Glossies Made Me Do It: Do You DNF? And When?

Posted October 6, 2017 by shooting in Discussion / 42 Comments

magazine finds

A monthly blog link up where Erika, Ashley, and I all share what Glossies Made Us Do that month (glossies = magazines). Please join us; even if a magazine just made you add something to your wish list, it counts! The link up below will last a couple weeks so you have time!

Looking over my October 2017 magazine issues, there were a couple of fashion items that I really wanted to get and try out for this feature. Unfortunately, I ran out of time, so there might be another Glossies Made Me Do It post later this month. We shall see! Since that didn’t work out, I thought I’d turn this into a bit of a discussion post based on the October 2017 issue of O Magazine! There is an entire section about finding time to do what you love, using your time wisely, and even some great products that will help you save time! One of the things that really stuck out to me is the part that talks about things you can give up doing – or lessen your time doing – without feeling guilt. The last one on the list? Giving up on books! It says that if you’ve reached the 50th page in a book and it’s not working for you, toss it aside! So…let’s discuss!

Do you have a set time to DNF a book?

I know a lot of book bloggers have a set moment when they decide to toss a book aside; we call these DNF reads, which means we Did Not Finish them. I’ve heard of the 50 page rule before, which basically means that if the first 50 pages has not captured your interest, then it’s a-okay to put the book aside and start on something else. I don’t mind DNF-ing books. It doesn’t happen often because I’m fairly good at choosing books that I’ll enjoy, or at least want to finish, but it happens.

I have so many books to read  – for review and just for fun – that I don’t want to waste precious time slaving over a book that isn’t working for me. Yes, this sometimes include review books (though hardly ever). When that happens, I DO post about it but I share why it wasn’t working for me so that other people have a shot of making up their own mind. Maybe the book still sounds like something they’d want to check out, and that’s cool with me!

I don’t really have a set page or percentage rule though. If I’m on my e-reader and it’s before the halfway point, I’m probably more likely to set the book aside than if I was further in. Once I’ve been reading for awhile, I tend to want to know what happens in the end and can push myself to finish.

What about you though? Do you ever DNF a book? And if you do, is there a page or percent rule that you follow, or does it depend on the book? Have you ever read past 50 pages or 50% and STILL DNF-ed in the end?

Let’s discuss!!!

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42 responses to “Glossies Made Me Do It: Do You DNF? And When?

  1. RO

    Girl, don’t get me started on the DNF thing. (lol) Like you, my pile is pretty massive. When I was younger, I plugged along and read pretty much everything I started. Now, if it hasn’t grabbed my attention by Chapter 3, I’m outta there. I have been wrong on one occasion though, and that happened to be with JR Ward back in the day. The first time I picked up a book, I couldn’t get into it. But one month later, I got the first book in the series and became seriously hooked. Then I had the nerve to go into withdrawal while waiting for the next books to come out. (lol) Happy Friday! Hugs…RO

    • shooting

      I do think some books are worth going back to if they just aren’t working at that moment in time, but sometimes I just have to let it go!

  2. I don’t have a set page count/percentage, but if I am not feeling it by the 20-30%, I usually set it aside. I have set aside books sooner, which were messing with my head (it was me, not the book), but for the boredom issue, 20-30% is enough time for a book to get something going and catch my interest.

    Sam@WLABB recently posted: Discussion: Why I Set the Book Aside
  3. I would say if I’m not feeling a book after about 4-5 chapters it’s time to set it aside. I need it to grab me, if it’s not holding my attention or it feels like a chore to read it, then I have to just set it aside.

  4. I’m like you…don’t really have a set page # and I try to pick up books I’ll enjoy to read. That said, I hate when someone recommends a book to me that I struggle with bc I can’t ever pull the plug and then I want to recommend them to read Silas Marner or another book I totally hated in my youth, lol.

    I never read O mag, but I love her. Will have to pick up next time!

    • shooting

      I love Oprah’s magazine; it’s definitely full of a nice mix of things! You can usually find a really great deal on subscriptions this time of the year.

  5. I’m SO horrible at dnf’ing lol I tried the 50 page rule but I don’t think that’s giving a book enough of a chance – unless the writing itself is really poor. Sometimes it can take a little while for characters, plot to hit thier groove so I go closer to 100. But tbh, I’m much more likely to power skim than dnf.

    I am getting better at it though. Like you said, there are just too many books to read to waste time on something you aren’t enjoying.

    For What It’s Worth

  6. I have not given up on a book yet. I am a sucker right to the end. It is the stubborn part in me that just won’t give in. Sometimes I give the author the benefit of the doubt and think that it’ll get better. 9 times out of 10 it doesn’t. Gah. It’s torture.

    • shooting

      oh no! Sometimes it DOES get better; I do agree. I’ve definitely struggled through and loved it in the end – and struggled through and hated it. You never know sometimes!

  7. I just started DNF’ing last year and it’s SO worth it. I used to have a really hard time putting them down, but if it was a struggle and not enjoyable anymore why do it, ya know? I do try to give it to page 50-60 though, as some books just start slow. But honestly, it’s made my reading experience so much better!

  8. I used to always finish books, but as I’ve gotten older (and busier!) I definitely give myself permission to DNF. I have too many books to read to force myself to finish one that I’m not feeling. Yet it’s rare that I actually do that–I don’t pick up too many that I really don’t like at all.

  9. Have have o my quit on 2 books. And after the first 2 chapters Small GREAT things I almost me a that 3. But it ended up being one of the best books I’ve ever read. I’m so glad I kept reading. I think after a few chapters you should be able to decide!

  10. Luckily I have very few books that did not hook me. However, I have a horrible problem of just not being able to toss the books aside. Life is to short to be reading things I am not interested in. I love this idea. I also hope to link up next month! What a great idea!

    • shooting

      Hi Jenna – we’d love to have you link up next month! And so true – there are so many great things to read, and not enough time, so I try to remember that when I wonder if I should just DNF or not.

  11. I’m the worst when it comes to DNF’ing a book, I always think I’m going to miss out on stuff if I stop reading it, but with all the books that I have to read I think I need to implement a 50 page policy too! Thanks for sharing this post with us, I had a lot of fun reading other people’s viewpoints on this!

  12. I used to feel horrible if I didn’t finish a book, but now, I don’t mind setting it aside. Although, I usually do mean to go back and finish it 🙂

  13. I never DNF. I figure, if I decided to pick p the book in the first place, then I’m going to give it a fair shot. I get hundreds of review copies every year from publishers, authors, publicity companies, etc. and I definitely do not read all of them (especially if I didn’t asked for them). So when I *do* pick up a book? It’s a like a chosen one of those hundreds, and regardless of how boring it ends up being (or horrible or offensive or messy or whatever), I’ll finish it. I want to give it a fair shot, you know? Because chances are, I thought I would enjoy it.

    Great post! Have a fantastic week. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    Alyssa Susanna (The Eater of Books!) recently posted: Review: My New Crush Gave to Me by Shani Petroff
    • shooting

      I understand that – I tend to pick the ones I’m fairly sure I’ll enjoy, so it can be tough to set things aside. I admire your dedication!

  14. It’s so hard for me to not finish a book, because I want to know what happens at the end. Even if I stop reading, I usually have the intention to come back to it. I’m kind of struggling with this now – I’m reading Revenge Wears Prada – the Devil Returns, and struggling through some annoying parts. I think I’ll power through anyway just to see what happens.

    • shooting

      I know some people skim read to get to the end; that might be what you need to do with this one. You’ll “finish it” in a sense as you know what happens but you don’t have to read every single world to get there.

  15. My kids just had a magazine sale and I subscribed to O magazine again and I can’t wait to get it. I am one of those people that HAS to finish a book if I start it. Even if I don’t like it 50 pages in. I know, I know… I can’t just S.T.O.P. Is that bad?!


  16. I rarely *rarely* DNF. Like, only 3 or 4 books this year out of over 120 or something like that. But on occasion, if by 10% I already can’t stand the book and there are things really frustrating me that don’t seem like they have any chance of getting better (e.g. usually the writing style doesn’t change, or sexism in the writing, etc.), I’ll stop. Any more than 10% and I feel like all the time I’ve already spent reading is wasted. I did end up DNFing one book this year at maybe 20% though. But anything after that, I’m committed. At that point, quitting the book will cause me more stress lol.

  17. I am terrible at not being able to just put a book down and move on. I have to finish it! However there was a DNF instance a while ago when a book just bored me from the first page and I didn’t think it would get any better.

  18. If it sits on my nightstand and I would rather do anything but read it then DNF it is. We have busy lives I need a book that I crave to read.. or at least am kinda interested in. Else bye bye book

  19. While I certainly do not read as much as used before kids, I was insistent that if I started a book, I had to finish it no matter how boring it may have been. Eventually, I learned that life is too short to waste time reading things that were not enjoyable, so I did set a DNF page limit of 50. It was a struggle for me at first. But now, on the off chance that I do pick up a book to read, if it doesn’t grab me within the first chapter, I toss it aside. I don’t have time for that these days. Wow me or be gone! Great post!


  20. There was definitely a time in my life when I never DNFed. Now that I’m blogging, I’ve started DNFing more just because I don’t have the time to spend on a book that clearly isn’t working for me. I don’t have a hard and fast rule as to when I give up, but I think it’s usually by about the 1/3 mark. I figure by that point I’ve made it through the intro and am moving toward the halfway point. If I’m that far in and still not enjoying it, why continue?

    • So true! I don’t DNF often, but it’s definitely something I do more now that I blog and read a LOT more than I used to. I don’t have time to waste on books that are not working for me.

  21. Jen

    Hmmm. This is a good question! I don’t know that I have a set page number or anything, might even just be something that happens in the book and it’s time to DNF. I liked reading the other comments here though.

  22. I’m like you – generally good enough (well…let’s be honest – PICKY enough) at finding books that aren’t completely hideous for me. I’ve only DFN’d ONE book so far, which might sound heroic, but as I said, I’m picky – and this one was a book the author herself had offered me for review. For this reason, I trudged on for a while, but the writing style was so amateurish and the characters so flat that I had to stop around the middle. I seeked Karen Alderman’s help, and she gave me good advice on how to approach the author with the bad news. Out of politeness, I offered her the option of not reviewing her book neither marking it as DFN on Goodreads, and of course she agreed. But I changed my review policy after that – if you send me a book and I don’t like it, I will at least mark it as DFN, out of honesty. Take it or leave it! LOL.

    I think that, had it not been a review book, I’d have stopped reading after those 50 pages…or even earlier. I wasn’t even curious about the ending, though I took a look at the last page, just for kicks…

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