What Makes You DNF a Book?


I did not DNF The Final Empire, in fact, I loved it! It’s just the photo I chose for this post.


What Makes You DNF a Book?

DNF means do not finish. Basically, you put down a book that’s just not working out for you. But why? What makes you dislike a book so much that you decide, I do not want to read this right now? Are there reasons why you decide to put down a book?

  • You’re not in the mood. 

Maybe it’s a contemporary book, and you’re wanting to read fantasy, and just not enjoying it at all.

  • You’re in a reading slump. 

We’ve all been there. You’re reading a book, and maybe you’re not that far into it, but it makes you want to slam your head against the wall if you have to keep reading. For this one, it might not be the book’s fault, it could be yours.

  • You’ve lost interest.

You picked the book up, thought you’d love it, but it’s just not working out for you.

  • Bad writing.

It’s pretty self-explanatory. The writing is bad/choppy/annoying/flowery/etc etc etc, and you dislike it so much you want to put it down.

  • Boring plot.

You’re almost halfway through the book, yet nothing is happening, nothing looks like it is going to happen soon, and you’re almost falling asleep trying to read.

  • You’re not connecting with the characters.

For me, this is a huge part of the book. I love characters. They are the memorable part of the book, the fun part. If I don’t connect with or am annoyed by the characters, I am going to not want to finish the book.

These are some of the main reasons why I will decide to DNF a book. I usually try really hard to finish most books I start, and if I put down a book, I’ll usually come back to it, and try to finish it. But sometimes, I’ll feel strongly enough to know that I don’t want to pick it up again, and it will officially become a book I DNFed.

What makes you DNF a book? What books have you DNFed?

Thanks for reading!



44 thoughts on “What Makes You DNF a Book?

  1. Great points, Ava! I think most of the time I DNF books because of the characters – if they’re whiny, I hate it. If they’re too obsessed with their potential love interest, I hate it as well. Add that to writing, boring plot, lots of cliches…. It all adds together into one final straw.

    Great discussion! 🙂


  2. Great discussion post, I think what makes me DNF a book the most is bad writing. I can deal with everything else but if I’m not engaged than I won’t bother trying


  3. I don’t DNF when I’m in a reading slump because I never get as far as picking up a book! But I don’t DNF very often, only if the characters are REALLLY annoying me and the plot is REALLY slow or too complicated and bogged down with details! I feel guilty, sometimes, though, and I try to read it again sometimes! 🙂


  4. Characters and plot play a big part in DNFing for me! Those are such crucial components of the book, and when they’re not done properly, I just don’t feel like reading! I don’t DNF often, but sometimes I just lose interest! I feel bad, though, and always attempt to read it again sometimes! 🙂


  5. My most recent DNF happened because of the awful writing style. I absolutely hated it and at first I attempted to continue reading it but then I finally gave up because I just couldn’t stand it.


      1. The book was Tiger’s Curse by Colleen Houck! I don’t know if a lot of people DNF-ed it, but I’ve seen some people liking it. I guess the writing was just not my style.


  6. One of the reasons I DNF are the characters. I prefer strong, independent women so it’s pretty offputting when I read a heroine who is the total opposite.

    However, I usually put my books on an on-hold list and try to reread them in the next couple of months. If it still doesn’t catch my attention, I DNF it. I feel that DNFing is not bad, and if you pick u a DNF book and read it again and end up loving it, that’s something! This happened a few times for me, too 🙂


  7. When I’m not in the mood, I don’t DNF automatically- just put it down and decide to read it some other time. I do DNF books that I just can’t get into because of either characters or plot though. I try to be very picky with my reads so there’s less chance of DNFing. 🙂


  8. Love this post and I agree with your points, for me the writing needs to be engaging if not, I will put the book down. Also the pacing of the story and the plot, if its too slow I will give up, and obviously the plot needs to be kick ass! but mainly it’s all about the characters! 🙂


  9. One reason I DNF a book is when the plot doesn’t seem plausible. When things get ridiculous, it takes me right out of the story. I’m talking about when a characters should do one thing, but does the wrong thing just to create obstacles for the story line. I find that super annoying.


  10. Great post! I think you already pretty much summed up all the main reason someone DNFs a book. For me it’s mostly due to the writing style. If I just can’t get into it, I start loosing interest in the plot and the characters. Luckily, this hasn’t happened all too often before.


  11. These reasons are totally on spot :D!
    I think it’s most important to enjoy the writing or plot, if I don’t like either one I’ll probably DNF it because I find it boring :/. But other than the reasons listed above, I tend to not finish a book if I find it offensive which might sound weird but it’s true. If a book is rude/offensive to a specific belief or race or something I can’t finish it because it makes me so mad! Unless, you know, it’s about defeating racism or something like that 😛 then that is okay…
    Anyways, have a great Sunday!


  12. YES these are definitely all then reasons I would DNF a book, especially the mood one. I’m a mood reader so usually if I’m not in the mood for a book I don’t pick I up in the first place but I read so much slower if I’m not in the mood for a book!


  13. When I DNFed a book, it’s usually because of the last 3 reasons, especially bad writing. Writing is an important thing for me. I mean, if I didn’t like the writing style–even if the plot is really interesting–I usually will DNF it. I rarely found a book which writing I didn’t like, though, so I rarely DNFed a book 😀 Anyway, great post!


      1. Fair enough! Last summer I DNF’ed The Selection by Keira Cass. I then picked it up a couple of months later and I loved the whole “trilogy”. I think the book series should have ended at “The One” tbh. Haven’t bothered to read the others.


      2. I’m glad you liked it after coming back to them! I’ve heard a lot of people say they didn’t like Eadlyn, and that makes me not want to read The Heir. I haven’t read The One yet, but I thought The Selection and The Elite were okay. And the cover for The Crown is just creepy in my opinion, which makes me not want to read it (I know, I’m terrible, sorry!) so I’m not sure if I’m going to finish the series or not.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I would give “The One” a try because you have read the other two and then leave it at that (like it was meant to be, a trilogy) like I did. I have no interest in reading “The Heir” or “The Crown” as I liked how “The One” rounded things off and I think the author has gone too far to make 5 books :/


  14. Those are basically all the reasons I DNF a book! I’m usually not a mood reader though, so that one rarely happens to me. It’s been a while since my second-to-the-last DNF book, so the only one I remember so far is my last one, which is Zoe Sugg’s Girl Online.

    Great post, Ava. 🙂


  15. DNFed Red queen(Listened to the audiobook and loved it so second chance lol ), Passenger DNF but also skimmed Illuminae, Skimmed The witch Hunter but also DNF lol , DNF the raven boys, DNF skimmed Six of crows


      1. I am def going to read six of crows and Red queen again
        I started to read more contemporary and new adult so yay for trying new things!


  16. Yes most of your reasons are me but, before i got into blogging i would be so quick to flounce a book and just close it yet now i’m conscious of exact reasons because i feel a connection with authors me and sometimes i will feel bad for not liking a book. There are rare books where i DNF but came back and loved it a second time.

    My main thing is the characters and the plot, now if it happens to have romance that’s just awesome but sometimes the romance can ruin a story for me. This year i have had the worst book slump and so many DNFs and i’m thinking maybe i am too into my Fave genres Dystopian and the other Genres that come with it that when i read another genre it just doesn’t hold that appeal and i am very picky with my contemporary, i can NOT read a book where it’s just FLUFF i need conflict now if i find a book that has both but the fluff is sickening i have been known to DNF and it makes you feel like “I’m missing out on a great book because i’m so picky”

    Recently i had an ARC of Passenger By Alex Bracken and i was so hyped for this but beyond the prologue i was just not feeling it, i did not care about the characters and i was forcing myself to continue because i felt bad yet this was a DNF but sometimes what makes it better is knowing that it got mixed reviews cause at times it’s like i don’t like books where other’s LOVED them you know?

    So my main DNF Criteria
    Bad/Boring Plot
    Not connecting with Characters
    Some books can have either or but the ones that have both just goes into the “I’ve lost interest” Pile because there is a reason i’ve lost interest lol
    Bad writing for me can go either way, there could be books that have a few bad writing issues but the plot has kept me going whereas some books the writing so bad i can’t enjoy the story. I’m not a grammar eccentric but that can make you not want to read a book

    So this year my main reasons were book slump and maybe not the mood, i read so many DYSTOPAN/FANTASY/MAGIC ETC when i read a regular genre book i’m like i can’t make myself care and i feel like i have read fan fiction that was way better than this lol

    Anyway main point is i’m picky and it can be any reason to many reasons i choose to DNF , sorry for the long rambling
    oh and also when the blurb is misleading for a book it makes me irked and yeah i might not finish


    1. Thanks for the long comment! It made my day. I completely agree with all the reasons you said. I hope 2016 is a year for better books for you! Maybe try reading out of your comfort zone genres? I’m sorry you didn’t like Passenger! I haven’t read it yet, but I’m so excited for it, and hope I love it. Thanks for stopping by!


  17. I DNF’d books when I don’t like how the story goes, when the character annoyed the heck out of me, and when I’m not a fan of the writing style. When I’m not in the mood to read it, I usually put it as pending and get back to it when I feel like it.

    Great discussion, Ava!


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