Reasons to dnf a book

Good morrow, Guiders! I thought we’d talk about reasons to dnf a book, and there’ll be three short reviews of each book that I dnfed at the end of this discussion. Please remember that all these points are my own thoughts and I am in no way trying to sound like I know things or that my view is more important than yours or others. You are more than welcome to agree or disagree in the comments and add your own points. Also, please note that when I use the word ‘we’ or ‘you’, I am using the ‘royal we’ and do not speak on behalf of the blogging community.


  1. You’ve got too many things on your plate.
  • As bloggers we like to think we can do anything and pile up hundreds of obligations because we are super and time has no meaning. As much as I would like to believe, unfortunately I can’t do everything I want to in a day. So sometimes we can’t read 10 books in a month. Maybe we’re only able to read 5, or 2. Maybe you only read 3 and decide not to read the other 2. Nothing wrong with reading more or less books. In the end it’s your choice whether to carry on reading a book or not. Maybe there’s a book or two that’s not grabbing your interest and taking you long to read. And it’s okay to stop reading books if you don’t have the time for it. Maybe you can set it aside and get back to it in a later month.


  1. It’s getting bad reviews
  • We like to wait and see what other people think of the book, safety in numbers and all that. And if it happens that quite a number of other readers have given it low stars and pointed out problematic issues, we feel less inclined to read it. And hey, it’s okay to read a book few like (you can decide for yourself if it’s good or bad) and it’s also okay to not read a book few like. With this and the following point, it’s important to remember that if you don’t feel comfortable with the book and its content, you’re more than welcome to close it. Mental health is key (something I had to learn once I started varsity).


  1. It has problematic themes.
  • In recent years, more and more diverse books are being published. More people are talking about the diverse books, leading them to move from being underrated to being a hot topic. Which is great, because we need those books. Even though more books are being published with more diverse characters, problems can occur when authors don’t do enough research about a certain topic (sexuality, race, etc.) or if something goes wrong in the process. Readers want to see characters who represent them because it makes them feel better about themselves, so when they read books that don’t accurately represent them, it’s not fun reading it. If you encounter a book that has problematic themes or issues involving a topic (sexuality, race, disability etc.) that you have or know a lot about due to a family member or friend or yourself, it’s safe to say you won’t enjoy the book as you’ll be bothered by the rep.


  1. You’re just not enjoying it.
  • OK, so remember I wrote in the first point about having so many things to do that you aren’t able to finish books? Sometimes the reason you keep putting the books off is that they’re not gripping you or not exciting you enough to want to pick up the book and carry on.
  • Think about it – if you really want to read, you’ll make time for it (aka go to sleep later or not go out with friends to finish a book – which I have obviously not done ever in my life); but when you have a book that doesn’t pique your interest, you subconsciously make up reasons to not read and finish the book/s (this is called procrastination, and I have an A in this class 😂).
  • Sure, you picked the book up with the intention of reading it, but sometimes the interest wanes. And when the interest wanes, you don’t want to finish the book.


  1. You chose it for the wrong reasons.
  • You’re agreeing with me when I say we judge books by their covers, right? I think it helps (yes that’s a joke) when the cover is bright or shiny because we are attracted to shiny and colourful things. Example: I am extremely bribable (Yes, this is a new word I just made up) if you swing a few sour worms in front of me. And for the shiny part – my cat is very shiny, so yes, I am very likely to buy a book because of the cover. So sometimes you choose a book because of the cover or other reasons – a celebrity was snapped reading it, a character in a book was reading it, etc. Not that I’m saying those aren’t good reasons for reading a book, but sometimes you start the book not really knowing what the synopsis is about (this happens all the time I mean I love reading, but apparently, I do not love reading the synopsis).



Short reviews of three books I dnfed:

Fever by Deon Meyer

Stars: 2

Reason why I chose the book:

Deon Meyer is an extremely famous South African author and when I saw that Fever was translated (its original title being Koors) I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if I got approved for the book, being a South African?’ Unfortunately, I didn’t think much further than that and I did get approved. Fever was also my first Meyer book.

Reason why I’m not finishing it:

I just didn’t enjoy it. I don’t know if something went awry in translation (So I skimmed the Afrikaans translation and it was more interesting in Afrikaans. There was something in the Afrikaans translation that made the story fly, which was obviously missing in the English translation). That and I didn’t enjoy the narration – Nico’s narration – it just felt flat, like he was reciting a monologue and didn’t like it. I really wanted to like the book, mostly because it’s by a South African author, but it just didn’t capture my attention. And it was also a thick book, and it’s difficult to get into a thick book if it doesn’t interest me.

Any thoughts I had while reading it:

There was a scene where they braaied except in the English translation they used the word ‘barbecue’ and I just laughed because obviously they just translated it and didn’t think of researching if it’s the correct word to use. No South African would use the word ‘barbecue’. I told a friend about it and she laughed too because it’s literally that – “What South African would use the word ‘barbecue?”


Goblins of Bellwater by Molly Ringle

Stars: 3 (for the goblins)

Reason I chose the book:

Goblins, need I say more? I love fantasy and the darker the better. I started this book and it looked really good. Until it didn’t.

Reason why I’m not finishing it:

The way the depression was written is the main reason why I’m not finishing the book. Livy, Skye’s sister keeps on mentioning how Skye was such a happy person, like happy people can’t become depressed? Depression comes in all shapes and sizes and happy people can just as easily have depression as sad people – even if they ‘don’t show it’ in the way that ‘sad’ people do.

The title is Goblins, right? Except the goblins don’t really feature much in the story (I stopped reading around the 50% mark, so I don’t know if they appear more heavily in the second half of the book). But I would expect there to be a lot more scenes involving the goblins rather than the people. It’s called Goblins of Bellwater not People of Bellwater.

Any thoughts I had while reading the book:

The goblins lure people in by planting the scent of coffee and baked goods. And let me just tell you that that will MOST DEFINITELY get me there. Like I would dive head in if I smell coffee and scones. Especially if the scones have whipped cream on it.


Mary Darling by L M D’Mello

Stars: 1

Reason why I chose the book:

It was mostly the title. It made me instantly think of Peter Pan and I just love Neverland, and the description sounded like it was good – because the main character could talk and heal animals, and that really intrigued me.

Reason why I’m not finishing it:

Nothing interesting happens or something that would make me want to read on instead of forcing myself to read on. I think I read until Chapter Nine and realised I should have stopped at Chapter Three. Also, there’s major discrimination and racism against the main character in the book, because she’s Romani. I did not like how the other characters treated the main character and how they flung insults at her. There were too many insults, most of them coming from kids her own age, which annoyed me and then a teacher also contributed to the discrimination, which resulted in my (metaphorical) closing of the book (as it was an e-book).

Any thoughts I had while reading the book:

Do the animals she talks to speak English or does she understand each and every single animal language? Does she speak to them in English or in their language?


That’s the three books I’m not finishing. I did want to finish them, but decided not to; due to various reasons but also because I can give my attention to other books that I know I will be interested in.

How do you choose which books to dnf? Do you agree with my reasons for not finishing a book or not? Tell me down below in the comments!

So long and thanks for all the fish!


2 thoughts on “Reasons to dnf a book”

  1. I do agree with your listed reasons! Still, I often force myself to finish a book because sometimes things get really good near the end. More often, though, it’s simply because I don’t want to let the money I spent in purchasing the book go to waste 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! Sometimes that does happen – it getting better in the end. Most of the books I buy come from sales and basaars so they’re all really cheap (so I don’t feel bad about spending money 😁).


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