THE DNF book tag was created by Gunpowder, Fiction & Plot over on YouTube!

1) Do you DNF?

ALL THE TIME. If I’m not enjoying a book, or if I start feeling like reading it is becoming a drag, then I DNF it. Simple as that.

2) If you do DNF, does it count for your finished books for the month?

Nope. I have a tab in my reading spreadsheet that I use for tracking which books I’ve DNFd, and how much of them I read before DNFing them. I don’t count books I’ve DNFd in my reading challenge though.

3) Is there a difference between DNFing & just putting the book down for a little bit?

Yes! Sometimes I start a book and I’m not enjoying it because I know I’m not in the right mood for it; in that case, I just put it back on my TBR so I can come back to it later when the time is right.

4) What popular books have you DNFed?

SO MANY. White Teeth by Zadie Smith, A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler, Trust Exercise by Susan Choi, The Man Who Saw Everything by Deborah Levy, Ghost Wall by Sarah Moss, the list goes on.

5) What are some books you wished you DNFed?

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell, A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum, The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo, The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro, Topics of Conversation by Miranda Popkey — basically any book that I’ve rated 2 stars is fair game here. I skim read the last 25% of all these books, which is almost always a sure sign that I should’ve just given up and DNFd them.

6) Have you ever re-attempted to read a DNF? And was this successful for you?

Yes! I recognize that my reading tastes change over time, so I’m always open to revisiting books that I’ve DNFd. Two books that I DNFd in 2019 that I revisited last year were Milkman by Anna Burns and The Idiot by Elif Batuman. Coincidentally enough, both those books ended up at the top of my favourite books of 2020 list, so I can definitely see the value of going back to a book you’d DNFd after some time away.

More recently, I went back to Fingersmith, which I’d DNFd a long time ago, because I had a feeling I would like it, and surprise surprise, Sarah Waters is now one of my favourite authors.

7) What do you do with DNFed books?

Nothing? Almost all the books I read come from the library so if I DNF a book I just return my loan and never look back ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

8) Do you choose more or less risky titles based on your DNF policy?

I think reading from the library and also being pretty liberal with DNFing makes me read a lot of books on a whim/very randomly. I just add stuff to my TBR based on ~the vibes~ and if I don’t end up liking the books then it’s back to the library they go. I feel like DNFing books that I’ve borrowed from the library makes everything very low stakes, as compared to buying a book and feeling the pressure to at least read the whole thing because you spent money on it.

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12 thoughts on “THE DNF BOOK TAG

    1. exactly!! that’s my reasoning as well – i do get finishing a book, but when im not enjoying a book it becomes such a struggle to force myself through it


  1. Great tag! I wish I had DNF White Teeth, The Most Fun We Ever Had and Hamnet and I did DNF Trust Exercise 🙂 I do count DNF books towards my read total if I’ve read a significant % of them, though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Most Fun We Ever Had holds a special place in my heart as one of the most annoying books i have ever read lol 💖 and it’s hard to tell with DNFs, they’re always in this weird limbo where you did read part of them so you want to count that somehow, but sometimes not enough to feel like they should be counted…also how to mark them on goodreads??

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I delete them from Goodreads if I didn’t get far enough for them to count, otherwise I just note the % where I dnfd!

        Haha I think I must have been enjoying how bad The Most Fun We Ever Had was at some level or why else did I finish it??

        Liked by 1 person

      2. i remember i was listening to The Most Fun We Ever Had Audiobook (which was SO LONG) and i started out at like 1.5x, feeling optimistic, and ended it at like 2.0 or 2.5x speed or something lol.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I DNF a lot more easily than I used to and appreciate doing so. While I rarely go back to those books, I’d usually be open to it. I find the library checkout timeline helps too. If I’m struggling through a book and it comes due without me feeling enthusiastic about it, that’s usually a sign to DNF!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha i can totally relate to your library tip. oftentimes too i can tell that a book is going to be a DNF if im just not very excited to return to it when im not reading it, or actively dread going back to it.

      Liked by 1 person

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