Why is it that we feel so much pressure to keep reading a book we are not enjoying?

I see it a lot in this bookish world that readers who are stuck with a book that for one reason or another they simply are not enjoying but daren’t stop. It makes everything so difficult and leaves us feeling guilty and stuck reading something we wish we weren’t.

Reading an arc book for Netgalley, Edelweiss, BookSirens or direct from publisher or author certainly adds more pressure to readers that’s for sure so having that weighing in their minds so they don’t get blocked or banned from receiving another in future makes trying to decide what to do that much harder.

No one ever wants a publisher to turn around and say sorry you are never going to get another book from us. It’s like a dreaded thing, as reviewers, bloggers, readers we enjoy getting to be given free books and advanced books so having the thought that if we provide bad feedback, low ratings or DNF the book that we may risk never getting to receive another one from them ever again.

The problem is that time and life is short and not everything is going to be as we want, but we never want the luxury and opportunities to be taken away from us just because of one or two that we didn’t enjoy in the end.

We don’t want to offend anyone by stopping reading and putting the book on the back burner but sometimes there really is no other option and so it’s a choice that must be made no matter how difficult.

I know for me I hate DNFing books and try to rarely do it, I also know I have very little time to read each week and so if I’m stuck with a book I don’t like, I can’t get into it or the writing isn’t very good then I have to make the choice to stop. I don’t want to be wasting my time on something that at the end of the day I’m really not going to enjoy no matter how much I try.

No matter what book it is I always rate 2 stars as most review sites require an actual rating or as far as I know they do, so that is my standard rating. I generally don’t rate books that low in general so it felt appropriate to me personally to do that for all DNFed books. But that’s just how I do it as I had to make a choice when I started finding books I could no longer finish.

Even though I couldn’t finish it I still make sure I write a nice review, still find some part of it that wasn’t too bad. There is always something positive to say about the book so I just try and focus on it, or find something I feel others may appreciate about the book. If it is a topic I didn’t enjoy or a storyline or character I couldn’t connect with, that doesn’t mean that if I give that book to another person they would even feel the same so for me that’s how I choose to review them.

I honestly wish that these sites in particular NetGalley as I use that one the most had a section for DNFed books that won’t take away our ratio of our reviews, not every book is for everyone no matter how good it may have sounded.

Anyway that’s my take on the whole thing, please feel free to share your opinions on DNFing with me, such as what your reasons are for doing it, what you rate them, how you review them, how often you come across a book you choose to DNF.


6 thoughts on “DNFing Books is so Hard

  1. Terrific post. Truth is I have trouble finishing books that I know are well written, but are somehow not for me or isn’t keeping me engaged. I don’t feel guilty in the slightest about DNFing books that I’m reading solely for myself and not for a review because there are so many books out there waiting for me to love. But I do feel guilty even thinking about DNFing books I’ve agreed to review. That’s when I find reading the most difficult.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. It can be so hard to engage into a book sometimes even when you don’t think you’ll struggle you can. That’s great that you don’t have an issue or feel guilty when you read a book you own. But oh yeah doing it for publishers gifted books is next to impossible but you still have to do it sometimes no matter what, there’s only so much time we can give books that we don’t enjoy.


  2. I love the post, I very rarely DNF books, having the feeling that the book will get better, or its me that is the problem not the book, if I do not like a book I read it a little at a time, in fact as I use an ereader and it tells me the average time I read a book at each sitting, it gives me a rough idea what I thought of the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. Oh yeah I understand the feelings like that, that you feel you gotta keep going, I tend not to be able to sometimes though. That’s really good that you have the perseverance to keep reading even if you only read a bit at a time.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, oh that’s really interesting that you can’t rate or review until you’ve completed a book.


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