RANT: Why I Do Not Rate or Review Books I DNF


Acronym for Did Not Finish. 

Definition: The act of not completing a book.

Hi! My name is Crafty and I’m a DNF’er. Sometimes, when a book’s plot, its characters, and overall vibe fail to keep my attention, I stop chuck the tome to a corner and sever our relationship and move on to a tale worthy of my time. I offer strong grounds for my actions without shame RAVE: You Say Finish, I Say DNF.

However, to some bookworms, dnf’ing books is a dirty secret. See example #1 Dnf’ing Makes Me Feel Dirty. Others offer valid reasons for doing so without shame, 10 Things That Will Make Me Close a Book. But, some choose to wing the journey and continue, To DNF Books or Not To DNF Books.

Both sides provide correct positions. Work with what’s best for you.

My DNF average runs about two or three a year, which makes me an occasional DNF’er. Sometimes I’ll return to the book, if time factored into why I DNF’ed in the first place.

When I do not finish a book, I offer valid rationale for doing so when asked or when on any social media with other bookworms, so they can make the choice to continue reading or not. On the other hand, what I will not do is rate the book I failed to finish. Simple and done.


Say, for instance, I start a book at the start of a reading slump. If I fail to continue the book, can I lay blame on the book? Or, do I lay blame on me? As I mention in the rant link above, sometimes I’m not in the mood because I’m tired or a slump’s coming on the horizon, even when the book’s good. It’s not the book’s fault and rating the book based on my emotional state harbors an unfair quality to the action.

Plus, I hate to ruin an author’s career based on my impatience, emotional state, or on one of my terrible, horrible, no good, and very bad days. One stars add quickly, and I am not complacent in adding to the ruin.

I look at books as literary relationships. If I a date doesn’t mesh well with me, I thank the person for their time and move to the next individual (Okay, granted I’m married, but when I was single). I simply forgot their number. But, when asked about the date by an interested party, I share what I liked and what I didn’t, while telling the requester to try a date out for their own size. What worked for them may not work for me without hurting my past date’s chance on the meat market.

What if I start a book before its potential and failed to see the goodness? Mind you, if I put a book aside, it’s not always permanent. Some books receive my attention after some time and they either annoyed or entertain the hell out of me. Granted, the author should have nailed my attention within the first fifty pages, but slow burn stories exist. We, as readers, do not live in a vacuum. Can you imagine the boring and insidious cave we’d shelter us, if we did?

If I walk out on a movie, which I seldom do nowadays, can I honestly bestow a fair and full assessment on the plot, if I vacate the film before its credits? I’ve sat through some movies with shaky beginnings, only to find myself amused by the middle. On the flip side, I’ve seen some movies with good starts and horrid endings.

If I tell people I walked out on a film before it’s ending, I deem myself untrustworthy for reviews. Maybe it’s masochistic. Maybe it’s crazy. Maybe it’s naive. I see it as fair. As with movies and songs, I prefer to give pop culture a fair chance before rating them. I suggest others do the same.

Books included.

Happy Reading!





Image Credit: Gerrel Sanders

Author: Crafty Scribbles

Lover of Words. Mother. Teacher. Traveler. Writer. Bionic woman against ignorance. Finding the balance between words and reality. M.Ed. built to school you.

2 thoughts

  1. I don’t rate DNF’s either. It seems wrong to and I’m always amazed at the people on Goodreads who rate books that they haven’t even read based on others opinions. So not fair… ❤ Great post!


Comments are closed.