How to DNF!

Every so often I come across a meh book and renew my promise to get better at DNFing… but I never do. That’s why I decided to realllly think about how I could improve! With a great deal of research (into fun gifs) I’ve managed to write a comprehensive guide- enjoy!

pick up book

Step 1: Crack open a book, hyped or otherwise, naively *brimming with excitement*

thinking monkey

Step 2: Realise “huh, this wasn’t as good as I thought it would be”


Step 3: *Shrug shoulders* and keep reading- but this time with a growing sense of foreboding…


Step 4: Feel the boredom growing.

mood reader2

Step 5: So. Much. Boredom.


Step 6: *Start speed reading*, thinking that maybe it’ll get better, but begin to consider that this book may not be for you and perhaps you should just quit…

my everest

Step 7: But no! There must be a reason you picked it up in the first place! This must be your secret mission in life! You must PERSEVERE!! Continuing against the odds, you feel the weight of this uphill battle as you trek, page by page, deeper into this dreadful tome…


Step 8: With a sinking feeling, you wonder will there be a light at the end of this tunnel…

light at the end of the tunnel

Step 9: …but there is only darkness…

think pen write

Step 10: You wonder if maybe you’re only reading on just so that you can write that stinking review.

agonise over decision I don't know what to do

Step 11: And if this is true, you realise it may not be the best reason to keep reading… yet still you *agonise over the decision* past the 30% mark…

throw book2

Step 12: Okay, that’s it, you’ve had enough. *Put the book down*

three hours later

Step 13: You stay strong for approximately three hours.

choose books2

Step 14: Then you cave and pick that bad boy up again!

pretending to read

Step 15: Ugh, you realise it’s worse than you remember.

throw books

Step 16: *Put that book down again*

hide homer abandon

Step 17: Leave said book on your bedside table for approximately three weeks.

stare shiftily

Step 18: Eye book, thinking “maybe I’ll try it again”.

put book back on shelf

Step 19: Quietly put book back on the shelf, promising yourself this is not the end…

unhaul books

Step 20: …except it kind of is, because you’ll never pick that book up again until three years have passed and you’re looking for something to unhaul. You think to yourself “maybe I was wrong about it”, but nah, it’ll look better in an unhaul photo than a review… and so you announce on your blog that you never finished it and never will!

thumbs up

*Congratulations you have successfully DNF’d


68 thoughts on “How to DNF!

  1. Hilarious! Thanks. DNF is something I cannot do – especially if I’ve received an ARC for review. I’d rather leave an unfavourable review than none at all. I feel I’ve made a commitment to the publisher and author. Perhaps both publisher and author would disagree with me…. Hmmm. I sense a discussion post on my blog on this topic.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lol, this is the exact opposite of me…I DNF with wild abandon! I maaaaaaybe finish about 15% of the books I start. I have no problem stopping at page 1, page 38, page 390, or 1 page from the end if I’m bored or unhappy with the story! Life is toooooo short!

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  3. I’ve only DNF’d a few books, but this whole process is so relatable! Sometimes we just don’t want to put the book down because we’re convinced that we’ll find it better later on or that we don’t have the mood for it at the moment, but we also ignore that tiny voice inside us who just knows better. This was so fun to read!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As a child, I finished every book I picked up – probably because there weren’t many in the house. This carried on into adulthood, only I had less time to read.
    In retirement, I seem to have even less time to read if I want to find time to write (and still feed my husband and walk the dogs and clean the house… nah – forget about the cleaning). Maybe I read slower now?
    These days I feel less guilty about closing a book and putting it back on my shelf (or the U3A table) or removing it from my Kindle without finishing.
    Life’s too short!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. hahaha those gifs are a perfect summary of the DNFing experience. I’m usually too stubborn to DNF, mainly because I think of the money I spent on the book in the first place, but some books are just so unbearable it’s better for everyone if it just gathers dust on the shelves.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hehe thanks! I’m exactly same! I feel like I have to get my money’s worth (or even if I took it out the library, I have to make it worth the effort… which makes even less sense!) Ahh I completely agree!


  6. Hahaha, I’ve missed reading your posts so much! ❤ This was such a fun one to read, and it hits way too close to home right now. I think I've had this DNF relationship with approximately 10 books in the past few months. 🙈 I did manage to finish one book recently which was a huge relief! I was beginning to wonder if I'll ever finish a book again lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. :’) this made me chuckle! i feel quite lucky; i pick up books that i like well enough to finish 9.9999 times out of 10. i can really only recall a few books from middle & high school that i had to quit. even then, i would power through because the book was annoying enough that i had to know how it ended. that makes no sense, i know, but that’s what i did :”)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hehe thanks! Ah I wish I was slightly better at picking up books I like (though I do *mostly* pick up ones I like). haha I do relate to powering through books I find annoying. hahaha! Don’t worry, I think a lot of readers do it too 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. 😁 That was amazing! I cannot DNF. I expect it will turn out better at the end. Most of the time I’m right but if not I’ll leave negative review than DNF. At least I can have sure opinion rather than thinking, ‘I don’t know, I didn’t even finish the book Or read half of it’. And maybe it’s my nature! I don’t leave anything in middle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah I completely relate- I really struggle to DNF. And yeah I completely get that- I like to have a clear opinion as well. I definitely think it’s in my nature too- I’ve just been trying to get better at giving up on books I’m not enjoying lately (with limited success 😉 )

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This post made me laugh! I’m in the middle of a book I’m not too interested in, so I can relate to a lot of the steps/gifs. But I like finishing books so I have ammunition in case someone asks me why I didn’t like a book… I feel more justified that way.

    The books I do remember DNF-ing have tended to be nonfiction–sometimes the writing is too dry, and I decide I’m just not that interested in the book anyway. And ebooks–these are easy peasy for me for DNF because the ebooks I have on hand are usually borrowed from the library, so there’s no guilt of having spent money on them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Really glad to hear it! Ahh I completely understand- I like finishing too= cos yeah I do like to have proper ammunition as to why I didnt like something (and sometimes it takes less time to just power through 😉 )

      Oh I hear you- I’m much more likely to DNF non-fic (though I often hope I’ll go back to it more). Ahh I get that completely- I find it easier to DNF library ebooks

      Liked by 1 person

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