My First DNF of The Year

28962895Last year I had a lot of DNFs (books that I did-not-finish), but I don’t know exactly how many because I didn’t keep track. This year I’m going to keep track on Goodreads, starting with my first one for this year: IQ by Joe Ide. I thought I’d like this so I even bought this one when it was on sale recently on Kindle. Unfortunately, neither the storyline in the present nor the storyline in the past kept my attention so I abandoned it after 135 pages.

I know other book bloggers that have a limit of 50 pages before they’ll DNF a book. Sometimes I don’t even make it that far and other times I make it almost to the end. For me, the criterion is I’ll abandon the book whenever I’m not “feeling” it. It could be page 10 or page 410 of a 420 page book (although I admit that would be very rare). I am not one of those readers who believes they have to finish the book. I’m not getting paid to review the books and in fact, I don’t do reviews for publishers or anyone else, so if I don’t want to finish the book, I don’t have to. So there (insert emoticon with tongue sticking out)!

What is your criterion/criteria for abandoning a book or are you one of those readers who have to finish a book no matter what? Also do you ever return to a book that you DNFed? I have one that I keep trying to get through: H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald. Like IQ, I got it through a Kindle deal so it’s on my Kindle whenever or if I want to return to it.

12 thoughts on “My First DNF of The Year

  1. I have no desire to keep reading a book that I’m not “feeling,” either, and while I used to give a book 50-100 pages, I recently DNFed a book after the first chapter, and I was so angry at myself for buying it…just because it won awards and had a lot of buzz. (Sing, Unburied, Sing).

    I didn’t like the writing style or the narrators…I felt no connection to any of the characters, and that is rare for me.

    Thanks for visiting my blog, and enjoy Grace & Frankie!

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  2. I’m like you. I can abandon a book anywhere, from the first few pages to the last, though the latter is rare (I can only think of one instance – Lady Chatterly’s Lover). I tend to only mark them at DNFs if it’s after the 50% line, though. Before that – especially in the first few pages – I just consider it a trial run that didn’t work out. Those ones I periodically return to. Howl’s Moving Castle is a good example of that. I tried it out five or six times before it clicked. Something kept me returning to it, and it ended up being a favorite once I could actually read it. Took the audio version to make it work. I don’t usually come back to books that I’ve abandoned after the halfway point, though.

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    1. Interesting about the 50% line. I think I just consider it a DNF wherever, but I could change my mind. The only one I can think of that I might return to…eventually…is Hamilton by Ron Chernow. Good book but oh so long.

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  3. This year when I was reading for the Cybils Award I DNF quite a few books. Either I decided it wasn’t a winner or I knew it was a winner and didn’t want to waste my time reading on. But I usually do finish books I start unless I read too slowly and completely lose interest. H if for Hawk was not one of my favorites, either. I can’t believe it was as popular as it was.

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  4. I love that you have are willing to give a book more than 50 pages and only abandon it if it is no longer working for you. I admit to never understanding the arbitrary 50 page thing because so many books don’t really heat up until after that point.

    I’m like you. I tend to give up on a book, if I am going to do so, when I know it isn’t going to work for me. However, if I am more than halfway, I will skim the rest just to finish it. Most of the time, I know I am not going to enjoy a book fairly early in – like within the first chapter or two. It makes it much easier to abandon books when you have invested no time into it.

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  5. Like you, I can DNF after a few pages – but I don’t really count it then – don’t keep track of it at all. I’ll consider it a DNF if I get about half way through before I finally call it. I.Q. was the 1st book I finished this year, but I actually really liked it.

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  6. I have quit books 10 pages from the end before, so we are the same on that front. I usually won’t rate a book on Goodreads (or count it as read) unless I make it through more than half. I love that we can create radio button shelfs on Goodreads now, and I have an abandoned shelf for books that I started (but didn’t rate) and couldn’t really get into.

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  7. I have abandoned books that I’m not feeling because there are so many I want to read, I’m not in college anymore so I don’t have to finish something that doesn’t work for me. Occasionally I have put a book aside and try it again later. Maybe it just wasn’t the genre or story line that appealed to me at the time.

    The stopping point for me isn’t a particular page count but if it doesn’t grab me by the first 50 pages or so I start thinking about abandoning it.

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