I’m Sick of Reading Books in a Series as They Come Out (I’d rather read the whole series at once!)

Series.

I both love them and hate them.

I love reading an entire series all at once. I like having so much information about a world and getting so deep into it for so long.

But if I jump into a series when it first comes out, I hate having to wait for the second book… third book… and so on.

Having to wait for the next book dulls my excitement.

When I finish a good first book, I’m SO PUMPED! I’m thrilled, excited, giddy, so ready to read more. Then the wait begins.

Twelve long months. Sometimes more, sometimes less, but the result is the same:

  • My excitement has waned. I read the first book so long ago that sometimes I just forget how much I loved it.
  • I’ve forgotten details. This can make it really hard to jump into the next book.
  • The first book isn’t fresh on my mind.

Sure, I could reread the first book before moving onto the second, but what about when the third comes out? Am I really going to reread books one and two? I think I’d honestly read something else than have to reread the same books in a series over and over again each time a new one comes out.

I’m tempted to wait until the series is done before I begin.

These days I’ve been avoiding series a little. It’s not that I don’t want to read them, it’s that I think I’d rather wait until all the books are available before I dive in. That way if I love it, I can binge read the whole thing.

Of course I do feel bad about this though. Authors often depend on buzz and positive reviews for the first book before they’re even allowed to continue onto books two and three!

Series I loved but never finished.

How do you feel about series? Do you have the same issues I do with waiting so long in between books?

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31 comments

  1. There is definitely something really nice about being able to read a series of books one after the other. You get the whole story with no interruptions and waiting, no trying to remember what happened in the book you read a year ago. No “but now what? I need to know!” at the end.

    I recently inhaled all three of the Captive Prince trilogy in the space of a day, and I am so happy I was able to do that. Had only one or two been released I would have been so upset because I needed to keep going!

    While there is something special with getting a book right when it’s new and keeping up with the crowds, I find the collective read much more satisfying. (Maybe it’s partly because I don’t live in the US/UK and so delayed releases are a fact of life. Who knows.) The only time I really cared about that was whenever the Harry Potter was released, and that was a big cultural event.

    1. I totally agree Catherine! It is exciting to read a book when it’s first released, but I definitely prefer binge reading the whole series at once. I love getting so immersed for so long!

      1. I’m just glad I still have several books in A Song of Ice and Fire to get through. Maybe by the time I finish Dance with Dragons the next book will be out.

        (Then again, I’ve been waiting for Strange Fate for over a decade so…)

        1. Every single time I go to the bookstore, I check to see if Strange Fate has been magically released. It’s been 10+ years. I might die from shock if I ever saw it on the shelf.

  2. In the past, I have tended to re-read all previous books in a series before reading the next. Series like Robert Jordan’s Eye of Time made that difficult, because they were so large (and so little happened), and now I have less time. It’s too bad, in a way, because George Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire is so complex that it’s virtually impossible to remember things. But I still tend to read books as I find them (which is sometimes as they come out). For one thing, many series run out of steam part way through, and this is the easiest (and most fun) way to find out where that point is. Once you’ve made the mistake of liking book 1, and buying five more books, only to find they go wrong in book 2, you don’t want to make it again.

    1. Oh yeah I never buy a whole series all at once. I read ebooks so it’s easy for me to just buy them one at a time but still get them instantly.

  3. I feel the same way! It’s so frustrating though because I would wait. I love binge reading that much. But the thing is that publishers, and authors, and the community as a whole do a damn good job making you feel like you just have to read those books NOW. I’m doing a better job of not obsessing so much about new releases that are actually trilogies. I do a concession for duologies though! *cough* Six of Crows *cough* And books that were so hyped that it’d be a surprise if Lunars hadn’t heard about them, *cough* Illuminae *cough*

  4. So I’ve struggled with this problem too, but I came up with two solutions that work really well for me. Now I’m happy with how I tackle series!

    I’ll usually read the first book, and if I loved it then I automatically buy the 2nd book when it releases. But I wait until the final book releases, go back and re-read the first book and then read the rest of the books in the series.

    If the author is one of my top favorite authors, or their 1st book pushed them into my favorite authors list, then I read them as they release. But I highlight so much of the story – characters, plot points, clues to future happenings and favorite quotes or scenes – so I go back and quickly read through my highlights and then I’m completely ready to start that next book.

    Good luck!

  5. I have the same problem with The Book of Ivy. I read it when it first came out, but by the time the second book was released my excitement had gone down immensely. I do want to read it, but it doesn’t feel like a priority anymore. On the one hand, I want to wait until the series is finished. But on the other hand, I don’t want to miss out on something potentially amazing right now!

  6. For me, it depends on the book (or series). If I really love the it, I like to re-read everything I read so far, when a new book comes out. Prime examples are Anne Bishop’s or Patricia Brigg’s or Brent Week’s books.
    Other series update so often, that I don’t need to re-read anything (e.g Nalini Singh’s books) and I only re-read when I feel like I forgot something important or I just want to relive the story.
    And still other series consist of books that can be read on their own without really knowing the rest of the series.

    Well, and there are these series, I don’t dare to start because I am afraid that the author will die before he finished it – mostly these are fantasy series, e.g. Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles or George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire

  7. I feel exactly the same. All the series that I love were read after they were all published and I could read them together. The excitement dwindles and even cliffhangers (which I personally hate) no longer matter if I’ve had the wait for the next book. And rereading – who has time for that?! Great post.

  8. Oh yes! I’m still waiting for a few series that just stopped and there’s no news from the authors or the publishers, they just vanished. I love series so much and I get so thrilled when I discover new ones that have at least a few books out – I always keep thinking, by the time I’m over these books the new one will be out. It never works.

  9. I feel the same way! There are so many series’ I haven’t finished because I had to wait so long for the next book to come out. For example, I completely forgot what happened in The Queen of the Tearling and I really didn’t want to re-read it that it took me until the next books release to read book two! (By the way book two is soooo good!). I haven’t even finished The Grisha series because I lost interest in it while I waited for the last book to be published…

    I hate waiting. And I have a bad memory, so waiting so long for the next book is just annoying!

  10. I’m totally with you. In fact, I’ve all but given up reading traditional series. The wait between books is too long and, even if I’ve not really lost interest, I’ve moved on by the time the next one comes out. I feel like I have to reread the book(s) before to truly get the full experience and, more often than not, I don’t have the time or the desire to do that.

  11. I just made that decision last week. I have at least 14 series that I am waiting on the next book. By the time the book comes out I forget a lot of the plot. I don’t connect with the characters either for some reason. So now, I am going to wait till the series is complete.

  12. I never finished Black City either! I read the first two, but just lost interest by the third. And I remember loving the first two. 🙁 I definitely agree with everything you said here. Although I have been rereading more this year and I actually have been really loving it. But I’ll only reread books that I really really love. There are tons of series I’ve started and really enjoyed (maybe 4 star rating), but didn’t love it enough to want to reread so then I end up never finishing.

    1. Yess! Poor Black City. 🙁

      And I totally get what you’re saying about rereading. I’ve thought about rereading a bunch too, but there are so few series that I actually want to reread. I only want to reread my ABSOLUTE favourites.

  13. Fist of all high five for this post!!!! I also wrote but never posted something similar earlier this year simply because it seemed like I was just having a rant.
    I agree with all your points, I love series but also i have moments when I just cant bear to read another book in the series. Lets not even discuss the wait for the next book….. usually by the time the next one is out I have forgotten everything and have to start all over again.
    I did do a post on series i hope to complete this year https://theangelspearl.wordpress.com/2016/01/26/top-ten-trilogies-i-am-looking-forward-to-finishing/
    Even though I am no where finishing any of them at the moment.

    1. I just looked at your post and saw the Red Queen Series. Yes! That’s another one of mine. I loved the first book but haven’t touched the second yet.

  14. Just recently I have discovered that I prefer to read a series once all the books have all been published. The wait sometimes is so long I can’t even remember what happened in the book once the next one comes out! It is kind of frustrating. If a series sounds interesting enough I will read it even if all the books aren’t out, but some of the other series I am not dying to read but want to I will wait until all the books are out.

  15. This is a difficult one because I am so impatient. Sometimes I want to wait but I just can’t take the long wait before books and read it anyway. I do have a habit of reading the first book and then waiting until all the book are out, rereading the first, and then continuing with the series. I do sometimes want to wait so my book amnesia won’t take over and make me forget an entire series.

  16. This is interesting. I’ve been working on a story which will likely have to stretch across two books (at least; I’d honestly like to avoid a trilogy and verbosity), and this post brings into perspective the waiting game. I don’t read books until the whole series is out (knowingly, at least), because it feels so much like waiting for a TV show to come back in season.

    It’s almost like waiting until the sequel is completed to actually release the book might be better—for all the points you bring up. If a story seamlessly fits into the story, it’d be easier to go from one to the other. 😌

    But, of course, releasing both at once would cut any anticipation for the series completely away. 😔

    I feel a little biased because I’m on both sides of the equation. 😒 I also feel at a new kind of loss, because 😱😖😰😩 the struggle of getting into a new story whilst it’s not even finished yet is a pain. It’s why I only read the first installment in the “Gossip Girl” series.

  17. I so agree. These days I am all about waiting until a series is complete…or for the super long ones until a good number of books are out…and then binge reading. So much more enjoyable when everything is fresh in one’s mind and you don’t have to wait for the next one!

  18. I have SO many series that I’ve started and have never finished (cue the Raven Cycle, TMi, etc) mainly because of the long wait between books. And then when the full series is out I’m too daunted about the length and time commitment it takes to read it lol. I feel your pain! Although I’ve started utilising Recaptains lately 😀

  19. I definitely do the same thing! I have yet to finish The Darkest Minds series. And that’s one of MANY lol. It’s just easier to wait until all of them are out, plus the fact that a lot of times the second book isn’t as good as the first so it always kinda dulls my excitement!

    1. You’re totally right about the second book! It’s often a bit of a let down, and when I have that ‘bad taste’ in my mouth I get less excited about waiting for book 3. 🙁

      1. Exactly! That’s why I usually wait until they’re all out to binge read them that way if I loved the series I won’t get hung up on the second and can just move right on to the third lol.

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