Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Why I Don't Finish Books in a Series

Thank goodness I was never required to read a whole series when I was in school; I'm not a person who likes books in a series.


(1) It's hard to maintain the quality throughout a series. Case in point: Wrinkle in Time is wonderful, but the other books in the Time Quintet series are so-so. Result: I never read past Wrinkle in Time.

(2) Books in a series are often long books. I don't like long books. Case in point: Pillars of the Earth is 806 pages. A Games of Thrones is 864 pages. One long book is enough.

(3) Entire books in a series, usually the middle books, can actually have very little plot. Case in point: Hunger Games, book two. What actually happened in book two? 

(4) If order doesn't matter, is the series of books really a series? Case in point: Narnia. There are two ways of ordering these books. How can that be? Do these books really compose a series?

(5) I like books that surprise me. If I have read twenty-two books about the same character, will there really be anything in the story that surprises me?

Series I will not finish, though I loved reading one of the books:

Do you like books in a series? 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


  1. Surprisingly I do like book series though I did draw the line with the Dune ones but the Wheel of Time ones by Robert Jordan made me loose the will to live and I just gave up in disgust

  2. I’m hoping to read Wheel of Time, Book 1, this year. It’s one of the Great American Read books. I probably won’t read on.

  3. How refreshing to find someone else to feels the same way I do! I rarely make it past book three in a series (Harry Potter, for example) and yet I feel as though I have somehow failed. I wonder if I have long-term commitment issues :) I enjoy the story, but there are so many other new characters out there for me to meet.

  4. I feel the same way about series. It's difficult to keep a high quality of storytelling throughout them.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

  5. I love book series, but then I read a lot of fantasy and most fantasy worlds are too big to be contained in one book!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/26/top-ten-tuesday-165/

  6. I love how you presented this. I completely agree that it is hard to maintain a good plot without being too long and I normally just stop after there is one book that is just "meh". Thanks for vocalizing what I didn't even think of!

  7. I agree!! However, if you get the chance to read the other two books in Follett's series, they are very, very good on audio. Just think of them as stand-alones. :)

  8. I'll weigh in as a serious lover of series books - ones that I connect with anyway. And before I was such a 'series' person, I loved long books. I guess I always want the story to go on and on and on. I want to know - what happened next and then and then? Ha! That being said, I leave certain series behind and move on. Not necessarily because I don't like the characters or the later 'episodes', but sometimes that's the reason. Sometimes other books come along and I get new 'friends'. I find that I can keep up with about 10-ish series at a time - almost all of them would be crime novels.

  9. it's true, just because a series is good doesn't mean all the books in the series are good and maybe some of the books are fillers.

    I only read book series if I have interest in them but mostly I think there is no way to avoid series these days, I mean, every time I got interested in a book, I find out it's a series but books are books rather they are a whole set of them or just a single book.

    have a lovely day.

  10. I did my post on the series I do love, because I normally don't not finish a book unless its just really terrible. I am currently reading Illuminae which is over 500 pages, and I put it aside and then go back to it, so I know what you mean about long books.


  11. In like a good series, but I only read one each of Matched, Percy Jackson, Pillars, and Unfortunate Events. I think I read some more L'engle, but agree the quality wavered.

  12. Usually, I don't like to read a series, either. However, there is one and was another that I enjoy(ed). I like Harlan Coben's Myron Bolitar series, and I liked Dennis Lehane's Patric Kinzie and Angela Gennaro series and wish he would revive it.

  13. Yes - all of these struggles are so true! Especially with the books being epic-aly long! Like, why!? You have six more books- that's the whole point of a series, why does that mean that each of those books needs to be 800 pages!? It's just so unnecessary! Unless I love the books, then, bring on the pages : ) Great post!

  14. That's a good point about the Narnia books. :-) I find that romance series tend to be loosely linked--crossover characters, but the two main characters are almost always different. Many of the mystery series I read do have an over-reaching plot thread, although each one often contains a separate mystery--so depending one your perspective, whether its a series or a stand-alone can vary. Most of the romance, urban fantasy, and mysteries I read are not long at all. It's when I get into the epic fantasy series that length can be an issue. I loved Pillars of the Earth. It was a stand-alone when I read it. Haha. I do agree about quality. Like with any author's body of work (series or not), there are bound to be books that are better than others. And sometimes the formulaic stories get tiresome, but mostly I keep going back to the series because it's like visiting old friends and they tend to be my comfort reads. Especially since I'm not a re-reader.

  15. I do love series, especially longer ones, because it takes a longer time to really flesh out a character. And the plots are infinite when it comes to a series. I didn't know that about the Narnia series, as I've only read the first three books. I'm usually not opposed to series being read this way, although I want the series to be done before I start it so I can go back and read it the way it's "supposed" to be read. Long books scare me until they don;t, if that makes sense. If there's a reason for a book to be this long, then I'm game, if it's only for the page count I can tell and I'm usually bored and will DNF the book and subsequently the series.

  16. I agree!! With everything! I really don't like series–I think my main reason is that I dislike reading about the same characters for a gajillion books.
    I started reading Eragon but couldn't get through it because I didn't like the writing. I still haven't read A Series of Unfortunate Events yet. I love Narnia. I enjoyed A Wrinkle in Time but not the other three books. Still haven't finished Percy Jackson (and don't really plan to).
    –KB @ thissideofstoryland.blogspot.com

  17. I admit that I get hooked on series! Or is it serieses ? LOL

  18. Your post and the comments so far are very thought-provoking. The meaning of "series" is ambiguous, for one thing. Here are my thoughts on three meanings for the concept of a series:

    Some series novels are designed to tell a coherent story with a beginning, a middle, and (heavens be praised) an end. Example: Harry Potter or the Hunger Games. The author frequently has the whole series planned out to some extent at the beginning. This is usually the best kind of series, but even a good idea can be badly executed.

    Some series novels are recurring stories about a character or set of characters, with different plots and sometimes different settings. I think we all started with the Nancy Drew series, where she stays the same age but actually time runs forward from the 1920s to the 1950s or later. There must be hundreds of detective series beginning with Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot and running on through modern detectives and their TV avatars. Of course there's always quality variation. A lot of fantasy and science fiction is like this: one very imaginative adventure in a mysterious fantasy world followed by many adventures in a more and more codified world. Example: The Wizard of Oz series, which was even continued by the publisher after L.Frank Baum died.

    And then there are series that start with a stand-alone book that sells so well that the publisher sort of forces the author to reopen the action and write another book. This doesn't always go well, though sometimes it works. An example is "The Hobbit" which Tolkien expanded into the 3-volume Lord of the Rings, which are mostly pretty good books though they observe the rule mentioned by some commenters that the middle book falls down on the job of having a good plot.

    Gosh, all I meant to do was tell you I am looking forward to Paris in July, and I got all longwinded! Sorry.

    best... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  19. I do like series, mostly because if I really love a character then I want more of them. Not all second (third, etc.) books are as good as the first though.

    I never knew A Wrinkle in Time had more than one book.


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