Talk To Me 10: Scared by Starting Series

If you’ve kept a keen eye on my Twitter, you probably noticed that I’ve been asking for good standalone recommendations. (Also thank you for looking at my Twitter, I love talking to y’all on Twitter, so hit me up!) Now, why have I been doing this?

To tell you the truth, I am wary of starting series. Most of the really popular titles out now are part of a series. Ignite Me and Cress were all over Twitter a while back, as an example. I haven’t read Scarlet, the previous book to Cress, so I can’t join in the glee. I haven’t even touched the Shatter Me series because of the mixed things I’ve heard about it.

So what’s up with me and starting series? Well…

1: I like binge-reading series because of book amnesia.

I’m more likely to pick up a complete series with all the books available to me. I can have bad cases of book amnesia, and when I go a while before reading the next book, I might forget some important plot points. I mean, I read Cinder last year and although I have a decent grasp of what happened, some references in Scarlet might go over my head.

The same thing might happen with my new copy of Froi of the Exiles, so I might have to refresh myself with the first book.

2: I don’t like books that end with cliffhangers.

When a book in the series ends with a cliffhanger, I can be found yelling internally. When a book in the series ends with a cliffhanger and I have NO way of getting the next book, I can be found yelling externally.

To solve this problem and to spare my throat, I like to read completed series. If I can borrow it as a set and finish them one after the other, that’s great. At least I will spare myself the anguish of turning the page and realising “… That’s the end. NO. NOOOOOOOO! I DON’T HAVE THE NEXT BOOK NOOO!”

3: I would like to review the series as whole.

I know that reviewing each book would allow me to build up a bigger buffer. However, if I reviewed each book separately, I would have to continually say “spoilers for [previous book]” and only people who’ve read the previous book can safely read my review. By reviewing the series as a whole, I can kind of avoid spoilers and just give my readers an overview of the series.

But, there are certain situations where I have to start off a series. Maybe it’s a review copy, or maybe it’s something that I’m REALLY interested in. I suppose I shall save that post for another day, yes? 😀

So, what about you, dear reader?

Do you prefer series or standalones? Do you share my hesitations about series?

Let me know in the comments!

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30 thoughts on “Talk To Me 10: Scared by Starting Series

  1. I am a series addict, although there is something nice about the closure a standalone provides.

    I totally agree about preferring to binge read! If I can get my hands on all of the books at once, I will do it! I’m currently doing this and it’s so fun! I’m on book four of ten, but sadly I’m missing #7, but I’ve already requested it from the library. Preparedness! Then I’ll have to wait for the last two books to be published. Boo!

    I don’t usually suffer from book amnesia. I have a pretty good memory, so I can go awhile between books. But just in case, hopefully the author provides good recaps in the sequels. There are some first books that I’d like to reread before continuing, since the series are done now, and it’s been a few years since I started them.

    I’m trying not to start too many series anymore, but it’s so I don’t have to wait so long between them! I hate the wait! Cliffhangers are the worst! One of my favorite books of 2012 ended on a HUGE cliffhanger that made me cry like a baby, and I’m still waiting on the next book! *sobbing* I’ll definitely be rereading that one even though I still feel like I remember everything that happened.

  2. I like reading a whole series at once, as well. I have a decent ability to remember what goes on in series, if a couple months pas sin between when I read each book–but remembering things after an entire year is difficult. I used to reread the previous books in series I was really interested in, but I have so many books to read right now that that isn’t an option unless I really love the series.

    I think reviewing series as a whole is good because, after awhile, I feel as if I’m saying the same things. Assuming the author writes the series with relatively consistent quality (no sophomore slump, for example) then I’m left just writing that the book still has an exciting plot, complex characters, a great sense of humor, etc.

  3. I can’t be addicted to series, I can’t keep up, haha!

    Yes, binge reading is so much easier! No pesky waiting, just go go GO! But whoa, ten books in the series? What series is that? :O

    Aw, lucky. I’m not sure if I like straight up recaps in sequels, like flashbacks or things like that, but I appreciate something like a very condensed paragraph like “I got out, I got brought here, these people helped me etc.”

    Oh noooo, cliffhangers! CURSE THEM! *SOB*

  4. I can handle a couple of months after I read the last one, but a year is difficult. I hear you about rereading, I hardly do it now because I have too many books to read. :O

    Yeah, there really isn’t much to say if the style hasn’t changed. Reviewing as a whole is so much easier, haha! Thanks, Briana!

  5. I wish there was more standalone books out there. I just sometimes want to sit and finish a book and not have to wait YEARS for it to finish. I mean.. sometimes I just totally forget what happened and have to google the plot to the other books in the series.

  6. I actually like both- it really depends on the genre. I think that some genres are naturally more suited to being standalones (or having companion novels rather than sequels) e.g. contemporary romance- there are only so many things that can happen before the book becomes boring or overly angsty etc etc. Whereas I think something like high fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi probably more suits a series because so much effort has to go into setting up the world and there’s usually a bigger adventure overlying the small events that occur in the individual books and such.
    So…yeah. I love both! And I have to say I don’t share your hesitation for starting series haha. If a book looks good, I’m going to pick it up regardless of whether there are sequels to come or not! Although I do agree that book amnesia can be an issue lol.

  7. I definitely feel like I need to carve out time for a series which is sometimes a daunting challenge alone! However, I love becoming absorbed in a new world and getting to continue with a character I love throughout their journey. I prefer waiting for entire series to come out so I can binge read the whole thing. If you enjoy women’s fiction/smart romance, I recommend Elisa Lorello’s Adulation and Why I Love Singlehood for good stand-alones!

  8. Sometimes I feel the exact same way as you. Cliffhangers can be awful (though I’m secretly kind of a fan, if they bring the feels), and I suffer from series amnesia too! But also, I love series, because if you get attached to the characters, there’s MORE TO COME, which is just such a good feeling. With standalones, you know you’ll never get more of those characters, and that can be sad!

  9. I have the same problems as you! I eventually decided to just make a rule for myself…no starting a new series unless all of the books have been published. And then I read them back-to-back (usually one or two per month) until I finish it. That way I can keep my list of unfinished series down AND battle the book amnesia (which is SO bad for me, too). I like series, though, so I don’t mind the fact that I have to have rules for them. I think that I might like series more than standalones, but I’m not sure. They both definitely have their merits. I think that sometimes I’m in the mood for one, and sometimes the other, so it depends.

  10. I love standalone books and I’m a disaster at finishing series. Worst of all is when you get tricked into a series thinking it’s a standalone. Yea, I know I should read the blurb more carefully!
    And I’m finding now that my memory is shot to pieces so I think binge reading is the way to go. But then you have devote a lot of time to the series and I don’t know if I want to do that either. Book nerd problems :O

  11. I definitely prefer to binge-read series. The Lunar Chronicles is one that’s on my TBR but I don’t want to read until the last book is out. It’s not that I dislike series, it just gets tiring when it feels like that’s ALL that’s out there! I definitely want to see more love for standalones!

  12. The amount of series releases is overwhelming. I would choose a standalone any day. I will admit that there are a lot of awesome series books out there that are totally worth the time, effort, and money used on them, but there are just those that aren’t. So it really is a tough decision when it comes to a series. At least with a standalone you won’t be faced with that.

  13. Yes, exactly! Sometimes I just want to sit down with a really good story, then move on to the next one without having to think about sequels or things like that.

  14. Very interesting point, Nara! I agree, I would probably be less inclined to pick up a contemporary romance series than a fantasy series. I definitely agree with you there that it does depend on the genre. Good for you for not being hesitant, for you are a much braver reader than I! 😀

  15. Oh yes, that is a wonderful thing about series. Binge reading would be more awesome than a stilted reading experience. 🙂 Thanks for the recommendations!

  16. Cliffhangers that bring me the feels are even worse for me! They fuel the ABSOLUTE AND MIGHTY NEED to get the next book! 😦

    That’s very true, there is more to come when you read series. With standalones, I do like letting my imagination take over after the book is done. 😀

  17. Yes, I think this a very good rule to follow! 😀 I really love binge reading and would love to finish a series instead of waiting around. It depends on my mood too, like you said, you can sometimes be in the mood for standalones or series. Definitely true. 🙂

  18. YES, I hate it when I get tricked! “Ah, this looks like a good standalone. *hours later* TO BE CONTINUED?! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING.”

    Book nerd problems indeed! Huzzah for binge-reading!

  19. Oh yeah, I really want to finish The Lunar Chronicles too but Winter is coming out next year still. 😦 It does get tiring, doesn’t it? I need more standalone love, I say!

  20. Totally true! There seem to be SO MANY TOO MANY series out now. Sometimes I just want a nice standalone to read, then move on. Also yes, there’s the money that goes into it. If there’s like… 14 books, my wallet is going to scream.

  21. I really don’t think that I prefer one over the other. Both have their own positives and negatives.
    But sometimes I AM wary about starting a new series. I am in the midst of SO MANY and I am behind on even those ones, so new ones would just be lost in the series abyss.
    I also love binge reading! Or at least reading them close to one another. Which is why I like reading series once all the books are released, or when the final book is soon to be released. I did this with the Shatter Me series. When Ignite Me came out, I’d only read Unravel me a few books prior. So it was all fine.
    But then there are other series that I know I won’t read until they’re closer to being finished.
    And then there’s also the ones that I NEED to start, even though they won’t finish for ages. They are just to enticing! Haha 😛

  22. Yes, binge reading is so much better for me, haha! I love it when a series is finished rather than on-going.

    Some series ARE just too enticing, aren’t they? 😛

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