To DNF or not to DNF?

I think it’s time for me write about this topic-DNF. If you don’t know what DNF stands for; it stands for Do Not Finish. It simply means that you are not liking what you are reading, hence you decided to stop reading it altogether and put the book on the DNF shelf. You could DNF a book as early as 10 pages you’re into it, in the middle of the book, or even almost reaching towards the end, whenever you feel that the book is just too dumb for you to bear with.

So, I’ve always seen the debate of this issue rises, at least once a year, be it on bookstagram or on book twitter. People be like, “Should I continue with this book? or should I just DNF it?” Most of the replies would be:

“Life’s too short to waste your time on a bad book.”

Well, I sort of agree with this, like why would you waste your time reading some book that you hate or dislike? But I would most probably reply with, “It’s up to you, follow your gut feeling.” I know,

But here’s the thing, I never actually DNF a book, I know, wild right? Some would even say, “Lol, why do you want to waste your time?” So, by writing this post, I just want to explain on my reasons not to DNF a book. Well, no one asking for it, but I thought, this is my blog, I JUST WANT TO EXPRESS MY THOUGHTS.

First of all, let’s define what kind of books that are sucks but I would still continue reading. I usually would continue reading books that I could still somehow understand but I just do not enjoy the content or the flow or the writing style, characters, you name it. As long as I can somehow understand what I’m reading, I’d continue it. Usually, it would take me at least 20-30 pages to know that book sucks, like I don’t want to judge a book so fast. However, there are some books that I just couldn’t understand, like ehem, Haruki *cough* Murakami *cough*. Don’t get me wrong, he has lots of fans but I just want to put it out here, I tried to read his book before but I read the first 10 pages again and again, just couldn’t get it. So, for this kind of books, I just put them aside, don’t even bother to consider them as books that I DNF-ed because I couldn’t even understand a damn thing, hence it’s not fair for me to judge the book.

This brings me to my very first reason to not DNF, which is I want to be able to review and judge a book as a whole. I just don’t feel it’s fair for me to say the book is bad just based on how far I’ve gone into the book. It’s totally fine for others to do that and I don’t see any fault in that. It’s just me personally, I like to be able to see the whole story that is being written so if I were to say a book is sucks, I could tell people, I’ve read the entire book and trust me, it’s just no good ( adding on, “but this is just my humble opinion“+ my thoughts on what is not good about the said book). Then, I’ll let the people judge by themselves.

My second reason would be, a bad start doesn’t necessarily mean the book would end badly. For most of the case, yes, they just don’t get better. But the feeling that you will get when you stick to the story till the end and it actually GETS BETTER is just priceless. I feel like a miracle just happened and it literally brings hope in my life. *okay, maybe that’s a bit exaggerated* Seriously though, the satisfaction that I got from a good ending is something like this:

Of course, there were a lot of times I felt like, “Dang it, I just wasted my time on this darn book!” But when I come across a book that I dislike, most of the time, I try to laugh it off or take it as a process for me to scrutinise a book critically. It’s actually quite fun to write a negative review once in a blue moon, instead of saying, “This book is good, the writing is amazing, the ending is OMG, I criedddd so badly for this character.” So, yea, it feels great to be able to criticise a book and says something different in my reviews.

Third and the last reason would be, every book is written differently and it’s someone’s effort. No matter how bad a book is, there must be something decent in it that one could at least appreciate. A book is someone’s hard work and I would love to appreciate that author’s effort by at least give their book a chance and finish reading what I’ve started. Also, hopefully, if they ever come across my review, it could help them to know the readers better (and don’t take it too negatively) but more of like constructive criticisms to make them better in their writing. With this being said, I’m no writer nor I know how to write well. I’m just a humble reader and reviewer who wants to voice out her opinions and feelings about books she read. My opinions is totally valid to me and to anyone who wants to take it in, but if one disagrees with mine, it’s perfectly fine because we’re all born differently, have different school of thoughts and it’s only normal to have differences in opinions. Because it would be boring if we all think the same, duh…

And with that, I thank you guys for reading this short write up if you even made it to the end. I appreciate it so, so much. Till I see you on the next post! 🙂


4 thoughts on “To DNF or not to DNF?

  1. I have the exact same thoughts. I never DNF a book either, mainly because I wanted to judge it as a whole rather saying the beginning didn’t hold my interest and I have no idea about the rest. Like you, I quite enjoy writing a negative review now and again. Because of the reading time I get on my commute, nothing really takes me more than a few days, so even if I’m not enjoying it, I know it won’t be for long. Besides, the writer part of me gets as many, if not more, lessons from a book I haven’t enjoyed as much as a good one. Great post!


  2. I’ve dnf quite a lot of books mainly because i hate the MC. And some of the stories I read are Chinese web novels that story line is too generic and the villains are just one dimensional to the point that I thought ‘how can there’s not even one smart villains in the story?’ 🤦‍♀️

    Btw, I couldn’t read Haruki Murakami’s novels too because I don’t understand a thing 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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