I don’t feel guilty for not finishing a book anymore.

Posted January 19, 2017 by Michelle in discussion posts / 20 Comments

No guilt

If you asked me 2 years ago if I would feel bad about not finishing a book, I would have said yes. Now, not so much. I recently read a post from my Blogger BFF, Berls over at Fantasy is More Fun, she talked about why she got pissed after finishing a book that she only gave 2 stars too. You can see that post HERE. This got me thinking about a book I just DNF’d this year. Yup….not even a month in and I already had my first DNF..Why? Well I am planning on telling you and letting you know that I do not feel guilty about it…not one bit.

How often do you just not finish a book? Before blogging it would happen often, you just didn’t know because I wasn’t writing about it. Once I started blogging, I would posts about books I wanted to read, ARCs I would get and was excited about or books that I purchased. I would read them and realize…Um..No, I don’t like this. I would then force myself to finish the book or feel really, really guilty about it. So mush so that I would quietly remove them from my Goodreads, Currently reading, and move onto the next book, never letting anyone know why I didn’t finish it because I felt so bad for not liking it. Now I don’t feel guilty anymore…what changed?

The recent book I was reading , I just wasn’t feeling the story, it was rather flat and I wasn’t connecting with the characters. I realized at the moment that I am done trying and just want to read and enjoy. Now, should I have kept reading something I didn’t like? I have a TON….A TON of books that are just sitting on my kindle and my book shelf waiting for me to read them…well maybe not waiting considering they are books but like stuffed animals I do think books have feeling too……anyway, I have so many books I want to read that I can’t feel bad that I don’t like a book. I don’t eat liver because I don’t like it but you might like, I don’t feel bad I don’t like it, we all are not going to like the same things. So it’s sort of the same with books. I want to enjoy a book and I want to get as far away from real life as possible and that isn’t going to happen if I keep reading a book I don’t like. You know what else happens when I don’t like or hate a book? I get angry, like my friend Berls said. You know what happens when I get angry? I write a not so nice review that no one deserves. So I would rather be totally bummed I didn’t like it, write a short review about why and leave the anger for those things that really make me angry, like people that don’t believe stuffed animals have feelings too.

You are not going to like EVERY book you read, just like you aren’t going to like every person you meet. No one says you have too and no one should force you to like someone if you don’t…same with books….Well, that was better than the liver comparison. So you can’t feel guilty and I am sure an author doesn’t want someone to read their book if they are not enjoying it, they wrote it to be enjoyed but they also understand not everyone is going to like their book.  As much as I was against writing DNF reviews, I have decided I think people need to know why I didn’t like it and realize it’s ok to not like it. I don’t want to feel guilty for not liking something. I use reading to relax and get me away from real life. Regardless of where I get the book from…if I don’t like it, I am not reading it.

At this point you are probably thinking this totally makes no sense or what the hell did she just say or did she just compare eating liver to reading a book? yes I did….but, thanks for not DNF’ing this 🙂

Do you feel guilty about not finishing a book? or Not at all like me?

Thanks for stopping by

Have a great day and HAPPY reading!


About Michelle

I am a mom to two pretty amazing kids, four pretty cute fluffy children and a wife to one adorable husband. I am a gamer, reader and a graphic designer with 20 years experience. I recently started my own business "Limabean Designs" to help other bloggers, authors and anyone else create amazing things that they would be proud to show off. I have been reading since forever and started blogging because I love sharing all the awesome books this world has to offer. I am also the co-host for the COYER Challenge, Reading Assignment Challenge and the Bookish Resolutions Challenge. I try to create a warm welcoming environment on my blog where authors, readers, and bloggers will have a great time. Let’s chat books, games, blogging, recipes, design, or family over a cup of coffee and a glass of wine!



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20 responses to “I don’t feel guilty for not finishing a book anymore.

  1. OMG I’m LMAO – yes! Save you anger for people who don’t believe stuffed animals have feelings 😉

    I’ve DNF’d books for a while now – but I’m much fiercer about it now. If I don’t see you being more than a 2 star, why am I pushing on? In the hopes you’ll maybe make 3 stars? I like 3 stars books, but to not have read a 3 star is no great loss. A 5 star is. And pushing through that book that MIGHT make it to 3 star status but probably won’t could be keeping me from a 5 star! So yeah, I’m DNFig a lot more now. I’ve DNF’d at least one this year… maybe 2. 🙂 I’ve joined the dark side!

  2. I almost never DNF, but it’s not because I feel guilty, it’s just because of my own curiosity and indecision lol. But nope, no guilt. I received two review copies last year but once I started reading, it just wasn’t for me, so I decided not to read them. It happens sometimes!

  3. I was like you before I really started moving forward with my blog. I would suffer through and agonize and force myself to finish a book and feel guilty as hell if I didn’t like it. And I’d still review it and say as nice of things as I could. Now, I DNF. I’m not saying I have no problem DNFing, because I do. That little guilty voice forces me to read to at least 25% of a book. Around that time I know if the plot is going to pick up or if it really is a dud. And I write DNF reviews. I wrote one just last week. I think it’s important to share your reading experience with others who have similar reading tastes for them to know this book might not be for them. Or it could be all the author, like things that need improving (developmental editor, copy editor, etc.)

    • Yes 25% is my cut off, if I have more cons than pros in 25% I am bailing on the book without feeling bad.
      I will write a small one on goodreads but not taking a blog post to do it. Maybe one big one at the end of the year….which sounds like a good idea and I might actually do that lol

  4. I’ve never been a big DNFer even before blogging. I do remember vividly putting down a book because the victim was described in a way that sounded exactly like my daughter and I just couldn’t get past it. I’m actually getting better about DNF’ing now because I just have so many books to read and am working on a timeline. If it’s a review book I do try and at least skim through towards the end but if I’m not liking a book that’s just for fun it doesn’t get finished. Like you though I try and focus on the reasons a book didn’t work for me because what doesn’t work for me might be perfect for you and vice versa!

    Katherine recently posted: How to Ruin a Queen - Nonfiction Review
    • I do try with review books but if they are books I pick up or grab free, I don’t really care if I DNF or not. Review books I set rules as to when I feel ok with officially calling it. Usually after 25% if I haven’t wanted to read or been reading for 3 days and still at 25%. I also factor in a bunch of other things but I like to at least wait until I get to 25 before bailing.

  5. Welcome to the dark side, dahling :p I think it’s a good thing to be able to DNF books without any guilt, because as you said, we have SO many books to choose from. And if I can’t connect to the characters, or the story feels flat, I just don’t want to spend my precious reading time not enjoying myself, you know?
    I tend to write DNF reviews on Goodreads, but not on my blog. Usually, my DNF reviews are VERY short, and so I don’t feel like they deserve a full blog post. And they’re short because I’m done spending time on that book 🙂
    Great post, Michelle!
    Miss your face! {{{BIG HUGS}}}

    • You welcome me like I haven’t already been there. I took up residence a long time ago, lol.
      I have no guilt but I used too. I just can’t seem not enjoying what I read since it is my precious time and I want it to be enjoyable.

      I used to do that and I think I am planning to again. I would feel bad for the DNF but honestly I want to be real when it comes to reading and let people know why I didn’t finish it.

  6. I’m the same, I might sometimes feel a twinge at not finishing a book (book OCD??) but if it’s not working I’ll DNF it. Or what I often do is skim it really fast so I kinda get the gist of it and how it ends without actually slogging through it. You know it’s funny though I’m not sure I’ve ever done a DNF review. I usually just set em aside and move to the next thing, but maybe a DNF post wouldn’t hurt. I wouldn’t be nasty of course. After all like you said, different people like different stuff. We son’t all like the same pizza toppings after all. Loved Berls’ post BTW.

    Stuffed animals lol.

    Greg recently posted: Dark Matter
  7. We have talked a lot about this lately it seems as I have had a few I have been trying to get through. I wrote my first DNF review and it’s up on my blog right now. So many people I know liked it but I just couldn’t do it. I don’t feel bad about it because it was dragging me down into a reading slump and like you I have so many books waiting for me to give them a try. 🙂

    Stormi Johnson recently posted: Audiobook review of Two Tall Tails
  8. I actually rarely DNF’d a book before blogging, or at least I can’t remember doing so. I started a book and finished it whether it was a good one or not and then I moved on to the next book. The thought of DNF’ing didn’t even cross my mind. Once I started blogging I felt very bad about DNF’ing and while I still like to give books a chance I also have gotten better at DNF’ïng books, but also better at picking books I will enjoy. I haven’t had a DNF so far this year, but I did have a few of them last year. Sometimes a book just isn’t for you. I mostly now feel sad that I have to DNF a book and that I didn’t like it more.

    Your comparison with food is pretty spot on, just because you like or don’t like a book doesn’t mean someone else won’t. Everyone’s different and it’s okay not to like something. I don’t get angry though when I don’t enjoy a book, just annoyed or disappointed often. Especially when it’s a book I had high expectations for.

    And I do think DNF reviews can be helpful as it can make other decide whether it’s a book for them or not. And I usually like knowing why a book isn’t for someone. Great post!

    • Maybe it wasn’t really in that term that we didn’t finish it. Maybe it was something more like we would put it down and just not pick it back up. I think labeling it a DNF makes it more noticeable. I feel sad too but it is what it is since we can’t like everything.

      I used to write a short review on Goodreads but recently stopped however I plan to go back to that since it really does help others.