Top Ten Tuesday- DNF Edition

Posted May 12, 2020 by stuckint in Features, Top Ten Tuesday / 13 Comments

Hello everyone and welcome to another Top Ten Tuesday. Today’s topic is dealing with DNFd books (or books I did not finish). Rather than talk about specific books I’ve DNFd recently I thought I would talk about 10 things make me DNF a book.


1- When a story is too complicated

I have noticed this especially with epic fantasy that when an author just info dumps about a new world I can some times get lost. Usually it goes better if I am reading rather than listening to books.

2- When the characters lack depth

I’m sure we can all relate to this one. I cannot stand characters that I just don’t care about the characters. I feel like it looses an element of the story.

3- When the dialogue feels forced

For me, it really disrupts the story when the dialogue feels fake or forced. I won’t name any titles but there are some books where authors have included dialogue that no one would ever actually say. It’s is probably one of my biggest bookish pet peeves!


4- When nothing happens

I won’t spend too much time on this one because I have mentioned it before but I often struggle with solely character driven stories. I definitely need a driving plot to keep me interested.

5- When the prose is too flowery

I read to escape and so some times when a book’s prose is too elegant for the sheer sake of being beautiful it often takes me out of the story.

6- When the format is distracting

I read a lot of ARCs and so this complaint comes more from the lack of formatting in those. Since these are uncorrected proofs there spaces in weird spots and broken up words where new sentences will start in the final format. It definitely deters me from an ARC though when the format is wonky.


7- When I realize I’m not invested

When I realize I’m excited to dive back into a book or I find myself daydreaming about another book I’ll usually give it a handful of pages before setting it down and picking up some thing I’m more excited about.

8- When I feel I’m hitting a slump

Nothing puts me into a reading slump faster than a book I’m forcing my way through. Yet because of my propensity to put down some thing I’m not enjoying I’m more likely to take risks on books outside of my comfort zone.

9- When the narrator is not my cup of tea

This only applies to audiobooks but I really struggle when a narrator reads the voices of different characters all the same. Not only is it hard to follow but takes a potentially very dynamic story and take away from it.

10- When I realize I’m not enjoying it and can always try again later

Okay, I know this one isn’t really a reason I DNF but I think the important thing to remember is that just because you put down a book NOW doesn’t mean you can’t pick it up again LATER.

So read on and don’t be afraid to set some thing down if you aren’t loving it.


What About You?

Do you DNF books? If so, what makes you do it? How many books have you DNFed this year so far? Let me know in the comments!

13 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday- DNF Edition

  1. #10 for sure. In fact I have a book on my list that is exactly that- it’s not BAD, and I’ll probably go back to it at some point, but I’m just not feeling it right now. It definitely happens. I totally agree about dialogue too- some authors just have the dialogue knack, and that’s awesome, but others it can be tough.

  2. RS

    I will totally name names; #3 instantly made me think of one I struggled to finish for that reason: A Thousand Boy Kisses. I kept going, “OK, you guys can THINK these sweeping romantic statements and maybe write them down in a letter or something, but this is not how you do everyday dialogue.” …that’s actually why I x out of a lot of romances, come to think of it.

    #6 is one of many reasons I am not a real book blogger and do not read ARCs. My sympathies.

  3. Cori

    I like how you did this not picking on any specific books. I have DNF;s a few more during this pandemic. I feel they are #10. I might get back to them, but this spring was just the wrong time!

  4. I opened my e-ARC of The Henna Wars on Adobe Digital Editions earlier today and I got sooo annoyed with the awful formatting. I finally figured out the book is reading like a manga and I’m very confused as to why. I totally get how this can be off-putting! Great list of reasons to DNF lol

  5. I usually don’t DNF books. I may choose not to continue a series, but I pretty much always finish a book I start. Even if it takes me years (like the unabridged version of Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is).

    Audiobooks that are too complicated are hard for me to follow too. Then I figure I have to read the book in print for the next book in the series.

    Brooke Lorren recently posted: Last 10 Series I Haven’t Finished (Yet)
  6. I’m the worst about always finishing books. I wish I wasn’t, because sometimes I throw myself into a reading slump by forcing myself to get through a book so I put off reading instead. I always just feel like a failure if I don’t finish it, especially if its one that other people loved. This is a good reminder that its okay to DNF a book.

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