Is it okay to DNF a book?

Welcome back to That’s What Pea Said… Have you checked out my latest post: 10 Common Signs of Gaslighting? Today I wanted to talk about a subject which has been troubling my thoughts over the past few weeks: is it okay to DNF a book? For those of you not familiar with the term DNF is ‘did not finish’. The truth is, of course it is okay to add a book to the DNF pile: after all there is no harm caused… however, if this is the case why do so many people feel guilty about taking this action?

Generally, I don’t have an issue with sharing my thoughts and opinions – afterall we can’t all enjoy the same things, however the fact still remains that like many others, I feel a sense of uncomfortableness when I’m deciding whether or not I should DNF a book.

Why DNF feels uncomfortable:

☆ The book appears to be popular with others
☆ The book has receieved positive reviews
☆ The book is a best-seller and in the charts
☆ I have to finish the book because I started it
☆ I must respect the authors time and efforts
☆ I’ve paid for it, I need to get my moneys worth

I’m sure these thoughts and circumstances feel relatable to many of us…

I was curious to know how many of my followers share the same DNF anxiety, so I decided to put the question to my instagram followers… The response was 50/50 – occassionaly fluxuating between the ‘yes – I feel it’ and ‘nope – no bother’… Following on from this, I decided to ask why people did not finish particular books and although the responses varied, the consensus was that people either DNF because they weren’t enjoying the book or because life got in the way and took their focus elsewhere.

Reading should spark joy…

In addition to asking my followers to share their thoughts, I decided to take my research to the internet and a number of posts shared similar reasons for choosing to DNF. I have shared them below to give a broader selection of reasons. I actively try not to create or enmesh myself within echo chambers and this activity helps me avoid falling into that trap.

Common reasons why people choose to DNF:

☆ Time is valuable
☆ The content is offensive
☆ The content is triggering
☆ Feeling unable to connect with the characters
☆ Simply ‘not clicking’ with the content

I feel that it is important to bear in the mind that even if you choose to add a book to your DNF pile that does not mean that you will never finish reading the book and that you won’t enjoy reading it in the future… This all depends on why you have made you decision, however it really doesn’t have to be a negative – it’s good to be true to yourself and to acknowledge your thoughts and feelings.

How do you feel about DNF? Lets chat in the comments xo

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