Things That Make Me DNF (Do Not Finish)

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on November 7, 2018 | 2 Comments

For those of you who’ve been here a while, you know I’m a ruthless DNFer. If I’m not enjoying a book by 50-100 pages, I typically move on. Sometimes I don’t even give it that long. I refuse to force my way through a book I’m not enjoying when there are so many other fish in the sea, so to speak!

Without further ado, here are the reasons I choose to DNF a book!


Poor pacing is the number one reason why I let books go. I don’t do well when I have to force myself through things, and being bored is the quickest way to lose me! This is the reason for nearly all of my DNFs, to be honest. I have the attention span of a goldfish, so a book has to have pretty decent pacing to keep me interested, oops.

Books I DNFed due to poor pacing:


There have been plenty times when I just can’t jive with the author’s writing. Maybe it’s too sophomoric, or I just don’t like the style. Every once in a while I’ll stumble on a writing style that grates on my nerves for reasons I can’t put my finger on, and when I feel like that I can’t force myself to continue!

Books I DNFed due to prose:

Cat killing

While I haven’t DNFed every book that contains cat killing (actually, my fave series ever has it – which 1000% devastated me but didn’t turn me off the books), it’s rare that I’ll continue after that happens. It’s viscerally emotional for me, and a major turn off. Especially if they describe it in detail – I just don’t need that. Usually I’m too emotionally scarred to continue after that.

Books I DNFed due to cat killing:


Sometimes there are things in a book that are so freakin’ ridiculous that I just can’t do it. I can suspend belief for most fantasy and sci-fi, but sometimes it just crosses the line. Usually this is paired with really sophomoric writing.

Books I DNFed due to ridiculousness:

Other things that make me want to DNF include:

  • Horrible characters
  • Poor world-building
  • Confusion about the story/world
  • Lack of research/wrong facts

Do you DNF books? If so, what are your reasons? Tell me some books that you have marked as DNF!

Jessi (Geo)

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2 responses to “Things That Make Me DNF (Do Not Finish)

  1. My #1 reason to DNF is that I realize I don’t care what happens in the book next AT ALL. Pacing often plays a role in that, but it’s mostly about the characters. If I can’t connect with any of the characters and don’t understand why I should root for them or care about their story, then I am out.

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