Monday, August 26, 2013

Musing Monday...To Series or Not To Series, That is the Question.

Do I have a Muse? Sure I do!
We sure to check out the others talking part at  Should Be Reading...

Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…
• Describe one of your reading habits.
• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!

• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.
• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

I will admit it..I love a good mystery series.
In fact, I tend to get a little caught up in them sometimes.
Karin Slaughter..I read all 12 books she had written at that time, one after the other, over a couple of weeks.
Then there was Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks series. I was a bit less compulsive about that one, reading 12 of them..on my, 12 again...but interspersed with a few other books.
My latest is Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti Mysteries. You may not believe this, but I just started the 12th book of that series too. That number 12 again, but in this case, I still have almost another 12 to go.
Still, in all these cases, in order to have what I think is the best reading experience, I have read the books in order.

There is the question. How do you feel about series..especially BIG series...and about reading them in order?

If you are taking about a series of two or three or four books, it is not that much of an issue.
But for a series that has a dozen or more books...well, to start that is a commitment!
So what is an author and the reader to do?

We readers like series, at least in part, because we get to know the setting and the characters and we care about them. But an author that creates strong, interesting characters, with interesting lives, with things going on in their lives, writes a book that is hard to read as a stand-alone.
I am thinking of the example of Susan Hill's  Simon Serrailler series. My, so much has happened to Simon, people in his life getting killed, people dying, people leaving, that you really have to start at the beginning to understand what is going on.
Sure, the author can try to fill us in with the relevant facts about the character's past to the degree necessary but honestly, sometimes that can get confusing. Or they can make the characters personal lives not that important or not that interesting, but that takes something away from the books too, doesn't it?

Does an author who keeps writing book in a series at a certain point, maybe after the first few books, just discourage new readers?

Oh My...What to do?
Hey, I have to get back to reading! I have like another 12 Leon books to read!


  1. Hi there, oh I love Guido Brunetti but I have never read any series in order as I usually get them from the library and I am just too impatient to wait for the next one in order. I just read what's there.

    If you like Guido Brunetti I think you would like Henning Mankel's Kurt Wallander as well and maybe even Patricia Cornwell's Scarpetta. I enjoyed both very much but have read most of them.

    Still working on Brunetti though. I started reading it in Germany in the German translation which was really good but then got of it for some strange reason. Now I am back and happy to read it in the original.

    thanks for this interesting post

  2. Patricia Cornwell's early books were very good...then something happen and the books were suddenly awful! I gave up and never went back.

  3. I normally have to read books in order, the exception being when I get offered a free one half way through which I enjoy. I do like series but funnily enough prefer it if I join at the beginning as I did with the Peter James 'Dead' series

  4. I love series but I especially love discovering them late, so there are many already out when I get hooked!

  5. Have you ever tried William Kent Krueger's series? It's set in Minnesota near Iron Lake. Fabulous characters! His 13th in the series is due out soon. We got our daughter hooked on this one too. Seems like it's always mind numbingly cold there. You would like it!

  6. i love series, especially well developed series where the main character(s) actually grow so the plots dont seem to be rehashes like the Charlene Harris books .. first was good and then it was a yawn ... on the other hand Lucas Davenport created by John Sandford has grown and this plots are always involving ...

  7. I've got some series that I follow religiously. And it is so fun to discover one and then go on a bender. I did that with the Jack Reacher series, the Lucas Davenport series and also the Sue Grafton alphabet series. But that was before blogging and I find that I just don't have the time and patience for these benders anymore. So many other things I want to read, so many commitments. Which is a shame because it is fun to get lost in a series. My latest thing is the Mo Hayder series with Jack Caffrey. I've read three almost right in a row, and I'm still going strong. Now reading them out of order? I used to swear I would NEVER do that, but lately it has been happening. I love Karin Slaughter but have been all over the place with that series. One of these days...

  8. I do the same thing with series. I will find one I love and just devour it. It may be a form of OCD with books. I discovered the Donna Leon's Commissario Guido Brunetti Mysteries not long ago but I am not reading that one in order. In fact some I read in order and some as I can find them at the library. When I am desperate I purchase new or used.

  9. Reading in order is a must for me - you can often follow the individual story when reading out of order but miss the big picture and the character development.

    I'm reading Karin Slaughter's books now - going slowly as they are quite gruesome.

  10. I love series and I prefer to read them in order but it's not a must. Some are just too long for me to go and start at the beginning.

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