Reading Series

I’ve been thinking lately about reading habits (again) and how I am the biggest sucker in the world for sticking with a series once I get hooked into it.  I have grimly finished series that I didn’t like at all just because I couldn’t stop partway through.

I comfort myself, slightly, that I have reached the point where I no longer feel obliged to keep buying a series that I don’t enjoy any more.  But I still get the books out of the library.  This just happened – although I won’t say which series (because I don’t want to start ripping authors who are, objectively, way better than me on here) – there was a series of novels that started out really well and got steadily worse.  I managed not to buy the latest one, but I just read it and it’s really not very good either.  I think it was probably worse than the previous installment.  Of course I’ll read the next one when it comes out.

I guess this is, for one thing, the attraction of writing a series.  You get people like me who will keep coming back becauseit’s the next in the series!!!! whereas an entirely new book is a bit more of a crapshoot.  I guess it’s also how a series is, to some extent, supposed to work.  It’s supposed to get you hooked and pull you along right to the end.

I’m not entirely sure why that works though.  I mean yes, obviously if the story is really good and compelling you want to know how it works out.  But what is it about cases where the story isn’t very good that  you still get people like me following along to ‘the end’, even assuming there is a clearly defined end envisioned.  Maybe the answer is that ‘people like me’ is basically ‘me’ and I’m just deeply strange.  Maybe there’s something about stories where not knowing the ending is just too unsatisfying to settle for.  Sometimes I feel like I don’t want to abandon the characters in the middle of whatever situation they happen to be in, which I recognize is a silly way of looking at it.

Anyway, one thing I always appreciate is when each book in a series would work ok as a story on its own.  Partly that means if you can’t find Book One you can jump in anyway, but it’s also (to me) somewhat dissatisfying to read a book that is clearly just a bridge to … the next book.

That oughta hold you until the next update.

 

 

Word Count: 63,522

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