A Series Problem

Book series. They are both my love and the bane of my existence.

I am sure that there are a number of book lovers out there who may be in similar situations or have been so in the past. Perhaps there are those even who have never dealt with this problem and that would make them lucky. It seems that the world of books is filling with a seemingly endless flow of new series followed by even more series. Now don’t get my wrong, I do enjoy reading series and that is precisely what had gotten me into the position that I am in now. But I have to wonder, why do so many books now seem to start new series? I feel as though every time I enter a book store I can randomly walk through the aisles and pick up just about any book and it will either be the start of a new series or a second or perhaps even third book of a recently started series. Is a stand alone book really that bad of a thing?

I understand the reasoning behind it to a certain extent. Series can generate a lot more money than a single book can, and yet it makes me feel a bit bad for authors these days. It makes me wonder if the future of all publishing will be strictly focused on series and completely ignore stand alone books as a whole. It’s impossible to know for certain whether something like that will happen or not and am I getting a bit side tracked here as well.

For as long as I have been reading books there have been stand alone novels as well as series. I read plenty of both growing up and I can’t say that I enjoyed one over the other since as long as the story was good I was happy. But as my reading progressed I found myself in possession of more and more books that were parts of different series. For a while this was not a huge problem to deal with. Books were somewhat slower to be published and so I would have time to read all of the books from these various series without getting them confused and have time to throw in several stand alone books before the next in any particular series came out. Now however as I look at the growing pile of series that fill far too many shelves and I have realized that series are in a way a growing problem.

I try hard now to look for stand alone books but honestly they are hard to find at times. Oh I know they are out there, and they aren’t quite extinct, but I try to be a bit picky about what I read. I want to read something I will enjoy and love, and like it or not, series books just tend to be more tempting over all.

Another problem for me is the allure of newer series. It doesn’t matter if I have one or a dozen series on the go already, if I pick up a book that looks interesting that starts a new series I will likely read that one before I even take the time to pick up a book from one of my already started series. Now part of that is just the draw of something new to add to my pile of books, but in the end it is only increasing my problem when I should be trying to lessen it. As I sat here today I glanced over at my multiple bookshelves and decided to make a list of all the series I have on the go that I need to finish. I had known there was quite a few but I had not expected this many.

Series On The Go:

  • Symphony of Ages series: 1 of 6 books read
  • Kushiel’s Universe series: 1 of 9 books read
  • Hythrun Chroicles: 2.5 of 6 books read
  • Noble Dead Saga: 3 of 11 books read
  • Warcraft/World of Warcraft series: 7 of 19 books read
  • Avalon series: 1 of 7 books read
  • Chisholm Cattle Co. series: 1 of 6 books read
  • Harts of the Rodeo series: 4 of 6 books read
  • Blacktop Cowboys series: 1 of 4 books read
  • The Book of Deacon series: 1 of 3 books read
  • Wayfarer Redemption series: 4 of 6 books read

On top of these I also have the Star Wars series that I have been working on. I can’t recall how many books in that series I have read, probably around forty or more and I’ve lost track of just how many books total there are but it’s definitely one of those series that will take a lot of time to finish. I have a feeling I did miss one or two on the go series in this list but glancing at my bookshelf I’m not seeing them pop out. Then there are the series of books that I own that I haven’t even started reading yet.

Series Yet To Be Started:

  • Lonesome Dove series: 4 books
  • Wheel of Time series: 14 books
  • The Troy Game series: 4 books
  • Darkglass Mountain series: 3 books
  • Camulod Chronicles: 9 books
  • Rodeo Riders series: 5 books
  • Virgil Cole & Everett Hitch series: 4 books

The sad thing is I know there are quite a few I missed on this list, but they are there somewhere either on my bookshelf or on my Kindle. While I know I’m not the only one with this problem, at least I hope I’m not the only one, I doubt that this will change in the future even if I do get some of my current on the go series finished. Series are a huge part of books now and there is little to nothing we can do about it.

Do you suffer from having too many series on the go? Or are you able to manage keeping up with them, reading the newest books as soon as they are published?

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5 thoughts on “A Series Problem

  1. I can’t say I’m in the middle of that many series lol, but I definitely run into the same trouble as you. I can’t help but read the entire series, once I get into one, and it worries me to see the size of certain series that I know I just have to read. It is so difficult to keep up. So many books… so little time. πŸ™‚

  2. I like series books up to a point. If I enjoy a book then getting to “keep up” with favorite characters is fun. However, I think each book should have its own plot arc; and should wind up a story, even if a few minor threads are left open. For example, the Harry Potter books each covered one year of school. Each involved its own climax and victory by HP, even if Voldemort wasn’t gone until the end of the last book. I just read a Debbie Macomber galley set at an inn. The guests are involved in romances, and they are wrapped up at the end of the book. The owner has a relationship that I can see is developing but I don’t feel like I’ve been left hanging. On the other hand, I hated the end of The Hunger Games that was obviously a set-up for the next book. I read Bumped and it just seemed to stop–there was no resolution to anything. I don’t like that at all.

    One reason I think some books have gone to the series format is that today’s readers have shorter attention spans. Publishing three 300 page books is likely to be more successful than one 900 page book.

    • You make several good points there. While I do enjoy series where each book continues the main plot having each book be it’s own story so to speak but still being related overall to the others in the series, such as the Harry Potter books are, is also a great way to do it.
      That’s true, I know a lot of people avoid large books like a plague but have no problem reading three or four shorter books that comprise a single story through the series. I don’t mind the 900 page books as long as the story is good, but the same thing goes for the shorter books. For me it’s about the quality of the story over the quantity of the pages.

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