How I Read A Series

Posted July 26, 2015 | 34 Comments

It’s interesting to think about how my reading habits have changed over the years. Before I started blogging, if I wanted to read a book or start a series, the number of installments that were already available didn’t even phase me. I honestly didn’t pay attention or care. Then for some reason, once I started blogging I developed this mentality that I couldn’t start a series that already had several books out.

Why? I think it was mostly because it was intimidating when there were 5+ books I had to “catch up” on, especially with so many new review books coming in. It can get a little daunting, as many of you know.

Then things changed for me. I got tired of missing out on all the books and series I wanted to read, so I cut back big time with the review books and blogging, but that’s a subject for another post.

one book after anotherNow, I’m the opposite, I don’t like starting a series unless there are several books out already. The more there are available, the better. It makes me even happier if the series is already complete.

Also, it sucks waiting a year between installments. It might seem like I’m an impatient brat or that I’m bitching about authors not writing fast enough, but that’s not it. I’m perfectly fine waiting for 3 – 4 books in a series to become available before starting it. I just find it more enjoyable to already have the next book there for when I’m ready, mainly because it stays fresh. There are numerous series/trilogies I haven’t finished because I lost interest during the wait for the next book.

Have any of you read The Passage by Justin Cronin? Talk about torture. I read it shortly after it was released, then it was a two year wait for the second book. Now, it looks like it’s turning into a four year wait for the third and final book in the trilogy. Honestly, I probably would’ve ditched it by now if it had been any other trilogy/series, but no way can I give it up. It’s just too good! I know you George R.R. Martin fans know the struggle. 😀 Don’t even get me started on my anxiety about something happening to an author before they complete their series.

I think of it like how Netflix puts an entire season of their shows out at once. I can chose to binge watch or spread them out. Either way, they’re there for when I choose to watch. Same goes for a books series.

I’ve done this with a couple series now. One being the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. I read the first book, Magic Bites, last August, and there were seven books in the series out already, plus Andrea’s book. So eight all together. I spaced all eight out and read the last one in May. Nine months, and now I’m out of books. I loved getting to read them like that so the world and characters were always fresh in my mind. Unfortunately, I’ll now have to wait for the remaining books to be published.

Anyway, I’m no longer intimidated by a large number of books in a series. Instead, I welcome them with open arms!

How about you? Do you hold back because the size of a series is intimidating? Do you prefer to binge read a series?


34 responses to “How I Read A Series

  1. I hear you on the wait, it can be torture plus, I find whether I want to or not, I tend to forget details when I have to wait a year plus for the next book and I hate that. There is nothing worse than not remembering everything and feeling lost for the first few chapters.

    I have found that this year has changed my reading habit a lot as well since I have been concentrating more on my TBR pile than on blog tours or ARCs, I still read them of course but those numbers are way down than they once were.

    kindlemom1 recently posted: Review: The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak
  2. I had stopped reading when I started college back in 1994 and then with work, I was too tired to bother much with books. It was discovering Harry Potter in 2003 that got me back into reading and I soon discovered urban fantasy and became hooked. So a lot of series I was looking at already had a good few books released which let me binge read! I like not having to wait for the next book to come out!

    chucklesthescot recently posted: The TBR 100 Book Countdown Challenge (530-522)
  3. I rather wait now for more books to be out. I agree that there are some that I have just ditched because the wait was so long I stopped caring. And I understand there are all sorts of reasons for that but I just lost interest. I really don’t read that many series anymore unless they are more of the companion variety so can be read out of order or aren’t cliffhangery. Great discussion!

    Grace recently posted: Review ~ Saint Anything
  4. Amy

    Great post! I can’t really remember how I started out, if I liked series or not. Now I’m a bit touch and go… If I started a series back-in-the-day I used to finish it – no matter what… now, if I don’t like it, I finish the book I’m on and carry on with another book or series.
    I do like it when there’s a series with quite a few books that you take a shine to though. I think because you like them, you write better and more interesting reviews… so it’s win win really! It gives me something to look forward to as well 😀 he he.
    Have a great week,
    Amy x

    Amy recently posted: Book Clubs?
  5. Liz

    Size of a …. the bigger the better? Isn’t that a general rule? Never intimidated by size. Wait, that’s not true. I know of a couple series that have like, 30 books. I won’t even get involved in that because that’s too many to catch up on. But like Black Dagger Brotherhood, I binge read the first 6 or 7, which worked out perfect. But then once I got caught up, I had nothing. Now I’m several books behind in it, and I’ll probably have to do some cliffs notes to review. Some authors bang out the books like their next breath, and that works for me. But then the ones that have too long to wait, they don’t usually get read. I’ve rambled now. Great.

    Is this Just Thinking going to be a new feature for you?

    • Christy

      Banging out big things … sounds good to me. I know that Anita Blake series has 20+ now. I’d be fine starting it, but I’m just not sure it’s worth the commitment from what a lot of people have said. The BBD series is one I want to read too.

      Pfft… no. I can only do so much thinking.

  6. Yes….book three of the Passage has been such a long wait. I have some series I read religiously and keep on top of the releases. Like you I have made it a point recently to read/listen to series that have been on my wishlist. Kate Daniels, White Trash Zombie, Alpha & Omega, Georgia Kincaid etc. I am loving it. Getting caught up is a blast..but waiting for the next release like everyone

    kimbacaffeinate recently posted: The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward
    • Christy

      I just finished the 3rd White Trash Zombie book and already dreading having to wait. I know the 5th book comes out soon, but still. Alpha & Omega is another series I’ll dive into soon.

  7. I didn’t use to care about how many books were already out too, but I binge-read a few series this past month, Kate Daniels included, and I realized that I actually get the BEST experience out of the series that way. With a year’s wait, I tend to forget small details from the previous book, but this way, it’s much more enjoyable for me. Especially if it’s a fantasy book where all the tiny details are actually important!
    Great post, Christy!

    • Christy

      Yeah, I am so glad I got to read at least the first seven books in the Kate Daniels series so close together. It really did make make for a great experience. I’ve pretty much been doing this with all the UF and fantasy books I’ve been putting off, and I’m loving it.

  8. Agreed Christy!!! I love starting a series that already has a few books out, binge reading is one of my favorite things! Particularly with series that are known to have cliffhangers like the Charley Davidson series. I’m going to be picking that one back up again soon and I couldn’t be happier I’ll have most of the books on hand when I do:)

  9. If I see a series that I REALLY want to read, I just have no patience to wait until they all come out to read them. But then of course, I have to wait the year for the next one to come out. Ugh!! There have been a couple of series that I didn’t get into until all of them have come out. That does make it easier. Haha

    Cynthia recently posted: Favorite Books Made Into Movies!
  10. I don’t like waiting a long time for the next book in a series either, even if it IS only a year or so. I have a difficult time finding a good moment to read it when I do finally get it and I also have trouble remembering details. I don’t like super long series, because I feel like I won’t ever finish them. However, I like when all the books (or almost all of them) are already out so I can just go through them at my own pace.

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted: Author Guest Post: J. I. Radke
  11. Great topic. I agree, I didn’t use to pay attention, and like you I avoided series because I felt like I could never catch up, but I have also been making time for older series like Kate Daniels. I just loaded up the last two audiobooks on my phone. I also like to sit down and just binge read them so I don’t have to suffer the wait and amneisa. I have given up on so many series because by the time the next book comes out, I just don’t care anymore.

  12. We don’t speak the name of the person who wrote those big books awesome fantasy books back in the late 1990’s who then decided to write books with other people before finishing his own series and left us waiting too long. And then Jordan died and we lost all faith…. waaaaahhhhhh…

    I AGREE!!! I have a ton of those series that Kim mentioned waiting for me and the fun thing is, you can find the books cheap everywhere!! I have the entire Vampire Academy series waiting for me!! Ilona’s 2 UF series, too! Mead, and a whole bunch more. all in paperback. My hubs hates it but… he’ll get over it 😉


  13. I wait now as well until a few of the books are out but I love series. I keep meaning to read The Passage but would love to hear your thoughts on it. Have a great week:)

    Cindy recently posted: Sunday Post
  14. Hold back? Na. I don’t always read in order either. It is usually easier to do with a large PNR series but hard to read out of order in UF. I rarely read those and fantasy out of order. I’ve been looking more for standalones since they are so rare anymore. I didn’t care before I blogged if it was a series or a standalone. LOL

    Melissa (Books and Things) recently posted: Spider's Trap by Jennifer Estep
  15. Cyn

    I was kind of like that, not wanting to start series that were already books in, since I’ve started blogging. I think it’s because I needed to consider what are the new books being released and what people would like to see reviews of etc (aka. the new releases). But now I just do more of what I want (: I like starting series that actually almost done too! I hate the wait. I definitely binge read 4 or 5 Kate Daniels in a very short time, haha.

    Great discussion, Christy!

  16. I used to have the same mentality about being ‘late to the party’, but with my discovery of audiobooks, I found it easier to catch up to those series. I definitely have a lot of catching up to do with In Death series by JD Robb and Dark Hunters by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Great post, Christy!

    Joy // Joyousreads recently posted: On the Night Table [24]:
  17. I prefer to have an entire series before I start reading anything, don’t really care if I’m late to the party. It’s more due to wanting the whole story in one go as I do retain most of the important parts of a story.
    There’s been a few exceptions, but only because there were already so many books. Of course, this has led to hoarding… Lots of hoarding.

    Aldrea Alien recently posted: The Story In A Song
  18. Oh, I hear you about series ! When I start reading a series nowadays, I want it to be with a minimum books released – if I ever like it, it won’t take me long to catch up. If there are 10-20 books, how will it ever fit into my reading plan, huh ?! If I didn’t have so many books already, I wouldn’t care. But my Kindle is loaded with hundred books, so I’m clearing the shorter series first (first books of series are almost always cheap or free). Then I’ll catch up. Except when I’ve already caught up on a series, then when a new instalment is released, it gets to the top to-read list immediately.
    Sometimes, I make exceptions : the Charley Davidson series is nearing my top to-read even if it’s finished 😉

    Red Iza recently posted: Back on August 3rd
  19. I am the very same way. I read books that are in series, even if they are new release first in series, but much prefer to dig into series when they are complete. Even books that I would call super memorable have details that become hazy after waiting a year or better for a followup. As for the blogging thing…I started blogging because I’m a reader, and I am being very leery these days about doing anything that could change that into a situation where I read because I blog, so…I read what I want, when I want, and take only review copies that I requested and am legit dying to read.

  20. Isn’t it amazing how our reading tastes and preferences change over the years? Mine has, too! Before I could go for the fluffy ones, but now I’m not into the fluffy kind of reads anymore and have been leaning more towards urban and high fantasy and science fiction. I also love it when there are a lot of books out already or when a series is complete. I read the Harry Potter books IN ONE WEEK, ALL 7 BOOKS, and it was glorious. Ilona Andrews is another author whose books I love reading, especially her Kate Daniels! I tried Clean Sweep recently AND I LOVED IT SO MUCH and it is killing me that the next book won’t be out for a while. Have you tried the Jim Butcher books, his urban fantasy with a wizard called Harry? It’s amazing too and there are more than ten books out already. It reminded me so much of Kate Daniels, just with a self-deprecating wizard ;D

    Faye la Patata recently posted: Review: Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
  21. I understand how you feel about reading series. I also prefer to wait until there are several books out before starting/continuing. I didn’t used to do this, but I’ve tried it with TMI and Bloodlines. After getting to a point where I was happy with how the books ended, I waited for the next two to come out before continuing. As a GRRM fan, I find it hard to wait for the next book. That’s part of why after finishing The Raven Kings, I’m waiting for book 4 to come out before continuing with books 2&3. It’s just too frustrating!

  22. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of back series. Part of it is the number of back series that are just now coming out on audio. The other part, is that I’ve been getting a lot of books from the library. I will say that there are some series that the number of books in the series has scared me off. If there are 15 or 20 books, then I tend to pass. The Dresden Files being the exception. I just started it last year and there are 15 out now. I get it though.

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