I can come to your library, book club meeting, or conference to talk about how to help your readers find their next good read. Click here for more information.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday Discussion: Do You Read Long Series Before They Are Finished?

Today's Monday Discussion is not original.  I have blatantly stolen it from Book Riot.  But there is also a shorter summary of it from one of the Book Riot contributors here.  Excerpted from that post:
"The No. 1 reason why people won’t read The Song of Ice and Fire series is not because they’re not interested in fantasy novels (which you might expect would be the case). And it’s not because the books are too long, or violent, or offensive to their delicate sensibilities regarding sex. Nope. The No. 1 reason is that folks don’t want to be left hanging, waiting until 2020 (or whenever) for the notoriously slow George R. R. Martin to finish his series. Readers are friggin’ impatient — and rightly so!
We hate waiting for books, almost than we hate waiting for anything else in the world. And I’m with you — for my entire reading life, I’ve had the same policy: Must wait until finished in order to begin."
Use the above links to see what others had to say.  There are quite a few comments.  But let's talk about it amongst ourselves today.

The example used most frequently is the Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin.  Since Martin takes a long time to write each book and the level of detail is so high, many people are waiting until the series is done to read it all at once.  Personally, I am just forgoing the books and watching the TV show.

I tend not to think about whether or not a series is done before I read it.  I read the Harry Potter books as they came out (I would even go to Costco on release day to buy the newest one) and I read The Passage in 2010 and am still waiting for the next book.

I guess for me, if I want to read a book right away, I will.  If there is a long time in between books, like my wait with The Passage, I will use GoodReads, Amazon, or my own notes to catch myself up on the details.

Although thinking about it a bit more critically, there are a few series I read less frequently and parse them out so that I always have a back up book to read.  A good example of this is the Louise Penny Gamache Mysteries.  I have only read the first 2, but it is not because I am waiting for the series to end, rather, I like having the series there with more books that are new to me.  It is like money in my pocket; when I can find nothing else, I have a book that will work no questions asked.

So what about you. For today' Monday Discussion, when it comes to a really big, intense series, do you wait until the author is done so that you can read it all in one gulp?

For past Monday Discussions, click here.


Betty said...

I think I'm like you, Becky. I like to savor a series, looking forward to reading the next one. Although with The Hunger Games series, I waited until all three were out and read them one after the other.

Anonymous said...

I also read the books as they come out. I enjoy a good cliff hanger. It lets my creative side come out as I make up different ways the story could end. I too just read a short synopsis in order to prep for the new book.

John BPL RA said...

I take a rather middle of the road approach. I don't wait until the author has completely finished the series yet I don't read them as soon as they come out either. I wait until public interest has waned a bit so that I'm not waiting in a line to get a copy, then I proceed. This method also gives me a chance to hear the reactions of others and know what I'm in for.

Christi said...

I actually LOVE reading books as they come out in a series. Part of that is becoming involved in the community that surrounds series waiting to happen. For A Song of Ice and Fire, there are thousands of fans who have created wikis detailing all of the little bits and pieces to the stories and forums teasing out ideas in order to guess what is going to happen in future books. I love the anticipation of getting that next book in a long awaited series and although I am tortured at the end of a cliffhanger, I know that I will have something else that I eventually will really want to read.

Of course, the real downside to this love of anticipation is high expectations for the next book in the series. This sometimes leads to disappointment when an author's next book is not up to my high standards.

Cari said...

I have no problem waiting. There are plenty of other books, and series that are complete, to whet my appetite until I can find out what happens next. I mean, yes, I will be disappointed when I finish A Dance With Dragons - I have read the first 4 books and am caught up with the TV series, so there will be no new content for a while. But there's always something else to keep me busy!

MIKE said...


I always read each book of a
series as they come out. The
only drawback I find is that
it can be difficult to recall
events and characters from the
previous books.