Thoughts

I Don’t Like Following a Book Series As It Is Published

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.

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13 thoughts on “I Don’t Like Following a Book Series As It Is Published

  1. It is rather difficult to keep up with all the series being published. Half the time I forget the sequel came out and then I suddenly realize the author is now on book four and I don’t even remember what happened in book one!

    1. That’s what I’m finding. I would like to read the sequels to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, but I hardly remember what happened.

  2. I totally get this feeling. I used to be okay with it when I was in high school, but now… unless I really want the book, I prefer standalones, or series that are already published. Binge reading a book series is the best feeling ever, so now I favor that instead of buying each book as they come out.

    1. It’s easier for me to retain the story if I read it all at once now. I like to binge read a series (I’ve been doing that with manga in the last year) just as I like binge watching a drama series on TV. My interest in a series wanes over time. One of the first series I dropped after a point was the House of Night series because it wouldn’t end. In fact, I think more books are still being published in it. It’s too hard to keep up, and I’ve lost interest.

  3. I don’t read a series from start to finish, so it doesn’t really matter to me. I will read one, come back months later, read another, and so on. Sometimes I even skip forward in the series. I guess I’m kind of strange when it comes to that. I don’t usually have any problems coming back to a book series I haven’t read in a long time. I can jump back in and remember most of what happened in the previous book. At the very least (if it has been a long, long time) I remember the character and the general premise, so I’m okay to continue with the series. My friend who blogs with me is the opposite. She can’t stand reading just one book. She has to read them all in a row.

    1. I guess I’m like your friend. I have to read a series from start to finish. I don’t like skipping around, but when I do, I hope that enough information about the world is passed along in that book to not leave me lost. On the other hand, one of my friends can skip around in a series with no problems.

  4. The only series I can (cheerfully) read as they can out are mystery series, probably because the plot of each book doesn’t depend on the plot of the previous book, even if the recurring characters grow and change over the course of several books. In that case, it feels more like checking in with old friends to see what they’re up to these days. But for any other type of series, I want to read it back-to-back. Before I started blogging this wasn’t a problem, but now that I hear about books as they come out, I sometimes succumb and read a book before all the sequels are out But I hate it when I do that to myself!

    1. I forgot about mystery series because I don’t read mystery books often. I guess catching up with old friends explains the interest behind the Nancy Drew series. I would say that was what kept me interested in the Sookie Stackhouse novels, but I binge read the series over a few months. If I felt very connected to the characters and could remember enough of what has happened, I think I would be fine, but I’m having trouble finding that in book series now. Do you recommend any mystery books that I should check out?

  5. Good point about how reading habits change – esp. regarding being excited to follow a series in grade school vs now. I didn’t read many series, even back then, but there were a few I was so excited about. Now I find even with a trilogy I’m excited about, I can easily lose ‘momentum’. One trilogy recently concluded, and I’ve had the final book for a month and still haven’t read it nor do I feel any pressure to. I think for myself I just have so many books to be excited about and interested in, I can’t sustain interest in a years long saga.

    1. As much as I would love to get into a brand new series, I feel like I would do well to wait a few years so that I could binge read it all and maintain the momentum of loving it. I think this portion of my reading habits could change again, but I can’t maintain that excitement right now.

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