Chai break

Chai break: The dreaded DNF

Chai break is a periodic feature on This is Lit to discuss concerns that every book blogger has. This is meant to be a lighthearted discussion that you’d have over tea and the only reason for it not being called Discussion Post is that the site’s author thinks that would be too mainstream. Pfft.

Start dipping your biscuits into your chai and your ears into this conversation, for I have an important announcement to make.

I’ve never DNF-ed. Ever.

*Takes a bow.*


*Peacocks just a smidge*

It’s something I’m insanely proud of. I always feel so bad giving up on a book. My reason for never DNF-ing is nothing saintly, like “the author spent time and effort on this. I won’t give up on him/her”. It’s just that I never give up. (Says the girl who half the time looks like she’s given up on exercise, good eyesight, and life in general.)

I’m a proud person and I see only in black and white. I do not like saying I did something halfway. It’s always in the extremes for me and I can never say that I gave up on a book because I found it boring. It was only after I started blogging that I discovered there was such a thing as DNF and people did it. The first question on my lips was “wait, that was an option?”. I’ve since then taken a long and hard look at this DNF trend and here’s what I think about it.


  • You no longer have to suffer at the hands of a book you don’t like.
  • You can spend the time reading a different book–although you’d probably end up reading Harry Potter for the gazillionth time.
  • You can be honest with your followers. They’ll appreciate you for being truthful about a book you weren’t able to finish.
  • You can decide if the hatred for the book is also a hatred for that genre. You can then run in the opposite direction from that genre, like Stephenie Meyer confronted with a book on character development.


  • Saying you gave up on a book because you weren’t “in the mood for it” lowers your credibility as a book blogger. You’re supposed to tell people about the books, not wuss out. How can you form an opinion about a book when you did not even finish it? Writing a DNF review for it is pushing it too far, my friend.
  • That nagging feeling of work unfinished. It keeps looming in the back of your head, goes “oh, hi” right when you’re about to go to bed, and then keeps you up for several hours. (One time, I wanted to DNF a book so bad but this happened and, the next day, I plowed through the book and came out, sanity intact.)
  • You miss out on a possibly amazing book. There are times when you don’t appreciate a good book the first time around. This could be because of your own mood at the time of reading, happenings in your personal life, the position of the moon, anything really. Maybe the story picks up at the 45% mark and becomes brilliant after that. Do you really want to miss out on that?

DNF has both advantages and disadvantages. I’m not one of the stronger opponents of  DNF-ing–I finish every book I start reading, only because I don’t like having unfinished business (damn, I’d make a scary ghost). But where do you stand? This chai break, I want to know why you’re strongly for or strongly against DNF-ing.

Discussions commence in 10, 9, 8…

Let’s discuss! Are you for or against DNF-ing? Reasons for the same? As always, let’s talk it out in the comments! 🙂

~ Shruti

Find me on Goodreads


7 thoughts on “Chai break: The dreaded DNF

  1. I have DNFed maybe a handful of books in my whole life. Now, as a book reviewer, my main rationale for finishing atrocious books is, how can I adequately review a book I gave up on? If it’s a crappy book, then I can warn others. Now, if I discover a book is gratuitously violent or sexual, that might be another matter…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was drinking chai while reading this too, how fitting 😀 . I have DNF-ed a lot of books because I just could not get through them. It’s usually because of poor writing style or stereotypical characters. But I very rarely review books I haven’t finished because I don’t think that’s fair to the author; the ones I do review, I make sure to write why couldn’t finish it. You’re a lot more patient than I am if you’ve never DNF-ed a book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wouldn’t say I’m too patient. Like I said, I just don’t like leaving books unfinished. Also, because I don’t DNF, I carefully pick the next book to read. I never read a book if I feel like it’s something I would find boring.😊

      It’s great that you let people know why you didn’t finish a book. I really appreciate it when people do that.😊 Some reviewers give a rating and then say they didn’t finish the book. That, I do not particularly like, haha.😁

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I actually did a discussion post about this yesterday. Here’s how I feel about DNF’ing books, I’m all for it, and writing reviews for said books. I would rather read and know why someone DNF’ed a book, and that goes with being an honest reviewer. I also don’t have a problem DNF’ing books because I feel like I could be spending the time reading something that I know that I will enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ooh, these are the pros that I see in DNF-ing too, even though I don’t do it.😊 I tried really hard to give up on a book once. It was SO bad. And I had The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (JKR!!) lined up to read next. I easily could’ve DNF-ed and gone on to the next obviously amazing book but I just couldn’t! I’m sure my readers would’ve appreciated it when I listed out the reasons I couldn’t finish the first book, but I still wasn’t able to do it. Ugh.🙈

      I like that you are more comfortable with DNF-ing. Teach me your ways, master!😁


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