Saturday, 3 December 2011

How Do You Know When to Continue a Series?

Let's be honest: There's a lot of series in YA. In fact, it seems nearly impossible to find a stand-a-lone, or even just companion novels. I don't know about you guys, but frankly, I don't have time to read all these series. Especially since I try to avoid reviewing sequels on the blog, it gets harder to find the time to read them.

I recently made a comment on twitter about how surprised I was at how many series I've started this year and have no intention of continuing. Someone else replied saying it was such a thin line as to whether you continue a series or not and I couldn't help but wonder, is there a deciding factor?

Obviously, if I don't like the first book, I won't read the next book. I can only think of two exceptions to this rule for me. In one case, I had two bindups with two books each, so I wasn't paying for the second book and I ended up enjoying it. But I didn't enjoy the third book, so I never bothered with book four. The second time was a leap of faith and I'm not sure if it was the right move or not.

But when about when you do like the book? You don't love it, but you enjoyed it while you read it and it's a solid three, maybe even four, stars in your book. Do you automatically keep reading or do you have to think about it?

I don't have any concrete rule, but a general rule I try to stick to: If I can barely remember the events in the first book, there's no need to read the next book. I would have to reread the book before just so I can read the new book. But if I didn't care enough about the last book to remember anything about it, should I really waste my time rereading and then reading the next book? Usually, the answer's no.

But sometimes I'm okay doing it. If I know the next book will have a good recap of what went on, I'm up for it. Or if I just remember the main idea of the book, that's okay too. I can't even remember details for my FAVORITE books after a while.

The fact is, I read too many books to remember so-so books and I have too many books I want to read to read them all anyway. It's more important to me to read books I could love then it is to read a sequel I don't really care about.

What about you? Do you have to finish a series when you start it? Are there any rules you have to determine if you'll keep a series going? Have you found that line?

--Julie

8 comments:

  1. If I'm interested, I keep reading. The problem with series it that there are so many books to read in real life that it's hard to keep up with series. I have to really love a series - Bloody Jack, Parasol Protectorate, Ruby Red, DragonRiders of Pern - to really actively keep up with it. Any other series I keep up with has been accidental because of galleys through WORD.

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  2. Yeah, I don't enjoy many series after the first book. Some are just meant to be a stand-alone. Like Delirium by Lauren Oliver. It would be a PERFECT stand alone, but it isn't. I wish some authors would make the right decision. Even if the readers want another book. Like J.K. Rowling. She said she could easily right an 8th book, but she didn't because the 7th was where it was supposed to end.

    Interesting point you bring up!

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  3. Great post. I am all over the place with what I do. LOL

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  4. If I start a series, I usually have to finish it, but I think it's kind of an OCD thing. It does bother me, though, when I feel like what should have been one book is stretched out over a series, and none of the individual books make you feel "full." Great post!

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  5. If I enjoyed the book, I am alwaysvery eager to read the sequel. However, sometimes I have enjoyed the book so much that I have too high expetations for the next book and I don't enjoy it as much. Great post!

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  6. It depends on if I own the other books in the series. Usually I like to buy series together, so since I already bought the books even if I don't like the first one I'll read the rest that I own, and pray that they get better.

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  7. Series books drive me nuts! I've been reading The House of Night books for a while now and am just not interested anymore, but have spent so much time reading them that I feel obligated to finish. Though there are some series that I've only gotten a few books in and haven't finished, having lost interest. And other books where I've fallen behind and now have no clue where the series is even at! At this point, I think it's best to just wait for all the books to be published and then read from the start. I do agree, though ... there are too many series books out there!

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  8. See this is my problem! I NEVER like to start a series and then not finish it. Okay I take it back I actually have done it a few times... Okay maybe only once that I can think of (I really disliked the first book) but what can I say I like to finish things I start! I get particularly annoyed when a book is part of a series and I didn't realize it and then I feel almost sucker punched into reading the rest of the series. :P

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