I’ve been having a real dilemma when it comes to series lately. I’m actually considering making a relatively radical change – not reading series until they’re complete. But I don’t know if I can really do it. I’ve decided to make a list of pros and cons – and I need your help deciding what to do!
SHOULD I WAIT TO START A NEW SERIES UNTIL IT’S FINISHED?
Cures My Forgetfulness. This is the problem that most recently inspired me to consider this decision. A week or so ago, I read the final book in the Storm Siren Trilogy. I remembered that I really loved the first two books and that I was rooting for Nym and Eogan as a couple, but I’d forgotten a lot of details. I found myself struggling through the third book, trying to remember what exactly was happening and trying to care about secondary characters that I didn’t remember all that well. The result was a less than stellar reading experience.
- Rereading would be an obvious solution to this problem, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I’m just not a rereader. Sometimes I do a quick skim read, but I don’t always have time to even do that if I’m on a deadline.
- Recaptains is an excellent solution to this problem, but they don’t have a recap of every book written. I guess the most obvious answer to that is that I should start taking notes on books I read in a series and submit my own recap to Recaptains. I’ve thought about this on multiple occasions … but I’ve yet to actually do it.
Momentum. I’ve found that when I binge read a series, the build-up is generally so much better. I finish one book excited to start the next, and I can’t wait to find out what happens! Sometimes the high from a fantastic read can even make a slightly less exciting middle book feel less slumpy to me (especially if things are kicked back into high gear in the final book in a trilogy). Because I’m experiencing the entire series arc at once, lulls feel more okay to me. On the flip side of the coin, when I have to wait a year for the next book in a series to come out, most of the time my excitement has dulled significantly and I’m just not as eager to pick it up.
Confirmation That It’s Worthwhile. When you wait until an entire series is complete, you can get an idea of whether or not people are still loving it by the time it gets to book three or four. If everyone loves the first book, but it goes way downhill from there, you can skip it! (Of course, you might be missing out – I think I’m one of the ONLY people who truly enjoyed both Insurgent and Allegiant – though I actually think part of the reason I loved them more than some other people is because I binge read the series and had that momentum thing going for me.)
Finished Series!! If I binge read a series, I’ll actually finish it! I can only think of a few and far-between instances where I could have kept reading and just decided not to. (Maze Runner is one that comes to mind – I think it’s partially just that I’m not as enthralled with the series as I’d like to be – but I DO still want to read it!) Binge reading doesn’t give me time to let those undefinable forces take over that seem to prevent me from finishing a series I love.
The Feeling That I’m Missing Out! Let’s face it, when everyone’s talking about how AMAZING a book is, it’s hard not to want to pick it up and read it for yourself. And just like I lose my excitement about a series after having to wait a year for the next book, if I have to wait three years to read a series that everyone’s been raving about, the fervor created within me from the hype will probably have significantly lessened. (Of course, if everyone’s still raving by the time we get to the last book in the series, hopefully I’ll be excited again and will pick it up!)
The Time Commitment. If I wait for a whole series to be written, then that means I have to put aside enough time to read the entire series all at once. Depending on the series, this could be pretty significant. I’ve heard that book 9 of the Outlander series might be the last. Hmmm … guess I’ll have to set aside a month to read it. (And that’s only if Gabaldon ends it there. There are no guarantees. I might have to wait ten more years to read her series if I wait for it to be over!)
Overwhelming. This kind of goes with that last point. The idea of reading one fabulous book is appealing. The idea of reading nine books to complete a series can be panic inducing!
Too Much of a Good Thing? I don’t think I’ve run into this with the series I’ve binge read, but I always worry – will I get sick of reading it and want to move onto something else? This seems like it might happen with longer series, especially. I mean, no matter how much I love a fictional world, I’m bound to want a little change now and again, right? It seems like this problem might be solved by just throwing in another read here and there (this is what I did when I binge read the first four books of The Others Series and when I read the entire Vampire Academy Series), but it might not solve the problem completely.
So there you have it. My pros and cons list. Unfortunately, as you can see, my lists are exactly the same length. So, I guess it just comes down to which set of arguments is more compelling to me and what my priorities are. The Momentum and Finished Series points are HUGE for me and sway me toward waiting … but Time and the feeling of being Overwhelmed are real factors that might keep me from reading series I truly would have loved.
So, what do I do? I think I’m leaning toward trying harder to wait on series, especially if I know they’re only going to be two or three books. But I probably won’t manage complete self-control.
I want your opinion! What do you think I should do?