Happy Thanksgiving to all those in the U.S (and happy Thursday to everyone else)! Depending on when you’re reading this, I’m either helping prep an intricate turkey dinner, enjoying that delicious turkey dinner, or napping after said tryptophan-laden turkey dinner. Yum.
Today, many around the country are thinking about the things they’re thankful for. Me? I’ve got all the usual biggies on my list: family, friends, health. But on a lighter note, I’m just thankful I was able to finish the first five books in George R.R. Martin’s gargantuan A Song of Ice and Fire series before the end of 2012.
Cue the theme song…
Like many recent fans, I was spurred to pick up the books after watching the HBO show. I downloaded Game of Thrones to my ereader on January 31, 2011 and turned the final page of A Dance with Dragons in the wee hours of October 29, 2012. Whew! Now I know why it’s called epic fantasy.
Reading a series—whether made up of thousand-page tomes or shorter, but more plentiful volumes (J.D. Robb anyone?)—requires commitment. And I don’t know about you, but I have some personal quirks when it comes to series. Aside from the length and my snails’ pace reading, one thing that slowed my journey through A Song of Ice and Fire was the simple fact that I bought the first book but checked the second out of the library. Because I’m a weirdo who doesn’t like to own some books in a series but not others (and who hates spending my precious book budget on things I’ve already read), I was at the mercy of the library wait list. See what I mean by quirks? Lesson learned: buy the book bundles!
All about instant gratification, I prefer to start a new series when there are at least two or three other books already available. I have mixed feelings about cliffhangers, but keep me interested and I’ll keep reading until I feel burned out or need a palate cleanser. Not that I haven’t fallen out of love with series in the past—sorry, Stephanie Plum. Sometimes I’ve fallen behind (again, J.D. Robb anyone?). And a recent post at the Dear Author blog sparked a thoughtful conversation about whether a seemingly endless run can possibly be detrimental to a series.
Still, despite the time investment reading a series demands, when an author creates a world or characters that capture the imagination, I’m happy to come back again and again. Treat me right, authors, and I’m a loyal reader.
What about you—series, yay or nay? Do you have any quirks about reading a series?