Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Discussion Post: Yet Another Series

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 12:08 AM with 34 comments




Discussion Post: Yet Another Series


I've got to be honest, every time a book I want to read has those little parenthesis that say (whatever book #1) I die a little inside. Ok, maybe not quite that dramatic, but I do let out a inward groan. Why does everything take 3 books (if we're lucky) to tell nowadays? Why can't stories be told in a single volume any more? I'm pretty over series. For a few reasons:


1. I'm just not that into dystopian, paranormal, or fantasy these days. These are the genres that seem to really rely on multiple volumes to tell a tale, not always, of course, but that's the trend. Don't get me wrong there are plenty of series that I enjoy. A lot. Like Harry Potter, for example, which I've read 3 times through. Or the Hunger Games series which is simply amazing. I also really like the Burn for Burn, Mind Games, and Pivot Point series, but while all of those have paranormal aspects, they really read more like contemporary fiction, and I'm just a contemporary girl lately. I've really tried to get into the other genres, but the number of books in those genres that I really enjoy are few and far between. So while all my friends were fangirling all over Cress and Ignite Me coming out this month, I kind of felt like Debby Downer. (Although I do totally plan on reading Cinder...someday.)

 

2. My book memory sucks. Before the magic that are Goodread shelves came into my life, I was known to get half-way through a book before things started to seem awfully familiar. This book memory is a problem when it comes to series. I don't have to tell my fellow bloggers how stretched time can be when you have a pile of review books staring at you. As I discussed a couple of weeks ago in my discussion post on rereading, I'm all for picking up a beloved book again and again, but I HATE having to reread the first (or second or both) book in a series just to remember what is going on. I do know about Recaptions, and as a theory I think it's awesome, but I still feel the need to actually reread earlier books before picking up the next book in a series. It's just one of my bookish quirks. A total time-sucking bookish quirk. But when I don't I just feel lost and confused.



I picked up Allegiant when it first came out and about 2 pages in realized that there was no way I could read it without giving Insurgent another look. And that's just not going to happen anytime soon.

3. I'm super impatient. Yes, the anticipation for a book your dying to read can be kind of fun in that gimme, gimme, gimme kind of way, but I'd rather have the next book now because I'm impatient like that.

 

Sometimes I think it is just better to wait until all of the books of a series are out before I pick up the first one. Of course, the problem with that is trying to fit 3 books in my already overcrowded reading schedule. It's probably not going to happen. 

4. Which brings us to my next gripe: I just don't have time. I was debating picking up the first book in the Vampire Academy series before seeing the movie (which I haven't seen--has anybody? It's getting blasted by movie reviewers and is already down to, like, the 10:45AM only showing at most of the theaters in my city), but then I saw it has, like, 6 books in it not counting the spin-offs.


I feel the same way about the relatively new The Bone Season. It sounds really interesting, but it's huge and the first of seven! As much as I'd love to just sit around and read all day, I just can't.

5. I'm already in the middle of hundred series. I've seen a lot of bloggers post what series they have completed, what they need to complete, what they are caught up on, and what they are giving up on. I debated doing that, but I think if I actually saw it in writing I would have a break down. It's hard to get excited for a new series when I have so many incomplete series. 


So am I giving up on series? Of course not. There are series coming out this month I know I'm going to read (I'm looking at you The Winner's Curse), but I'm definitely becoming more hesitant to pick up the first book in a series and am often waiting until at least the second or third book comes out before I start them. I'm also becoming more hesitant to request books that I know are series starters...and I'm definitely trying to stop requesting the second (or third) book in a series I haven't started yet. Seriously, I used to do that to myself all the time. I don't know why. It's so silly!

As always, I'd love to hear from you. How do you feel about series? Are you like me--hesitant to start them--or can you not get enough? Have you ever counted to see how many series you are in the middle of reading? Let me know!


34 comments:

  1. Firstly, I LOVE all your Jennifer Lawrence gifs haha

    Secondly I agree with pretty much everything you just said! haha
    I am also in the middle of so many series (too many to even count) it just becomes such a daunting task to finish them all. I also hate having to re-read books, just so I can remember what's going on in order to read the latest release. That's why I've started waiting for all the books to be released before starting a series, so I can marathon them... but then I feel like I'm missing out on discussing each book in the series as it's comes out, and by the time I get to read them all the hype is usually over haha.

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    1. Thanks! She's awesome. Good point about the hype being done by the time you get to the end if you wait too long to read a series. That's so true. I liked binge reading before I was a blogger--I didn't start the HP series until the 7th book was out--but now I just can't afford to give an entire series my undivided attention. I just have too many other books, mostly review, to let that happen. Thanks for stopping by!

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  2. Oh my gosh, I wrote up a post about my series feelings but it goes up like... Next month! Haha! I totally share your sentiments about it. My book memory can get very sucky, and I can be super impatient too! :(

    Is it just me or are there really a LOT LOT LOT of really hyped series lately?

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    1. I think most bloggers have done/will end up doing a series post. It's a pretty common topic to discuss. Memory and impatience definitely seem to be a shared reason to be wary of series.

      It's not just you--there are SO MANY hyped series. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Yup, yup, yup! I am a bit over series, especially sequels in a three-book series because so often they end up being filler and nothing more. But, I am always happy when a series turns out to be better than expected!

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    1. Such a good point about being fillers. It doesn't always take 3 books to tell a story. Why do publishers/authors feel it must be so? It is nice when you are pleasantly surprised, of course, but how often does that happen? Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. YEES! I totally agree. I do love me some series when they do it well but some books just don't work. Some drag it too long and some squish it in just to make a trilogy. I don't think there's anything wrong with duologies and standalones. In face, I love them! We need more amazing standalones!

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    1. I LOVE standalones. It's just so nice to sit down and read a book and know that when you reach the end, it'll be the end. Duologies are fine, but I still feel the need to reread with them which just feels like a waste of time--unless I want to reread, of course. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. I like series, but like you, I have a bad book memory. It's hard to remember what happened in book 1 when I read it a year or more ago and I've read over 100 books since. And...some books don't need to be part of a series. If you take out all the filler, there's a complete story in one book.

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    1. Exactly! I read so much that there is just no way to keep all the little details inside my head. I wish there were more standalones so I didn't have this problem. I'm glad I'm not the only one. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Ahhh! I feel the same way. I am in the middle of a bunch of series and I haven't finished a few either. I hate to start new ones, because I need to finish the series that I actually like. I made it a goal this year to finish some of them and have been trying hard to get caught up with The Mortal Instruments series and Fire and Thorns, not to mention a bunch of others. I find that if a book in the series disappoints me, then I stop with the series all together…it's just not worth it. I can say Vampire Academy series is awesome though…..one of my faves! You should definitely give it a try. It's a shame the movie isn't getting good reviews. It seems kind of cheesy, but the books are fantastic! Great post, Natalie!

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    1. I've heard VA is awesome, and I do have the first book at home, I just haven't gotten around to them yet. I just read a favorable review on a blogger's site, but JoBlo gave it a super negative, and I tend to side with their reviewers--although not always, and the ones I do tend to disagree with are aimed at teen girls usually, so there is that. I'm so behind on a lot of series, too, to the point that I'm probably going to abandon most of them. It sucks, but I just don't have the time or patience they take. I know it's an issue for a lot of bloggers. Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. I'm actually posting something tomorrow about series because I've been feeling the same way you do. Except my favorite genre is fantasy, paranormal, and dystopian so for me it's virtually impossible to pick up a book without it being part of a series. And yes, my book memory sucks and I feel the same way, I need to reread the book because otherwise I have no idea what's going on, I feel no connection to the characters, and if I don't reread I just don't like the next book as much. So I've decided to try...only try, because it's going to be really hard, not to read any books that are part of a series unless it's a completed series OR it's one of my favorite authors OR it's almost guaranteed to be a 5 star read (like The Winner's Curse). So I'm taking a bunch of books back to the library today that are the first or second book of a series that's not completed (like Madness Underneath). I want to read them, but I know I won't remember what happened in them when the third book comes out and there's bound to be a cliffhanger and I just can't take it anymore.

    So I completely agree with you about series, they're driving me crazy!! ~Pam

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    1. I think at least part of the reason why I have been drifting away from anything except contemporary stems from the fact that they are ALL series. I still like contemp better--and always have--but the fact that they are usually standalones gives them an even bigger edge. I've been trying really hard to not start any new series for awhile, too. We'll see how it goes. I'm sure I'll end up checking out your post in the next day or so. :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Ugh, right? I always feel like this at some point every couple of months with genres. Especially dystopian, I have a love/hate relationship with, with ALL the information you have to remember for the world building, if it has it that is. Contemporary's a lot less complicated, and actually, I read it a lot faster than the others, which I thought I wouldn't. Go figure.

    The buzz for Ignite Me didn't affect me, but Cress did (I actually caved and bought Cinder yesterday. Not that I can read it yet, but whatever :( But YES. Before blogging, I'd reread, reread, reread before each one came out, but now, I'm frustrated that I can't. I'm so in love with the Blood of Eden series, and since the last comes out in April, I wanted to re-read the first two, which are a little...chunky. And I have a ton of April ones, I don't know when I'll even be able to read the last. So I guess I don't dislike series', but it is hard to keep up with them, and more hate that I'd have to reread, especially if I hadn't read them for over a year. And that's why try to stay away from ones I haven't (already) started, because I hate waiting in-between books, too. Or I'd start the first book, and then wait until the series is finished before reading,(Mara Dyer, Shatter Me, Bloodlines, Lux, about 13423598498 others.)

    Oh man, but THE WINNER'S CURSE. Not trying to make you not read it or anything, but I wish I hadn't because it was SO GOOD. Killer good. And now the wait. I could cry. ;( Great discussion post! :)

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    1. Thanks, Kirsty! I find that I read contemp so much quicker, too. I don't know why that is. I really do plan on reading Cinder, too. It's hard to ignore how much every friend I have absolutely adores that series. I haven't read the Blood of Eden series, but I've heard good things for it. They are rather large. And I know! April is crazy arc month for me, too! I think I counted over 30--and I don't read a book a day, so it's going to be an issue. I'm hearing great things for The Winner's Curse. I'm excited to read it. :) Thanks for stopping by!

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  9. I get so annoyed when books are in a series unnecessarily! I think a lot of publishers want authors to write series because it brings in the money, but I would definitely prefer a story to be told in a single 600 page book instead of three drawn out 300 page ones. I would class series like Harry Potter as necessary, obviously, but Perfect Chemistry, Angelfall, The Alchemy of Forever, and many more are just ridiculous.

    Impatience will be my downfall. I'm more likely to quit a series due to the frustration of a long wait than anything else. And YES, binge-reading a finished series is something I've been wanting to do more of, because it makes me happier. But I have the same problem as you: the dreaded schedule.

    That said, I do love series. When they're done right, of course!

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    1. Oh, it definitely has something to do with money for all involved. And really, who can blame them after Twilight and The Hunger Games and Harry Potter made SO much money and all got adapted in to films. It's the nature of the business, but if the middle books are just filler or the first book feels incomplete then people aren't going to care and aren't going to continue with the series--which can lose them money.

      It's just so hard to wait for a year when you read as much as we all do. Especially since we've usually started a handful of series since the last book came out. Binge reading can be the way to go--if you can make the time.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. I definitely agree that it's getting a little out of control with the 3-book series. Seriously, lots of them don't need 3 volumes and the story is hurt as a result. I am appreciating duologies more and more, as frustrating as cliffhangers are I do appreciate them in their own way, I like the excitement of having to wait. And 2 books are much more manageable.

    There are definitely been books I've been interested in reading lately, but I've decided not to because I just can't get into a series. Maybe not new series, but starting a book and knowing that there are 2 (or more) books I need to read after that that are already out just seems so intimidating.

    Great discussion, as always!

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    1. Thanks, Maggie! Duologies are so much better than trilogies, imo, but I'm still holding out for more standalones. I just find series to be so unnecessary for the most part and I'm pretty over them. It can be so intimidating! Especially for us bloggers who usually have a schedule and book commitments to work around. Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. I'm completely with you on this one. There are just too many to keep up with! After reading all the end of year lists last year, I bought Under the Never Sky and Shatter Me. I liked Under the Never Sky but I just don't think I'll get around to reading the sequels. I started Shatter Me but, like you, I'm just not feeling the dystopian stuff at the moment.

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    1. There are way too many! Oh, and I seriously got about 10 pages into Shatter Me before putting it aside forever. The writing, the world building, the strike outs, absolutely none of it was for me. Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. Love this post and LOVE your JLaw gifs, best! I'm with you on the dying just a little bit. Reading is not just a commitment of time but of emotional investment too and starting a series can just be a little too much. And I rarely finish them, all my enthusiasm leaks away in the waiting and then I've got all these other books I'm excited about. Though I don't think I agree with that whole fast rollout thing they're thinking about... Great post!

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    1. Haha. Gotta love JLaw. Such a good point about emotional commitment. It can all just be so much. Unless the series is amazing, my enthusiasm definitely diminishes, too. The fast roll-out thing is intriguing. If it's done like Peter Jackson made Lord of the Rings and all of the books are written before the first book is published, than that could definitely work, but if there is all sorts of pressure on the author to crank out the books than there's almost no way the writing wouldn't suffer. Thanks for stopping by!

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  13. Oh my gosh. I agree with basically everything you've said. I HATE series. I still read some, but that's mostly happens because I never pay attention to what is a series and what isn't so I unknowingly get myself into a series situation. I mainly don't like series because I don't like staying dedicated to one story over a long period of time. I like to experience a lot of different worlds/characters/experiences, and I don't feel like I can do that with a series.

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    1. I sometimes don't pay attention to what is and what is not a series. I almost just expect than any non-contemporary genre I pick WILL be a series. Doesn't that seem to be the case? Commitment issues play a part with me, too, but it's really more about my memory and impatience. Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. Yay JLaw haha.

    I'm kind of getting sick of series too. Unless the series is suuuuper fantastic, chances are I'll forget stuff, and only kind of bumble through the next book (waiting a year is too long!). Which is why I still haven't read Allegant either.

    It's like a terrible cycle, since I have to wait for the next book in the series, I end up starting another one, and it just goes round and round. sigh* oh well, what are we gonna do about it. I'm trying to read more stand-alones now haha
    (PS. You should totally read Cinder/Lunar Chronicles though...it's awesome ;))

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    1. She's the best! Agreed. The only time I'm interested is when the series is outstanding which is, of course, completely rare. Exactly! In between books I read dozens of others, a lot which are also series. I have heard good things about Cinder and that series. It is on my TBR. Thanks for stopping by!

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  15. I completely agree with this. So many stories nowadays suffer because authors are stretching them too thin to fit at least three books. It's become the standard package for book marketing and is 100% the sole root problem of second book syndrome. Hopefully, they start to realize it's better to have a quality story than a quantity of books. Great post! :)

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    1. Exactly, it's so rare that a story actually takes multiple books to tell which is why so many series are subpar at best. Publishers/authors need to realize that readers are getting burnt out and will eventually stop picking up the first book in a series. Thanks for stopping by!

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  16. I can SO relate to you about this. It's ridiculous how many series there are out there. I've only recently begun to read a huge amount (I've always been a big reader, but last year was my first year as a "serious" reader...lol I can't even type that without thinking about how stupid it sounds, but I don't know how else to describe it), so I decided to tackle the problem head-on before it got any worse.

    I recently sat down and figured out ALL of the series I've finished and am currently still working on. Then, the past three months, almost all of the books I read were books in series that I needed to catch up on. Now, at the end of February, I finally feel like I'm almost in a good place. For the first time in forever, I'm actually going to start new series next month, and I feel good about it. I'm planning to only start series that I'm going to immediately read all of the books of, and continue to work on the series I haven't finished yet. I don't want to let myself get in over my head with this, and even though it took some hard work, I feel so happy with my ratio of finished/unfinished series right now.

    I still get that same annoyed feeling as you do when I realize that I book I was excited to read is the first in a series, especially because I'm not allowing myself to start any series unless the entire thing has already been published, but there are so many other books out there that I want to and CAN read, that I'm slowly getting over that.

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    1. Good job on getting caught up! I'd love to do that, but I just have so many commitments to review books to take a chunk of time to get through all the books in series I would have to read. If I was loving a series, I would take the time, of course, but the fact that I don't want to speaks volumes about the quality of work. I'm trying so hard not to start anything new unless I hear the series is AMAZING--and even then I tend to fall victim to the hype monster, so I won't pick them up. Thanks for stopping by!

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  17. YES. To every single point you made in this post, I say YES. I'm really trying to cut down on the number of new series I start, as well. And I think that if I were to compile the data concerning series I'm in the middle of, I'd have a mental breakdown, too. It'd be nice to have, I guess, so I could keep track of what I still need to read, but also, I think it might make me give up on more than a few. WHY can't a story be told in a single book? I don't care if that makes the book a doorstop...it'd be better than waiting three years to get the whole story, forgetting what happened in between each book because I read too many books each year to keep track of all those details. I think this is all why I've started reading so many contemporaries lately. Fast, fun, no memory loss, and no waiting. Works for me.

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  18. I'm having that problem with a series where the second book came out a month ago, but I haven't felt like reading it because I can't remember the previous book. Actually, I've been hearing amazing things about the Throne of Glass series, but there are 6 BOOKS in that series and only 2 have been released. I'm impatient and I think I'll wait on series like this that have so many books to be released. My tbr pile is long enough that I don't feel desperate to read long unfinished series.

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Hello, there! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I read each and every one and will do my best to respond--usually on your blog instead of on mine. I will, however, always answer direct questions. Due to serious time restraints, this blog is now an award free zone, but I appreciate the thought!