After keeping track of the number of DNFs I did throughout 2018, I actually feel a bit better because it is the least I have ever done. Before 2018, if I had started a book and didn’t enjoy it within a few pages, I would be quick to add it as a DNF straight away, but it all changed last year.

My DNF list used to be massive – embarrassingly large. But last year, I decided to control my DNF much more.

Page 50 is my cut-off point (or 100 if it’s a longer book). I don’t DNF a novel before that point, as this gives the novel a chance to develop from something I wouldn’t usually enjoy into a novel that I absolutely love.

Some books I read in 2018 that I would usually have DNF’d include:

  • The Gustav Sonata – Rose Tremain
  • Differently Normal – Tammy Robinson
  • The Woman Who Stole My Life – Marian Keyes

I also decided that any books that I had DNF’d over previous years without reaching page 50 would be moved back onto my TBR, and if I didn’t manage to even reach page 50 in any books this year, they would also go straight back onto my TBR.

These are some of the books that I had previously DNF’d then read this year and actually enjoyed more than I had expected:

  • More Than This – Patrick Ness
  • Matched – Ally Carter

However, there were a few that I DNF’d again, or still really disliked:

  • We All Looked Up – Tommy Wallach (DNF)
  • Tape – Steven Camden (Disliked)

I feel that it is definitely worth holding on with books before DNF-ing them. If you DNF a book before fifty pages, you haven’t really had a chance to get to know what the book is about and the tone set, and usually the pace of the plot picks up between pages 50-100.

I know that through 2019, I’m going to stick to what I did last year because I certainly discovered more book that way.


When do you think it is acceptable to DNF a book?

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