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Whenever I’m looking at the New Releases lists on Goodreads, I find myself scrolling past any book that’s part of a series. I never stop to read the synopsis, no matter how intriguing the title and cover are. If I come across an interesting book on a blog, it’ll automatically go in the “No” pile if it’s part of a series.
That's right. I’m a series hater.
I don’t like book series. Even as a kid, I didn’t like them. (Well, except Harry Potter, but those books seem to be the exception to every rule.) Before you come after me with torches and pitchforks, let me explain my reasons for avoiding series:
I don’t have a series-length attention span. I usually get bored with reading about the same characters, problems, and worlds.
The books take too long to come out. If I’m going to read a series, I usually wait years for all of the books to be released, then I buy a boxset and marathon it. If I read the books as they come out, I usually forget important details while I’m waiting for the next book. I always feel like I have to reread the old books before reading the new one. I don’t have a lot of time for rereading.
“Bridge books” and “middle book syndrome.” Series often start and end strongly, but the middle books are kind of “Meh.” They’re just a bridge between the beginning and the end. I’d rather spend my time reading a strong standalone than a so-so middle book.
Disappointing finales. If I spend a ton of time reading a series, I will have huge expectations for the finale. I’m often disappointed. Series have so many plot threads that it can be difficult for an author to wrap them all up. Also, some authors are so desperate to give all of their characters a happily ever after that the finale falls flat.
My TBR is already too big. I have so many books that I need to read. My TBR will be out of control if I start adding whole series to it.
Some authors don’t know when to quit. Some series don’t have a finale. The author just keeps going until the series is huge. If the books decline in quality, it can impact my feelings about the beginning of the series.
It’s hard to review a series without spoilers. This is a petty reason for not reading something, but I like writing book reviews. It’s very difficult to review books #2+ in a series without spoiling earlier books in the series.
Even though I have a lot of reasons for disliking series, I’ve recently been reconsidering my series-hating ways. This year, I marathoned Neal Shusterman’s Unwind books and had a lot of fun reading them. I liked the sense of anticipation that the series created. I looked forward to reading those books more than I looked forward to reading all of the standalones on my TBR shelf. I also read the series a lot faster than I’d read a standalone because I was invested in the characters and the world.
Over the past few years, I’ve enjoyed two other books that were book #1 in a series. I didn’t know that they were part of a series when I started them, but now that I know, I’m interested to see what happens to the characters next. There’s something comforting about being back in a bookish universe that I know I like.
All of this reconsidering has made me wonder if there are awesome series that I’m missing out on. I’ve looked on Goodreads, but there are so many series that I don’t know where to start.
So, I’m asking for your help. What are your favorite series?
Let’s discuss: Are you a series lover or a series hater? What do you love or hate about reading a series?