Discussion post

Do You Stop Reading Books You Don’t Enjoy?—Bookish Discussion

Another bookish quirk that I hear people talk about is needing to finish a book regardless of how much they enjoy it. I know a few people who are absolute completionist and must finish a book once they have started, regardless of how much they enjoy it.

I once even heard a story about a man who started reading a book and hated the experience, but he felt he needed to go ahead and finish the book. Unfortunately, the book turned out to be part of a series, which he then felt compelled to finish. I am unsure about the validity of this story, but honestly if I felt a similar compulsion I would become so hesitant to start new books!

Personally, I don’t have a problem stopping reading a book. I mean, I will lose interest very quickly in a book I do not enjoy, and can rarely force myself to continue reading something I don’t get pleasure from.

But, I do understand the feeling that I imagine people how must finish their books have. Stopping reading a book before it’s intended end does seem like such a shame. I always go into reading a book hoping the best, and I do feel quite bad about having not been able to finish it. I also don’t like the knowledge that I own several unfinished books, that will most likely stay that way.

But I really just can’t bring myself to continue on with a book I don’t enjoy when there is so many other amazing books out there!


If you are one of those people who needs to finish books they have started I’d love to hear from you! I’d also love to hear from people who put down books they don’t enjoy as well!

Regardless of your book completionist tendencies  I hope you have a lovely day!





54 thoughts on “Do You Stop Reading Books You Don’t Enjoy?—Bookish Discussion”

  1. It takes a lot for me to DNF a book because I usually hold out hope that it’ll get better eventually. I would never finish a series if I didn’t like the first book, though!

    I want to get better about just putting down books that I don’t love. There are too many books that I want to read to waste time reading books I’m not enjoying.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s not every day I stumble over a book I don’t enjoy, but if it’s something fairly short I do feel compelled to finish it although it may not interest me so much, but I don’t make it a rule. Still, it’s annoying when a 200 page book takes five times as much time as a 700 page book simply because I’m not interested in it :/ I should learn to accept that not all books are for me I suppose.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I usually have no problem putting a book down if I don’t like it. Life is too short to read bad books!

    That said, I did finish a book I definitely didn’t like, but it was a NetGalley ARC, and my first approval from them, so I soldiered through and finished it. It was not a fun experience.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It took me years to realise I wasn’t at school anymore and didn’t have to finish a book if I didn’t want to. Sometimes a book is written badly, but if it’s short you feel compelled to find out what happened in the end. Usually I feel after a few pages and it’s wise to stop before you waste any time. At school I liked history, but couldn’t seem to get good marks. Our teacher had recommended a book ‘Seven Pillars of Wisdom’ by TE Lawrwence (Lawrence of Arabia ). I saw it in the school library and took it out; being a large book the history teacher spotted it on my desk and was so delighted I felt honour bound to read it all the way through, To this day I have no idea what it was about, my 15 or 16 year old self did not understand it, not sure I would now, but have no intention of trying it again.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There was a book I abandoned in my school reads as it was quite thick and really slow so I watched the movie instead to have an idea what was it about.
    As for what I am reading in the past years by my own choice, I seem to be lucky so far. There were a few books that took a bit longer to pick up the pace but that does not mean they were bad, let alone to abandon them.
    I would probably abandon a book quite fast if it contained something I consider off-putting or disgusting.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As a kid, I’d want to. Seriously, “The Talented Mr. Ripley” was dizzying. So what if it’s homework, I could take a break.

    Way later, the film clarified everything and made me want to take another shot at the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This year I vowed to start DNFing books and it was a great thing to do. I hate making myself push through books that I was hating just to finish it.
    Also, me DNFing books has stopped me from getting into reading slumps so often.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m of the opinion that life is too short and there are too many books in the world that I want to read that wasting time reading something I’m not 100% enjoying is just something I’m not going to do. However there are certain circumstances that I will push through to the end: if a friend has personally recommended it, or if I myself have challenged myself to finish the book for whatever reason. I also put a distinction between books I never want to finish, and books that I’m just putting on the back burner for a little while!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am one of those readers that has no problem discarding and passing on a book which does not capture my attention. sometimes it is the topic but more often it is the style of writing which see me discarding a book. Thoroughly enjoyed this post.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Life is too short to keep reading books I don’t enjoy. I’ll DNF it and even sell it (if I can) so I’ll feel better. Even if I only get a few cents or a dollar I’d be glad to be rid of it. 😬

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Once upon a time I *insisted* to myself that I would never DNF a book. And then I kept reading books I didn’t like and that were making me miserable because I didn’t like them. That then meant that instead of spending my time reading books I liked, I was spending three weeks on one book because it was painful and I was slow and I was putting off picking it up.

    Even now, I still have a reluctance to DNF because I keep thinking ‘what if I’m missing something and that amazing thing that’s about to happen is just about to happen?’

    But I realised that my time is precious and not all books are made for me and so over time I think I’ve learnt to let it go. Some guilt creeps in still though especially if it’s a book that everyone seems to love but me!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I used to feel that I had to finish every book I started, but then my local librarian explained that there are just too many good books in the world to do this, so now I stop if I’m not enjoying it by 100 pages.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Reblogged this on John’s Notes and commented:
    I used to feel compelled to finish a book once I began it. I have in recent years become more likely to drop a book if it is not living up to my expectations. I came across the “Rule of 50” a few years ago and I have been trying to apply it to my reading. What is the Rule of 50, essentially:
    If you’re fifty years old or younger, give every book about fifty pages before you decide to commit yourself to read it, or give it up. If you’re over fifty, which is when time gets even shorter, subtract your age from 100. The result is the number of pages you should read before deciding.

    I have found that rule very useful and have applied it a few times each year.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I power through. I just have to finish the book. No matter how much I may dislike it. My inability to DNF annoys me lol. But I always have hope the book will get better. Rarely happens though. I will quit a series though! I read Divergent but didn’t continue with the series because I knew I would hate it haha. Anyways, my rant reviews are always entertaining lmao.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I hate leaving books unfinished and can only stop reading a book if I’m really, really not enjoying the story- otherwise it’s just sat on your shelf forever unfinished. Even on my kindle I have to remove a book from my device if I leave it unfinished or it’ll be a constant reminder that I left it unfinished…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m on a strict book budget, which is, essentially, Amazon gift cards on my birthday and for Christmas from my awesome friends and family. So, I download a lot of free books from Amazon, and, as anyone who has dipped their toes into the KDP offerings knows, there is a LOT of crap out there. However, I publish through KDP (NOT CRAP, I PROMISE! LOL!), so I feel like I need to give other indie publishers a chance, so do find myself pushing through terrible writing. I probably should just DNF, because I end up writing scathing reviews…. Then feeling guilty, because, as an author, I know how crushing scathing reviews can be. Then justifying my scathing review by telling myself that they’re never going to learn better, if no one tells them the truth about their books. Then feeling depressed, because they obviously don’t care, or they would have proofread their books more carefully. Wow! This question opened up a whole downward spiral of emotion for me!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. If a book isn’t interesting to me, I will put it down in a hot second. My husband has tried to convince me that the first two books of the Gormenghast trilogy are the best things ever. (Everyone apparently agrees that the third is to be avoided.) I have tried twice to read Titus Groan, the first book in the trilogy. I can’t do it. I read. I like words. But oh my gracious, all the wordy wordy words in this book. Mervyn Peake uses twenty-seven words where six would do. I simply cannot slog through that excruciating level of detail, and I see no reason to waste time forcing myself to read something I don’t enjoy when I’ve got shelves and a Kindle full of books calling out for my attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m usually the type who needs to finish. I always tell myself there’s still time for it to get better! But recently I DNF’d my first book. I have decided that time is too short (and my TBR too long) for me to waste it reading a book I’m not fully enjoying.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. If I don’t like a book, it promptly goes on the DNF pile for me. I used to not be like that. I thought if I started it, I might as well finish it! The author deserves at least that much from me. But now, I realize it’s okay not to. Not every book is a good match for me, and time is limited, so why waste it on something I’m not enjoying? I do try to give books a fair shake, though, so I try to read about 25% of the book before I DNF it. Sometimes books pick up and I end up loving them. 🙂


  20. Very nice article! 🙂 I tend to have a completionist tendency to a certain degree. For example, if I read a recommended book and I’m not that into it from the beginning, I will still try to read it. However, if I don’t like it at all, then I’ll abandon it.
    I try to minimize the percentage of unfinished books by choosing carefully what books I’m reading, so that I don’t waste time on books that I’m not interested in.


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