My reading tastes and habits have changed a lot since I was twelve. That in itself is not a surprise, but my reading of standalones and series has changed. I’ve changed in two respects to that: I prefer standalones over series now, and when I read a series, I prefer the entire series to be published.
I don’t have the time to read as much I used to, so I have to prioritize what I will read. First, I have to make time for all of the books I’m required to read for my classes. For what little time I do have to read for fun, I prefer reading standalone books. They require less time, and I do not have to worry about keeping up with a series. I can stop at only one book without worrying about there being more.
When I was in junior high and high school, I could read and loved reading entire series. I loved keeping up with them. I devoured them, which was easier to do when most of the series were already published. Junior high was when I started reading books that were just published, and I had to read the first book of every series. I think the first series I followed from the beginning was The Chronicles of Vladimir Todd by Heather Brewer. I bought and read every book from the series as it was published. I loved keeping up with it.
Now in college, I have tried to keep up with series as they were published and tried reading series that were complete. A couple of the series I started were the Red Queen series and The School for Good and Evil series. For the Red Queen series, I read Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard, when it came out, but I can’t bring myself to read the sequel. It’s sitting on my shelf wanting to be read—and I want to read it—but I can’t get into wanting to read it. I read Soman Chainani’s The School for Good and Evil and A World Without Princes, and the third book is also sitting on my shelf wanting to be read. I have read a few chapters from it, but I always get distracted while reading it and put it down. These two series are just examples of the fact that it is so much harder for me to keep up with series now.
Following a series is an investment of time and money. I think time is the greatest issue for me right now. When the semester is in full swing, it can take me a month to finish reading a book. That book has to hold my attention for that month because I might not read it for a few days or a week at a time. If I am reading the first in the series and its sequels have not been published, I will try to obtain the sequels as they are published, but I struggle to want to get back into the world. If too much time passes, I might forget everything that happened, and I don’t reread many books. If I am so fortunate as to have the rest of the series published and I liked the book, then I might try to continue it. If I felt I have spent too long in the world of that book or simply don’t care anymore, I move on to another series with the intention of returning to that world some day.
When I invest my time into a series, I prefer it to be published. If I want to read it, it’s all there. I used to want to keep up with a series as it was published, but it’s easier to read it all at once. While I’m interested. I often hear about how someone is more of a fan because they have been following the series since the first book was published and I disagree, but that’s a rant for another time. Most of the Twilight saga and the Harry Potter series were published by the time I discovered them, and they were wonderful. Becoming a fan so late into their publishing does not make me less of a fan.
My reading habits are bound to change again. For all I know, I might go back to preferring book series over standalones after I graduate, or I might prefer a different genre. Maybe time will work in my favor again and maybe it won’t. At the moment, I prefer standalones to (incomplete) series.