Engaging Methuen Readers

Bookish Confessions: The DNF


Hundreds of thousands of new book titles are published each year in the United States alone.  That’s right, hundreds of thousands.  The increasing ease at which authors can now self-publish digital books is sure to make this figure skyrocket even higher into the stratosphere.  It is physically impossible to read them all – even if I just choose the ones that appeal to me.  So why have I insisted on reading every book I pick up through to the end, even if I am completely hating the experience? I really love to read.  It is my escape, my relaxation, my peace.  And I tend to read a lot.  But it took me far too long to accept the fact that I do not actually have to finish every book I start.  I am not signing any sort of contract at the beginning of a book that states my commitment to finish it.  So if I am not finding it enjoyable, and it is threatening my relaxation or peace – I have finally become okay with calling it a “DNF” or “Did Not Finish”.  And it is freeing.

17846 I think the hardest part about being okay with this is when it happens that you DNF a book that your friend/family member/book club member loved.  I have found this to be the case a few times, but most notably when I just had to DNF Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth.  I especially did not like any of the characters and got to the point where I wondered what they could possibly do to better this reading experience for me…  and I couldn’t come up with anything remotely realistic.  I just didn’t care about them, the world they were in, nothing.  Well, I tried to explain this to a few of my classic-loving friends and they were having none of it.  They insisted that if I kept going or tried it again it would be worth it.  To which I thought, for whom?  I appreciated their attempts at trying to sell this book to me, but I still feel much better about labeling it a DNF.  Maybe someday far in the future, I’ll try it again… but I’m not holding my breath.

So, my Bookish Confession for today is:  I am a librarian and I do not finish every book I start.  And that’s okay. Whew.  Anything bookish you’d like to confess?

Author: Sarah

Hi! I am The Head of Reader Services at Nevins Library! I love to read and talk about books. I'll read just about anything, so there's plenty to talk about.

3 thoughts on “Bookish Confessions: The DNF

  1. I used to finish EVERYTHING, but then I realized there were too many books and too little time. Latest DNF? Razorhurst by Larbalestier. I wanted to get in it . . . but just couldn’t. I’m pretty sure I read Ms. Marvel Vol. 2 instead….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Learning that it’s okay to DNF is new to me as well though I admit I still feel like I failed when I do it.


  3. Stacy – I feel like we’ve got to turn that around, and realize that the book failed, not the reader!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s