Book Discussions

Over Coffee: How to not feel guilty when you DNF a book

Happy Saturday Bookworms!

As the weather keeps dropping, my intake of the life juice (coffee) keeps rising! A girl’s gotta keep warm in this frosty weather!

Coffee in my culture is something that brings people together, it’s what is brought out when guests/family are over. My family brews coffee about three times a day. It’s usually accompanied with ritz crackers or bread!

During the coffee drinking and cracker/bread eating, there is usually a some sort of discussion happening. Family gossip, neighborhood gossip, childhood memories/stories, etc etc etc.

So I thought, Why not bring it to the digital world? Discussion posts are not a common occurrence here in A Novel Idea and I should change that. Many book bloggers do them frequently and while I am in no way comparing myself to them…they look fun and I want to try it out!


Bookending Winter 2019 is in 7 days! The announcement post is up on Clo @ Bookdragons‘s site, Bookending Winter 2019 Announcement. Be sure to sign up and prepare to be a part of such an amazing bookish event!

Whether you are new to the book community or a veteran, I highly recommend participating! It connects you to new and exciting book blogs; not to mention, you can meet wonderful bookish people!

We’ve all done it. Fell out of love, became disillusioned, couldn’t bear to take it any longer. We called it quits before the end and the overwhelming guilt pestered us for days….

It’s never easy DNF-ing a book. It takes months, sometimes even years, to DNF without a care!

I struggle with it. I admit it. I rarely DNF a book but when I do….

I spend days feeling bad about it. I feel like I’m a bad reader, that I didn’t give the story a chance. Everyone else liked it, why dont I? Is it me? Am I too critical? Too boring? Why don’t I see what they see?

I’ve been working on lessening the guilt because in reality IT’S OKAY.

You don’t have to like it.

You don’t have to see what everyone else sees in it.

You aren’t boring nor too critical.

It’s just not for you.

It’s really that simple.

The things that I’ve been doing to help me lessen the guilt of DNF-ing and have so far minimized it:

  1. Affirm that it’s okay: You picked up the book because it seemed interesting, you read a ways in and gave it a chance. If it didn’t work, it didn’t work.
  2. List the things you did like and then the things you didn’t: Sometimes finding the things you did like lessen the feeling of guilt because it shows that while it wasn’t your cup of coffee overall, there were some things you enjoyed. So time wasn’t wasted in the grand scheme of things.
  3. Stop actively looking at reviews for the book. Seriously, stop.
  4. Stop comparing yourself to other readers: Everyone likes their coffee differently. Some don’t like it at all. You are you and they are them.
  5. Realize that you can move on to the next book quicker: So what if it didn’t work out…now you can read that other book you’ve been itching to read!
  6. Cry for a little while then remind yourself who you are.
  7. Scream
  8. Throw the book in the trash…

The last 3 aren’t real….BUT the point is that we should slowly learn not to take it too seriously. People stop reading things all the time! Recipes, Stop signs, this blog post, etc etc etc

If the book is meant to be, it will. If it’s not, then you have more time to find the ONE.

Do you feel guilty when DNF-ing a book? How do you deal with it?

Let me know in the comments below!

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  1. I’ve been trying to work on being able to DNF books more easily and I’ll admit it’s been hard but I have gotten better at it!
    Honestly though, sometimes looking at reviews helps me because I can relate to some of the parts I found good about the bad and then I end up reading the bad reviews which makes me feel okay for not being Abel to connect with the book.

    1. Cheers to getting better!

      That’s a good point! I didn’t think about it that way!

  2. Great post!!! I don’t feel guilty when I DNF but sometimes I do find myself wondering how the book would have ended and I like to read spoiler reviews to satisfy that curiosity :)))

    1. Thank you! Ugh goals! I wait for the day that I dont feel the guilt!

  3. I almost never DNF a book. When I do, I don’t feel bad at all! Really, I should DNF more books–it might increase the guilt level, but my reading time would be better spent.

    1. I’m there with you!

  4. I used to feel bad about dnfing books – mostly because I was definitely that type of reader who thought they’d have to read every book in existence otherwise I’m not one. But then I realised that by forcing myself to read every book is actually making me not want to read anymore. Now I’m definitely an advocate for dnfing books. Totally agree with you! Sometimes the book just doesn’t work for you and it’s totally fine for that to happen.

    1. That’s very true! Forcing yourself to read something you dont want definitely makes you not want to read it. Schools do that and I feel like it’s the reason why so many adults don’t like to read!

      1. Oh, yeah, that’s totally true! They’re just like ‘here’s 3 books you need to read and then write essays about in an hour or else you’ll fail the grade’ like wow, thanks.

  5. Tyrus Torres says:

    This post is to real for me right now. Picked up a book that was recommended by my community of readers and it is rough. The story is good, the characters are interesting, but something about the writing leaves me not connecting and understanding the story entirely. I might have to drop this book, but I may have to label this book into the DNF category once my christmas wishlist comes in soon!

    A great read, I appreciate your perspective on this subject and hope to hear more from you soon!

    1. I hate when that happens. Great story and characters but the writing is just a bit off.

      If you’re going to continue with it, I hope the writing clicks with you!

      Thank you for reading <3

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