to my personal preferences, rather than pick up books purely based on hype. Since looking at my preferences I have actually found a lot more books that I really love. It has been super helpful for me.


Do I still read in order of publication date?

I actually don’t do this anymore. I have found that if I read what I want to read when I want to read it, I actually wind up reading more books because I’m enjoying the whole experience more. If I have an ARC that I’m really excited about, but it doesn’t come out until October, I’m going to read it, but just hold the review until closer to publication. When I read based on my mood rather than publication date I find that I not only read faster, but I enjoy reading more. While I do have the responsibility to read and review ARCs, I also want to enjoy the whole experience. If I start reading in order of publication date it can start to feel like a job.

I don’t always wind up reading the books I set aside before publication.

But I do still read and review them! I think it’s MORE important for me to enjoy the book and read it at the right time than to read it before publication. I do wind up reading most books before they are published, but if I miss one or two because it wasn’t the right time for me, I’m not going to sweat it. I think it’s a better plan than just writing DNF reviews for every book that I wind up setting aside.



Let’s Chat!

What do you think? Do you DNF books or do you set them aside to read later? Are you a mood reader or can you jump into any book at any time? Do you think you enjoy reading more when you read in order of publication or if you mood read? When you DNF a book do you post the review on your blog?

45 thoughts on “Do You DNF a Book?

Add yours

  1. Great post!! I always finish books that have been sent for review but if they are my owned books or library books I don’t mind DNF-ing them now. Used to hate not finishing books before.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! I rarely ever DNF a book sent for review, I will just set it aside for later. I think I did it ONCE with The Wicked Saints, but I feel like if I gave that book a second chance I might really enjoy it.


  2. I will DNF a book. Mine, arc or otherwise. The key, to me, is to be respectful if it is an ARC. If it is mine or borrowed from the library I just don’t post about it as far as a review. I might mention it in response to someone else’s review or someone else’s post or indirectly in a tag but I won’t outright review it. Same with an ARC. I won’t review a book I DNF. I will, however, tell the publisher very specifically why I DNFd the book. I refuse to trudge my way through a book I cannot connect to. Having said that I have gotten much more picky in my choices, which has led to much fewer DNFs and I give books every chance… even if that means reviewing after publication.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Okay, good to hear your experience! I am pretty selective with requesting ARCs, but sometimes I just DON’T like it, but I still try to set it aside and read it another time. I just feel like there is a book for every mood and a time for every book. I do feel bad reviewing after publication though, not going to lie.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So do I but if it means I find my groove with a book that’s better then not being able to read it. At the same time there are too many good books out there just force through. Like you said there is a book for every mood. I cant agree there is always a time for every book because some are just not for everyone.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I guess I kind of agree with you. But for the books that I do request, there seems to be a time for each of them. But certainly not every book because I won’t read just anything. There are a ton of good books out there, but I do try to give books a second chance. Sometimes I will get halfway through a book and then set it aside and it just feels like a waste of so much time invested not to actually finish the book.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I have done that before and I do give it every chance for sure. Completely agreed. I just don’t want to feel pressured to ever finish something that just doesn’t work for me.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. OH! By the way, I got invited to join Orbit’s blogging list today!! Weeks after sending a request to review The Ten Thousand Doors of January I finally got a response AND an invite to join their blogging list! I am SO excited!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. I AM SO EXCITED! I asked for 3 books and I am anxiously awaiting the reply. Funny thing is I had previously emailed about The Ten Thousand Doors of January and didn’t get a response, but when I emailed that book’s publicist and SHE forwarded my email suddenly they’re not only sending me the physical ARC, but they also put me on the blogger list!!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. I wrote them back when they sent out july’s list and was like– do I have to ask for something EVERY month– because I’m really dying for Fall and summer is packed and she wrote me back and was like NO lol… not at all.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Being selective before requesting advance copies is very sensible – that reduces the chance you won’t enjoy it. Not a foolproof strategy of course but it gives you a fighting chance. I don’t request/accept many review copies because I don’t to feel my reading is being dictated by hitting publication dates. I do DNF far more now than I did in the past but never set them aside. I have too many others to read….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have gotten MUCH more selective with requesting review copies. Lately they have been taking up most of what I read though, but I love being a part of new book’s releases!

      How long do you give a book before you DNF?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The book that I’m currently reading only picked up around 25% in, but once it finally picked up I am LOVING it. So I guess it really just depends. I feel like some books I would love at different times though. I DNFed The Wicked Saints and Grave Maiden’s, but I feel like I would love both of those books at different times.


  4. I am a mood reader, which can make reading ARCs hard especially if there’s a lot of them to read. I will DNF though if the book doesn’t keep my interest; my schedule doesn’t allow me to read a lot everyday so I really want to focus on the books that I do enjoy and keep my interest. There are many though that I start and then set aside for various reasons and will go back to. I like having the actual DNF and then ones to back to if I get busy. Great discussion 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get what you mean. Luckily right now my schedule lets me read a lot, so I try to always give them a chance. Sometimes I do wish that I DNFed more books especially when the pile of books that I have set aside starts to get really large.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I DNF’d one book this year. Skipped large chunks of another, and skim read the end of another. Still reviewed them. Well, not the DNF. Mostly left a note that said: “not bad, nothing wrong with it, just not the right time”.

    I struggle with a lot of the things you listed, mostly ARCs and feeling like a job. I hate that feeling. My work around has just been to not request unless I’m super excited for it. I’d rather just pick it up at the library post release when I’m ready.

    And I feel like my personal preferences are so varied- there is no telling what I might like or what I might not. Sometimes I don’t mind a slow-paced lyrical read, sometimes I just want action filled blood and gore, sometimes I want nostalgia. There doesn’t seem to be any one thing that makes me go: “yep! I want that one!”.

    It might be helpful if I could sample an ARC before requesting lol.


    1. I have gotten a lot pickier with what I request now because now that my blog has gotten a bit more popular I am getting more ARCS. But I don’t want it to feel like a job. I have gotten a little ahead, so now I basically just read my ARCS in whatever order I WANT to read them in and I actually ave found that I’m reading them faster that way.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Usually if I don’t DNF a book, I’ll find myself in a really bad reading slump. Of course, giving a book chances is good, but sometimes it just ruins the reading experience as a whole.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s funny.. after I wrote this post it’s like I jinxed myself. I have been reading a book that is SO slow and hard to get through and I should have DNFed it, but now I’m finally almost finished with it. It’s not BAD necessarily, just SO slow to get through

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Slow books are a pain to get through. Speaking from experience, even audiobooks that are played at 2x speed can still feel slow with stories like that. And there’s nothing wrong with giving up on it or finishing in, whatever floats your boat with that specific book.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Everyone is different! I rarely write DNF reviews. I just always feel like I could try the book again at a different time. I have to like part of it or I would have never picked it up in the first place. Or at least that’s my thought process!


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