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Series? Sometimes It Works

It promised to be perfect weekend to read. Rain. Quiet. Plenty of food in the fridge.

I picked up a book, lent to me by a friend. Read it over a weekend. Historical fiction. Time travel. Romance. Philosopical musings.

Later that week, I looked up the author to see what else she had written, only to find, to my horror, that this was just Book 1 in an as yet unfinished series.

A series! I avoid books when I find out they are in a series. And there I was, already knee deep in the characters, with 6 more planned, later announced 9 more.

I don't have that kind of time

It used to be an unwritten rule that any book in a series had to be able to stand alone as a story. I guess that rule flew out the window.

love a good story. Some books are hard to finish because I just don’t want the story to end. But, then there are books that reach the point of “enough already, finish the story.” I have a love/hate relationship with series.

Also, I am not an author. I admire anyone who finished a story and managed to publish it. It is a hard, long, and often thankless task, that I could not master.

The practice, by authors, used to be, that is you write a series, every book should be able to stand alone. References to the story in other books were mentioned or described in context with the next story.

Not so much these days. One series after another has adopted the practice of ending one book on a cliff hanger then maybe, or maybe not, resolving that storyline in the next book. Drives me nuts.

I will often not start a book if I know it is a series, especially if it is a recently written series. It becomes a commitment that I don’t want to make.

One of my favorite books was recommended by a friend. I read the book, her pre-read paperback. Liked the book. A year later I looked up the author to find out if she had written other books, only to find out the one I read was the first in a series. It took me several months to decide if I wanted to commit to the series and start reading the rest. And the “rest” is an understatement. The first book was 642 pages. Book 8 is 842 pages, with more books in the planning. That’s too much.

Truth be told, for as much as I dislike reading a long series, had I known the first book was a series would I have read it? There is a pretty good chance I would not have read it, and then missed out on not only a good read, but the community that has sprung up around the author and series.

I think I need to re-think my discomfort with books in a series or do a little research before I read something new. to me.


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