• V. Alexandra de F. Szoenyi

How to DNF a Book, Guilt-Free

Updated: Oct 21, 2021


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Why do we feel so guilty not finishing a book?! It's the sense of failure, for sure, not being able to finish what we started. But, rest assured, that around the world, millions (if not more) people are starting a book, realizing they don't like it, and then putting it down. Here's how you can too, guilt free.


Give it a Real Try

Before you put down that piece of literature, think to yourself, "did I really give this book a try?" You may have given up too soon and maybe need to read on for a few more pages for the action to pick up. Maybe switching to the audiobook will give you a new appreciation for the story. You don't have to read on for chapters on end, but it's good to see if maybe you made a decision on this work a little too soon.


Mood is Everything

Sometimes you're not in the mood to read. Sometimes you're not in the mood to read this particular genre, and/or trope. Or this certain book. You can always save that beachy romance for a summer read, and that spooky story for fall. And of course, it's perfectly okay to not want to read at all if you don't want to. Choosing the wrong book, along with other reasons, can definitely put us into a reading slump. For whatever reason, f you don't want to read a book, don't! You can spend that same amount of time reading something you love.


Don't Judge the Author by One Book

This whole article idea came up because I was reading Certain Dark Things, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. I loved Mexican Gothic, and really liked Gods of Jade and Shadow. But I just couldn't get into this neo-noir vampire novel set in Mexico City. I liked the Aztec and Mexican take on vampires, but didn't connect to, or really care about the characters. The story was rolling along too slowly too--I was about 60 pages in and still waiting for something important to happen.


I think Silvia Moreno-Garcia is a great writer, and love her work; that's why I wanted to read Certain Dark Things in the first place. I was two novels in, and wanted to read more from her. This book just wasn't what I connected to, and that's fine. I just warn against reading the "wrong" novel from a writer, just to dismiss all their other books. You could be missing out on great reads, and a new favorite author.


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