Stop Posting DNF Book Reviews

Everyone knows that WordPress is overloaded with book reviews. The only reason I can see for writing book reviews would be because you’re getting ARCs. But all these people on here are not all getting them. They’re just writing terribly written book reviews because they want to. And you know what, that’s fine. What do I care? I don’t read them.

But something that bloggers seem to post almost as often are DNF book reviews. And I’m telling you to stop it. Read the following sentence very carefully, okay?

YOU CANNOT REVIEW A BOOK IF YOU DO NOT READ THE WHOLE BOOK.

Especially when I see people writing about how they couldn’t get through the second or third chapter. And they think they can write a review of the work? The fuck? Seriously. The practice of writing DNF reviews is a joke. And the next time I see one I’m going to copy and paste the link to this post without any other remark. So they have to click. And then they’ll probably give me some crap about they can write whatever they want blah blah blah, and I’ll just laugh to myself.

Stop this terrible practice.


On this day in 2014 I published Why do you Write?.

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23 thoughts on “Stop Posting DNF Book Reviews

  1. I never knew people actually posted reviews for a book they didn’t finish… That’s silly.

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  2. I review books and no matter how bored I get with a book (one book took me 21 days), I do not review books unless I get through them. You can’t review it properly unless you read the whole thing. Great post.

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  3. If you intend to review a book, finish it. I mean, “NR (no review) because DNF” would be fine and might accomplish what you’re trying to do–let your readers, who probably have similar tastes, know that this one might be a snoozer–but otherwise it’s all just a bit dishonest.

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  4. I disagree with this slightly because, most professional reviewers do not have the time to read the book through it’s entirety. There is no possible way they could. That being said, for the most part, I do try to finish a book. I can say there are three I didn’t, but I got the just of it, and was able to make a valid judgement on the book. There is a way of knowing how a book is going (especially if it’s non fiction) to write a review without having to read every bit of it.

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  5. I once slammed a book on Amazon after reading the free sample. I gave reasons for my judgement, including liberal quotations from the book. Like the first sentence which described of a “clove of sauntering trees.” I also admitted that there could be something worthwhile hidden farther in the book. When I discovered than many folk consider this a dreadful practice, I bought the book and tried to read the whole thing. I couldn’t. It was truly awful. Next I considered taking my review down, but at that time mine was the only negative review. Several other people were lauding the book. It felt wrong to leave all those (suspiciously) positive reviews unchallenged. I had already spent many hours of my life reading the sample, writing the review, buying the book, reading more of the book, and worrying about the whole mess, all in the effort to be fair to someone who was selling a badly written, badly edited book accompanied by glowing praise that I didn’t trust. Finally I realized that no matter what anyone else might say, I believe my review was fair, open, honest and useful. I let it stand, and I don’t regret it. As for telling someone’s boss that they’d written a lousy report after having read only one page, I’m not sure. But if the one page you read was wordy, boring and replete with words badly used and sentences poorly constructed and you provided examples of all these flaws, would it then be out of line for you to tell the boss you’d only read part of it but thought it was very badly written?

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  6. I always try to finish every book I read because sometimes a book may have a bad beginning but a great middle and end. I personally would not write a review of a book if I did not read it entirely, since my opinion would lose some of its value.

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  7. I always finish a book if I’m going to review it, and if I don’t finish, I don’t review. I think it’s very disrespectful to the author to judge only a part of their work. If they’re trying to create a message or leave the reader with a particular thought or feeling, that doesn’t happen until the end. The ending is the most significant part – that’s why it happens last – and to completely deny the author the ability to communicate that is awful.

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  8. I think DNF reviews are fine. Reviews are subjective, and especially if the blogger already has an established reviewing reputation, telling their readers they planned to review a book but couldn’t finish it is completely honest, and I like that. Most reviewers I follow who do DNF reviews do not rate those books, they simply mark it DNF. I do think that the blogger should try their absolute hardest to finish the book, but as long as they made it 50ish% through the book I tend to trust the opinion. Also, we all have and want to have our own opinions on books, so most people take reviews with a large grain of salt anyway.

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