to series or not to series....

United States
January 12, 2009 1:51pm CST
Many authors seem to be going the route of a series vs. just putting out books anymore, or maybe that is just what I seem to be getting into the last couple years. Do you read books that belong to a series, or do you avoid them because you never know when the books will end?? I am finding that I absolutely love series books, although getting into them right away is kind of a bummer since you have to wait for the next book to come out... I came across a few authors this past 2 yrs and I have been lucky to find alot of the books I have read at a used book store since the series were started more than a few years ago....also it took me several months to get caught up to the point of having to wait for the next book to come out!! so it is worth reading a series, or just stand alone books??
6 people like this
12 responses
@nowment (1758)
• United States
12 Jan 09
I like both for different reasons, the nice thing about a series is that you are not waiting for the next one to come out. For me however it is the story if it is a good story series or no it is worth reading. As for reading a series yes when you have to catch up is the best time because you are not waiting and you have a pile of books to read through. Though it can be annoying or frustrating if you can't find that one book in the series that is missing. I think that more authors are doing the series of books because they are either responding to fans who have loved not only the main characters but the secondary characters as well. I think also that some authors have such strong background stories for their secondary characters that they have to put it down, and so we get more good stories. It is nice when a story is constantly unfolding. Though the idea of series fiction is not really something new at all. Look at the early works of Arthur Cohan Doyle, and the sherlock holmes books, look at back to Edgar Rice Burroughs and the Tarzan books, I think that when people want more stories they will continue, to be written either through fan request or because the story won't leave the author alone until it is written. I say that last part because I had read a in an interview by an author, she had written a book, and it was loved, and even wrote about two other characters in the book but the one character from the first book while what was written for him wasn't a lot and it wasn't big it was necessary for the orginal story to unfold. But tht small snippet of the character was enough that something about him created a whole background story of his own, so that years after the first and even other series books were written she had gone and written about this character who was not even a strong secondary character from the story. And lol it turned out to be the best of the lot.
2 people like this
• United States
12 Jan 09
I actually read about 4 or 5 series right now... as one of them just ended, I love when the characters from the first books come in to play. It is like getting a visit from an old friend. LOL and I have to agree that the storyline or the background has enough to carry on to bring on other books that is intriguing and I love how some of them leave hints in some of the books that lead to books coming in the future. do you feel the same way?
@nowment (1758)
• United States
16 Jan 09
Oh yes I love when there are just little lines that can either be a hint or clue that something is going to come into future books, and on the other hand, sometimes a stray thought that maybe isn't a meant to lead to a series becomes an idea that won't leave the author so that the story has to be written. SO at times I do enjoy hearing the author's views on their work. I read series books in several genres as well, not sure which genre you prefer, I enjoy the White Indian Series by Donald Clayton Porter which has finally come to an end, lol after all a historical novel can not keep going once they have so many generations that they have caught up in time historically it would cease to be a series, but what I had thought was going to be 4 books turned into more than 15 LOL kept me interested for years. I enjoy the historical romances as well, when the authors will write something different, then every so often pop up with another story that is either a friend or relative that came from the previous stories. The way Catherine Coulter, Jude Deveraux and Johanna Lindsey do. And I love sci fi author Peter David, because he has such a great sense of humor that he creates characters that are people you want to know in real life and hang out with. I honestly can't remember ever reading one of his books where I didn't laught at least once though usually I laugh more than once. And while I do watch to see which of these authors may be coming out with new books that are part of the series or connected in some way, currently I am following the different series and there are two by Marjorie M Liu, lol And the vampire books by Maggie Shayne, when I first heard that the Twilight Series was going to be a movie I thought YEAH ... then found out it is a book that came out many years AFTER the Twilight Series, same name but wrong author and the ones by Maggie Shayne are so much better. What series are you reading now? I am always looking for something good to read. That is the problem that comes when you read fast, you go through them to quickly. Sometimes I do miss some series that have ended and wish that there was more, and at other times I think that maybe the author just put the book out to get something out and make money off the popularity it is why I don't mind that I have to keep waiting for the books by Peter David, and Marjorie M Liu because the wait means the author is giving the book the time it deserves to be a good story. Do you have favorites? Once you wish never ended, or that you would like something more of? Sometimes when I get to reading a series if it has been a while since the first book came out I will go back and re-read the series from the beginning when a new story comes out. LOL I Know there are those who will never re-read a book, but if it is good, then I will, or if there is a new book but there is a gap, between the new one and the older ones, I will refresh my memory so that I can enjoy the new book even more.
1 person likes this
• United States
16 Jan 09
oh I love to reread a series... especially with Christine Feehans Dark Series...her last book came out in Sept, I didnt get it until just before christmas but since I have read so many books since then and the last book came out a yr ago I have been rereading this series.
@sharra1 (6341)
• Australia
13 Jan 09
I love series books especially when they follow the same characters through the series. It gives the author a chance to grow the world, the environment and the character. Most of the books I read now are series. It can be a bummer when you are waiting for the next book to come out but that is only the case with current novels. A lot of the ones I have been reading are older and the whole series is available. I quite like stand alone books but I am often left with the feeling that I wish it had been a series as I would like to read more about this character.
2 people like this
• United States
13 Jan 09
I find that after reading so many series in the last year or 2, that if I get the chance to read a stand alone book I too get that ... awww, I want more from this couple or this storyline too...LOL that is one very nice thing about a series is that it may branch out to other couples, but eventually you run into the couple again and get a glimpse into what has been going on....LOL
1 person likes this
@sharra1 (6341)
• Australia
14 Jan 09
Yes I have felt that a few times after reading an interesting stand alone. A wistful wondering about what happened after the book finished. The fun thing with series is that if they are long enough I can read them until I no longer care what happens next and then go on to another series.
1 person likes this
• Australia
13 Jan 09
I have to admit that I really enjoy series. I used to read both series and stand alones, and I will still occasionally read stand-alones, but 90% of my reading now is in series. I think what I enjoy most is getting involved in characters and places, and watching the development of both. Sometimes I dislike the direction they take and abandon the series (like Weber's Honor series, just dropped), but some I will reread again, such as the Terry Pratchett Discworld series, or Kerrs' Deverry and McCaffrey's Pern books, and the other I will reread in the3 future, which is Cornwell's Sharpe series. I tend not so much to reread the detective series, although I may well go back and redo Rebus in a couple of years. Lash
2 people like this
@sharra1 (6341)
• Australia
13 Jan 09
Yes I love reading series and following the same characters through many stories. I like to see the development of the characters and sometimes it is not so much the same characters as the same world and atmosphere like my Darkover series of books. In that case it is a world where she weaves many stories from many parts of its history.
2 people like this
• Canada
12 Jan 09
i have read a few series myself....Stephen King the dark tower...the first one i read i didn't even notice that it was a series and i enjoyed it...once i realized it i couldn't wait to get another....Now I don't have any i am reading....well kinda I've read odd thomas and a couple more about him by dean koontz and I am currently waiting for the next one on that series.....i pretty much read anything by these 2 authors but haven't seen any other series recently that I want to get into...can you recommend any.... To address your discussion I don't now which is better....I like a good book but a series is like a really good long read...I think I like them both equally well...because I read alot so when I am waiting for the rest of the series i am reading something else!!! happy reading
• United States
12 Jan 09
I have seen a couple books by Dean Koontz and I have meant to pick them up... I am going to do that the next time I am at the book store, or pass a endcap in a store that has books on it and I see one of his books.... I have a lot of authors that I read now and will pick up just because it is by them....but I am always looking for new authors too....I just love to read.
• United States
12 Jan 09
I really like reading a series, but there are some times when I just want to read a stand alone book. I don't really have a problem getting into the anticipation of the next book of a series, but there are times when I don't want to have to go out and get another book. Stand alone books are a bit hard to find, especially in my favorite genre, fantasy.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Jan 09
I agree with you on sometimes you just want the happy ending right away....and yet sometimes with a series you get to know a character then a book or two later that person is the main character which is nice too. I find that the books I pick up lately are part of series and they get put into my TBR pile til I can find the other books to read. I have a large TBR pile at the moment and no time to read them, but it doesnt stop me from buying more...LOL I love used book stores...they are my sanctuary!!!!!
• United States
12 Jan 09
I have a fairy large to-be-read pile too. Though, I'm a fairly fast reader so I usually go through books pretty quick. My problem is when I pick up a book and only realize it's part of a series half-way through and being unable to find the other books for it. That's when I'd rather have a stand-alone book. Used bookstores are my happy place. So are new book stores, but you can get more books at a used bookstore.
1 person likes this
@pdoyle (7)
• United States
13 Jan 09
I love to read anyway so I read series and stand alone books. Even though I have to go back and read the begining of a series I still enjoy reading them and watching the characters develop through the stories. A great sight to check out and keep track of series books is Fantastic Fiction. It is listed by author and lists all the books they have written so you can keep track of or look up any books they have written.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Jan 09
yes, I love reading too, I havent been able to yet so far this year, but i will get back into it soon and dive into my pile of books to read...LOL thanks for responding!!!
@nixxi76 (3192)
• Canada
12 Jan 09
I prefer to just stand alone books. There is a beginning and end to them. Also if I were to read series books how will I know if I start the first one that the second series will actually be out or available when I want it? Have a nice day
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Jan 09
thank you for responding, I found myself reading series books. It isnt something that I go to a bookstore and look for them, but when i find a book that is interesting I will come home and look up the author only to find it is part of a series... so I have to find a book or two before I can start that one. LOL
1 person likes this
@AnythngArt (3303)
• United States
12 Jan 09
I've noticed that there are a lot of series in the mystery genre. I read a lot of these books because I do reviews for a website that specializes in mysteries and crime fiction (www.ReviewingtheEvidence.com). Often times, I find that I will come to a book in the middle of the series, but if the book doesn't stand on its own, I get annoyed. I don't like it when I can't enjoy the book because I don't know everything that has happened in the series. That being said, I think that a series can be a great thing, particularly when you like the hero/heroine of the story. Sometimes when you really like a character in a novel, it's hard to let them go, like losing an old friend. The main criteria for a good series, however, is to not let the story get stale. It's probably harder to keep things fresh when you are repeating things about the same character. It's like seeing s series of movies...sometimes things get worse as the series progresses, old and tired. Just because the author has a good thing going doesn't mean he or she can sit back and rest on their laurels. It takes hard work to keep readers interested. For those who do, however, the rewards can be great.
• United States
12 Jan 09
I kinda have been noticing that too as I read more and more series.... some books are on going, even though the characters change or some pop back up...the storyline finds a way to be the same. In some cases this is good if you really like the storyline and have stayed with the series... but it can get stale and you wish that something would change a bit. that is so awesome that you review books....I wish I had more time to read these days just to get lost in my books....my son has just started school (Kindergarten) and our schedule has changed so much in the last couple months....as soon as we get things back on track I hope to start reading more.
@sassy28 (835)
• United States
13 Jan 09
I really enjoy reading books with the same characters. You feel like you know them. I mostly read mysteries, Patricia Cornwell, Catherine Coulter, Sue Grafton. I do enjoy Mary Higgins Clark, I do not think that she has any series books. Clive Cussler is another favorite, even though his take some time to get into the story, but once it get going it is hard to put down.
1 person likes this
• China
13 Jan 09
Now the book I am reading is belong to a series,it is so attracting that i cant stop reading the end straightly.But i cant because it it too long,nearly 300 pages. Once i have finished it as soon as i bought it.And now i have no new readings,i just think of it and review again and i find it is still amzing. I think good series is good for us to spend dull time, also it can enrich our time being really belong to ourself,not the working time.so i like the series books.
1 person likes this
• United States
13 Jan 09
I like both. I like series because I feel I really get to know the characters well. I tend to be pretty compulsive and will generally read all in a series that I can find, then wait for more to come out. I love Jean Auel's Earth Children and can't wait until the next comes out. I think it will be the last, sad to say.
@Aurone (4757)
• United States
13 Jan 09
I like both series and stand alones. I like series if the character is good because I love reading about the character (I hate series that switch in the middle from the original main character to their kids). But sometimes a series outstays its welcome and then, I may or may not finish the entire series. Trilogies work well for me, long enough to let me enjoy the characters, short enough that the plot and the characters don't overstay their welcome. Series that I like: Valdemaar series by Mercedes Lackey, Kim Harrison's Witch Series, Patricia Briggs' Moon Called series, Lynn Flewelling's Nightrunner series.
1 person likes this