#LetsDiscuss2022 #6 – DNF vs NRN – #DiscussionSunday.


The question this time is…

What does it mean to NRN a book (as opposed to DNF a book)?

Discussion Sunday 2022


These are my personal opinions. I do not expect anyone to agree with anything here, and in fact, I’m certain that many will disagree and/or even hate many of the things I’ve written below. Sorry about that, but you are always welcome to express your own opinions – be they contrary or comparable – in the comments section. So, with that out of the way… let the controversy begin!

What made me think about this topic?

A while back I saw this tweet:

My Thoughts…

The above tweet got me thinking. I know there are a whole lot of people who have a problem with not finishing a book that they’re not enjoying. Personally, I no longer have that problem. While being retired means I have much more time to read, the older I get the less I want to waste my time on books I’m not really enjoying.

However, it used to bother me a great deal, especially when it came to reading ARCs. See, I thought that if a publisher was kind enough to give me a book to read, I really should finish reading it for them, so I can give complete feedback. I figured that if I didn’t, I wasn’t giving that book the full opportunity to make me fall in love. One person on Facebook refused to stop reading a book that was greatly annoying them because they’d paid so much money for the novel. They figured that if they didn’t finish reading it, then they had wasted a lot of good money. (Obviously, comments told that person that they wouldn’t have had this problem if they had gotten a copy from the library, but that’s a topic for a whole separate discussion.)

But the truth is, we all know that not every book is for everyone, and no two people read the same book. I’ve also come to learn that publishers understand this, and many appreciate knowing what readers think about a book that they didn’t adore completely.

The thing is, maybe we shouldn’t always totally give up on a book with which we aren’t sufficiently falling in love. Maybe we’re just not in the right mind-set for that novel at that particular time. Maybe the subject matter of a book you’ve just picked up is too similar to one you’ve just finished and loved, and you want a bit of variety in your reading. Maybe you think you’re too young for a book that’s meant for a more mature audience. In cases like these, and many more, perhaps we might decide not to discount a novel completely, and just set it aside. Perhaps we shouldn’t only DNF novels; perhaps we should mark them as NRN – or “not right now” and give ourselves the leeway to come back to that book at a later date?

Personally, I think it is a very good idea, and maybe it is one we can all find reason to adopt.

There you have it!

So… what about you?

Do you think we should start NRNing books and not just DNFing the ones we aren’t continuing to read?

This post is my 6th entry in the 2022 Discussion Challenge & Giveaway, hosted by Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight!


26 thoughts on “#LetsDiscuss2022 #6 – DNF vs NRN – #DiscussionSunday.

  1. I love this idea! I’ve definitely picked up a book, liked (or disliked) it, read it years later, and had a totally different experience due to being a more developed/different person by then. And I hate DNFing books- it feels somehow like a personal failure. So NRN feels like a softer way to set a book down without throwing it out the window, if I think I’ll like it some other time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes! I actually have two separate shelves- one for DNFs and one that is called “Ask Again Later” which is basically a NRN! The thing is, I don’t actually have any faith that I will ever give them another try? So it’s tough- like in theory, I absolutely think it’s a good plan, I just don’t know if I will ever actually use it haha. Great topic!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m sure there are books that I stopped reading just because they didn’t suit the mood at that time. But I never class those as DNF – I just put them back onto the shelves of unread books

    Liked by 1 person

  4. For the longest time I’ve had a not-now shelf in addition to my did-not-finish, because a lot of times I can tell it’s a slump or my mood that’s affecting the book and not the book itself. The problem is that i have so many books to read that I hardly ever revisit books I set aside lol

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I sometimes NRN a book when I think it will make a great blog post in the more distant future. I picked up a novel with a gardening theme in midwinter and decided to read it in the spring for a May or June review when it will fit well in my outside world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah… that’s interesting! I never thought of that possibility. While I think they’re great, I need music when I do household chores, and I don’t commute to work or have any really long drives anywhere, so there’s really hardly any opportunity for me to listen to them. Mind you, I’m sure there will be cataract surgery in my future, so I will probably need to have a few audiobooks for when I’m in recovery.

      But you might want to do a discussion post on your NTF idea!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m good at abandoning books but I don’t seem to find NRNs except once when I opened a book to start it and the main character was diagnosed with what my cousin had just been diagnosed with – I went to the back, she didn’t survive and I just couldn’t deal with it (cousin is 8 years in remission now).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great thoughts and questions. I do sometimes DNF a book that seems like it’s basically fine, just not hitting the right notes for me in that moment, and every once in a while I do go back to a book that I’ve DNFd in the past. But, the NRN books for me would be more along the lines of books I picked up, read just a few pages, and then realized I wasn’t in the mood. For books that I’ve given a more substantial try, DNF is DNF!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I definitely am better at abandoning a book if it’s not working for me, and I did just that last week. Interestingly, though, I am keeping it for the time being – I do think that NRN is something that’s true for me because I’ve found in the past that books I thought I hated turned out to be books I loved at a different time. I do believe that where you are in your life and your headspace affects your response to a book. Some I know I will never read, but some may have their time. Which may be why my tbr is so damn big!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes,k I do NRN quite often. And it can work. Right book, wrong time is definitely a thing, in my experience. But two strikes, and it’s out. A book which hasn’t seized my attention after the second go has had its chance.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I used to read every book I opened, but as I got older, I fell more in line with your comment of feeling like sometimes I was wasting my time, and stopping. Usually, though, I will finish reading a book unless it is poorly written or I just am not buying it. There have been a very few times when I read most of a book that was bugging me in some way, but at some point I couldn’t take it anymore. One thing that always makes me stop reading is if I feel I’m being emotionally manipulated. I’m not saying I don’t like a book that makes me feel emotional. I’m just saying that the author has to be skillful enough for me to feel that way organically, not just because he’s put his characters in a difficult or sad situation. As far as ARCs are concerned, I don’t seek out very many, but when I get one, I don’t feel compelled to finish the book. The publisher is sending out ARCs with the hopes of getting free publicity, and with ebooks available, it doesn’t really cost anything. This situation doesn’t make me feel as if I have to be easy on the book.


  11. Interesting! I’ve never felt the desire to pick up a DNF book again. So I doubt if NRN would work for me. But I certainly understand and appreciate your reasoning! And I’m open to the possibility!

    Liked by 1 person

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