The Art of Abandoning Books

Hello ladies and gentlemen,

When picking up a book, we’re often driven by a desire to discover new characters, new worlds, new stories, and new ideas. What we don’t realize too quickly is that reading is a process. Time is a factor, whether we want it to be or not. But what does that entail for the reader? That some people will finish the book at some point in time while others will either take forever to see the end of it or never get around to it as they contemplate the one outcome that we all fear deep within:

To tag it with the dreaded DNF (did-not-finish) label.

Personally, this is one subject that I have often solved quickly but my stance on abandoning books isn’t one that I would recommend anyone. In fact, as someone who will forever be inclined to review everything he reads, I am somehow convinced, for the time being, that to give my appreciation on the book I’ve read, whether it’s positive or negative, I need to have the whole content assimilated, otherwise, I end up considering my review irrelevant as it doesn’t consider the full work to give a comprehensive feedback on it. Drastic, right? But if the reason behind my desire to abandon a book is because of disappointment, then I know I also want to have the whole thing read to fully explain my disapproval/hate for the book.

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I know a lot of readers don’t abide by this rule and I won’t blame anyone because, in all honesty, I too believe that abandoning books is an art that every single person needs to understand, acknowledge, and appreciate. There are in fact too many books for anyone to be able to read in a lifetime and that’s a shocking reality for many—some might even just realize it upon reading it right now—but it remains something that no one can change… Until, maybe, we finally steal some kind of alien technology allowing us to insert chips containing all the books we want to read right into our brains. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?

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However, as someone who has not mastered this art, it’s hard to say what exactly is the right way to abandon books. Thankfully there are wonderful readers out there who do it so often that I’ve come to understand that there might be cues throughout your reading experience that will clearly indicate the appropriate moment to set that book down and cut that relationship short.


APPEAL.

It’s quite simple. If the reason why you initially picked up the book suddenly disappears, then I think it’s time to evaluate your desire to pursue this adventure and call it quits. I mean, where’s the appeal in something that is now uninteresting? We’re not here to torture ourselves. Reading should always be for pleasure. Or school.

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IDEAS/THEMES.

I think this is a safe bet. If the ideas/themes go against logic, reason, your values or your personal beliefs, then I think there’s a tough chance that there’s any good that’s going to come out of finishing that book.

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PROSE.

I mean… If it’s poorly written, confusing or incomprehensible, then why even give it your time? The author’s words are supposed to help you understand and imagine exactly what they want you to see. If those words don’t even have the power to do so, then there’s a serious problem.

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TIME.

This is probably not the best reason to abandon but sometimes you just have to and sometimes it says more about the book than you know it. Think about it. If the book isn’t able to keep you hooked to the point where you make time for it, maybe it ain’t the right time to read it or it doesn’t have what you need to have a good time!

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MOOD.

This is for those mood readers and those who don’t know they’re mood readers. To abandon a book because it doesn’t fit with your emotional state and cravings is totally understandable. Again, reading should be for pleasure and there’s nothing wrong with picking up something that speaks to you at that very moment that you want to read.

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Although I might have encountered one of those reasons in the past and still resisted the urge to abandon, I still feel like it’s not always easy to know beforehand if it actually gets better. After all, I have seen people who still finish a book only to say things about it that you’d think would have had them giving up on the book way, way earlier.

For now, I think I’ll just be wise with the books I choose to read and continue my streak of never abandoning books. However, for all other readers out there, I definitely believe that abandoning books is okay. Do it when you feel like it.

Read what you want when you want!


What do you think about abandoning a book? What’s your golden rule about it? How do you do it?

Till next time,

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87 comments

  • Hm, now that would be interesting – to be able to consume a piece of media in a seconds regardless of length. I’ve certainly come across a few games that failed to hook me, which is a shame if it’s in a series I usually like. Then again, some of them really do have a large barrier to entry you kind of have to muscle through to see anything of substance, and I know the same applies to all media – including books.

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    • Yep. Although I’ll admit that it would probably be hell if consuming a piece of media that fast would lead to “no more content” and to always be waiting for the next release. I totally understand what you mean. So far, the sequels of games I’ve played have managed to stay loyal to the original game or offers a new take on the franchise (like the last God of War), and I’m fine with that. I think the games that have a higher chance of having me abandon them are those where the length of the game is unnecessarily longer. The only example I got is MGS V… The issue I also had was it’s hyperrealism that made the game too long/too boring with too much freedom, if that even makes sense.

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  • Ooh, I’m pretty quick with DNFing books, though depending on hwy I dropped with determine whether or not I’ll write up a book. If I was just bored, I’ll write a sentence or two on Goodreads saying so. Yet, if it’s problematic or just made me angry, a rant review may be posted >.<

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    • It’s still pretty cool that you take the time to say something about it, even if it’s just one sentence. I just feel like if I do that, I’ll have a tough time finding any value in that one-sentence review I’d write too. It’s why something in me makes me want to always say more. :/

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  • DNFing is an art I personally need to learn too, for sure lol. I just can’t do it either! But I have mild OCD which I’m sure plays into it, and I just can’t rest if I don’t finish a book cover to cover even if I zone out through some of it. Really though, life is too short for bad books and I have to try harder to put books aside if they’re just not worth my time – my TBR is big enough – but for now I’m still okay with pushing through 🙂

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    • Oh man, I think you’re the closest person to understand what goes through my mind too. My TBR is insane as well, and I wish I could sometimes DNF or not pick up those books that are sure to get 3 stars or less just to make time for those 4 stars and more… At least for now, I feel like I can still get through that “priority” TBR in my life without having to DNF hahah

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  • Love this Lashaan!! Actually we have exactly the same philosophy about abandoning books. Since I review all the books I read I feel like I need to finish it in order to do it justice. When actually I should just let it go for time’s sake, That is one less book I will be able to read in my life because I forced myself to finish it. I just finished a book that I HATED because of this… and it totally was an idea/themes issue. 😦 You are so right about each one of these points. If its not appealing any more, you aren’t in the mood or don’t want to pick it up then unless you are a masochist (like me? and you?) we ought to let the book go… 😉

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  • I DNF 3 Books last week! 😱 In my case, it’s mostly mood. When I have feelings of dread instead of joy, I Knows it’s time to DNF. I need to be actively gaining something from the read….either absorbing content, appreciation of beautiful writing, or thought provoking themes.i find that the more I read, the less patience I have for books that give me zero joy. ~Carol Reading Ladies

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    • Oh snap, that is indeed a lot of DNFs within a week! 😮 I do hope you moved on from those books fairly early and quickly though. I like your philosophy though. I too appreciate my books to bring something to my life but if I struggle to appreciate them, I tend to be saddened too.

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  • 😀

    Yeahhhhhhhh. I’ve never felt a need to complete a book to review it. I will also abandon a book if it crosses certain theological or philosophical lines or if it is just plain bad writing. I don’t have time to put up with crap books. When I face God at the end of time, He’s not going to be going through my reviews to see if I get into Heaven or not 😀

    I definitely concur that DNF’ing is an artform that each person has to figure out how to accomplish in a way that works for them. There is no one size fits all for this issue. And if someone WON’T dnf books, well, it’s their life. To value or to waste 😉

    I loved all the Keanu gifs. I didn’t recognize several of them. What are they all from?

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    • Hahahah now I do wonder if God does take that into account. 😛 But I can definitely see the upside of DNFing just by looking at your own personal experience throughout these past few years. You save so much time when you know when to quit on an author/book, it’s amazing.

      I could’ve sworn I’ve heard you say somewhere that you liked the 50 pages rule before DNFing something though. 😮 I’ve always been curious if 50 pages was really enough for all books to hook someone or not.

      Hahaha I was on a role with Keanu and thought it would be cool to share his various characters/facial expressions. Dude is peculiar. Hmm.. There’s Always Be My Maybe, Matrix (by the way, did you hear about the return of the Matrix with a fourth installment coming out with Keanu and Carrie-Anne Moss???), Point Break, Bill & Ted, Dracula and there’s probably one or two I don’t remember myself hahah

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      • In all seriousness, I think that we will be held accountable for how we have spent our time here on Earth. We are stewards, not just of the earth and its resources, but of the finite time He has given us while here on earth. If you take the Biblical example of the Master and the servants, when the Master returns he goes over each servant’s action while he was gone.

        Yes, you have great recall! Last year I wrote a post about DNF’ing, one of my PSA posts. I quoted the Nancy Pearl rule of 50. In general terms I think 50 pages is more than enough. You’re not trying to judge the entire plot but just figure out if the book is for you. If more people subscribed to this rule, the wave of bloviated tomes (that make Dickens look like he was a lean, mean, writing machine!) would go back out to sea.

        WHAT!?!?!?!?!?!?
        A fourth Matrix movie? Oh, that can not turn out well. Son of a gun. Well, I have to admit that is better news than a reboot. Hopefully a new movie will push a reboot out another 10-20 years. I’m off to find out info.
        Thanks for the movie names. I’ve not seen most of those.

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      • If it is a tour book, then I go further or sometimes read it on some other day. If it is the book I have bought, I abandon. I may not DNF but I know there are many other good books which want me.
        Books are an escape route, I think even during my medical exams when stakes were high, when I should have been sleeping to be ready for the next day’s paper, I have read a book. So the book has got to pull me in from the beginning

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          • True that… Since now I am out of world of studies, I can afford to read erratic hours. But the book has to transport me. If my brain doesn’t stop thinking from the first page and get into the book, then my stress doesn’t go away or stay down for a few hours.
            I need that mental downtime

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  • That’s how I feel about DNFing as well. I can’t give a proper review for the book I haven’t finished, but sometimes there are books that are just PAINFULL to read, those I need to learn how to DNF.

    P.S. The Keanu Reeves gifs were on point! 😀

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    • I’m so glad you understand me! I feel like it’s only by finishing those books that I’m even allowed to say anything about them. 😮 So far I haven’t picked up a novel that made me want to destroy it but I hope it won’t happen cause I really don’t know how I’ll get through it hahah Thanks for the kind words, Alex!!! 😀

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  • Oh, hey Keanu…ahem, I mean Lashaan 🙂
    I abandon more books on audio than any other source (digital or physical). If I turn that “play” button on and the narrator is not appealing or the plot has me wandering off, than I’m done. This can be in an instant or after dragging/sludging through monotony. I pretty much have an audiobook on hand all the time so I have a good idea if it’s yay or nay early on.
    So, I have stopped marking dnf’s on goodreads b/c my reasoning for a narrator not being on par with what I like can’t justify the book receiving a negative ding for it, in my opinion. I have however abandoned writing reviews before. Yep, it’s terrible for a bookblogger, I know. It does not happen often, but I can give a book a high rating on GR so it benefits from me liking it, but not review it. This will be the case when I feel like I cannot produce an adequate review in cases such as big, immersive fantasies. Those are so difficult for me to write a balanced review on b/c most often there is so much going on in them.
    I think I’m pretty much with you on most of your points and I enjoyed this post. Have a great Sunday, Lashaan 🙂

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    • Hahahah Scarlett! I still got some time before I get on Keanu’s level! 😛

      Ohhh, I like your thoughts on abandoning audiobooks. I think the narrator is probably the biggest factor for many. I see so many say that they just can’t click with them and I can imagine why. While I don’t read them, I think it’s probably the easiest format in which you can abandon books too! 😮

      Oh yes, I definitely understand your thoughts on reviews of DNFed books. I do like the idea by some people to create a label/shelf for books you’ve abandoned but need to give a second chance in the future though. And I also think that a book DNFed shouldn’t get any star ratings, if possible… Since most ratings don’t separate those who read a quarter, half or the whole book! 😮 And yes, those huge fantasy books sure aren’t easy to review, especially when there’s a gazillion things going on! But I also love reviewing them because they often end up being soooo much fun with sooo many things to say about hahah Thank you for your comment, Scarlett! Have an absolutely brilliant week yourself! 😉

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  • There were a number of books I abandoned way back for a variety of reasons. Half the time I either got distracted by something else, or I just got bored of it. Since I got back into reading though, I’ve never failed to finish a book that I started, even if I hated it. A 5-year-long stint of watching bad movies for the fun of it kind of turned me into a masochist that way. Of course, I’m also usually kind of picky with what I read (I’m not the fastest reader in the world), and I generally do a good job at picking out books that I actually enjoy.

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    • Hahahaahh I think I’ve conditioned myself to bad books thanks to bad movies throughout my childhood too! I feel like my book choice also helps in avoiding bad books and as long as I know what I like and want to read, I’m not likely to pick a bad book that’s bad because it’s… bad.

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  • I SUCK AT DNFing!!! Because, like you, I also think that I won’t do it justice if I reviewed or form opinions about it after just reading quarter/half of it!! I KEEP WAITING FOR THAT MAGIC TO HAPPENN!!! But, with some IT JUST NEVER FUCKING DOESS!!! GAAAAHHHH!!! And that is just too annoying!! I was reading something I was not enjoying before reading this post and now, you have given me enough confidence to just…toss it back to my shelf and pretend that it’s invisible! What the eyes can’t see, the heart won’t grieve over, right??!!;) 😉 Hhahhaa…AMAZING POST, as al-fucking-ways, OBVIOUSLY!!! ❤ ❤

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    • Yooooooooo! I’m so glad that I’m not alone hahahah There are also books that are so loved by others that I force myself through them wondering if it’s just me or something happens later on that will resolve everything only to then find out that there’s nothing special about it and it just sucks. DNF is an art that I’m just not born with. I mean, with really anything (movies, games, sports, etc.) I always end up doing it until the end. Imagine all the time we could save if we could DNF all those books that ended up getting 3 stars or less! 😮 😮 😮

      Thank you for all the love, Rain!!! Honestly, your comments always have me laughing out loud hahahah 😛

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      • EXACTLY! I keep waiting for that “special something” to happen but sadly, it never really does for some trashy books out there. 🤣🤣

        SERIOUSLYY! And I am going to practice this art now.

        Hahahah!! That’s the point, Lashaan! ❤️ Spreading joy and laughter and lots and lots and LOTSSSS OF LOOOVEEE!! 🥳🥳🥳⛄️⛄️⛄️⛄️

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  • Great post! And I love the Keanu gifs 🙂
    I have been more ruthless at abandoning books lately – if I can’t get into the first 3 chapters I get rid of it. There are so many books to read that it’s not worth spending time on those I don’t like. My exception is books I’ve requested/agreed to review, when I’ll read the whole book but will write a negative review.

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    • Thank you so much hahaha 😛

      Hmmm 3 chapters huh? So far, I’ve heard of people giving books 1 page, 1 chapter or 50 pages before deciding on DNFing. 3 chapters sounds pretty fair to me though. And yes, books that were requested definitely get a special treatment. No DNFing those! 😀

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      • If I get to a halfway point, I never abandon the book… I just skim read to the end, ha ha. I have heard people DNFing at like 70% which just doesn’t make sense to me because you might as well skim read the rest.
        I know some people will also DNF books they requested but I just can’t bring myself to do that, as I can only write reviews based on reading the entire book.

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  • I do it very rarely, as I’m a completionist, and I also carefully research books before I start to read them. When I do, it’s certainly a reason to review, as the book must be really terrible and I’d want to warn people 🙂

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  • There is no “golden rule” for abandoning a book, or at least there is none for me. When I chose to DNF a story it’s either because I can’t connect with the character(s) or the story – and therefore the choice to stop might occur pretty early, say around 30% of the story – or because the story takes a direction I don’t like, and in this case it might happen at any time. I remember an instance in which I stopped at a few chapters from the end, because my annoyance had reached intolerable levels.
    If I start too soon I generally don’t review the book, since I’m aware I don’t have all the necessary information to to so, but if I move past the 50% mark, then I feel the need to explain what made me abandon the story.

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    • Oh my goodness. A few chapters before the end! I do like that you don’t have a golden rule and just let things run its course and, if it happens, it happens! I think it’s probably the best way to do it.

      And yes, I think reviews of DNFed books need to take into consideration and highlight how far into the book you were able to go. I also think it’s best if DNFed books don’t get star ratings too. My statistical side wakes up and says that if people do put stars, it’ll just corrupt the overall rating hahah

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  • Great post.

    Uploading all of the books into my brain in a matter of seconds would be interesting because it would give me more downtime material. However, since I like to actually read, I don’t think I would like that alternative.

    It is understandable that as a reviewer, you would like to finish the book to have a complete understanding of the book.
    During my school years, I read A BUNCH of books that I wanted to put down but couldn’t. I HAD to read them. Maybe that’s why I can be so nonchalant about dropping a book when I don’t feel it. I’ve gone through my share of DNF potential, yet had to finish them before, but now I do not. The books I get for myself very rarely disappoint. I know what I like and I pick exactly that. Getting recommendations from others is risky. You have to compare their preferances and yours. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it does not. As you know, I have recently forced myself to read 2 books that I would normally toss aside very early on. I’m glad I did it, because it just reinforced my attitude towards DNF. Ideas/ themes/ plot/ characters are what stops me usually. When I hit that DNF light, I give it a very short period to recover. Then, there is no going back. It’s very hard for a book to recover.

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    • Hahahaah honestly, I’m completely with you. If I could choose, I think I’d prefer to leave aliens with that technology and to continue to live a life where we pick and choose the books that’ll define us.

      Yep. I think reviewing books is what made me such a completionist. While it might maybe force me to go through a bad book, it also allows me to be more critical about it and to put words on the thoughts/feelings I’ve had on that book throughout my reading experience.

      I totally understand what you mean. And I think picking up a book at the right time for the right reasons with the right amount of interest all play a huge role in the likelihood of completing it/loving it/DNFing it. And yes, I totally know your stance on recommendations by others hahah I do hope you don’t run into any bad reccs anymore and that DNF won’t be something you’ll have to do too often in the future!

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  • This is tough. I always want to complete every book I pick up but in more recent years if it’s really not working for me I eventually put it down. I have to tell myself that I’m putting the book down ‘just for now’ so it doesn’t feel final but honestly, I know I’m not going to return. I’m just kidding myself. My main issue is that when I’m not enjoying a book it stops me reading altogether. I have a mental block about picking up anything else while that current read is ongoing and so everything grinds to a halt. I don’t review books that I haven’t completed though, everyone reviews in their own way and so I’m not judging anybody else’s style (in fact I quite like to read DNF reviews because it gives me a good idea about the whys and wherefores) but I don’t do them because, like you, I would feel the need to read the whole book.
    Lynn 😀

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    • I soooo understand that feeling too, Lynn! It happens a lot with anthologies for me, which is a hassle considering that they are long and that if I’m reading a bad short story and want to take a break on them, I just can’t start a new novel until I’ve finished the whole anthology, whether the rest of it is good or not. And yes, I think those DNF reviews are cool but only if the person explains the DNF and doesn’t end up generalizing/extrapolating only to say things on the whole book/its characters/etc. Thanks for sharing, Lynn! 😀

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  • Brilliant post! It has taken me a while to convince myself of all of these good reasons. I think I finally started not finishing books once I had more books at hand than I could read in any given year. The access to books and financial investment could also be a factor to sway the decision to finish a book 😆

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    • Thank you so much, Anjana! Hahahaha I soooo understand you. When I realized how many books I WANT to read, I think it killed me a little to know that it would maybe take 100 years at the rhythm I’m going hahah DNF is honestly the best solution right now to read everything we want to read hahah 😀

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  • I like you, rarely DNF a book as it seems like I forfeit the right to an opinion on a book if I haven’t experienced it in its entirety. I am however a mood reader, and I do set aside books to come back to them when I’m feeling them at a later date. It’s not fair to the book to continue if I’m not in the right mood to engage with it 😂
    Thanks again for a great post!

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    • I’m so glad to know that you share my vision on DNFing too, Steph! It really is something that’s hard to practice but still something that we shouldn’t feel bad when doing it. Giving them a second chance is the closest we can do to DNFing too, that’s for sure hahah Thanks for reading, Steph! 😀

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  • Very interesting topic Lashaan! My inner perfectionnist and stubborness usually prevent me from “abandoning” books, but the super excited and curious part of me also makes me start multiple books at the same time… 🙄 Anyway, I hope I had the capacity of abandoning a book without feeling guilty but I guess it’s a process… 😁 so far I think the only book I have purposedly left behind has been because I actually hates the main character and couldn’t stand him any longer… 😅😅

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    • Thanks, Juliette! My own sense of completionist won’t allow any form of abandonment too. And I too start a lot of books at the same time but I’ve come to organize myself to read frequently but at specific moments (e.g. one book I carry around at all times to read outside of home, one before sleep, etc.). I totally believe it’s a process and also a realization that we all have at some point in life when we will realize that there’s no point to read on if you’re not enjoying anything about it. Reading should always be for yourself. Unless torturing yourself is your thing of course hahah 😀

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      • Yes, but that’s a tough thing to do, as some books start off being quite boring but end up being amazing, which is why it can be pretty hard to just abandon them! 😊

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  • Hi Lashaan,
    this post was so interesting! I’ve also talked about this topic a while ago.
    I abandon books, I frequentely do so and I don’t feel bad about it. I think that forcing myself to read an orrendous book is non-sense. I’ve started DNFing books many years ago, without even knowing what that meant at the time and I started doing so because the book bored me or because I hated it so much that I had the urge to throw it against the wall. Being against mistreatement of books, I decided to put those books down. Now I abandon books easily, without regretting it and so I make time to read better ones.
    Your reasons are quite accurate, the two in which I identify are “Appeal” and “Mood”. I’m a mood reader, so if I don’t feel like continuing a book I don’t.
    But I have a rule, I don’t DNF all the books that I’m not in the mood for at the moment, I pause them (only if I know that I will be interested in them in the future), so I can pick them up again when I feel like it.
    However abandoning books doesn’t mean not reading bad books, sometimes you have to, as you said, as a required reading for school or for a Reading Challenge or a Reading Group. It happens. But if I have the power to decide for myself I prefer not to read an unpleasant book.

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    • Thank you so much, Martha! I’m so glad to hear how effortless it is for you to quit on them. So far I haven’t yet really picked up really bad books that made me cringe/mad most of the time and I hope it won’t happen anytime soon but I definitely believe that it’s important to be one with our emotions and quit on them if they don’t make us happy. I also love that you hit the pause button on certain books. It’s something that many should consider too since some books are in fact better consumed at a certain specific time in our life.

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  • I rarely DNF books. Like you, I feel that I usually can’t properly review a book I didn’t finish. And I have read so many books that I had trouble keeping up with at first but then later, maybe halfway through, sometimes more, things will start to come together and I will see what the author was driving at all along. However, I have ‘way too many books to read now, and if I come across one that I truly don’t like, I will sometimes not finish it. I was asked to read one not too long ago for a review, that was probably a really well-crafted artsy sort of book. It was written in the form of a group of short stories, that I think may have been supposed to be related somehow by the end. But after reading the first one, which wasn’t too bad but was sort of difficult to understand, and then getting into the second one, which appeared more like some sort of modern poetry than a story, I decided it was more work to understand than I wanted to put into it at the time when I had so many books I already owned that I was much more anxious to read. I think I said as much in my review too, but did not post it in all the usual places.

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    • I totally understand what you mean. I think hitting the pause button on those books is definitely the right approach. Sometimes the prose isn’t exactly what we’re looking at the time we’re opening the book up and I think it’s absolutely okay to tell ourselves that we’ll get back to it later and pick up something that helps us mentally/emotionally. After all, reading should be for ourselves, for pleasure.

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  • Lashaan, I straight up went into this post thinking it was about literally artfully abandoning books. As in leaving books for others to find. My niece was part of something called Book Fairies that did that.

    I’m getting better about DNFing books if they aren’t working for me. Before, I had a notion that I HAD to finish what I started, no matter how hard that became 😂

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    • Hahahah I know about those! I find the initiative pretty cool but never could tell how beneficial it actually is.

      I’m still at that stage in life where I just HAVE to finish all the books too. I don’t know if it’ll change anytime soon hahah 😀

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  • This is a very wise post and I hope that maybe some day I can learn from it. I feel such immense guilt if I ever DNF a book. Even if I hate it. Even if I would rather do chores than read it. No one is forcing me to read, I am out of school. I can choose to read only books I love and adore, yet here I am plowing through books I would rather throw in the trash. I don’t think I’ll be able to start DNFing books right away but I’ll definitely keep this post in mind. “We’re not here to torture ourselves. Reading should always be for pleasure.” I loved this.

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    • Thank you so, so much for your kind words! I truly appreciate it and I totally understand you. It really is okay to abandon those books that don’t make you feel good about reading or even finishing them. There’s no one out there who would dare tell you that you did wrong to do so. They’re in the wrong in that case and not meddle with your personal reading experience. 😀

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  • I’m not sure if I want to smile because your post was amazing or cry over my insane pile of books I abandoned 😭 I’m pretty sure I have more DNF than fully-read books 🙄 The main reason (I think!) is that I forget about them, especially when I use my Kindle: there’s nothing in my immediate surrounding to tell me “oh you have a book that is waiting to be read!”. Unless it’s REALLY good or really short (in these cases I finish them pretty quickly), I just forget that I started 10 books on my kindle, I forget about the existence of my kindle and then when I finally put my hands on it back, I have to charge it and I never do it… So all the books remained unfinished! A similar process is at work when I read online scans 😇

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    • Hahahahahah I sort of had you on my mind as I wrote this post too. 😛 😛 😛 I love how convinced you are that it’s a memory thing! It’s a bit unfortunate that you had to quite on a bunch in the past because of this. You should definitely look into testing strategies that help you remind you that you have unfinished books/series/online scans hahaha Maybe some kind of tips and tricks for amnesic people? Hihihihi just kidding ❤

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  • If I consider a person who has dozens of different tasks to do in 24 hours which leads to more dozens of thoughts arising in the mind, then it gets difficult to talk with same energy at night which was at morning. May be that’s why I guess, the book that seems productive at a moment with some thoughts become less productive with other thoughts.

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  • Abandoning a book is always so sad, but I must admit as an author, I have done that from time to time. I sometimes do work in parts of those abandoned stories to my current works.

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  • I totally agree with all the reasons you give for DNFing a book, and applaud anyone who is able to. For me, once I start something, I feel committed to see it through no matter what, which ends up being to my detriment when it’s a book (or book series) that I’m struggling to get through. To be fair, that’s my standard for basically any form of media, except maybe video games. This has gotten even stronger since I started reviewing things for the same reason that you listed: I always feel like I can’t form a relevant opinion on something without knowing it in its entirety. This article has definitely given me a lot to chew on and consider in my own life, because I know that sometimes refusing to DNF a book keeps me from reading anything else.

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    • I am really glad to hear your thoughts on this since it sounds like you share EXACTLY the same opinion as me on DNFing. It has always been something I can’t fully wrap my mind around even if I know I could be enjoying so much in life if I embraced this art… And, like you’ve said, ever since I started reviewing things I consume, it has become near impossible to abandon what I start. I just got to see it through if I want my opinion to be considered “valid”, at least to me.

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  • I try my absolute best not to DNF because I hate the wasted time and energy. I’ve always been of the thinking that once you get past 50% you are too invested to give up, even if you’re finding it’s not your cup of tea. I have also read books that I hated until the last chapter and then I’ve been totally blown away by the ending. It’s rare but it has happened!

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  • I don’t think I’ve abandoned any books. Before I choose to read anything, I read the blurb on the cover first and the leaf through the book. I look at the first page and if the first sentence grabs me, I will decide to read the book.
    If I find myself in the middle reading the book and for some reason, I lose interest, I give it a speed read treatment so I can find out what happens in the end.

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