Saturday, July 16, 2016

Conversations: Reading Series

Hello! I hope you're enjoying this fine Saturday. As usual, this fortnight brings us another Conversation, where we discuss a new topic. You can find out more about this feature here.

   Today's discussion is all about "reading book series- (yay or nay)?".     

Maybe you've done this before, maybe you haven't, but I know that once I've invested myself in reading one or two books of a smaller series, I feel inclined to finish off the series, even if I'm not really enjoying it. And if you think about it, that last book you forced yourself to read could've been another book that you actually enjoyed. (A stand alone, perhaps.) I feel as though book series are traps in some ways, but in other ways, I don't know where we'd be without book series.

On the one hand, I love reading a good book series! 
When I'm genuinely enjoying the books, having a series is a great thing. It allows for reading the books to become an experience. There's something to be said about waiting each year for the next book to come out in a series. It becomes a memory, a companion. And when the series is complete, you've grown as a person, and it's hard to believe that this series-friend has come to an end. It makes reading those books more personal and emotional, because they've lasted much longer than just reading one book. I know plenty of book series that I've cried while finishing, more because it was over than because the events taking place were sad. 

Plus, book series allow for more thorough story planning and more realistic development. Especially in fantasy and science fiction books, it's hard to complete the whole plot in just one book- no matter how long. It would be completely unrealistic to try and squish everything into one book- not to mention excruciatingly lengthy! I prefer for the character development and story arc to be realistic, and making your story into multiple books allows for that. 

Okay, don't roll your eyes, but series look great on bookshelves! Nothing's more satisfying than owning a whole series, especially when they're all in the same format, the same edition, and the same height! I love getting to gaze at how perfect my book series look all lined up and orderly.

So yes, when done right, book series can be a great thing.

On the other hand, authors need to stop trying to make so much money and just WRITE. 
I'm going to shamelessly mention James Patterson when I talk about the fact that a lot of authors stretch their stories out, taking meaningless, stupid turns that end up having no impact on the story just to release another book and make more money. A prime example of this is the horror that is the Maximum Ride series. That story could've been over in three books, but of course us gullible consumers will just keep buying his books. I just can't stand when something that could've been accomplished in one or two books is stretched out pointlessly just to make money. There are plenty of trilogies that could've been duologies, where the middle book was dull and accomplished little other than act as a bridge that could've been condensed and added to the end and beginning of the other two novels. Literally, nothing more annoying.

And there's the fact that sometimes I'm just not in the mood to commit myself to a whole series. Especially when there's, like, 8 books and they've all been released already, it's hard to want to jump into that type of thing. I mean, if all the books are released, I don't have any excuse not to read the rest of the series. I like having a break sometimes.

Plus series are just more to buy, more to read, and more to try to squeeze into your bookshelf. Sometimes I like just getting to read a stand alone, accept that this time it's all been told in one, nicely sized volume, and move on to the next thing.

So in conclusion? (Most) TV shows need more than just one season to accomplish their plot, just as (most) stories need more than just one book. However, I think we all know of a few TV shows that should've ended after just the first season. 

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think of reading book series!

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