Why I Struggle with DNF


I absolutely love to read and there’s really only been a few books I’ve really disliked. It wasn’t until recently however, that I actually disliked a book enough to not finish it. I didn’t realize how much I would struggle to stop reading a book. I’ve heard of people who have their DNF (Did Not Finish) list and it’s pretty long. I couldn’t believe there was a book out there I would dislike that much. After deciding not to finish the book I thought about other books I should have stopped reading. It got me thinking, “Why did I finish them? Why did I struggle to just put them down?” So here are the reasons I struggle to stop reading books.

  • Author & Publisher

Without a doubt this is the biggest reason I struggle with DNF. I’m in the process of writing a book and I convince myself to stop every once in a while because I’m honestly worried about my book ending up on someone’s DNF. Authors work incredibly hard to write a book. Blood, sweat and tears are poured into each chapter. I feel guilty for just giving up on it and not seeing it till the end.


I’ve had a fair number of authors and publishers reach out to me to review a book. I’ve also requested books from NetGalley and book tours. If I confirm a book and have a date to review it by, I feel like I’ve failed if I never finish it or if I can’t get a review out. And I’d like to continue to be able to request books, and I want authors to be able to reach out to me if they need a book reviewed. If I have too many DNF, it’s likely they won’t

  • Time


Ever start a book and struggle to get into it? Maybe it’s after the first chapter it starts to get good? Maybe the third? Well if I’m already on the 12th chapter (out of say…18) and I’m still not hooked, should I stop? Yes, I’m already 2/3 of the way through, but what if gets really good in the 13th chapter? What if it ends on a cliffhanger that I absolutely have to know? I can’t just stop now. I’ve already made it this far, it couldn’t get worse.

All these questions I’ve asked on multiple occasions. Ultimately, I keep reading because I’ve put in all this time to the book and I don’t want to feel like I’ve wasted my time.


  • Bookish Community

Last but definitely not least, this bookish community is the reason why I keep reading. There have been several books I’ve struggled to finish and when I look at Goodreads it has a 4+ star rating. Am I missing something? Why can’t I get through it but everyone else loved it? Plus, what if other book readers would like to hear about the book? I love being able to talk about books with other people who love books as much as I do. If this means taking one for the team every once in a while and finishing a book I’m not a fan of then so be it. I’ll finish that book.


  • My Advice

Currently, my DNF list only has one book on it. It probably should have five or six but there it sits at one. I’ve actually had a book on my TBR shelf that I’ve been putting off for months because I’m convinced it’s going to be #2. While I’m sure I will definitely struggle, I’m going to keep telling myself life is too short to do (or read) something you don’t enjoy. Not everyone is going to like everything. It’s ok to disagree and it’s ok to know what you like. While you may be 1 of 100 people to not like a book, there are probably at least 100 other people who do like it. Keep reading what you like. Don’t feel guilty for not liking something, especially a book.

So these are my reasons for struggling to add books to my DNF list. Do you struggle to stop reading books? Is your DNF really long? Any advice? Let me know!

Struggling with your DNF_

7 thoughts on “Why I Struggle with DNF

  1. I can probably count on one hand the number of books on my DNF list. I also feel like if I want to be able to fully criticize a book I have to see it through. I feel guilty leaving a 1 star review if I didn’t even read the whole thing.


  2. Great Post! My DNF list doesn’t currently have any book on it and honestly it’s not something I am proud of. I have read books that I struggled to finish just because I felt obliged to complete them! Just recently, I was this close to DNFing a book but decided to go through it. I agree with all your reasons.


    1. Thanks! It’s so hard to convince yourself that you shouldn’t feel obligated to finish something you aren’t enjoying.


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