I’ve had book series on my mind a lot lately. I think it stems from the Top Ten Tuesday topic a few weeks ago where we had to list ten series we want to read but haven’t gotten around to yet. I did my list of 10, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I could have easily listed 2 or 3 times that many series. That of course got my wheels turning and thinking about not only the series I haven’t gotten to yet but also all of the ones I’ve but have yet to finish. Again, the list is endless. All of this really got me thinking about my overall relationship with book series. Why I put off starting series forever and why even once I start one do I take so long to actually read all of the books?
And here’s what I came up with…IT’S COMPLICATED!
I seem to have a lot of random quirks when it comes to series, so I thought I’d share and see if I have any kindred spirits out there.
1. Series are amazing in the sense that they give me more time to get to know my favorite characters. I especially love all of the added opportunities to get more backstory on them. Lucien from ACOTAR and Holland from the Shades of Magic series immediately come to mind with respect to the backstories.
As much as I love this though, there’s a downside as well. The more I get to know characters, the more attached I get, which means when it’s finally time to say goodbye to them, I’m left with a broken heart. The Harry Potter series is a prime example here. I cried like a baby when I finished that last book.
So yeah, series can be a very emotional experience for me.
2. I’m not really a fan of series where the books can all work as standalones. There are a few I’ll make an exception for, like the Stephanie Plum series just because it’s so hilarious, but otherwise I tend to avoid these. What I don’t like is that each book in a series like this tends to spend a lot of time rehashing and summarizing who all of the characters are and their basic relationships to each other. I always get bored and find myself skipping a lot of pages because it’s like deja vu: “Wait, didn’t I read all of this, almost verbatim, in the last three books in this series?”
My definite preference here is a series where you have to read all of the books in the correct order and where one book picks up right where the last book left off.
3. I’m quirky when it comes to series length as well. I enjoy duologies and trilogies, but once I get past the 3 book mark, I start to get a little testy and nitpicky. I find myself more critical of the books the longer a series get, almost editing them in my mind as I’m reading, questioning whether certain passages or, in some cases, whole chapters were even necessary because they felt like filler. I did this quite a bit this week actually as I was reading A Court of Wings and Ruin. I think it’s my brain’s way of trying to shorten the series for me because I’ve about reached my limit.
Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia are probably the only exceptions to my series length preference.
4. I typically won’t start a series until at least two books have been published. Why? Because if there’s a cliffhanger ending in the first book, I want to have the option to keep reading immediately rather than waiting a year to get the next book. That’s not to say I actually will continue with the series immediately (see # 5).. I just want to know the possibility is there. Having that second book at the ready is like a security blanket for me, I guess, haha.
5. I don’t usually like to binge read series. I think this goes back to the whole saying goodbye to the characters issue (see # 1). In my mind, the faster I read a series, the sooner I have to say goodbye so binging is a big no.
So there you have it, all of my bookish quirks when it comes to reading series. Do we share any quirks? Do you have quirks of your own when it comes to series?