Bookish Talk: DNF-ing books – Do you do it?

I’ve been talking to several people recently about when or if you should DNF a book. For those who don’t know DNF means “did not finish.” In other words, it is a book that you started and didn’t like, so you chose to leave it unfinished.

Some people I’ve spoken to about this said that they never DNF a book. I was kind of shocked. I don’t DNF a book often because I really appreciate the time and effort it took for that author to write the book. I know that it can take years to write a book, find a publisher, and get it published. I feel horrible when I DNF a book, but sometimes you just have to put it down. Sometimes you don’t connect with a book or like the writing style or you aren’t in the mood for that book at that moment and you need to move on.

To NEVER put a book down because of an inner need to finish every single book you pick up seems crazy to me.

I used to force myself to finish books even if I wasn’t enjoying them, but then I realized: life is really short. Why would I waste precious reading time on a book that I just wasn’t enjoying?

I want to spend my time reading books that pull me in and don’t want to let me go. I want to dive into a world in which I can escape for a time, that will open its pages and wrap me up in them. I don’t want to waste time in a world that makes me roll my eyes or makes my skin crawl or makes me laugh for all the wrong reasons.

I know it probably seems that I DNF books left and right, but I don’t. I give every book I buy or borrow or receive for review a fair chance to suck me in. I just want to read as much as I can in my lifetime that will change me and teach me things and make me fall in love, and I don’t want to waste time on things that won’t. Some people ask how long I give a book before I know whether or not I’ll finish it, but it’s different for every book. I’d like to say that I give each book 50 pages or 10 chapters, but sometimes, if I’ve read 20 pages and I just can’t force myself any farther, I’ll stop. The last book that I DNF-ed was Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. I gave it 6% on my Kindle ARC before I DNF-ed it. That’s not a lot. I just know what I like, and that was not it.

So I want to know what you think. Do you guys DNF books? At what point do you do so? Let’s start a discussion in the comments!