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Author Topic: How do you deal with series?  (Read 6390 times)

Offline Aprella

How do you deal with series?
« on: December 15, 2013, 05:34:31 PM »
I couldn't find a topic about this subject, I'm sorry if I missed it!

often fantasy books come in trilogies or even longer series like The Wheel of Time, for example. Now I was wondering how other readers deal with this?
Do you read the whole series back to back? Or do you read other books in between?

I have discovered that I struggle with finishing series, even though I like them very much. There are just so many books out there that reading a long series requires so much dedication. I started The Wheel of Time earlier this year and the second book is ready on my shelf to be read, but for some reason I haven't picked it up yet. I also have other series from which I read the first book, liked it and bought the others that stand unread on my shelves. I always intend to marathon them if I enjoyed it, but while reading so many other books come to mind that I want to read and well... it always takes weeks/months/years before I pick up the second book.

And, if a new book in a series gets published, do you reread the whole series?

I always did this with Harry Potter, but that series read very fluent and back then there weren't as many books I wanted to read. Sometimes I feel like rereading a book, but when I think about how many more unread books I still have to read I end up not doing it. I have read all the Song of Ice and Fire books but I must admit that I do not remember a lot of it. So i feel almost obligated to reread the series when the next book arrives but the books of the series are so long that I am actually not looking forward to it!

I

Offline Overlord

Re: How do you deal with series?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2013, 06:40:00 PM »
For the really long series that I'm not sure I can commit to I have, in the past, listened to the audio books for the first few books. I'll listen to them in the morning, whilst on the way to work, whilst in the gym, whilst on the way home, whilst doing washing up/cooking tea and before bed. Before you know it you've finished a couple books :)
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Offline jbsimmons

Re: How do you deal with series?
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2013, 06:51:44 PM »
Great question.  I just posted on a related issue this morning on [my blog].

For any series over one million words, it gets frustrating waiting for the next book to come out (as any George R.R. Martin fan knows well).  I'd almost rather wait until the whole thing is done before deciding to read it.  At least that way you don't need to re-read prior books in the series.  I've shied away from the Malazan epic because of how bogged down The Wheel of Time started to feel after a while -- although it felt worth it after A Memory of Light.

Consider that all the pathbreaking work of The Lord of the Rings was done in half a million words.  There are too many good, original stories for me to invest in something super long, unless it is really, really compelling.

J.B.

« Last Edit: December 15, 2013, 06:56:53 PM by Overlord »

Offline Justan Henner

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Re: How do you deal with series?
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2013, 07:14:19 PM »
I reread series a few times and actually prefer long series to short. I enjoy stuff like Malazan because the second time through you can pick up on things that you missed the first time around, and you can speculate a lot on what's going to happen, who certain characters really are, etc. and when you read it the second time you can try and look for evidence for your theories. For me, the long series can be a pretty fun/active experience, so long as the novel is interesting enough that it allows for a lot of investigation, like Malazan or the G RR Martin books do.

Some series it does get to the point where I feel like I have to finish it though. The Sword of Truth series for example, even though I enjoyed the previous books, the plot line by the last few books seemed pretty stale (I didn't like the fact that he spent like 1-2 books with one of the main characters completely removed from the series, especially when she's propping up a lot of the interest). Series like that, I finished anyway, but I doubt I'll ever reread it. At the most, I would reread one or two books that I particularly liked and forget all the others.

Offline AshKB

Re: How do you deal with series?
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2013, 08:17:54 PM »
With me, it depends on access to the next book - if I really, really loved something, or just got into that world, and the next book is there, I'll read it. If there's a wait, I'll read other books...but the trouble with waits is I get distracted, or when I reread the first book I work out that I actually had a ton of issues with it that I hadn't noticed in the book-induced haze.

But while I used to try and finish things, now, if the first book doesn't grab me, I don't try and read another one in the series. I've got a lot of other things to read. I also am not overly fond of huge books now, either - I get distracted, or impatient with the waffle.
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: How do you deal with series?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2013, 08:39:13 PM »
I try very hard to read full series in one go, but that's not possible if I discover the book halfway :-\
I have usually ended up with 3 or 4, missing one (or more), grrr
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Offline Elfy

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Re: How do you deal with series?
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2013, 09:56:53 PM »
I used to do them back to back. I don't now. If I'm reading a really long one I break it up and read something else in between. If nothing else that whittles down the TBR pile. I don't often reread, but sometimes when the next volume in a big epic comes out and it's been a while between drinks I do read the other books to refresh myself and get me back in the right frame of mind for it.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Hawke

Re: How do you deal with series?
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2013, 05:03:08 AM »
To me, it's a mixed of both. I'm currently reading The Wheel of Time series, back to back. But with a series of such magnitude, I can get exhausted literally. I did take a break from the series to read something else. However, sometimes I just couldn't focus on the other books that I just stop and revert back to the series. ;D

I'm just a casual reader and not someone that will dive too deeply into the details of the story. Additionally, there are simply too many books to read with too little time. Hence, I don't do and have no intention to do any rereads.

One thing I hate about series are the long waiting time in between books. Hence, I will look for series which were already completed. However, there are some series that are worth the wait, though I still dislike the long wait.  :(

Offline Lejays17

Re: How do you deal with series?
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2013, 10:59:52 AM »
I can read multiple books in a series back-to-back, but usually from the "fluffier" end of the spectrum  ;D.  Looking over my reading lists for the last few years (and keeping in mind I can be really bad with writing down what I read exactly when I read it), I've read

  • 5x Toby Daye - Seanan McGuire in Sept 2011
  • 13x Harry Dresden - Jim Butcher in Jan 2012 (Elfy thought I was mad to
  • 7x Morganville Vampires - Rachel Caine in May/June 2012)
  • 5x Esther Diamond - Laura Resnick in Jan 2013


I also re-read ASOIAF whenever a new one comes out, to refamiliarise myself with the world & stuff. And Harry Potter whenever a new one of them came out too.

I can't remember any other series that I read like that though.
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Offline EricaDakin

Re: How do you deal with series?
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2013, 08:32:29 PM »
I love series. For me books can't possibly be fat enough, so having a whole series to read is like having the fattest book ever! It does get frustrating when you have to wait for the next book, but usually it's worth it.
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Re: How do you deal with series?
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2013, 10:30:55 PM »
I usually can't stop myself from reading a new release, even if I know it's going to be so long and complicated that I'm going to forget half of it by the time the next book comes out.  I'm going to try to look up synopses or wikis more online and go that route instead of re-reading all the time.

I also am one of those people who would love it if the author had a blurb either at the beginning of the book or on their website that told us what we needed to know from the previous book.  It would help keep the plot details extremely clear because the writing would be information-based, not storytelling exactly.  Plus it would let the reader know what was important from the previous book in terms of where the plot is going in this next book.

It also might cut down on those early stages of a sequel where half the time is spent trying desperately to retell the events of book one through dialogue which so often can end up sounding really obvious and lame.  Maybe it's not the cool thing to do these days, but it sure would make my life easier!
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Offline ScarletBea

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Re: How do you deal with series?
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2013, 08:10:41 AM »
I also am one of those people who would love it if the author had a blurb either at the beginning of the book or on their website that told us what we needed to know from the previous book.  It would help keep the plot details extremely clear because the writing would be information-based, not storytelling exactly.  Plus it would let the reader know what was important from the previous book in terms of where the plot is going in this next book.

Tom Lloyd does that, in his Twilight Reign "pentatlon" (do we have a collective name for a series with 5 books? if it's 'trilogy' for 3, could we have some sort of 'pent..' for 5? but I digress...).
At the beginning of each book he writes a 2-3 page summary of all the key things that happened in the previous book(s), sometimes even showing some connections that I hadn't made before. I agree that it's great.
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Offline Arry

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Re: How do you deal with series?
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2013, 01:57:24 PM »
Before I found got more involved online and found communities like this I would always read a series straight through or at least as far as was released so far. I think I prefer to read that way, I think I get more immersed and enjoy the story better. The only downside is some books (Trudi Canavan's for instance) do alot of recap which can be annoying if you just set the other book down the day before).

However, now that I have so many books lined up to read and book club scheduled reads and now I have started reviewing new releases, I often don't have the time/ability to do that. Well, I suppose I could. Whatever I am reading is by choice, so I could choose to keep reading how I used to, but I have found I enjoy the book clubs and I enjoy reading/reviewing new releases, so I sacrifice some of my series reading. I am sure if I want to bad enough, I will make the time to read what I want. Actually, since I am reading mainly new releases, it's not as much of an issue either because the next book is not available yet :)
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Offline Dan D Jones

Re: How do you deal with series?
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2013, 03:45:38 PM »
... (do we have a collective name for a series with 5 books? if it's 'trilogy' for 3, could we have some sort of 'pent..' for 5? but I digress...)...

2    Duology
3    Trilogy    
4    Tetralogy or Quadrilogy
5    Pentalogy    
6    Hexalogy    
7    Heptalogy    
8    Octalogy    
9    Ennealogy    
10    Decalogy
11 or more  TooDamnedLongOlogy

Offline Justan Henner

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Re: How do you deal with series?
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2013, 07:27:10 PM »
... (do we have a collective name for a series with 5 books? if it's 'trilogy' for 3, could we have some sort of 'pent..' for 5? but I digress...)...

2    Duology
3    Trilogy    
4    Tetralogy or Quadrilogy
5    Pentalogy    
6    Hexalogy    
7    Heptalogy    
8    Octalogy    
9    Ennealogy    
10    Decalogy
11 or more  TooDamnedLongOlogy

Yes, but now how do we deal with series without topological dimension? Fractalogies, if you will. (or perhaps Fractalologies....)

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