I’m a serial reader: I loooooove reading series. There’s something wonderful about finding an author you love, discovering he or she is writing/has written a series and starting to collect the books in the series. Ah the joy of finishing that first one and knowing you’ll soon be revisiting all your favorite characters – or perhaps that amazing fantasy or paranormal world that hooked you.
Having started off reading epic Fantasy, I’m pretty much an advocate of reading a series in order. Frankly, with the sheer number of characters and the complicated plots, you’re doing yourself and the author a disservice if you try to read these kind of books out of order. Try picking up, for example, Book 7 of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and figuring out what’s going on… impossible! And those particular books are sooooo incredibly complex, with sooooo many characters, each time another one comes out I go back and re-read the last few, just to get back up to speed. As an aside, since Jordan sadly passed away recently, all his fans (of which I’m one) are hoping he’s left behind enough notes for someone to take up the challenge of finishing the series. I’ve been a dedicated collector of The Wheel of Time books and was devastated to hear of his untimely death.
On a lighter note, many authors of course write series that can be read out of order; a very sensible marketing ploy :-). I actually bought Janet Evanovich’s Seven Up (the 7th book in her Stephanie Plum series) first. Loved it so much I began collecting the series and reading them in order. With Jordan’s series, I was lent the first 4 books and about 3/4 through the fourth, came to the horrified conclusion there was no way in hell this series was going to be wrapped up by the end. I thought I’d been lent the entire series, you see. Horrors! Had to wait for Book 5 to come out and then buy the first four as well – couldn’t possibly just start collecting the series from Book 5 onwards: it would just be so… wrong! Same with Sara Douglass’s The Troy Game: read books 1,2 & 3 at the library but just recently spent some birthday book vouchers to buy book 4, AND the first three. I’m sure I’m a publisher’s dream demographic, LOL.
The downside about this little fetish of mine is I just get all my books squished neatly into my bookcases and then I have to rearrange to accommodate another one in the series because well, duh! they have to all be in order! I see some serious issues in my near future. For example, I just can’t squeeze in another Laurell K Hamilton on the top shelf without moving all my Sherrilyn Kenyon’s… bugger! Same with my Charlaine Harris, Angela Knight, P.C. Cast and Robin D. Owens books – they’re vying for shelf space with Stephen Donaldson, Terry Goodkind, Tad Williams and Janet Evanovich. (Yes, it’s quite a large bookcase with long, wide, shelves so I can get rather creative with my stacking methods. Anything goes as long as I can still see the titles or author on the spines.) Then there’s the problem of paperbacks vs trade paperbacks vs hardbacks. I do admit to being so eager to finish a series I will buy a trade paperback or hardback, which then of course won’t fit neatly beside the paperbacks in the series. Oh the trauma of having to put the bigger books on another shelf with the other one-off hardbacks and trades.
But enough about my desire for nice, neat, logical bookshelves: what’s so great about collecting a series? Ever got to the stage where you want to read something but don’t want to buy anything new? Or, you’re just in a bit of a funk and don’t know what you feel like reading? As you can see from this month’s reading list, both of the aforementioned applied. I re-read quite a few of my chick-lits, got two new Janet Evanovich’s out of the library, read all the new books I’d been given over Christmas and then couldn’t figure out what I felt like reading. What to do, what to do? Decisions, decisions…. aaaargh! My bookcases have too many choices and if I pick one book, I’m stuck with the same problem again tomorrow after I’ve finished it. Solution: pick a series you’ve enjoyed and re-read it from start to finish. So in my case, I had the joy of re-reading all six of my Charlaine Harris books plus a new one which kicks off a new series.
What’s not to like about collecting series? It’s like having your own private library :-)
January reading list:
-I’ve Got You, Babe by Karen Kendall
-Ain’t She Sweet by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
-Size 12 Is Not Fat by Meg Cabot
-Playing for Pizza by John Grishom
-See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson
-Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie
-Ratcatcher by James McGee
-Metro Girl by Janet Evanovich
-Motor Mouth by Janet Evanovich
-The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
-The Cowboy, The Baby and the Runaway Bride by Lindsay Longford
-Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
-Living Dead in Dallas by Charlaine Harris
-Club Dead by Charlaine Harris
-Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris
-Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris
-Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris
-Sleeping With the Fishes by Charlaine Harris
-In Deep Voodoo by Stephanie Bond
-Northern Lights by Philip Pullman**
-A Girl’s Guide to Vampires by Katie MacAlister
-Sex and the Single Vampire by Katie MacAlister
-Sex, Lies and Vampires by Katie MacAlister
-The Forbidden by L.A. Banks
-Drive Me Crazy by Kate Angell
** aka The Golden Compass motion picture
Cheers and happy serial reading,