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QUESTION OF THE WEEK: #28 – To DNF or Not to DNF…

Boys in our Books Friday Question of the Week!

Each week we’ll ask a question about your reading experience. Our review team will give our answers and we encourage you to join in and comment with your answers as well!  Let’s talk about BOOKS! :)

QUESTION:

Do you DNF (Did Not Finish) books? What does it take for you to throw in the towel and close up that book?

Ami –

I DNF ALL THE TIME. For various reasons. Too many of my pet peeves. Cannot connect with the author’s writing or the characters. I just think there are still too many books for me to read rather than being stuck in the one that I don’t like. Maybe I miss something by DNF but I also love my time more than struggling with something to make it worthwhile.

Sue –

I’ve had to DNF a handful of times due to implausible circumstances, robotic dialogue (pet peeve) and/or bad editing. Oh! and bratty MCs, I can hardly ever finish books with misbehaving MCs.

But you know what’s worse than DNFing? When you don’t DNF and the book ends up being as mind numbingly boring as you’d thought it would. When you could have predicted the ending at 6% and yet you ploughed through waiting for SOMETHING, ANYTHING, to make it worth your time.

I’m angry just thinking about it!

Rachel –

I certainly do. Usually DNF triggers for me have to do with the lack of believability of the relationship. Ista-love, unrealistic progression, over the top melodrama – whatever makes me roll my eyes in disbelief or laugh out loud when not meant to.

Xing –

I used to hate DNF-ing. Now, I probably DNF a little TOO much. I think this habit came from being obsessed with fanfiction in the past year. There are so many great fanfics out there on the internet, but there are twice as many badly written ones as well (no offense to those authors!). After DNF-ing probably 30-50% of the fanfiction I start to read, I got in the habit of DNFing published works as well.

I’ll quickly DNF a story if it has bad editing or it has a whiny/bratty main character. Overly ridiculous attraction is also a main turn off that will make me drop a book quicker than a hot plate (e.g. characters that are just so so soooo beautiful that every man and woman wants to have sex with, despite the fact that said character is a complete brat/asshole).

Sara –

I rarely DNF books and that is because I am a terribly picky reader. That being said, there have been exactly three that I have marked as a DNF and actually stopped reading. It’s my normal instinct to find the good in the story and my hopeless romantic heart wants there to be more even if the story is lacking for my personal taste. I don’t have a definitive line to cross before I DNF, but there are some books I have put away to come back to later. Some, I admit, I will never go back to but I didn’t mark them as DNF. I am such a chicken that way.

Jenni –

I’m not generally a quitter, but I’m 40-something with kids. I know when to walk when things aren’t going my way. ;) I can stomach a book not living up to my expectations and will usually power through. It’s when the language gets too flowery, the story is boring me to tears, or it’s just too implausible that I’m most likely to bail.

Ilhem –

I DNF, mostly when the book is boring me to tears or when I can’t get into it. Reading is a pleasure, it shouldn’t become a chore.

 

Tracy –

I do DNF and more so now if something isn’t working for me. I dislike having a book be “a job” and if pushing through story becomes something akin to “work” and I’m not enjoying the journey anymore, I’m more likely to put it down and move on. What usually gets me to DNF are things like boredom, not finding the characters or the story compelling, too many WTF moments that kick me out of the book, or an author’s writing style that may not mesh with what I’m looking to read.

Sheri –

Never. I have never been able to.
To be honest, I’m not exactly sure why?
Trust me, there are times I really really want to.
I suppose….I think I would keep one foot in the book, always wondering ‘did it get better? what happened? damn, I wish I knew how it ended.’
So, as much torture as it is sometimes finishing, I think it would be even worse leaving that bookmark permanently in place and never hitting ‘The End’.

Susan –

I can’t do it. I feel…guilty. Also, I suffer from some serious FOMO in every aspect of my life, and books are no different. What if it gets better? What if everything I’m hating turns around? And quite frankly, that HAS happened before! Some books I’ve struggled with to start have redeemed themselves by the end. I do however skim generously w/o apology. AND, I do have a shelf called “Started Finish Later”…and…um…well…I rarely go back and finish later…BUT I HAVE EVERY INTENTION OF DOING SO!

HOW ABOUT YOU?

20 comments on “QUESTION OF THE WEEK: #28 – To DNF or Not to DNF…

  1. LegeArtis
    August 15, 2014

    I dnf. Often….for various reason. :\ I just checked and it turns out I mostly dnf bcs of insta-sex/insta-love… if heroes had to adjust their pants on 4th page and get it on 5th- I’m out of there. :P
    Usually, if I pass 50% mark then I finish it, though it happened I dnf’d later, even on 89% mark, but that’s when characters do something that really, really pissed me off…

    Liked by 1 person

    • katinka
      August 19, 2014

      LOL! The situation you’re describing sucks all the excitement right out of a book, yes! As long as they keep that carrot dangling in front of me, I usually persevere. :p

      Like

  2. Glenda
    August 15, 2014

    I dnf rarely – usually I put it down, walk away and go back to it. Usually because something in the book upsets me emotionally.

    Like

  3. Kim W
    August 15, 2014

    I DNF but not too often. I’m more likely to skim through to the end reading a few sentences here and there to see what happens so that is practically the same thing. It’s hardest when I’m giving up on a book that is almost universally loved. I’m still trying to figure out what everyone saw in Try by Ella Frank. I even go back and periodically check the reviews to see if anyone else hated it as much as I did. I gave up about 30% and started skimming and then couldn’t even keep skimming.

    Like

  4. Kate McMurray
    August 15, 2014

    I don’t consciously DNF. I’ve stuck it out through some pretty terrible books, in fact. But if a book isn’t holding my attention—actual quality doesn’t seem to be relevant; sometimes a book is just not what I’m in the mood for—I’ll put it aside. Sometimes I go back and end up really liking the book! Some books I put down may get finished eventually! But I should probably face facts that there are a few books I will just never get back to. Technically, I Did Not Finish those, but I don’t like to give up hope that I will someday. ;)

    Like

  5. Allison
    August 15, 2014

    I never used to but recently I realized (finally) that if I keep reading the book I’m not enjoying I’m losing time I’d have to read a book I might absolutely love. That was what made me accept that it’s better to let go of a book I don’t like. Although if the editing is bad in the first 5 or so pages I have zero problem with it because I know I’ll spend more time editing the book in my head than I will paying attention to the story.

    Like

  6. Jenn T.
    August 15, 2014

    I don’t DNF. I have read books for MONTHS, but I finish them. I’ll skim though. I will skim like a mofo, and if I really think I *might* like it, but I’m not in the mood at present, I have a shelf titled “come back to”…which has so many books on it my friends laugh at me.

    Like

    • katinka
      August 19, 2014

      So do you actually go back to your ‘come back to’ list? I’m impressed! I never do.:/

      Like

  7. Echo
    August 15, 2014

    Usually if I DNF, its within the first chapter or two. If a story has not captured my interest by then, well. . . there are plenty more out there that will. But once I’m a distance into a story, I most often finish. I can put up with bad editing, even less than perfect writing as well if the story is good. If a story gets really slow, I may skip over parts/chapters. A few things that occasionally will make me DNF when further into a story include cheating (especially if I’ve fallen in love with the character being cheated on. . . it tends to piss me off sometimes. . . sorry but it just does) and cliched/poorly written sex scenes that you’ve waiting a long time to finally get to.

    Like

  8. susana
    August 15, 2014

    I try to keep on reading, DNF is not a common option for me. It the book gets really boring or annoying, I tend to postpone it for a time when I am “in the mood”. Anyhow, if I really dislike the characters or the style, I can DNF, but not after having tried as many times as I can before giving up

    Like

  9. Kelly Jensen
    August 15, 2014

    I DNF a lot more often now that I’m older. Life’s too short to read a bad book. When I read, I want to be entertained, first and foremost. If I’m bored, for whatever reason, then the book isn’t working for me. Unless I really want to read it for reasons, then I’m quick to toss it and move on.

    Like

    • katinka
      August 19, 2014

      The life’s too short line always works for me as well!:D

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Jody
    August 15, 2014

    I am a huge DNFer. Mostly because the MC’s irritate the H____ out of me. The other 30% of the time an mc has not come out of the closet but must have sex in front of everyone, the plot moves too slowly, or the author heaps so much pain and anguish on an mc I can’t take the sufferring a moment longer. The sad thing is, if I DNF something I rarely go back and try that author again. I am afraid to waste my time or money.

    Like

  11. fritz42war
    August 15, 2014

    I rarely DNF books. If I’ve paid for them, I want to finish them. I think there have been two books in all that I didn’t finish. But there have been others that I’ve set aside for a while. I go back and read a little here and a little there until I finish the book.

    The thing that will make me shelve a book indefinitely is dialogue where the character is expounding every thought and feeling in their heads just for the sake of exposition or advancing the plot. Drives me crazy every time.

    Like

  12. H.B.
    August 16, 2014

    I try not to DNF. So far in my lifetime I’ve only DNF two m/m stories and one mainstream sci-fi story. I felt really bad for doing so but I just couldn’t continue wading through it all. I do have a few books I started reading and plan to finish reading at a much later time.

    Like

  13. suze294
    August 16, 2014

    I don’t really DNF, in that I stop reading and will never pick up that book again. I will skim read if its dire just to see if I can get back into it later on.
    For me, it would be bad writing, grammar, too flowery, MM being MF rewritten that would be my triggers – a theme I don’t enjoy but well written would probably have me sticking with properly.

    Like

  14. Zeoanne
    August 16, 2014

    Although I know an author would never know if I DNF or not, out of respect to their work, good or bad, I always finish a book I considered bad. I might put it down for a few days then come back to it and read a bit more. It’s like punishment to myself, I guess but that’s how I play.

    Like

  15. Kaje Harper
    August 16, 2014

    I almost never DNF (in fact, reading even samples can be a problem, because I want to know what happens.) I will skim though, if I’m bored. And I have occasionally DNFed for TSTL characters (especially cops or doctors acting clueless about their own professions) or for a book where abusive relationships are made to seem sexy and desirable.

    Like

    • Kelly Jensen
      August 19, 2014

      I skim a lot, too, especially if I’m curious about how things end up.

      Like

  16. Idamus
    August 17, 2014

    I DNF, life is too short for books that doesn’t ‘speak to you’ whatever the reason might be

    Liked by 1 person

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