Why Being a Mood Reader Means I Rarely, Truly DNF Books

Ok, so hear me out because this is not an argument for forcing yourself to finish titles you do not enjoy. I am not a fan of self-torture and usually find you will take very little away from reading that is coerced. I support DNF’ing. If it doesn’t work, it simply doesn’t. I think we can all agree life is too short to spend it reading books we do not enjoy.

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Now that I have cleared that up, I admit that I personally struggle to DNF titles. This used to be out of stubbornness. I had an odd sense of commitment once I opened a book to see it through to the end. I was riddled with this sad sort of guilt the drove me on. Now, however, it is for an entirely different reason.

I Am a Mood Reader. The Worst.

Seriously. I change moods like most change pants, daily. And I am consciously aware of this. It causes me to shift between genres and books like a mad woman! And it has its pros & cons.

Pros

  • My ever changing mood has led to very eclectic tastes and reading. Thanks to this, I have come to pick up titles from a wide variety of genres and explored a multitude of authors.
  • I read more because of my varying tastes, often picking up 3 to 5 books a week.
  • My moodiness also means I am a very emotional individual which leads to some seriously personal reading experiences. I have books with tear-stained pages and books that made me laugh like a maniac.

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Cons

  • I can be as far as halfway through a book and decide it is not going to work for me.
  • It can take reading the first few chapters of multiple books in a rather large stack
  • before settling on one.
  • Sometimes my mood makes it impossible to decide and I end up in a slump for a week or so.

Why I Rarely, Truly DNF

Because of the above reasons, it is entirely possible for me to dislike a book one day and then find I love it the next. For this very reason, I tend to reshelve instead of DNF’ing. I often close books that are not working and place them on a shelf that I intend to revisit at a later time, with the small exception of the few titles that hit a nerve or I know without a doubt I am not the best audience for. This is why I will normally add a title to Goodreads and then immediately update it to significant progress. I tend to wait until I feel confident that I am going to stay a book before making our relationship public.

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Do you DNF? Or maybe you are also a mood reader and find that you have to return to certain books at a better time. How do you tend to handle titles you struggle with? Do you keep the books you put down or pass them on?

Let’s Chat,
Danielle ❤

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87 thoughts on “Why Being a Mood Reader Means I Rarely, Truly DNF Books

  1. Yes definitely and these days I DNF a lot of books because I may not have a great deal of time left.
    I’ve never considered my mood when choosing which book to read and stick with but good point Danielle. A lot of choice does depend on mood for me too.
    Maybe it’s the same for a lot of people.

    Great post, as always

    Caryl

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I do DNF, this year I have been careful in not wanting to DNF any book. If the book is too boring, I just skim read and get to the end
    I am a mood reader too. I read to escape reality, so the book has to suit my mood at that particular point of time.
    Beautiful post… Well written

    Like

  3. If I purchased the books (especially if it’s hardback) I will finish it even it’s page by page day by day haha.

    I just DNF’d Space Opera. I couldn’t handle the run on sentences. Pretty sure I won’t go back to it. If I accidentally picked up a romance I wouldn’t finish it lol

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The 10 adjectives in every sentence just got old. I liked her Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland but this book took it to the extreme. But hopefully you will enjoy it.

        I’ve read a few books with love in it, just don’t want strict romance.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not a mood reader. If I’m not enjoying a book, I have no problems whatsoever dropping it and never picking it up again. There are way too many other ones I still want to get to and struggling on with one that doesn’t hook me feels like a waste of time.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Are you a mood reader because you like different genres and one genre doesn’t work at that time or is the style the book is written in, or both? I’m not a real mood reader because I always read the same genre and when I feel it’s getting a bit too much I do insert another book here and there. If a book really doesn’t work for me it won’t work in the future either. I try to finish a book anyway because a. it cost me money and it seems wrong to not read it then or b. I received it but I want to show my gratitude by reading it. I actually really wanted to abandon my last read but for reason b I didn’t. Don’t know if I really did them a favor this way though ;-).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This is a great question Inge! I do think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I read such a variety and my mood shifts between genres constantly. Sometimes I have a hard time determining which one is right at the moment. I know what you mean about forcing yourself to complete a review copy you do not enjoy. I have often felt like maybe I was not doing them any favors also. But if it was the one you just reviewed, you were very fair I felt ❤

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah I don’t mind mine being shared as long as people do not tag the author. I had that happen on a negative review and it upset me. I tend to share reviews based on the fact that they are well written and will offer readers insight. But always make so authors are not tagged in them if less than stellar 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Same!
    I started last year a book that was 2nd in a series. About half way i just lost interest. I still don’t admit to DNF it cuz the 3rd book sounds really good and eventually i’ll be in a mood to continue i think.

    I do DNF other stuff though and even forget about their existence. That kinda tells me it’s just really not for any of my moods 😀

    Liked by 3 people

  7. A book gets one chance to make an impression on me-if I don’t like it or can’t get into it, then I DNF it and never go back to it. I have about a thousand books that I own and haven’t read so I don’t have time to waste on something I don’t like. When it comes to mood reading it’s more about what genre I feel like reading at a particular time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I put books down fairly often if I’m not enjoying them, although to declare something a DNF means I probably won’t ever go back to it. There are a few books I quit in the middle of, just because I wasn’t in the mood for them just then, but I would probably enjoy if I picked them back up.

    Since I get most of my books from the library, they go back there, finished or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m definitely a mood reader too, but I usually DNF a book and leave it DNF’d. I do have a couple of books that I’ve said I will pick up again the future but there’s so much out there that if I don’t like it first time around, I tend not to want to bother with it again 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That seems to be the general consensus 😉 I am surprised that my habits are seeming so odd after posting this haha. I thought for sure that more “mood” readers would reattempt books at different times. But that does not seem to be the case. I think my TBR is so long, I have no expectations of ever completing it, so I bounce around freely 🤣

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I too used to force myself to finish a book even though it was “painful.” Now I allow myself to DNF for many of your reasons. I am a mood reader and when I finish a great book, it takes a while before I settle on the next one sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lovely post! ❤ I'm a mood reader as well and it's probably one of the reasons I read so many different genres, although the mystery/thriller genre seems to be an exception and I can read that one anytime (unless I've read too many of them, then I need a break). I hardly ever DNF, but I've learned the hard way to do so when I really struggle. I only reshelve if I know it's me and not being in the mood that is the problem, but in general I have a pretty good idea if I'm going to like it later on or not and DNF instead. It breaks my heart every time I do, but like you said, there are just too many books out there to struggle with one that isn't for you. Thankfully I can always count my DNF books on one hand each year, so my book radar isn't too bad. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same. I can generally tell if it is my mood or the book that is a problem. I have no qualms DNFing a title I know I am not going to enjoy. But more often than not it is my mood 😂 I read multiple genres as well, and can often flip through a pile of books before deciding which to stick with ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah I tend to browse books and genres until I find one I’m in the mood in… I do reshelve books as well; for example The Book Of Lost Things, which sounds fantastic but I just wasn’t in the mood for it when I picked it up. Reading multiple genres is a lifesaver for us mood readers! 😉 ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I’m a mood reader, but I also DNF books. If I’m not feeling it, I’ll set it aside to give it another chance later on… but if it still doesn’t grab me, I’ll move on and forget about it.

    Over the last couple of years, I decided that life is too short to read books that bore me. I used to finish every book I started, but I finally realized that forcing myself to read something I don’t want to read only results in me pretty much hating the book.Who has time for that, when there are so many GOOD books to read? Not this girl! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol right. But I also know my TBR will never be complete haha. So I have no unrealistic goals of reaching the end. If I feel like revisiting titles, I do so freely. I definitely DNF anything I know for certain I do not enjoy though. I am never in favor of forced reading . But my moods change so fast I can love it one minute and put it down the next and love it again next week ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s sad, but true… we’ll never be able to read all the books we want to read. *cries*

        I haven’t reread anything in a while, but it’s always fun to go back to an old favorite. I intend (someday) to go back and read some old childhood favorites again so that I can review them. 🙂 I just hope I love them all as much NOW as I did back then. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

              1. The portions dealing with slavery and racism are never easy to read–be it in Gone with the Wind or other books set in that time period. Even when (especially when?) they seem accurate to the attitudes and practices of the time, it’s tough to read without looking at it through modern eyes and feeling upset. But still… I love the book and the movie is one of my favorites as well. But I get what you’re saying. ❤

                Liked by 1 person

  13. This is really interesting! I am not a mood reader myself, so I find it fascinating to take a peek into your world. I try really hard to finish the books I pick up, but there are moments when I just can’t. I am not the fastest reader, so I am very selective with my picks. So many books, so little time 🙂
    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I love this post! Personally I’ve embraced the DNF in recent years, but only for books that give me that “I just can’t” feeling. You know, books that are poorly written, offensive, etc. As a fellow mood reader (emo readers of the world, unite!), reshelving is a great strategy for books that you know you’d like in different circumstances. I choose to believe that all my reshelving for later is why I have such a large physical TBR. 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I think I get what you mean about being a mood reader. For me it’s not just about feeling differently about books on a day-to-day basis, it’s also about what books I gravitate towards when I’m stressed. I tend to finish books I’ve started because I’m ridiculously stubborn, but sometimes you just have to put it down and admit that now may not be the right time. (that being said I’ve got books I put down a year ago, fully intending to pick them up, which are still sat there). And I’ve got books I read several times a year because I associate them with comfort and happiness (chronic rereader over here)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. You had me until you mentioned changing pants every day—nope, not me! I will wear the same pair of yoga pants into the *ground* 😂 I’m a bit of a mood reader, but I don’t think I’ve ever gotten tired of a book partway through simply because I wasn’t feeling it anymore. When it comes to books and movies though I can usually tell in the first 10-20% that I’m not going to like it, so I’m a relatively fast DNF’er! I used to finish every single book I opened out of the same sense of stubbornness you talk about…until I realized life is too short to read uninteresting books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, you and your yoga pants. I have a few PJ pants that have seen better days 😝 I can literally make it halfway through a book and hit a major mood shift and be like.. meh I cannot read this genre right now. I am the worst. The uninteresting ones get a complete DNF though. No time for that for sure ❤😂

      Like

  17. I’m a lil bit of a mood reader, that’s why I chose my next read very carefully but once I read it even if it’s so bad you wanna burn the book, I’m the one who power through every book 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I hardly, if ever, DNF books. I´m too over-achieving to let that happen. I always have that little voice in the back of my mind telling me to keep reading because… the story could possibly turn out not so bad or… there´s a chance something might surprise me. So, I push myself and regret it everytime after I finish a terrible story. Lol.
    About the moody reader- Aren´t we all moody in that department? Right now, I can´t stand reading contemporary romances because NOW they feel all the same. If I force myself to read a contemp. romance then I just know things will go downhill. But that can change next week.
    I do remember that I set myself a page limit for DNFing. If a book hasn´t grabbed my attention at page 100 then the book wasn´t worth my time. I don´t know why I don´t do that anymore. Lol.
    Great post, my friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I know a book is failing to grab me simply because my mood shifted (ie I am now craving a fantasy instead of this mystery) I will often just put it back on the shelf and try again later. It is a system that usually works well for me 😉 but it is a case of me and a book just not getting along, my personal goal is about 30%. After that, see ya later book lol. I used to be such a completionist. No more though. I liberated myself hehe. 💜

      Like

    1. That is exactly the type of shelf I have 😉 I return to it often and find that I actually end up loving some of the books I originally struggled with. Although my mood reading usually means genre hopping which is the real problem. But I am less likely to do this with ARCs and review copies as I feel more of an obligation.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Great post, Dani! ❤
    I have DNF'd a few books… but I only DNF when I have been so utterly put off by a book I just know I will only anger myself if I continue reading. otherwise, I try to keep optimistic and I always think- OK, I might not like this NOW but WHAT OF it get's like super mind blowing good in the next few pages and I gave up just as I was about to hit the literary gold mine? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think the biggest issue for me is that my mood reading usually translates into a sudden genre change as well 😉 So I will normally just put it on hold and return when I am ready to return to that genre, unless like you mentioned it is a book that is going to really anger me or put me off. Which rarely happens. Thank you so much Stan 🙂 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  20. This is a great discussion post.

    I rarely DNF book. Like yourself I would force myself to finish till the end, just because I feel obligated to finish. Lately though I’ve been proactively DNF as I’ve got so many more books I want to read and don’t want to force myself to read something I don’t enioy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I learned to DNF when my TBR became impossibly large 😉 If a book is simply not for me then I will give it up. However, if I know it is a matter of my mood shifting, I put it back on the shelf for a later time. About 8 out of 10 times this approach works. But I will never force myself anymore haha. Thanks so much 🙂

      Like

  21. I can’t tell if it’s a sturbbornness, but I simply don’t DNF books and feel that I’ll always prefer reading something to the end, even if it doesn’t seem like it’ll get better just so I’ll have every info necessary to back up my opinion. I also think it’s cause I usually always read something because I KNOW and WANT to read it. The odds that it fails me are hence so much more slim hahah Great post, Danielle! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha not I. I used to be determined to see even the worst through. I simply do not have it in me anymore. But I also read way too many genres and find my mood shifting too often. Which is no fault of the books. So most often it is rarely a true DNF. O tend to return to almost all books I set down unless it is truly a case of failing to connect. Thank you Lashaan 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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