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Series: all in one go or do you read others in between?

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Initial post: 27 May 2012 23:08:27 BDT
I had an interesting conversation with a lovely woman today, which prompted me to ask this question:

How do you manage/read series?

I, for example, need to read each book in a series in one go before I can read something else once I'm hooked. There's no way I could start a different book, no matter how much you recommend it to me.

I've now learned that not everyone ticks that way, which, quite honestly, surprises me.

Posted on 27 May 2012 23:19:48 BDT
As most series i read are still being written the new book goes on pre-order and I can usually read several before the new one arrives. I have sometimes skimmed the earlier books just to get back to the right place when a new one comes along . I have series on the go from Kresley Cole, Charlaine Harris, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jim Butcher, Christine Feehan and although I no longer bother I was at one time reading Laurell Hamilton as well. I also have different books on my kindle for reading whilst travelling and would never put a book from any of the series on that unless I had a "real book" of the same title.

Posted on 27 May 2012 23:25:50 BDT
AnneDon says:
It's odd you ask this, because, as a new Kindle owner this year, I have been wondering which way to read books - whether to read an entire series, or split them up. I suppose if it was a really dark series, it might be a bit depressing. But then again, I do want to know what happens next!

I'm currently reading The Dresden Files, Prador/Polity, EE Doc Smith, Stephanie Plum, Kinsey Milhone and Kay Scarpetta!

Posted on 27 May 2012 23:29:08 BDT
Ah, I haven't thought about that. Thank you. Yes. It'll be a nightmare to me to wait until the next book comes out, I think. And I never skim a book I like. Every single word needs to be read.

I'm thinking back to where I was a kid and I literally read only series. Went to the library and came home with a stack of books of a series and nothing else. Read them all and went back to get the next books until I had read all of them. Then moved on to the next series.

I also tend to feel extremely lost after the last book, when I've actually managed to forget the world around me. Maybe I'm just weird.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 May 2012 23:30:06 BDT
Phil X says:
I have found that i can read a couple of a series and then go onto somthing else, coming back later. Some series can become dull all at once.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 May 2012 23:32:28 BDT
That's exactly that: I want to know how the story continues, or better, I don't want to say goodbye to the characters which I have gotten to know and learned to care for.

In reply to an earlier post on 27 May 2012 23:35:24 BDT
This was the argument of the lovely woman I had the conversation with. Admittedly, I only read one series as an adult, but I vividly remember my habits as a kid. I tend to stick to authors I know and love, though, thinking that if I liked one book, I'll like the others, too. Which can be a little fatal.

Posted on 28 May 2012 00:49:31 BDT
Jacquie says:
I definitely like to read series in order. I have several authors that I have read over the years and I wait anxiously for the next in the series each year or so.

If I discover a book that is in a series that I haven't read then I go crazy to get them all and get up to date. Then I usually wish I hadn't rushed so much. A couple of examples would be the Inpsector Banks series by Peter Robinson, Deborah Crombie's series, Graham Hurley's Joe Faraday series. There are many more. I love reading books that are in a series. Occasionally I am disappointed or let down if a book in the series doesn't live up to my expectations. Or I get very angry by something the author has done to a character I particularly like. Elizabeth George did this in a recent book in her Inspector Lynley series.

This is a great topic with as many opinions as there are people who read series I imagine. I'm enjoying these Amazon UK discussions from the US.

Posted on 28 May 2012 08:20:48 BDT
Jacqui, I think we are alike. I'm normally not a serial reader (haha), but if I accidentally buy a book and love it, then find out it's a series, there's no holding back for me. Like you, I can get rather upset if the characters are 'removed' to replace them with others.

Posted on 28 May 2012 10:24:17 BDT
Sou'Wester says:
I do like to read series in chronological order; will often read two or three books in a series one after the other but after that I'll have a break and read something else before returning for further instalments.

Posted on 28 May 2012 11:38:16 BDT
I'm interested in that there's a slight difference between say, something like Terry Pratchett's Discworld Series which is stand alone books set in the same place and Lord Of The Rings which, to me is a trilogy in that you definitely want to read it all at once. However at the same time, since there's The Hobbit, would that mean it's a trilogy which is part of a series?

If the books don't stand so well alone, again, it's all relative but, to me, the three Lord of the Rings ones don't, would you wait until all the books in the series are published before starting. I've heard lots of stories about people not reading a series until it's complete. Does anyone fall into that camp here?



Posted on 28 May 2012 11:50:26 BDT
Ethereal says:
I don't read series often and even if I were hooked on one it wouldn't stop me reading other books, but then in recent years I've formed the habit (through low boredom threshold) of having several on the go at once.
I'd have thought having a kindle is ideal for this since you wouldn't have to cart many paperbacks around with you.
I'd prefer series to be pretty much stand alone though I don't mind some open-endedness in any novel. And I wouldn't chew my fingers waiting for the next to come out as there are lots of other authors to choose from.
But I would prefer to read them in order even if it's not vital for the stories, if only to chart the author's writing progress (ie. have they got better with experience, or stuck in a rut?).

Posted on 28 May 2012 13:45:57 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 May 2012 13:46:20 BDT
G. Heywood says:
I purposely read other books in between. I had read the first one of Cornwell's Alfred the Great series, and will read the next one in a few months. I have read the first two of of the Game of Thrones series, and will read the next one in a few weeks perhaps.

By spacing them out (although not over too long a time), you can make the enjoyment last longer and I *really* appreciate it when I come back to a good series.

When I was a kid I would have to read them consecutively, but not these days. LOTR is probably the exception to this, but then if I was reading it now for the first time, I would probably intersperse it with other books too.

Posted on 28 May 2012 15:01:45 BDT
For me it depends, but if I am enjoying a series I will read as many as I can until I have read them all, or I sicken myself a little. Often, I do read other books to break up the series and keep the enjoyment. Last year I read all the Jasper Fforde books I could get my hands on, but when I got to the last Thursday Next book I didn't enjoy it so much and stopped halfway through it. I will go back to it because I absolutely love his books.
Other series I read pretty much all the way through (as far as were available) were Sookie Stackhouse and Aurora Teagarden series by Charlaine Harris, Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman, Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews, Tales of the city by Armistead Maupin and Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole books - all addictive!

In reply to an earlier post on 28 May 2012 20:20:05 BDT
LEP says:
Well I'm like Weny. Often the series I read are still being written, quite often with a very long gap between books, so I have to read other books inbetween.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 May 2012 21:23:58 BDT
That makes me feel so much better about mine. 2 down 1 to go and it takes me 18 months for each book.



Posted on 28 May 2012 21:37:14 BDT
Booktigger says:
It depends, pre kindle days i mainly read second hand books so it kind of depended on whether i could get them. I did read the first 15 Cross books by James Patterson earlier in the year and needed a break part way through.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 May 2012 21:48:14 BDT
That's not down to your choice, then.

You know about gratification and postponing? I seem to be unable to do it, not when I want something really really badly and I could get it easily (like the chocolate in the fridge or the book). Guess it has something to do with my ADHD.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 May 2012 21:49:49 BDT
I never read second hand books. I'm very weird like that, want to be the first who reads that book. Never grabbed the first book on the pile, but dug a little deeper to make sure nobody had it in his or her hands.

In reply to an earlier post on 28 May 2012 22:08:23 BDT
Booktigger says:
See, i don't like reading brand new books, find it really awkward

In reply to an earlier post on 28 May 2012 22:11:50 BDT
That's a matter of preference. A friend of mine mostly reads second hand books. Since I have a Kindle nowadays, the problem is solved. ;-)

Posted on 2 Jun 2012 17:22:47 BDT
Bookworm says:
I tend to have a few books in between, I have had I heart vegas on my shelf for nearly a year(the new one is coming out next week) so I'm not that bothered. Unless it's a series, I'm loving I won't read one after the other. Examples of where i have read them close together is Emma Hamilton series by Sinead Moriarty, and chocolate lovers diet/club by carole matthews.

Posted on 2 Jun 2012 17:31:48 BDT
I just finished Steven Erikson's epic series "The Malazan book of the Fallen" 10 books averaging 800 pages each. They're so complex and with such a vast cast list that, even though I enjoyed each one individually, when the final volume came out I re-read the entire series in order. I am now shattered and my wife may be about to divorce me, but it was far better than trying to read others in between.
Now for a re-read of Patrick OBriens "Master and Commander" Series....

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2012 10:36:07 BDT
Ah well, now you're talking. O'Brien gives you 22 books full of wonderful characters, amazing visual scenes for your imagination, and accurate historical detail (without hammering it). I'm on book 15. Great stuff! Generally speaking I have 'bedtime books' - which have to be well-written but not too exciting - and 'downstairs books' - anything goes - my current favourites are O'Brien and for non-fiction the wonderful Danny Dorling (particularly relevant this weekend!).

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jun 2012 13:54:53 BDT
Sou'Wester says:
Agree 100% about Patrick O'Brian; one of the finest historical novelists. Not sure I'd want to tackle all the Jack Aubrey books in one go, though!
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Discussion in:  fiction discussion forum
Participants:  15
Total posts:  26
Initial post:  27 May 2012
Latest post:  3 Jun 2012

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