Monday, 23 May 2016

7 Super Helpful Things To Consider When Reading Series

Once upon a time, I was told by Cait from Paper Fury that 'when I start a series I REALLY start a series' and it got me thinking about how and why I read so many series, and why I find it so easy to do. More so than ever before, I'm reading and loving series and rereading even more books because of my mental health conditions, and marathoning series is one of the better habits I've developed because of this.

Way back when, when dinosaurs roamed the earth, I got involved in the YA Midnight Reads Iron Fey Read-a-long, which not only introduced me to a really awesome series and encouraged my bad book buying habits, but also gave me my first taste of marathoning series, and I loved it. From that point onwards, I've loved the feeling of zooming through a series, going on another exciting adventure immediately after the first, staying with the world and the characters I love, and I've never looked back. Since then, I've read and marathoned an AWFUL lot of series -

  • Skulduggery Pleasant (thrice!)
  • The Faith Series
  • The Dead Girls Detective Agency
  • The Gallagher Girls
  • The Curse Workers
  • The Lunar Chronicles
  • Heist Society
  • Percy Jackson and the Olympians
  • The Kane Chronicles
  • The 5th Wave
  • Thirteen/Adam
  • Heroes of Olympus
  • Alice in Zombieland

- and there's still so many that I've part marathoned and am yet to finish because of release dates, or part marathoned and then waited for finales. However, not everybody is a natural marathoner (and I mean the reading kind, not the running, although the phrase works for that too!) and it's impractical to think they are, so today I thought I'd share with some important points, both positive and negative on marathoning books so you can be as prepared as possible for the awesome heartache that is swallowing a series whole.

The Plus Side

You're Less Likely To Forget Things: Ever started reading a sequel and just thought: 'What?' I know I have and it's pretty darn frustrating. You might have waited weeks, months, or years for this book and start it and BAM! You've forgotten everything. Fear not, with marathoning, you don't forget anything - well, a lot less anyway. You won't forget that major plot point, you won't feel lost in the world, and you'll remember that James is in love with Julie and that Bob is your long-lost vampire grandfather. If your memory is slow and not up to scratch, marathoning could be for you.

Being Immersed in the World: Nobody likes being dragged away from a place they love, (I especially dislike being dragged away from the bookstore because Mum hates the smells of Costa coffee in Waterstones..) and this includes worlds in books. Why would you choose to read everything about this world over a 7 year period? You just, wouldn't, so wait. Collect all of the installments and stay in that world forever - well, a long time at least, and make that wait worth the while, but be warned, there are dangers that come with getting lost in worlds..

You Feel Like You're Reading A Lot: I don't know about you, but sometimes, I feel as though I'm not reading very many books and that sucks, because as you know, I used to blog specifically about books, so I kind of needed to read books before I did anything else, so marathoning a series can get you some quick, enjoyable reads and a handful of reviews in a flash. too.

When I marathoned Heroes of Olympus, I read them at the end of 2014, but didn't post the reviews until the beginning of 2015, which meant when I'd finished all five in the series, I had five reviews ready to roll, and I was able to join in the conversation and fangirling like I'd never been elsewhere. Marathoning reads can get you reading more books, preparing reviews ahead of time and joining those fangirling conversations quicker than you'd think.

The Dark Side:

Playing The Waiting Game: How many times have you read a book and loved it, and read it's sequel and loved that too, and then another and just - why did you wait so long to read this series?! and then the last one and- what? I sense a cliff-hanger.. But.. but it's the last one, there can't be more.. I don't have.. the.. next.. NOOOOOO. I suffered this with The Dead Girls Detective Agency; when I read the first, the mystery was wrapped up beautifully and I expected the sequel to be the same and it just - it wasn't, and there was a cliffhanger, and my world ended. I need that sequel, and yet it's still yet to be written, and if not written, then published, and although I can wait really, I can't. Make sure you have all of the installments, and I mean ALL OF THEM. Do the research people, avoid the cliff-hangers.

Not Knowing Whether To Continue: Investing time marathoning a series means that you're, well, investing time, and effort, you could be using on another book or series, so how do you decide whether or not continue? I suffered this with Vampire Academy, Alice in Wonderland, The Winner's Trilogy and most recently, Throne of Glass, and it's not an easy thing to decide. Do you lumber on and suffer, or drop and go? Decisions decisions..

Other Things To Consider:

The Hangover: You don't get beautiful things in life without a catch, and the catch to beautiful, wonderful, amazing series marathons is the hangover you get afterwards. You've just spent the last 72 hours in a world with wonderful characters, with fantastic powers, with amazing plot lines, with the most beautiful writing this world has ever seen, and now it's over. Finished. Gone. HOW DO YOU SURVIVE?! Easy, you don't. It will hurt. You won't feel like moving. You'll feel lost and alone and your other books will stare longingly at you, but they don't understand. You're grieving, you need time. Trust me, it's the kind of hangover a bacon buttie will not cure.

Neglecting Other Books: There's a tough truth to be told when marathoning books. You will neglect your other books. That to-be-read pile that's getting out of control? There's no hope, forget it. Those arcs that you've got to read before their release? You're going to kick yourself next week. You can't help, you get sucked in, you love the characters, the world is amazing - no mr fluffy contemporary, I cannot read you now, I'm kicking ass and falling in love with crazy, unhinged dragon demons, muwhaha.. ha. Say goodbye to your organised reading system people.

So what have we learnt? Marathoning books is without a doubt on of the best experiences I've ever had, and the rewards are absolutely amazing, however, the waiting and wanting, the research and avoidance of all things spoilery, the pain of knowing, just knowing something bad will happen and not being able to find out, they're proof that everything beautiful comes at a price. Alas, don't be afraid to marathon those series, it's an adventure you really don't want to leave half finished..

Do you marathon reading series? What's your favourite?


  1. Well, the last time I read marathon series was when I was reading A Song of Ice and Fire series. Those are huge books, was a very good experience but, it could be exhausting, too. I don't do it anymore, because I prefer to switch to different vibe when I finish reading one book. For example, I've just finished a historical fiction, I'd like to read something funny for the next book. A Song of Ice and Fire is an exception, though because I am obsessed with it :P

    Great topic, Amanda. As always :)

  2. I almost always wait for a series to be marked as complete before I ever start binge-reading it. Lately though I've been reading more incomplete series (which sucks, because WAITING *cries*) and I do miss the days when I already had the other books in the series and just had to read them so I can finish it - no months of waiting, crying and pleading for the next book to finally come out. xD

    That being said, if I ever decide to binge read a complete series, I have to make sure that I REALLY want to read it and that I've been anticipating it for a long time now. That way I won't have any problems with stopping in the middle of a series and never picking up the next book again.

    But ugh, I do understand the "hangover" part. Binge-reading can give me a LOT of feels all at once it once I finish a series I just... stare at nowhere and wonder what to do with my life. BECAUSE HOW TO COPE?? IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?!

    Great post, Amanda!

  3. I don't often read series while it's written becuae like you said - the waiting game is a killer! But - I'm doing it with the J.J Rowling as Robert Gailbrath series - and gosh - waiting is so hard.

  4. I really think I should but normally I don't own one of the books in the series or by the time I get around to thinking about marathoning the final or next book is out and being the impatient noodle I am I can't bear to read anything else before it.

  5. I used to burn myself out by marathon reading. I couldn't really get more than 3 books in a row from the same author before I needed to mix things up a bit and change authors/series. With audiobooks, I find I marathon-listen a LOT more frequently without any of the burn-out side-effects, so I've done a bit more of the back-to-back "reading" than I did in the past. If a series is relatively short (3-6 books) and REALLY good, I'll typically end up marathon-reading it now, regardless of the format.

  6. There was a time where I had a strict policy to ONLY read series that were finished. Just to save myself from the horror of waiting and forgetting what had happened before. I love binge reading because you get to be in this one world for awhile and feel all happy and complete at the end. And I love not having to think about what to read next because I just continue the series.

  7. I don't think I've ever marathoned a series before. I get too distracted and I'm easily bored and I end up meandering from genre to genre instead. But I've always wanted too. I like what you say about being able to properly fangirl once you've marathoned. There are some series that I don't get to join in the fangirling because I haven't finished it and I'm afraid of spoilers. But there's a series that I want to reread and I'm hoping to marathon it, for the fun of it. :)

  8. Oh I DON'T EVEN KNOW IF I'VE DONE THIS BEFORE. *collapses* I feel like I "marathoned" the Percy Jackson books but I did it over like 3 weeks? And books in between? AHHAHA. So that's probably not considered marathoning is it? -_- And I DID read Holly Black's Tithe trilogy in a week....but I think, again, I read a few books in between. GAH I'M SUPER BAD AT THIS. I have a horrible attention span, quite honestly. So while I might love a book or series to death, one is usually okay for me and then I need something different.
    OH OH WAIT I JUST HAD A THOUGH!! I did marathon my re-read of The Raven Cycle. But I did it via audio, so it took me 3 months, and even though I listened to them back-to-back I was reading physical books in between. So still only partially counts.
    OKAY I'LL SHUSH NOW. XD (Although I do wish I could do this because it would soooo help me with my terrible memory.)

  9. YES! I marathoned the Half Bad trilogy and my reread of the Percy Jackson series AND Skulduggery Pleasant! I really enjoy marathoning as everything is fresh in my head and I know exactly what's going on, whereas if a I wait a year or more for a sequel I get so confused as I can't remember anything! I must say though, I don't marathon too often because sometimes I get bored reading too much of the same thing in a row and I read a book or two in between and then continue with the rest of the series. Great post! ;D

  10. Wow, that's quite a lot of books you have marathoned! I love marathoning only if I have the complete series. Right now I'm marathoning all the books of Cassandra Clare! Nonetheless great post!

    -Poulami @ Daydreaming Books

  11. What a great post! I rarely marathon book series, because I never buy a series all at once. I always get the first book, then I see if I like it, and by the time I get the second, third one etc, books are being read in between :D

  12. I've never marathon read a series before! I have respect for people that can. I think I've tried to read two books from the same series in one go, but it was too much of the same characters and world for me. I always have to take a break between books! I also got bored :/

    However, your points make sense. Like not forgetting anything. I can't count how many times I go to pick up a sequel and then suddenly realise I can't remember anything that happened in the last book... Or I can't remember certain characters. I've been trying to read the Queen of the Tearling for months now but I just can't remember the first book at all. I remember vague plot points, and I remember thinking it was very, very similar to The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson (But not as good). But I can't remember how the book finished. I've been waiting for a recap on the book to pop up somewhere on the internet...

    Awesome discussion!

    Jordon @ Simply Adrift

  13. I LOVE MARATHONING SERIES. It's honestly my favorite way to read series, and I've really missed it lately since this year, due to money constraints, I've been reading mostly ARCs, and obviously those are things I have to read as each book comes out and then wait for the next. But one of my favorite things about books is all those little details that connect, so I love being able to remember them all and see and feel all those details and connections. And I also love that whole being-immersed thing. I definitely get more into series and feel the emotion more when I binge-read them, and I love that feeling. But of course it does makes the hangovers worse! Worth it though. The hangover is so worth it lol.

  14. I hate waiting for sequels. It is my policy not to start a series until they are all out. Of course, I also hating waiting to start which means that policy is mostly ignored.

    I am a chronic series dropper. Although if I didn't hate a book I will check the reviews to see if people like the next one better; so I do occasionally pick a series back up.

  15. Love this post! Firstly, I love that you've read Skulduggery thrice! I feel like the internet is only finally just waking up to that series, and I'm like GUYS COME ON! I cannot WAIT to read them all in a oner, because I was reading them as they came out (I started them aged 10, read the last one when I was 16) and I forgot SO. MUCH. PLOT in between. China? Lord Vile? Reading each new book I had to discover everything all over again. Because remembering IS HARD! So I'm collecting my own copies of them at the moment and I can't wait for when we get reunited, finally <3333

    Bingeing Harry Potter is always a joy. Apart from that I'm planning to do Inkheart trilogy this Christmas, and this summer the Threads trilogy by Sophia Bennett.

    Choosing whether to continue IS TOUGH. I had that with Throne of Glass a bit after book 1 but for me it really picked up at Crown and I loved Heir. I've heard bad things about Queen, though, so we'll have to see.

    Loved this post, Amanda! I might just have to follow you!