Today’s Musing Mondays question is actually something I’ve been thinking about lately: “Do you read books that are part of a series? Do you collect all the books in the series before starting? What if the series is brand new, and the only book that’s been published so far is Book one? As subsequent books in the series are published, do you go back and re-read the preceding books?”
To the first question: Oh, heck yes, do I read series. Most recently I reported in on Flavia de Luce, but I’m also a sucker for a good Thursday Next, and I’ve mainlined series like the Codex Alera or the Bartimaeus trilogy or the Hitchhiker’s Guide “trilogy” after they were done or almost done and had a great time with them. And I often get tricked into reading series, like with the aforementioned Flavia, because I think they’ll stand alone but then they are totally series and I’m like, okay, sweet.
So, to the second: Yes. I’m generally not seeking out series to read, because I’m generally not planning my reading farther out than “Ooh shiny book,” so most of my series reading starts with the first book, or going back to the first book because the second one is shiny — but I do like to start at number one if I realize that that’s an option. If the series is finished and it’s reasonably short and I’ve heard good things, I’ll probably be interested in checking it out, but if it’s, say, fifteen or so 800-page books, it’s going to take some doing (see: my husband’s unending mission to get me to read the rest of the Wheel of Time series). Similarly, I re-read the then-entirety of Harry Potter before the fourth and fifth books came out, but for the last two I decided that there was just too much to go back for. So don’t ask me what happened in the last three books, because I’ve only read them once each!
The reason I’ve been thinking about series lately is that with the new job and all, I’m just not finding as much time to read as I did back in the days of grad school and unemployment, so I’m trying not to read things I’m not going to like. The problem with series, like, again, Flavia, is that sometimes one books is awesome and the next isn’t but then the next is awesome again and so I just don’t know what to do! I wasn’t thrilled with Tana French‘s third book, but I adored the first two… when the fourth comes out this summer, I know I’m going to read it but I don’t know if I’m going to like it. But I can’t not read it, because what if it’s amazing again? (See also: the third season of Coupling, which is absolutely terrible but I watched the whole dang thing.)
What about you guys? Do you get as anxious about series as I do? Are there any that I should give a chance?