A DNFed Book is Not A Bad Book // Exit Page Right

Ma chère mademoiselle (or monsieur), it is with deepest pride and greatest pleasure that I welcome you tonight (or morning or afternoon or whatever time it is while you are reading this). And now, I invite to relax, let me pull up a chair, as the dining room Novels & Waffles proudly presents… your dinner another Exit Page Right post.

I hope you are half as excited about this post as Belle is about these dancing cakes.

Exit Page Right is a series of posts hosted right here on Novels & Waffles where I discuss, debate, and deconstruct the reasoning behind why readers do not finish books. In my most previous post, thirteen different book bloggers shared some of their reasons for DNFing. All of these wonderful readers gave different explanations; some cited poor writing, others mentioned annoying main characters. No two answers were exactly the same, and that’s because there are as many different reasons to not finish a book as there are different readers in this world. 

There are a lot of people (over 7.4 BILLION) who call planet Earth home and every single one of them is unique. We all come from different countries, different backgrounds, and different upbringings. We all look different, speak different languages, and have different likes and dislikes. (Maybe this is all pretty obvious, but sometimes I think it bears repeating). All of us are different and so it follows that our tastes in books are going to be different too. And that’s not a bad thing! Diversity is good! Differences are cause for celebration!

Yay for being different! If everybody thought the same thoughts, liked the same things, and did the same stuff, life would be pretty boring, wouldn’t it? Sounds like some kind of Dystopian novel.

So, if I DNF a book, it must mean that it was HORRIBLE with absolutely NO MERIT and NOBODY could POSSIBLY like it, right?


I don’t believe so, no.

Let me give you an example: As I’ve mentioned before, I hate chocolate. GASP. SURPRISE. MUCH SHOCK.

People’s reaction 99.999999 % of the time when I tell them I hate chocolate.

Chocolate is my Kryptonite. If there is even a little bit of it in my food, I go all weak in the knees and need to wash my tongue off with soap like, a thousand times. Yeah, soap tastes better than chocolate. At least to me. So, because I hate chocolate, does that make it bad? Does that mean everybody should hate it too?


And it’s the same with books.

Despite the stigma that says otherwise, just because one person DNFs a book does not automatically mean that book is bad. Now, just to be clear, let’s go over what I’m not trying to say here: I’m not saying that anyone’s opinion is invalid. I’m not saying people don’t have the right to dislike a book. I’m also not saying that there aren’t some ethically wrong and evil books out there. Cause I’m sure there are. What I am saying is that everybody has different tastes. If one book blogger DNFs a book, it simply means that it didn’t work for them. And who knows, what didn’t work for one reader might work for you. 

With this in mind, I have decided that from now on, whenever I post a negative review, I will also include an “Another Opinion” section. This section will be clearly marked by a plate of pancakes (because sometimes people prefer them over waffles – and that’s okay)! In it, I will link to another blogger or Goodreads user that gave the same book I just negatively reviewed a positive rating. 🥞🥞🥞

I hope that by doing this, I will be able to provide my readers with different perspectives, and thus avoid denoting that just because I did not enjoy a particular book, that it must be bad. 

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What was the last book you DNFed? Do you know somebody who enjoyed that same book?

What do you think about my “Another Opinion” section idea? Would you ever consider adding this section to your reviews?


24 thoughts on “A DNFed Book is Not A Bad Book // Exit Page Right

  1. Oh, I love the idea of having an “another opinion” section! The last book I DNF’ed was Mirage by Somaiya Daud because I could tell from what I’d read that it would revolve heavily around some tropes that I just don’t enjoy personally, but I know lots of people loved Mirage!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I love the other opinion idea! I try when writing a negative review to include something positive, or a “you might like this book if”, because I’m aware that not everyone agrees. But I like your idea of linking to a positive review.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really liked this discussion! My most recent official DNF on Goodreads was Whichwood by Tahareh Mafi, and I was actually enjoying it! I just wasn’t making very much progress in the book after literal months and DNFed it for the time being. I DNF many books unofficially as soon as I realize that they aren’t right for me. I tend to have stronger opinions on books I did finish and disliked than on books I DNFed after realizing the book wasn’t working for me.

    But I love the idea of including another opinion in your reviews! I think it will be wonderful to see how what didn’t work for you may be someone’s favorite part of a book. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am sort of in love with this concept. I like the idea of contrasting opinions, side by side. And, I must say, if I like a book or don’t like a book, it’s because the book was or wasn’t a good fit for me. Different readers, different tastes.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This was such a fascinating discussion post, Kat! I typically DNF books that I don’t find the plot or characters interesting enough to hold my attention. The Another Opinion idea is so cool, and I can’t wait to see how that will play out!


  6. This was such an interesting and insightful post Kat!! DNFing definitely doesn’t always mean the book was bad itself. There are *so* many reasons why readers DNF. I love your idea to add the “another opinion” section. It’s always good to hear differing thoughts! And the pancakes AH that’s super cute and clever. Great post! Hope you’re doing well friend💛

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is such an amazing post and idea Kat! I think I’m going to try the ‘Another Opinion’ section out because it’s a cool idea for those who think they might still enjoy the book that I DNF’d or gave a low rating to. Thank you so much for the suggestion! 💖

    I hope your okay and that you’re feeling a lot better 💕😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is really important and I love that you brought light to it!! Because there is a quote “no two persons ever read the same book” and I agree. It can depend on what you enjoy, the writing style and sometimes the mood you are in. There are many different reasons for not liking a book and I know that if I read a book I don’t like, I know other would like. I love the idea that including an ‘another opinions’ bit in your reviews– I think that is really interesting!! (and I love that you are using pancakes for that). Great post ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Ha, i don’t like chocolate either… 😀

    I also don’t think a book is bad just cuz i didn’t like it. I mean, i have some books i’m really fond of and others hated it. So it really means nothing.

    Lovely post ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I completely agree with your perspective on this. I think the DNF process gets a bad rap among the bookish community. Me personally, every time I have to DNF a book, I feel like I have personally failed the book, the author, and the entire world. Which obviously isn’t true, it’s just that I feel like I need to finish everything. I know, rationally, that life is far too short to read books we don’t enjoy. Reading your post, I’ve decided I want to be less hard on myself when it comes to reading what I enjoy and NOT reading what isn’t working for me. I really like your idea of sharing other perspectives as well! I always try to share #OwnVoices reviews when there’s rep that I can’t personally speak to – although sometimes even finding those reviews is difficult.

    Hope you’re well!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Kat, I love your idea of this another opinion section so, so much, this is such a good idea and I so agree that everyone has their own perspective on every book and it’s important to highlight them, too 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. That’s actually a great idea! It’d be so helpful to do that when you haven’t enjoyed the book at all, and maybe not even finished, but you know it’s not because it was offensive or problematic, but because it’s a matter of taste. Sometimes I do feel guilty because even if I hate a book, or can’t be bothered to finish it, I know there are many people who might like it.

    I know that, and even mention it, but people could benefit from a little push into a different, more positive outlook of the book 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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