4 Books I Did Not Finish Reading (And Why I Want To DNF More Often)

Good luck finding a bookworm who hasn’t:

  • given up on a book because it was boring or badly written
  • given up on a book because it was good but they ‘just weren’t into it right now’
  • forgotten about a book they thought was average and just never finished it

It’s common. And life is too short to read books you don’t love. Here are a few I didn’t finish reading this year:

1. Colorless Tzukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

I’ve read a few Murakami books so I was well-prepared for the ‘weirdness’ of his storytelling but I really wasn’t into the pacing and characterisation in this one.

It was slow. Slower than slow. And the main character was somewhere between ‘unlikeable’ and ‘dull’; I just didn’t want to know him.


Not coming back to this one, but will definitely read other Murakami books in the future.

book cover of murukami's colorless tzukuru tazaki on a table beside pens

Colorless Tzukuru Tazaki by Haruki Murakami. Image by Kyra Thomsen.

2. Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

This is my most recent DNF and I was actually quite sad about it. I listened to this on audiobook which was a huge mistake.

The narrator tried to do the kids’ voices and it was so painful I had to give it up after an hour or so of listening.


I’ll definitely read this (and other Bradbury works) but I’ll try it in print. I’ve heard only good things about this book so I want to finish it at least once!

3. The Girls by Emma Cline

This was a book club book I’d never heard of and while the premise interested me (it’s about a woman who survived being in a cult), there was something about Cline’s prose…

The writing was unnecessarily OTT at times, as if it were trying too hard to be literary, which made it hard to focus on.


I might try this again if I’m ‘in the mood’ for that kind of writing style but I won’t be actively trying too hard to like this book.

book cover of the girls by cline beside other blue and yellow books

The Girls by Emma Cline. Image by Kyra Thomsen.

4. Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas

It was a while ago that I tried to read EoS on my Kindle and I got almost halfway before giving up.

I’ve always found Maas’ books pretty slow to slog through until the climax but just couldn’t bring myself to care about the multiple storylines. Also Aelin was annoying AF.


Nah. Not for me. Won’t be reading the rest of the series. The only way I would pick up Maas again is if it were less than 400 pages and a standalone.

Why I Want To DNF More Often

It’s taking a while but I’m slowly getting used to giving up on books and adding them to my ‘did not finish’ pile (and then passing them on to secondhand stores where they can find new homes!).

I still feel a little guilty about it. I give every DNFd book a good chance and try to understand why I wasn’t enjoying the story.

Asking myself why is a good way to learn more about my reading tasts, habits and what not to do when I’m writing my own book!

DNFing is good practice for book lovers. Read more books, give up on books, give books away, read more books! Because we all know life’s too short to read bad books.

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