Why I’m Not Finishing The Books I’m not Enjoying

Three years ago, I would religiously finish all the books even if I was not enjoying them because I strongly believe I should give the book a chance and not judge it until I know the ending. But see, I was so wrong. Because until you experienced such a bad book, you would definitely want to not finish it and you know what? Life’s too short to waste your time on books you know you don’t like.

The question is: how far should you go before you decide it’s not for you anymore? Well, to be honest, as soon as you think it’s not to your liking, you can close it. 

Wonder what book made me realize that? Surviving High School by Lele Pons. Okay read the first sentence :“I wasn’t always sexy, cool and popular”. Then I tell myself, maybe she made it on purpose to mock herself, but now all the novel is exactly like that.

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How awful a book can actually be? It sends HORRIBLE messages to easily influence young people, and I felt it was an insult to authors and readers everywhere.  I have never read a book that bad only meant to feed the own author’s ego.

“I am Lele Pons and nothing can keep me down. I am invincible! The invincible invisible girl, that’s me.”

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Have you had similar experience where you DNF a book ? 

– Trang

14 comments

  • DNFing can be great! I think the last few books I DNF’d were because one of them was too sexual and the other was good but referenced a lot of classics I haven’t read yet. I might go back to it once I’ve read the books mentioned.

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  • Yeah, if something is seriously dragging or I intensely dislike it I will dnf. But if it does have some elements I’m liking I’ll at least try to push forward and see if it gets better. I dont like dnfing but I will definitely do so if I’m just not vibing overall.

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  • I rarely still can’t bring myself to DNF books 🧐 I mean, I totally understand it and see the point of it, there’s truly an infinite amount of books to be read so why finish something if you’re not enjoying it but then I’m also like aaah but still?! 🧐

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  • Right! Life is too short for forcing our way through a book that we don’t like. For me, I’d usually read about 50 pages or a chapter before deciding if I’d continue reading. But if it’s really frustrating me to read those 50 pages, I’d just DNF it right away.

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  • Honestly I have this obsession where I just need to finish something that I start. It’s the same with tv shows and movies. I could have literally saved myself hundreds of hours of spare/free time if I stopped reading/watching things I didn’t enjoy, but I just can’t do it.😂😂

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  • Being part of the “Life’s too short” school of thought, I’m unwilling to waste my time on stories I don’t like: usually if by the 20% mark the story failed to draw me in, I give up, but there have been instances where I stopped long before that…

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  • I have a really tough time with this. I know life’s too short, and there’s plenty other books out there I know I’ll enjoy more, but I still have a very hard time putting one aside. I have done it, and hope to do so again if I run into other books that really don’t work for me, but I tend to look for, and mostly find, positives in most things, so I keep reading. I rarely hate a book, but there are those I’m rather ambivalent about, ones that perhaps I should have just given up on and moved on to something more entertaining or enriching. I struggle to DNF. It’s a work in progress that I haven’t given up on yet. 🙂

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  • If I get halfway through a book, I carry on with it, but generally I know a few chapters in if I’m not digging it. You are doing the right thing to focus on books you’re enjoying!

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  • I never used to not finish a book. I would push through even if I was miserable and skimming pages. Now, I still feel bad but I know that someone else loves that book and I deserve to read what I love too! Great post!

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  • Interesting discussion! I was on the No-DNF bandwagon for so long, but now have changed my mind. I came to realize that our time is precious and we can read only so many books.

    It usually happens with nonfiction for me, when an initial reading spurt takes me to 30-40% after which it becomes a slog.

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  • I am pro-dnfing all the way. I can’t do anything I don’t enjoy doing so if I’m reading a book I’m not liking, I take longer to read it. Why am I punishing myself and wasting my time by reading something I am not liking? It’s not worth it to me.

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