I’m one of those annoying people who likes to finish books that I’ve started. Even if I read three pages a day and it takes two years, I’m usually one who holds it our till the end. My thought on this that I feel like I owe it to the author to read it cover to cover. I know- it seems pretty lame, but it’s my internal and unspoken contract with a writer- they wrote it, I started it, I’ll see it through.

However, I will admit that there are books that I have not finished. Obviously it pains me, because it is so against my character to just give up and shut the book forever.

Here I present to you the books that I know that I didn’t finish, or skipped an awful lot of the book, so much so it would be a stretch to say I’d actually read it:

  1. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens. Here’s the funny thing about this particular book: I’m doing the Barnes and Noble reading bingo, and one of the squares is “A book you skipped in school”. I was not the greatest of students, however, reading was the one and only thing I did do. I didn’t skip anything…except for a not so careful reading of GE. I TOTALLY skipped whole chapters and paragraphs and whatever. Now I am atoning and reading GE as part of the BN challenge. You know what? I still do not like this book. I mean, the writing is wonderful, and the descriptions are vivid, but SO MANY WORDS. SO MANY WORDS. Even though I want to read it cover to cover, I don’t know if I will make it.
  2. The Elegance of the Hedgehog– Muriel Barbery. “In our world that’s the way you live your grown up life”- simply do not finish this book
  3. Catch 22– Joseph Heller. Love the phrase, hate the book.
  4. Ulysses– James Joyce. This book, said LA, is a nightmare which I must put down
  5. Moby Dick– Call me long winded
  6. Eat, Pray, Love– In for the eating, on board for the praying, out for the love
  7. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo– Stieg Larsson- Then I discovered that I didn’t care about the main character
  8. Another Roadside Attraction– Tom Robbins- This is the only book assigned for a book club that I did not finish. I didn’t care because the person who chose it was 1) rude to me once and 2) rarely showed up for books other than her own

So there’s my true confession- these are the books that I did not finish.

Are you the type of reader that just pushes through, or do you have some books that you didn’t see to the end?

Which books just didn’t cut it for you? Which books made you throw in the towel? What are the books that you just couldn’t finish?

139 thoughts on “DNF

  1. If I genuinely pick a book up to read, I will finish it. (Sometimes I read the first page or two and decide I’m not in the mood and put it back on the shelf, but I don’t count that cause it’s just a test run.) The one time I wish I had DNF’d was Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King. Very cool concept, but terrible execution. It was so dragged out and frustrating.

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  2. I try to finish books too, but sometimes I just can’t. The thing is they tend to be books others love.
    I gave up on A Man Called Ove. I tried to get into it twice but couldn’t. I also gave up on The Flatshare. I stopped reading The Great Alone. And I know I’m going to get blasted for this one but I almost gave up on To Kill A Mockingbird. 🙈 I finished it but I still don’t see why people think it’s so great.
    I’ve given up on other books that are too graphic or the language too vulgar…too many expletives. Just not my thing. 🤷🏽‍♀️

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    1. I get giving up on books…the books I didn’t finish are beloved by many people. Sometimes things just don’t us interested I guess. Funny about Flat share…I recently told someone that I like the premise of Leary’s (Beth Leary- right?) better than her actual books

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  3. I used to believe that if I wasn’t enjoying a book, I would just come back to it later and try again. But after nearly a decade of doing this, my stack of DNF books has grown so large that it would take ages to get caught up, and I feel that it just isn’t worth my time to do this when there are so many wonderful stories to experience that I will enjoy so much more. I’ve found this especially true when it comes to many “classics”. Just because a lot of other people have enjoyed the book and it is deemed influential and important doesn’t mean that you have to enjoy it as well.

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    1. I always feel a little bad about myself if I don’t enjoy a book that many people love…but I don’t know why I do…it’s ok to like different things…

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      1. I definitely get that it can feel bad to not enjoy things when other people do, it’s an “othering” feeling for sure. I’ve slowly learned to stop caring as much about what other people think of me, and I think that might be a reason why I don’t feel that pressure of needing to finish books other people like

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