Bookish Stuff

Why I find it almost impossible to not finish a book


Why I find it almost impossible to not finish a book


I find it almost impossible to ‘DNF’ books

I know all the reasons why people refuse to finish books they’re not invested in:

“Too many books, too little time”
“I read for enjoyment, if I’m not enjoying it, why would I continue?”
etc etc..

but I just can’t seem to do it. Maybe it’s because I’m really really nosy and can’t stand the thought that I might MISS OUT ON SOMETHING.  Or maybe it’s because I’ve read one too many books where I really wasn’t loving it for the first half, then suddenly it all came together?  I can’t give those Book 5 star ratings, because no matter how great the ending was, if the beginning dragged, it still dragged, BUT I’ve definitely read books I’m glad I persevered with.

I also couldn’t bring myself to review a book I hadn’t finished. I know how much time and effort writers put into their work and, even if it turns out the book wasn’t for me, I’d still feel as though I was doing them a disservice with a low rating when I hadn’t actually read the whole book.

Also, on a general life level, I’ve had times where I honestly thought my life would never turn around. When situations seemed so hopeless that the light at the end of the tunnel wasn’t just dimmed, it looked like it had been switched off. In those dark times, I always ended up telling myself “Just one more day”.  Just go one more day and see what happens.  And, so often, I’d look back a few weeks, months, or at one stage a couple of years later and think “I’m so glad I kept plodding along, look where I am now!”  So, when I’m reading a book that has me bored, irritated or wanting to throw it at the wall, I literally start to repeat “Just one more chapter” to myself.  I give myself permission to DNF if I still hate it after one more chapter. Then, at the end of that chapter….I’m nosy enough to go one more, and one more…

In saying all of that, I find it easy to DNF audiobooks when I’m not enjoying them. WHICH MAKES NO SENSE WHATSOEVER, but there you are! Even if the narrators voice is just annoying – NOPE, moving on!

How do you feel about DNF’ing books? Do you do it often? Do you review books you didn’t finish?








13 thoughts on “Why I find it almost impossible to not finish a book”

  1. I don’t usually barely get started on a book if I don’t like it. It’s rare for me to not finish a book, because what I’m really doing is not even finishing the first chapter, which to me, seems more like not starting a book, rather than not finishing a book.
    The only book I was half way through before giving up was The Goldfinch, because I really felt that it wasn’t going to lead anywhere positive. I DID read all the way to the end of The Secret History, which was a little bit disappointing, because the climax of the story happens around the middle of the book, and the last three hundred pages are just this uncomfortable tense epilogue of sorts. There are a few dramatic and interesting moments, and in this case I was basically glad to have read all the way to the end, as it is an achievement, and if I hadn’t read all the way to the end I would never have known what I was missing. But really, if that’s taught me anything, it’s to give up on a book if you’re not enjoying it. I don’t know how you can go on reading something you’re not enjoying, because I don’t find I have the inclination to do so. It’s often not a case of me deciding not to finish a book, it’s a case of me finding that I never finished that book. It just doesn’t happen!
    One book I was disappointed to have to stop reading was The Historian, because it didn’t employ the use of speech marks. So it became impossible to follow! It was this exciting story which was sometimes from the perspective of the daughter and sometimes from the father, but it became impossible to follow because I didn’t know who was talking about what. Mostly it’s told from the perspective of “I” so you don’t know if “I” is the Dad or the daughter. It’s a while ago now, but I think there was even another narrator? I can’t remember, but it was so confusing. I wonder how it ended…


    1. Sometimes I wonder whether it’s just that I’ve never actually picked up any books that I really can’t stand. I mean, I’ve had some that were a bit boring or annoying, but I can’t recall a book that I thought at the end “I wish I’d never read that”. I’ve had several on audiobook I’ve just been bored to tears by though. I often wonder if I would have finished them in physical form 🤔 I think maybe there were books I didn’t finish years ago, before I started reviewing them. I’m sure I’ll come across at least one book in the future I just have to put down and never pick up again too 😄


  2. So far, I’ve only DNFed 6 books. I force myself to read them as much as I can, especially when it’s read to review. I feel like it is unfair to the author when I get an ARC but don’t finish it.


  3. I cannot DNF a book either. I have to know how it ends regardless if I am bored etc. I also have to finish a series if I start it.


  4. Gosh, I know the struggle very well. I also rarely DNF a book, I don’t like to. I always feel that, once I started a book, I’m engaging in a commitment to see it through so that I can provide a good review of how it was for me. I might end up giving it a 1 star, but I feel that at least I have all on my side to provide an honest review. However, I have DNFd a couple books in my life. I can count them with the fingers of just one hand (that’s how little I do it). And most of the time, it has been because I know where the story is going and I have no desire to pull through 200 hundred pages just for them to tell me what I know. I DNF books when I know they story, when I can guess all that is going to happen, when there is nothing for me in it. This normally only happens to me with certain YA books. I’ve DNFd ‘Everything, Everything’, because 10% into the book, I figured it all out, and I got bored. I watched the movie later, and turned out I was right. I DNFd ‘Cruel Beauty’ because the main character (Nix if I remember correctly) annoyed me to no end, her personality was just too clashing with me at the moment and I knew I wouldn’t be able to pull through, so I set it aside for later (because I still want to give it a chance). I DNFd ‘Bloodline’ a Star Wars book because I’m honestly not a fan, and the book had too many characters and things that if you’re not a fan, you just don’t understand and I was completely lost. Not my book. And I DNFd ‘The Divine Comedy’ 3 times before I finally made it all the way to the end. That’s it, I haven’t DNFd another book, no matter how awful a time I’m having, because I always want to be able to tell others about my experience, and I honestly can’t do it if I haven’t gone through all the book. And no, I never review books I DNFd. I can’t. I fell it would be unfair to the authors.


    1. Yes to all of this! I sometimes wonder if it makes me a lot more selective about what I read too. There might be some books I never give a chance because, since I know I will stubbornly struggle through to the end, I won’t pick up a book where the synopsis sounds like it’s not going to be something I’ll like!

      Liked by 1 person

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