Last year, I finally started really DNF-ing books. Not like I was looking to do this. I mean, obviously when we start reading a book, we hope to FINISH the book, not give up in frustration. But for me, I was always one of those people who felt like they HAD to finish reading something, even if it was terrible, poorly written, had awful characters, or all of the above.
For the most part, I find that I’ll skim through a book before I DNF it. I think there’s part of me that thinks the end will redeem the book. Of course, by the time I get to the end of the book I’m just so relieved to have finished it that I probably could’ve DNF-d it and had the same results.
So, what makes me DNF a book? A few things (and these definitely aren’t all of the things!).
- A plot that goes nowhere. I want something FAST-PACED and EXCITING. Even if it’s a drama-type of a book, it still needs to be moving. If it starts to drift and get really slow, I’m more tempted to put it down and never pick it back up.
- Too many characters. This is especially bad if it’s a series. I like WELL-DEVELOPED characters, not tons of characters. I want the story to excited me through the STORY, rather than through a whole bunch of people I can’t remember.
- Poor editing. When a story is missing quotation marks, switches from first- to third-person, or just has not-so-realistic wording or dialogue, I get frustrated.
- Cliched characters. I’ve noticed this happens a lot in the YA or New Adult genre. And, I guess, in the romance genre. I want your characters to be DIFFERENT. Make them stand out!
Usually, if I’m about 50 to 100-pages into a book and I put it down, never wanting to pick it back up, most likely I’ll mark it as a DNF. A book has to have something in it to want me to come back. I’ve had some books that I’ve put down due to lack of time to read them, but I’m still super excited to get back to them. There are other books that I put down and could take or leave them.
For me, DNF-ing a book really is a hard thing. Like I said, I’m still more likely to skim through a book than to DNF it, but when I think about it, there’s not a huge difference between the two. I should want to read ALL THE WORDS rather than skim through them all — or not read them at all.
What makes you DNF a book? Are there some books you’ll force your way through anyway?