I've been thinking about this dilemma the last couple of days as I transfer and organize my books from GR to BL. Thus far, have 8 books that I've catalogued as DNF. For varying reasons; some I don't even fully remember why I DNF'd to be honest.
It's quite rare that I DNF a book because once I start a book, I have a rather strong compulsion to finish it usually. Call it OCD or FOMO, if you like. In the past I've read books from cover to cover even though I knew it wasn't my cuppa after only a few chapters. I just HAD to see how things ended or I kept hope alive that it would get better and I'd end up loving the book after all...or at least liking it. That has happened, but my first impression is generally the right one, sadly.
As my TBR list gets longer and life gets more an more busy, I just don't have time to waste on a book that isn't turning my crank or floating my boat right from the start.
Top 5 reason why I'll DNF a book...
No connection with the characters or plot.
I need to feel...love, like, excitement, passion, angst, dread or anticipation, something that keeps me interested and engaged. I shouldn't want to put a book down even though I need to take care of musts like eating and sleeping.
'Nuff said! Usually this happens when I feel no connection.
The deja vu effect.
I feel like I've been here, read this before. I read a lot of romance and chick lit, so tropes tend to repeat themselves a lot. There has to be a new and exciting twist; otherwise, why read it? If I'm feeling this, then you can bet I'm bored stiff.
I've just rolled my eyes so hard, I saw my own brain.
If I'm having trouble believing that this would happen in real life or that there are actually people out there who do that, then no thanks.
This is all encompassing. A story has to have a certain pace and the writing needs to flow seamlessly from scene to scene...Not too fast or abrupt, not too slow, but just right. As a reader, I shouldn't be confused as to who is speaking, where the characters are, whether they are in present or past, etc.
There can't be too much going on. I love me some drama and conflict between characters, but if there's too much, then believability drops exponentially. Plot devices for plot device sake that don't seem true to the story or characters' arc are annoying and distracting. An author needs to know when to say when.
An honorable mention here is when the lack of editing is obvious and egregious. I'm not talking a few spelling errors here or there. Even with the best editors, little things slip through the cracks. Less than 5 typos in a book of 200+ pages...no biggie (for me). I mean serious stuff that has me re-reading sentences because I'm not quite sure what the writer is trying to say. Just because a writer has a good idea/vision for a book, doesn't mean he/she is a good writer. If it keeps happening over and over again in a book...NEXXXXT!
What would you add to this list? At what point do you throw in the towel (e.g., 10%, 25%, 50%)?