DNFing in 5 Easy Steps

Friday, January 30, 2015

I've realized that I have a big problem DNFing books. Like... a MAJOR problem. If I'm far enough into a book, I will not put it down no matter if I absolutely hate it. So I've decided to write a post about DNFing to help not only me but you guys too!

1. Have an out.
This is the first and probably most important step. You need to make sure you have a page number or percentage in mind that you will decide to DNF once you get to that point. For some people, they like the Rule of 50, or even 69. And you ebook readers generally have a percentage between 15-25%. 
Pick a number that will work best for you and stick with it!
No compromising the number later!

2. Begin Reading.
Start your book with a positive attitude but not so high that you will be disappointed. After the second chapter, take a moment to evaluate (it will only take a second).
Do you hate it, haven't decided, love it, or are you somewhere in between? 

3. Identify your feelings. 
Realize why you don't like it so far, or why you are on the fence about it. Is it the characters, plot, style, pacing? Take a moment to identify why it''s iffy.
Good thing is you still have time before you get to the DNF point, and you might be surprised and the author will pull an utterly amazing fast one on you.

4. You hit the DNF point.
All right, no you've hit the point of no return. You will never be the same. And now you have to make the decision.
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                   Ewww!!!!                                               meh                                                   Ahhhhh!!!!

Okay, so that is how you are going to gauge your feelings. 

Hated It: You hate it with a passion. You really don't like the characters or plot for many reasons. 
Meh: You don't really care overly much. Nothing is really drawing you. You can easily put the book done so you can go to sleep at night.
Loved it: You're crazy about the book! You most likely didn't even realize when you passed the DNF point. You read WAAAYYY into the night, and you might possibly have noticed that birds are twittering and you didn't get a wink of sleep.

5. You make the decision:
Most of the time you will find yourself in between the three major feelings on the spectrum above. A good rule of thumb is to use the following criteria.

If you are between:
Ew!! --> Meh: You should most likely take the loss and DNF it.
Meh --> Ahhh!!: You should most likely keep going and figure out how this book ends.


What do you think about DNFing? Do you have a DNF point or have you even DNF'd a book before?

31 comments:

  1. With me, if I want to DNF after the first five chapters or so, then I will. But if I've kept myself reading after a certain point, I'll just finish it because I'm like 'well, I may as well now' even if I'm not enjoying it.

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    1. I'm just like that!! I've done that with so many books and then sadly regret it once i've finally finished.

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  2. I've never actually thought about what are my rules. Sometimes I stop because it just doesn't draw me to pick it back up. Sometimes I really hate it and then realize I can't take it anymore. However, I think I may give books too much of the benefit of the doubt. I'd get between 25-50% before decide to DNF. If I pass 50% then I must have liked it or the middle started to give me false hope. That last one definitely relates to Gone Girl. Somewhere in the middle I had hope that the book would get better. Then it didn't. I hated everyone in that story.

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    1. I watched Gone Girl, but I bought the book before it came out. I thought I would eventually read it, but after I watched it, I knew I would not be able to hack it.

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  3. I'm the worst at this, and most of the time just push through the story. I'm always hoping to find out that the book improves greatly if I keep reading, but the haul is sometimes long, and too drawn out. Thanks for your helpful tips!! :)

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    1. Yeah! You're welcome!! I'm with you though, I generally try to pull through the story and finish the book.

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  4. I very rarely DNF but I also like most books I read. I am a very picky reader when it comes to deciding what to read in the first place. I think these are some great guidelines though for DNFing a book. I like the picking a page idea. Great post!

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    1. Good! At least you generally pick good books to read!!!!

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  5. I'm totally saving this post! I don't think I've DNF a book yet but these are great guidelines! I've been on the verge of DNF a book before so this will definitely come in handy :D

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  6. Please tell me that the banner is just for pretties, and not to say that you DNFed Cress? Please assure me that this can't be so. No one could ever just GIVE UP on Carswell Thorne O_O

    Anyhoo - I actually tend to DNF by 40%. But I use the rule of 69 when I'm trying to decide to read a book, oddly enough :P

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    1. HAHAHAHA They are just for pretties.I actually haven't read either of those books/series yet. I just own them, and it made for a pretty banner.

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  7. I didn't really have a set DNF point for a long time. I'm still not sure where to set it. My problem is that I've come across a number of books that I didn't hate until more than halfway through. But I certainly don't want to have to read half of every book before I DNF it; with many books, you can gauge the DNFery long before that!

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    1. Yeah. I agree. My problem is that I always think it will get better, but it never does.

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  8. My cutoff is 50 pages for a printed book and 15% for an ebook. No exceptions. Most of the time, thankfully, I don't end up DNFing. But the few I've had to put down... *shudders*

    Briana | The Novelista

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    1. Ah That's a good chunk to read and gauge if you're going to like it or not.

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  9. I barely ever DNF books because as a reader I'm pretty easily entertained so even if I don't like the book I can still laugh at its badness and enjoy that (I'm not sure if that makes sense)... and basically the way I decide to DNF a book is when I do anything other than read. It's pretty obvious when I'm no longer interested in a book! Great post :)

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    1. I wish I could be like that. If I'm making fun of a book while I'm reading it, I feel like it's a waist of time...

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  10. It is so so so hard for be to DNF a book!! ALL THE GUILT!! Especially if other people I know liked it!! I'll definitely keep these points in mind!

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  11. Hah I'm quite guilty to DNFing books. NO SHAME! I have no time for crappy books that I know I'll just end up hating. My cut off is usually about 30% ? But sometimes it could be as short as 1-3 chapters.

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    1. 30% is a solid limit in my opinion, but I agree, sometimes it only takes a couple chapters to let you know that you won't enjoy it.

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  12. I am the worst at DNFing! I almost never do it. I have done it a grand total of twice. I need to really follow your advice though, because it is getting out of hand. I basically forced myself to keep reading a book that was VERY solidly in the "hate" camp, and I couldn't figure out why I kept reading! Great post, I think a lot of us have this problem!

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    1. Yeah! I rarely used to DNF books, but when I became a book blogger, I just didn't have time to read books that didn't matter to me. I've read a number of books that I've hated or it was a drag to get through, but even still I look at the time I spent reading them as time that I could have been reading a life-changingly AWESOME book! ;)

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  13. I rarely ever DNF books. I always have that hope that the book will get better as it goes on, but there's, of course, the books that don't but I end up reading it, hating it, and giving it a horrible, ranty review, and basically end up wasting my time reading something I hated. I seriously need to start DNFing books! There are just way too many other books I have to read out there. Great post! There are definitely a lot of people who have problems with DNFing book.

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    1. Yeah. I have a problem DNFing books so I figured I should write a post that's geared for people like me. I need rules so I can make sure I don't spend too much time on a book.

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  14. I think this post is so cool for people in general but it won't work for me. i used to have a system like this but it doesn't work. fact is that i'm a really moody person in general. when it comes to reading, sometimes i'll have more patience than others. i think once, I even DNFed after like ten pages. I was like "nope. not today. i have no mood for this" and that was just that. It's really sad because this system is genius but I'm not like this.

    My DNF point is different for every book. However, I don't have shame in DNF-ing. If I don't want to read something, I won't read on. I don't really care if I'll regret it, which also sucks because some people have told me that certain books get better and that I should've given them more of a chance.

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    1. I can understand how every book can have a different kind of DNF limit. There's a couple of times that that has happened to me before too! :)

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  15. DNF is a very easy process for me. Sometimes I can already decide in the first 10 pages that a book isn't going to work for me. It's not always something I can pinpoint, it can also simply be a feeling.

    There have been books I DNFed because of the writing-style didn't work of I disliked the characters. There have been books I DNFed simply because I didn't feel it.

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    1. I'm so glad it's easy for you. It's getting easier for me... I just have to keep at it. Sometimes I just have such high hopes for a book that I keep going despite the fact that it's slowly killing me haha!

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  16. I don't DNF often, but I'm doing it a bit more now. There are just too many amazing books to read to spend time on so-so books!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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  17. I have a hard time DNFing a book. I mean, there were books that I kept reading even though I knew I didn't like it. There was no doubt about it. I wasn't even sticking around to see if the book got better. But, I was determined to finish it so that I could review it.

    Then there are the books that I hit a wall in. 100 pages in, I want a taste of a new book, so I'll pick up a new book. Putting down the old book doesn't normally turn into DNFing a book. Usually I'll pick up where I left off a month or two later. But, there have been the odd books where I've set them down and never picked them back up again. I try not to think of those books because I still feel this sort of obligation to finish them eventually.

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