Why is everything a series these days?!

I like books. I like a good series. I like The Hunger Games. I like A Song of Ice and Fire. I like the Parasol Protectorate. I like Harry Potter. I like Fablehaven. I like the Kingkiller Chronicles. I like Percy Jackson. I like Thursday Next (though I’m a couple books behind). I like Stephanie Plum. I like the Shopaholic series. I used to like Sookie Stackhouse and the Women’s Murder Club (both series have gone downhill IMHO).

A good series for the book lovers...

You know what all of those above series have in common? Multiple books in a series and I started late enough to not have to wait a terribly long time to get the next book.There is nothing wrong with a good series. Nothing. But if I see one more book on Goodreads that has a Insert-Series-Title Here and a #1 next to it, I might scream. Starting a series means I feel the need to read the rest of the series (unless the first is atrocious, I will keep reading dammit). If I have to wait, it means I’m probably going to reread the first/second in the series. (Or find some great spoilers to refresh my memory.) It’s annoying for me as a reader.

It’s also really annoying when I read a book and then there’s a random sequel (example, If I Stay was a wonderful standalone novel. Where She Went was an OK book that I think took away from some of the awesomness of If I Stay.) In young adult novels specially it seems like a standalone novel isn’t allowed anymore. It’s normal in Sci-Fi & Fantasy (which is what I read a lot of), but there are just SO many series just getting started that I’m gonna need to get picky about what I decide to read.

The series I'm reading now (and the one that reminded me that it's OK to wait years to read a great series...it means less--or zero--waiting between books).

Seriously, with all of these dystopian/post-apocalyptic/paranormal series that just keep getting published, I can’t even keep all the worlds straight in my head. I have to ask myself when I go back to a series: How does this world work? Do vampires sparkle? Do werewolves turn via biting or are they born that way? Is this a world with fairies? Does magic exist? In this dystopia, what makes it bad? Is there a virus stopping reproduction? Is this the Adam that got shot? (oh wait! I think all Adams have been shot. Aside: we also need new names, can we make a rule that if the name has been used in the past year in any YA novel that it can’t be used again for five years?)

Part of the problem is this: all of the sequels and follow-ups to the books I’ve enjoyed over the last couple of years are coming out this year. There’s Pandemonium, Insurgent, Thumped, the next in the Ken Follett Century Trilogy, Timeless, the follow-up to A Discovery of Witches, The Twelve, and I’m sure many more. The more series I start, the less time I have for all of those wonderful standalone novels that I really want to read.

New Rule: I’m only reading series I’ve started or already purchased. If a book is first in series and comes out later than March 2012, I’m not reading it until the entire series is published.

It may seem a little unfair to all of those debut authors that have works being published this year. Here’s the thing…if it’s a good series and I keep reading about it as the second and third come out, I’ll eventually pick it up.

8 thoughts on “Why is everything a series these days?!”

  1. I completely agree. Series can be frustrating. Who has time to read all the books and then re-read them to get caught up? I know I have way too many unfinished series that I really want to read. I’m really starting to suspect that it’s more of a marketing ploy than anything. *grumble*

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