Friday, April 26, 2013

Currently, I Have a Series-ous Problem...

It will come as no surprise that I am a binge reader. Reading is certainly a part of my daily routine, especially during my 45 minute commute in and out of Manhattan. But what I really live for are my "reading days". Those are the days when I dress in the comfiest, stay at home clothes, prepare a warm blanket and cup of tea or cocoa or coffee and choose a pile of books that I can read and devour at my leisure. Sometimes, I plan out these awesome days of reading. Sometimes, they fall into my lap unbidden, like when I'm down with a mysterious ailment. But whenever they do happen, you can bet that I'll end the day with at least 2 books read in their entirety.

I've become a homebody who stays in on Saturdays lately. This is due to a mix of laziness, inclement weather, a lack of funds and illness (which was just last weekend). This is very good indeed for my binge reading tendencies, and so, I've knocked out quite a few books over the course of the past few weeks.

However, I picked up on something odd in my binge reading. It was odd enough to get me thinking about it long and hard, and analyzing the whys behind it for a couple of days prior to this post. Even though it might be a little random to some, I thought it was strange since I normally, next to never do this.

I have been series binge reading.

So not only have I been binge reading in general, I've been focusing on book series and not just standalone books. I've managed to finish a couple of series I'd started a year or two before [The Forest of Hands and Teeth series by Carrie Ryan and the Summer series by Jenny Han], finish a series I started this year [the Unearthly series by Cynthia Hand], start and finish a new series [the Perfect Chemistry series by Simone Elkeles] and am in the middle of one more series [The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta]. Heck, you can probably even throw in the first book of a series that I'm participating in a read-along for [A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin].

When I realized I'd subconsciously been reaching for all my series books lately, I had to ask myself why. I've come up with a few possible reasons* for this phenomenon:
  • Let's Stay Together: I like being able to linger and grow with these characters, plus it is fun to stay immersed in the world for more than one book. A lot of extra detail goes into series because there's enough time/page space to do that, and that's a major bonus.
  • Following the Leader: I like the certainty of knowing that there is something I must read next. I'm a lazy person, apparently, so it's nice to not have to decide for myself what book I need to read next. (And yes, I am well aware that this is a pretty random, but very personal reason.)
  • Better in the Long Run: I like long books with lots of pages. It is probably a personal goal to read a lot of pages, which is why I keep going for series so I get double or triple the page count. (Obviously, I am only a quarter serious about this bullet point.)
Honestly though, the reason is really simple and nothing all too special: I'm a touch quirky about being organized with my reading.

Subconsciously, I had already put my mind to finishing a few series this year. Add to that some challenge and read-along goals, and obviously, I had made myself a list even before I recognized the fact. I also like reading things in order, and I'm advocating reading the books that are currently threatening to make my shelf collapse... All these things added up into an answer that told my brain subconsciously that I must read all the series (which I have, and then some).

There really is no point to this post other than to celebrate the phenomenon of me reading five series back to back over the past few weeks. I thought that was pretty neat, really.

So tell me - Do you ever series binge read? Or are you more likely to binge read stand-alone books? What are your favorite series that you've been reading lately and that you think I MUST pick up and read soon?

In case you were interested, here are the links to the first books in the series I mentioned above:
Unearthly by Cynthia Hand || Review
Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta || Review
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin


* The three reasons are all song titles. I just felt like it, so roll with me!

51 comments:

  1. Ugh, I NEED to series binge read. I have WAAAY too many series that I haven't finished yet. And then I start a new one instead! I need to make the time to finish up some of those series and wrap up the loose ends..... If I ever have time. I made that promise to myself and it's already May! (Almost.) All those beautiful brand-new books keep distracting me (in a good and bad way haha).

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    1. I never planned on doing it, actually. It just happened! I find it satisfying to finish out series that I've already started, especially if I have all the remaining books on hand. It gives me a sense of closure, and I finally feel like I can move on to a new one!

      Speaking of new series, I am trying my hardest to not start anything new at the moment (except for stuff that I'm doing for read-alongs or the like). There are so many temptations (trust me, I KNOW), but I'm doing pretty good so far!

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  2. I totally get what you're saying about liking to read a whole series one book right after another without taking breaks/waiting. I in general like looong books, and love being with my favorite characters for as long as possible. Also, I'm not one for waiting, so when I can, I prefer to start a series after all the books are already out. Or at least when the next one is right around the corner.

    I'm currently binge reading the Unearthly series and the Selection books. I just finished with Selection and now am in the middle of the second book, The Elite. After that I will go straight to next book in the Unearthly series. Can't wait! :)

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    1. I think it's wonderful to just keep going and going with series books, since it helps lessen your confusion and lessen the sting of cliffhangers! I do hate the waiting period between books sometimes, especially if it's something I'm dying to read!

      And yay for binge reading series! The Unearthly trilogy was lovely, even though I thought the ending was a bit cheesy. And I have yet to read The Selection - I just might do that when I finish the series I own!

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  3. I'm with Brittany here. I definitely am needing to series binge read! I have so many series started and not many of them are finished! And then I just start a new one! It's a serious problem.... Here's to hoping I find time to finish off some series soon!

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    1. It's incredibly difficult to resist the temptation of a shiny new series, especially when the series in question sounds different and unique. I know that I've been sorely tempted, especially this April, but I'm trying to be good and finish the ones I already own first! Good luck with the series binge reading!

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  4. I used to series binge read more BEFORE I started blogging about books. I think now, I feel more pressure to read the next new thing so series tend to fall by the wayside. It's hard because practially everything is part of a series these days so I tend to start them but never finish them. I kinda miss growing with the characters and going on their journeys, so I really should make a more concentrated effort to stick with them once I start.

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    1. I agree! Back before my blogging days, I usually stuck it out with series. If the books in the series were all published, I'd read them one after another (like The Chronicles of Narnia). If they weren't all available yet (like Harry Potter), I would anticipate them, keep track of them and then make sure to read the newest installment as it came out. I missed the feeling of getting super immersed in a world, so it was fun to do this!

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  5. I'm in the middle of a series binge read right now! I read Shadow and Bone yesterday, and am reading Siege and Storm today. I did this with Twilight as well. Usually, I read a series as the books come out. I never have the option to read a whole series at once, which I love doing. Almost makes me wonder if I need to wait on all these books, and then sit down and read all three or more during a weekend so I don't lose details during the year I have to wait for the release of the next one. Great post! :)

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    1. It's hard to wait though, especially if it's a popular series! I don't mind a bunch of cliffhangers for the most part, but I have to be super invested in the series for that to happen. I'm excited for you that you're binge reading Shadow & Bone, followed by Siege & Storm - that series is amazing!

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  6. I rarely binge read, mostly because I never have time for it. Even my free days and weekends are dedicated to homework and studying for tests. Sigh.
    Anyways, I never read a sequel to a book right after I finished it. I don't why... I just always need a "break" from the characters. I need to wait until I actually miss them to continue the series.
    Great post and awesome discussion (:

    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl

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    1. That's totally understandable! I actually normally don't have time to do it either, but I got lucky over the past two weekends and had tons of free time.

      It's interesting to me that you like taking "breaks" from the characters, and wait until you miss them. I think that's very special indeed - and I'm sure it prompts you to go back and continue on with a series!

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  7. I totally binge-read with Hunger Games and Wool! But otherwise, I haven't read many series yet. Love those lazy reading days. (A rarity now that I have a preschooler haha)

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    1. I binge read the last two books of The Hunger Games trilogy in one night! It was just super addictive, and I couldn't stop myself, even if I knew (logically) I should go to sleep so I could wake up for work in the morning.

      And yes, lazy reading days are the BEST!

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  8. That is a HUGE accomplishment you did right there reading all those series books like that. I swear I keep wanting to do that, but I don't think I've ever done a series binge, sad to say. I did get The Vampire Academy & Soul Screamers sets for xmas so I am planning on binging for those. Lets see if I can, lol.

    Oh yea, and I'll be doing that for Perfect Chemistry next month :D

    Vivian
    Confessions of a Vi3tBabe
    Deity Island

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    1. Thank you! Series binging is actually fun to do, if you've got the time on your hands (and a bit of determination) (and the books on hand). I enjoyed it a lot. However, I think it would be harder for me to do it with longer series (like Vampire Academy or Soul Screamers). I do want to read those eventually though!

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  9. i binge read Harry Potter (right after the last one came out), then couldn't get enough and read fanfiction for months after. the lumatere chronicles are good, but i've only read the first book. I *hangs head in shame* binge read Twilight (first three in a WEEKEND). there are others, i am a serial binge reader of series, as well as standalones. :) You're just as sane as I am. :)~daphne

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    1. I love Harry Potter. I could probably read that series over again in one straight binge reading. It's such an amazing world and story and I LOVE IT.

      And there's no shame in binge reading Twilight! I did that too, after my sister convinced me to try the first book. Even though I didn't enjoy the series overall, it was still a fun experience.

      And I am SO GLAD that I'm not alone in this!

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    1. I haven't read that book yet! But I definitely want to. Binge reading is something all bookworms do, I think.

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  11. Not too long ago actually, I binge-read the hell out of Karen Moning's books. I completely understand what you mean about series. If the first book is a brilliant one, I never want to let go of the characters (so I pick up the next book, and then the one after that... and the one after that). Since blogging, though, I seem to be doing it less often (maybe because of a lack of time?), though I am more of a series girl than a fan of stand-alones.

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    1. I absolutely love it when I fall in love with characters! And worlds! It usually means I'm ecstatic when it's a series, as I get the opportunity to linger longer. But I agree, blogging has certainly changed that for me, as it is less likely that I do series binge reading. I'm happy I got to do it recently though!

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  12. I actually can admit that I dislike binge reading( for series). Unless I have to know what happens next, I usually wait to read the sequel or third, etc books in the series. I almost always end up reading the entire series, but I go at a slow pace. That may account for my slow reading speed. But, I can agree that I love spending time with familar characters-I just do it slowly over time.

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    1. I think that, in terms of series reading, it's really a matter of what the reader feels comfortable doing. Everyone reads at a different pace, or in a different way - and I think it's awesome that you like to savor your series.

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  13. AHH I do the same thing!! I JUST said to Stan this morning how much I can't wait to be in NY full time so I can just read my book and drink tea all day! ALSO, I ALWAYS do this with series. If all of the books are out, I have to read them all. It's honestly why I try and stay away from series until I know that I have time because I have SO MANY other books to read!!

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    1. I'm starting to feel like I want to finish ALL the series that I still own but haven't started! I have quite a few left, and I'm thinking that right now is the perfect time to just read them all - after I read the review books I have left, of course. There's just something fun about series!

      (And yay for being kindred spirits when it comes to series!)

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  14. Ah I loved the he Forest of Hands and Teeth series. I love binge reading series it's often the only way I get to TRULY enjoy a full series. Otherwise I forget way too much from one book to another and I lose the connection I had with the characters--and I forgot who some of the side characters were too which sucks. So I love being late to the game and getting to read them all together! :D

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    1. The Forest of Hands and Teeth series was absolutely brilliant. I loved it so much more than I thought I would, especially considering it's about zombies.

      And I absolutely agree! It's always a pleasure to be able to read books in a series one after another, just to hold on to details and plot twists much better.

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  15. I completely understand the concept of binge-reading, though I hadn't really acknowledged my own participation in this phenomena... well, until you mentioned it! I feel like it's the best way to get fully involved with the world, kind of the equivalent of taking a vacation to some kind of alternate dimension, while still nestled in the safety of your couch. Or at least, that's the excuse I'm going to have, for reading all of Jillian Larkin's Flappers books in one sitting. :)

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    1. Binge reading is just plain fun! I don't think anyone needs to apologize for reading all the books in a series in a row. It's a wonderful thing to do, and I think it's just awesome to get completely immersed!

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  16. I'm much more of a standalone girl-I really admire when an author can wrap up a story in one book although I have started a bunch of series this year as well as wrapped up some.

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    1. I like an even mix of standalones and series. It's nice to have some books end with finality and completely closure. But there are some books that I don't mind lingering on and spending extra time with characters and worlds and stories.

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  17. I wish I binge read more series! Then I would FINISH them at least!

    PS - just need to read the last book in the Alanna series. HOLLA.

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    1. I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU. That series is the best! And then you can read her other stuff. Hopefully, the series binge reading happens someday!

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  18. My last major series BINGE was—and this will be no surprise—reading all 17 Tortall books over the course of the summer two years ago. What a great experience that was. Less notable ones are re-reading the first two Unearthly books before reading Boundless, but that was more prepping than binging.

    I do love hunkering down with a ton of books by one author at once, though. In high school, I'd take a stack of Mercedes Lackey books to my grandparents' house for the week. They were all 400+ pages, and I'd just inhale them. So great. (You'd probably like her, by the way—I always recommend her as Tamora Pierce for slightly more mature readers, since there's more explicit sex.)

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    1. That is the best series binge EVER (and that will currently be happening for me, as I get more and more immersed in the books by Tamora Pierce for #PierceFest). I love it!

      And also, thanks for the recommendation! I may have to look her up and see what she's all about.

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  19. I don't think I've been in a position to binge read a series recently... I guess you could count Shatter Me, but the last one isn't out yet. I dunno. I guess I kind of abandoned SERIOUS reading for a while before starting up my blog so I'm still working on building up the number of series I've read, but there are a BUNCH I do what to read (especially according to my TTT posts) so I WILL get to them. But the truth is: I can probably binge read a series or two at a time, but then I'll need to step away for a while. Too many series at once could kill a girl, y'know? It's just too much pressure/epicness. I'd probably need a fluffy stand alone in between series to break it up (unless the series are a series of fluffy books, in which case I could probably just switch to another series).

    Also, I think reading too much of one writing style at a time might mess with my ability to properly review books. Obviously different series are written by different authors but those are huge chunks of getting used to one author and then you have to shift. So being in that world for so long IS great, but it's hard to wriggle out of it. Kind of like a book hangover, but not caused by feels - caused by an author's voice. I think. I hope that made sense.

    Great post my dear!!! <3 <3

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    1. I love your comment! I totally understand your feelings about binge reading series. I think it's a fluke that I've been able to read so many amazing series lately. It's either that, or the authors are just very distinct with their writing, so it's easy for me to switch out of one series and into another.

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  20. You have perfectly stated what's so great about series. I just finished Clockwork Princess the other day and I immediately wanted to go read it all over again because I want more from those characters. I'm stoked that Cassandra Clare has more series in her head for that world because I can't get enough. I get so excited when I find out a book I'm reading is a series. That means more time with great characters and some idea of what to read next. Love this post!

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    1. Thanks Laura! And yes, I completely agree. It is ALWAYS fun to read a series and get to share more adventures with the characters in them. I feel that way, currently, about The Lunar Chronicles!

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  21. I recently made a list with all the series I've started and it surprised me how many of them are still unfinished (like, the last book will be published in 2015..). It also stresses me out how many I can complete and I'm trying to end as many series as I can this year. Perhaps that is the reason why I like to wait before I start in a series; I want to read all the books right away. Waiting for a whole year (or more) before you can continue is such a torment.

    I really liked The forest of hands and teeth series, by the way.

    Some series I recommend:
    Grave Mercy (Robin LaFevers), Lunar Chronicles (Marissa Meyer), Girl of fire and thorns (Rae Carson), Shadow and bone (Leigh Bardugo), Seven Waters (Juliet Marillier)

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    1. I think that it's also smart to wait on reading series until all the books are out! There's a sense of satisfaction that comes with completing a series.

      Also, I have read The Lunar Chronicles (1 & 2), and Shadow and Bone. But I need to check out the others!

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  22. All of those reasons also apply to me in terms of reading series. Most of the time I consider series to contain one main extended story anyway, so it doesn't make sense for me to stop reading it in the middle and return again at a later point. Series should build up upon one another, and I do think that if you have huge gaps between reading books in series, you're bound to forget certain details, plot points, characters, etc. I definitely prefer to read my series in a row whenever possible. That's awesome you've been able to series binge read recently - I haven't for a while, but I plan on doing it soon for the Lumatere Chronicles. :)

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    1. I absolutely love that description - that series are just one main extended stories! I do agree with that, and that's often why I enjoy reading the books in a series one after another. I think, for the most part, I do try to wait until a series is complete - unless it's a debut! Or comes highly recommended!

      Also, I hope you enjoy the Lumatere Chronicles. I liked the first one, loved the second and still have to read the third!

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  23. I love binge reading a series! Especially if all the books are out already and I don't have to wait. The worst is getting to the end of a book, which has a cliffhanger that makes you want to throw the book across the room and knowing you have to wait a year for the next one. (And yes, I feel this way often lol.) It's just fun to get sucked into another world for not just one, but multiple books. Reading your post makes me want to find a series and do just that haha.

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    1. YES. Cliffhangers are awesome, but also completely suck. I've had an experience or two with them! It's always nice to be able to jump straight into the next book, which is why I like reading series that have all the books out already.

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  24. I do really love longer books as well! I know lots of people find them intimidating, but when I see a chunky book, I get excited because that means I get to stay with the characters longer. Of course, that can backfire a bit if a book is unnecessarily long, but usually I don’t find that to be a problem.

    As far a series go, I really do like to read them all at once, right after another. I actually try not to start a new series until all the books have been published, so I can go on a series spree. I think it’s partly because I HATE starting things but not finishing them, but also because if I’m really into a series, I don’t want to lose momentum.

    In general, though, I do prefer picking up standalone novels to series novels, just because I’m a big fan of an author giving me the whole story all at once, so I don’t have to wait for the rest. (I don’t like waiting, haha.)

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    1. Longer books don't scare me or intimidate me! I mostly find them intriguing, and if I'm swept up in a story, I never notice its length. I do share your sentiments about series sprees - they're really a lot of fun, and endlessly satisfying!

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  25. I TOTALLY binge read series, especially if the whole series is out. I actually prefer this way rather than reading them as they come out. There's nothing better than spending a week reading a whole series and just relishing all the good and bad and wonderful all at once!

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  26. When I was younger, I used to binge read series all the time. But now that I blog, I don't do that anymore, which sucks because there are some great series out there that are completed and totally could use my love. I do love a good series though, especially because it's nice to spend time with characters I know and love and care about, and maybe that makes me a creeper, but still, I really just love that part of reading a series.

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  27. I think I binge read series more before blogging. Since I've been blogging, I've found myself starting a lot of new series that I can't binge read because the books haven't all been released yet. So, I do get really excited when I have an opportunity to read a complete series again. I definitely love series for the first reason you mentioned - the opportunity to spend a long period of time with characters that I love. Unlike standalone books, I love finishing book one and knowing that there are even more adventures awaiting me with these characters I've come to love. The only time that doesn't work is if I don't like book one and then don't want to continue with the series haha!

    I love this post especially right now because I'm almost finished rereading the Anne of Green Gables series. Like a week or two ago I just decided to ignore the TBR and NetGalley books and just read what my heart wanted - and that was Anne & Gil! And now that I'm about to start the eighth (and last) book I'm getting all sad thinking about parting with these characters that feel so real to me. Thankfully, I can always return to their stories whenever I want :)

    Anyway, love this post girl! Right there with you on the series-ous problem <3

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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