Discussion: Is it Okay to DNF ARCs?

Discussion- Is it Okay to DNF ARCs-Here’s a question I’ve been asking myself ever since I first started blogging -and reading ARCs, is it okay to DNF them? You’ve been asked to submit an honest review, isn’t marking an ARC as did-not-finish a part of giving your honest and truthful opinion on said ARC?

(D.N.F. has literally become a verb to me now. DNF this and DNF that, there’s a present continuous form, too. DNFing; look at that! 😂 In my head, it’s become dee-en-ef, which literally has no connection to ‘did-not-finish’ whatsoever. lol. So bear with me!)

I’d be lying if I said that I treat at ARC exactly the way I treat a published book I got from the bookstore. When I find that I’m losing interest in an ARC, I push myself to read more, to try harder, because I feel like I owe it to the publisher/author. But the second I feel like I’m losing interest in a published book I got, I’d toss it across the room (it’s a metaphor, lol) and probably not feel that guilty about abandoning it.

I found myself DNFing a couple of ARCs in June. Out of the 12 ARCs I read, I DNFd 4. That’s 1/3. That’s a pretty scary ratio, isn’t it?

So what about you? How often do you DNF ARCs? Do you feel guilty about it when you do? Do you treat ARCs the same way you do a published book? Let me know!

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36 thoughts on “Discussion: Is it Okay to DNF ARCs?

  1. Justine says:

    I’m very comfortable DNFing books in general. I do give ARCs much more of a chance because I feel an obligation to do so. I always try to explain what it was that didn’t work for me.

    That being said, I wasn’t always so okay with this! I really struggled the first time I DNFed an ARC. I debated with myself for about a week! Ultimately, it’s as you say — we are given the books in exchange for honest reviews. I still feel guilt, but I do my best to justify why I set it aside.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Lauren says:

    I’ve just started reading e-ARCs so it’s hard to say but I don’t think I would DNF. Two reasons: 1) like you say, I think I would feel obligated to finish and give an honest opinion on the whole book and 2) I rarely DNF a book. I don’t know why, but I think I’m just a very stubborn person. Maybe also a bit naive because I finish books I don’t like hoping to find something good in the last pages 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nadwa @ painfullyfictional says:

      I think I used to say the same thing when I first started reading ARCs, and I remember a time when DNFing was out of the question even with published books. Unfortunately, I have a huge pile of TBR books at the moment and when I realize that the book I’m currently reading isn’t that good, i’m always like, BUT I COULD BE READING THIS AND I COULD BE READING THAT, instead of suffering with this dull book. You know? 😂 But i believe it’s a blessing to be able to be patient and hope that the book is going to become better. This is certainly not naivety!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lia says:

    I have not ever DNF’ed an ARC so far, even though I have been wanting to. I push myself through the book, sometimes I even just skim the rest of it, without actually reading everything. I do think that you are expected to at least try hard to finish it even if you don’t like it, idk, it feels like you’re obligated to do so for ARCs. For other books, I don’t very often feel like DNF’ing them, but if I really don’t feel like finishing, I don’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nadwa @ painfullyfictional says:

      That’s a good idea. I remember skimming through a couple of ARCs that I didn’t like much when I first started blogging and reviewing. I think it depends on the person’s patience level and their ability to tolerate a book that doesn’t suit them. It’s just a theory, i honestly don’t know! 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Lia says:

        Yeah that’s a good theory. I am have only been reviewing ARCs for about half a year though, so maybe I’m just in the beginning stages and in a year I’ll be dnf-ing ARCs more.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Nadwa @ painfullyfictional says:

      No, you’re absolutely right! It’s hard to balance between submitting an honest review and at the same time, trying not to ruin an author’s shot at achieving success through their book. A bad review might stop another person from picking up a book that might have become their perfect and most favorite read. It’s something that always eats at me!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. iamdes says:

    I rarely DNFed a book. I can’t even remember the last time I did that. When the story doesn’t seem to interest me, I abandon it for a couple of days and read a new one that’s more interesting. Then I get back to the old one and see if it will get better. If not, I just repeat the process until I finally finished the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. thebookcorps says:

    I also feel so awkward with arcs, because you feel like you owe the publishing company/author something by reading the novel, but at the same time, if the book is bad or you don’t agree with it, you should be able to treat it as you would any novel that you just read for pleasure.

    I feel like if you put in a bit of effort – maybe read something like 40/50% – and then DNF, then that’s ok?? Because that’s a solid effort I think. 😊

    Great post as usual ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Reg @ She Latitude says:

    I actually DNF books quite liberally but I make extra effort with ARCs, even when I’m not feeling the story! I think I’ve really only DNFed a review copy once, and that was sent to me directly by the author – I figured he’d rather I don’t give his book any rating at all than a bad rating. I don’t feel guilty at all with my DNFs, though! We can’t like ALL books and it’s just bound to happen with the amount of books that we read (in general). 😛

    Great post, Nadwa. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Nadwa @ painfullyfictional says:

      I think it definitely affects an author negatively when the review/rating isn’t positive, never mind that it’s honest. It’s something I’m always struggling with. Since the reason why I don’t like certain books is usually that it’s not a topic that speaks to me or I just don’t understand a character’s frustrating behavior. The very same book might be another person’s favorite. And the author might really have potential. So writing a negative review just because I don’t agree with certain points seems really unfair, doesn’t it? It’s very debatable!! Thank you, Reg 😍💕

      Like

  7. Sophie @ Blame Chocolate says:

    I think it’s okay. I don’t personally haven’t done it yet and don’t plan on it, unless it really is absolutely atrocious. But I wouldn’t say it’s imperative everyone does the same. I think it’s wrong for someone to have to force themselves to read something they’re not enjoying, at least if they’ve been through the 50% mark.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. May @ Forever and Everly says:

    First off — DNF has become “dee-en-ef” as well. IT’S ITS OWN VERB. And TBR has become “tee-bee-ar”* for me as well.

    But about your discussion — I’ve never had ARCs! I’m planning to start this month tho (hopefully). I personally do not DNF a lot (because I’m too nice and like all the books I read :’) ) but I think if you need to, do it. After trying to read it of course, but you shouldn’t force yourself to read a book if you don’t like it! Even if it’s an ARC. The publishers want your honest opinion and if you didn’t like it so much that you had to DNF it — that’s your honest opinion.

    *FREAKIN AUTOCORRECT KEPT CORRECTING AR TO AT OVER AND OVER AGAIN OMGGGG.

    Like

    • Nadwa @ painfullyfictional says:

      Haha! I turned off autocorrect for the very same reason 😂😂 DAMN this makes me feel so much better. Yes, absolutely! But it’s a little easier said than done 😓 The minute you start reading your first ARC you’ll probably feel the same. But I definitely think that DNFing is better than submitting a really negative review. I seriously hate being the reason (or part of the reason) why a book (or the author, even) doesn’t find success. You know?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thai C. says:

    I didn’t use to DNF books ever, I felt unaccomplished or something. That is not a probably for me anymore though lol. So if there are things bothering me about the book that I can’t get past it, I will DNF no problem.
    Luckily, I only DNF two ARCs so far. I try to be careful about what I say and be as gentle as possible so it doesn’t affect the author to see a bad feedback of sorts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nadwa @ painfullyfictional says:

      Ohh yes!! That’s very considerate of you, something that a lot of reviewers lack, by the way. I literally cringe sometimes at the way some people review a book they didn’t like. It’s always important to know that no matter how bad you think the book is, the author has really spent a lot of time and pulled a lot of all-nighters to bring it to life. It’s essential not to take these things for granted!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Book Princess Review (@_bookprincess_) says:

    I hope it’s okay, because I literally do it all the time. I really do try to give ARCs and books I own a bit more of a chance (library books = things I literally will get three pages in and then give up XD). However, I find myself struggling to stick it out longer lately. XD I really should try it a bit more. Wonderful discussion post, Nadwa!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nadwa @ painfullyfictional says:

      YASSS 😂 Although I’ve never actually known how it feels like to borrow a book from the library, I’m pretty sure I’d DNF it if I didn’t like the first sentence, even 😂 lol. Likewise!! I need to get me some patience and maybe a slightly less alluring TBR??? AHH thank you so much, Mandy! 😍😍💖

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Egg Reader says:

    I have no problems DNFing ARCs if I received the electronic version, cause then it didn’t cost anyone anything right?! I feel guilty DNFing ones the I received in hardcopy in the mail….then the guilt requires me to finish

    Liked by 1 person

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