Thursday Tea Time- DNFing: Why We Do It And Why You Should Too

Posted December 26, 2019 by stuckint in Features, Thursday Tea Time / 7 Comments

Hello everyone! Well we’re back after taking the day off for Christmas. We hope you had a wonderful holiday (if you celebrate) and if not, that your week is going well. If you got any good books let us know in the comments, we love hearing about everyone’s amazing book hauls!

Anyway, today we hope you’ll pull up a chair, pour a cup of your favorite beverage and join us as we talk about DNFing (that’s Do Not Finish) books and why we think it will enrich your reading life if you embrace this practice.

Our TBRs Are Just Too Long

Look. Let’s all be honest here. We all have endless physical and digital piles- or dare we say it, stacks (yes we went there)- of books that we want to read in our lives and let’s face it, its impossible to get to all of them. Even people we know who read +500 books/year still talk about how they still don’t read all the books they would like in any given year. So if you find yourself not enjoying one of the millions of books that exist in the world, take a deep breath and remember- you have lots of options out there.


Careful! Risk of Reading Slump

Now, we aren’t saying you are going to adore every single book you read because that’s asking far too much. But we have both found that when we read books we don’t enjoy because we feel like we have to for whatever reason (whether that’s due to hype, blog tours, buddy reads etc…) because lets face it, that happen quite a lot when you are actively engaged in the online bookish community, its a really easy way to get into a slump because we prioritize books we think we “should” read rather than the ones we want to read. All we have to say about that is: Stop it!

Every Book Is Not Written For Every Reader

Gasp! I know, shocking. But honestly its true and easy to forget. Frequently, we find ourselves enticed by synopsis and comparisons- curse you brilliant marketing teams! But then when you actually flip back that cover or turn on your e-reader, at first you’re so excited and then reality sets in. Maybe the synopsis wasn’t quite as clear about the plot of the book as you thought, or the writing style is strange and uncomfortable for you tastes, or maybe it happens that you find the protagonist so annoying you just want to scream. If that happens, its okay! We’ve all been there believe or not. Its okay for a book to not work for you and its okay for you to set down said book and move on to some thing you’ll enjoy more!

A Few Tips On How To Come To Terms with DNFing

So, we’ve converted you to the practice of DNFing books, but its a new thing for you and you aren’t sure how to go about incorporating it into your reading life? Never fear! We at Stuck in the Stacks are here to help. Below find a handful of tips that we utilize in our own reading lives that we think will help you figure out

1- Set a Certain Amount of Pages for Yourself

Depending on the length of the book we usually give a book about 50 to 100 pages or around 25% for all you Kindle readers and audiobook listeners out there. That’s not to say that after that point we won’t DNF a book, but its a good cut off line and forces us to at least give a book a chance before deciding that its not for us. Of course if you decide you want to DNF a book on the first page that’s great too. Basically, what you should take from this post is that its your reading life, not anyone else’s, you do you and love it!

2- Remember You Can Always Come Back to It

Some times, the main hang up we feel when it comes to DNFing a book comes because we feel like we’re giving up on what could potentially be our next favorite read of the year or- dare I say it- one of our favorite reads of all time. Its possible, but remember that just because you decide a book might be right for you it could simply be that its not a good fit at a particular time in your life. We all go through different seasons in our reading and bring all of our experiences and stresses to the books we read as well. Maybe if you come back to the book in a few weeks, months, or even years, you’ll find that you’re ready for a book that you previously found hard to enjoy.

3- Try another format

Sometimes a good way to push through a book with a slow start is to pick up the audiobook format. Or, if you are finding the audiobook hard to follow, pick up a physical copy or an ebook version so you can give the book your full attention. Often, I find that what format I experience a book in can influence how much or how little I enjoy a book or not.

4- Remember reading is supposed to be fun!

This last one might seem kind of obvious but some times its an easy thing to forget. With all the reading goals, reading challenges, blog tours, recommendations we try to make, and so on; it can get to the point where reading feels more like a chore of a job rather than a passion. When that happens, we try to pick up books that we are reading solely we want to. Frequently that works as a good palette cleanser so we can continue to read and discover new stories that speak to and shape us.

What About You?

Do you DNF books? What makes you DNF a book? How many pages/% do you give yourself before you DNF something? Let us know in the comments and thanks for joining us for another Thursday Tea Time!

7 responses to “Thursday Tea Time- DNFing: Why We Do It And Why You Should Too

    • stuckint

      I’m pretty good about picking good books too. But every once in a while I’m disappointed. ? - Haley

  1. Oh, I definitely DNF! Especially since entering the world of motherhood, and especially since my infant transitioned into the world of toddlerhood, I DNF the crap out of books all the time. I at least try to read through the first two chapters, but if I’m not invested after that, I’m on to the next book. Alone time is precious, and I can’t waste it on mediocrity!

    • stuckint

      Yes! Its been hard to embrace but we are both getting better at it. Definitely hoping to continue improving in 2020!- Haley

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