Let’s Talk About: Reading Habits (Especially with Series!)

A few weeks ago two of my coworkers who I am going to call “Forrest” and “Thor” (because this is my blog and I do what I want) were talking about reading different science fiction series. Forrest was surprised that Thor hadn’t read Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker books because they are totally his speed.

I joined the conversation late and seconded Forrest’s assessment. That’s when something interesting happened that got me thinking. Forrest asked if I had read the series. I said I had read the first one and never gotten invested enough to continue the series. Forrest expressed no surprise at that and said something along the lines of “You read everything.”

Anyway, that got me thinking more generally about reading habits.

I read widely. Not always in a variety of genres (I don’t enjoy thrillers and I don’t enjoy pure romances–such is life) but I do try to cover a variety of authors. If you check my review index by author you can see pretty quickly that a lot of the authors only have one or two book by their names.

What does that mean exactly?

Aside from reading widely, I tend to be pretty ruthless. I walk away from books I am not enjoying by the 50-100 page mark. I walk away from authors after three unsatisfying books by them. I cut books from my to read list constantly. I do not finish every series I start.

That last one and the thoughts from my coworker are what really got me thinking. I’ve seen a lot of people say that they are “bad” series readers. Many new years resolutions among bloggers have included plans to finish more series (serieses?).

I never feel remorse about leaving a series. Sometimes I will feel regret and wish that the series had continued to enthrall me, but most times I am okay considering the first book a standalone. In fact, if the first book does not function as a standalone that is an immediate strike against it because I do not like being manipulated or teased by my books.

So what is the difference that pushes a series into that “must finish” category? I’m much more likely to read a series I started from the beginning (ie a series I follow the pub schedule with). Loving the first book is also an obvious factor.

Beyond that I’m not sure what makes the difference. I know I am less likely to start a series if I know it’s going to be more than 4 books. There are exceptions but not often. I also generally read more fantasy series than I do contemporary.

(This also doesn’t address the marketing machine aspect of supporting books by buying a series of course but if you want to talk about that too, go for it.)

So let’s talk:

  • What kind of series reader are you?
  • What are some factors that guarantee you will finish a series?
  • What are some book series that you read and loved or are currently working on?

11 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About: Reading Habits (Especially with Series!)

  1. I also hate being manipulated into having to read an entire series, though I will admit that it definitely happens to me sometimes anyway. I think it’s great to be able to put down a book or a series once you’ve decided that it’s not for you. There are way too many books out there to waste times on ones you don’t enjoy.

    I’m not a great series reader (i.e. I still have to finish the Grisha trilogy, the Raven Boys trilogy, and Throne of Glass series, even though I LOVED the first books), but those later books stay on my TBR list because someday I WILL get to them :)


    1. I can’t speak to the other two but I can tell you that The Raven Cycle has been getting better and better with each book!


  2. I really enjoy tour blog but this made me heart you “two of my coworkers who I am going to call “Forrest” and “Thor” (because this is my blog and I do what I want)” also when you said holler on Twitter. 😜 I am a sucker for series. I HAVE to finish them most of the time since I am too damn nosy to not find out what had happened. If I didn’t finish the first books then obviously the series can kick rocks. I tend to board some series I kniw I’ll enjoy ( such as Grisha trilogy, Daughter of smoke and bone, and the Heir Chronicles by Cinda Williams) this way I won’t have to suffer through they awful wait and longing for the next enstallemnt. I don’t mind the series but I have to say I put a lot more merit into a book that an author can complete in one book. I know sometimes a story is simply to grandiose for this but I feel more and more a series is a gimmick and not A necessity. Alas my happy ass will still be at the bookstore to purchase them whenever they do come out. Xoxo
    ❤️ Britt (Winterhaven bookworm)


    1. Thanks Britt! I try lol. I do like startjng a series when I know an end is in sight eother with the total number of books being advertised from the start or with a series that is already finished.


  3. I almost always finish YA science fiction series. Sci-Fi is my ultimate fave genre, so I just enjoy them more, so I read them more.

    However, if a series has more than 3 books I’m probably not going to start it in the first place, no matter how much I might like it.

    There has been a small trend recently in publishing YA sci-fi duologies/2-book-series-companion novels, and I am really enjoying that. I like finishing a series up in 2 books. Amy Rose Capetta’s ENTANGLED, Mindee Arnett’s AVALON, Amy K. Nichols’ DUPLEXITY are just a few that I’ve been reading and loved!


    1. I almost feel like duet series are cheating in terms of calling them a series. Is that terrible?! I started Duplexity but I am not sure the first book wowed me enough to read the second though.


  4. I tend to read whatever I want, whenever I want, even when it comes to series. Well, I don’t read books out of order, but other than that I have no problem walking away from a series. I read Outlander by Diana Gabaldon about 7-8 years ago. I read it and loved it and have re-read it MANY times, but I have yet to make it past the 2nd or 3rd chapter of the second book in the series. The books are just so long, and ever since I graduated from college I’ve been reluctant to commit to such long books, especially when my TBR is chock full of shorter books that I can zip through in a matter of days.


    1. Sarah it’s funny you mentioned favoring shorter books. At the start if 2014 I said I wanted to read more thick books and (after completely forgetting that plan) I wound uo reading a bunch of 400-500+ page books. Most were not ongoibg series though thankfully!


  5. I’m actually doing a whole series on book series on my blog starting next week, so series have been on my mind lately. Obviously this was a very timely post for me! It wasn’t until I sat down and made a list of series I’ve started that I realized how many of those series I never finished. My personality is such that I almost always finish whatever book I’m reading, but if I’m not feeling it I feel no obligation to continue a series. Apparently I wasn’t feeling it a lot of the time because I tend to stop reading after the first book about 75% of the time. Oh well, life’s too short to spend time reading books you’re not crazy about!


  6. A horrible one! Honestly, it’s bad. I leave them unfinished all the time, and not even because I didn’t like it! I just hesitate to finish series half the time because I just don’t want it to end. Like with the Daughter of Smoke and Bone books – it was only because I had a friend pretty much shove the book at me that I read Dreams of Gods and Monsters so quickly after Days of Blood and Starlight. Even my most favorite series (Throne of Glass), will probably not be finished as soon as I get book six. If we’re being very realistic it will probably sit on my shelf for at least a week before the general flailing of the blogosphere pushes me to pick it up.

    Series I have finished… well now that’s a pathetic number. I’d say very few that I can remember to be honest. Harry Potter, the first Percy Jackson series… aforementioned Taylor books… Umm yeah. Wow. Will have to work on that for sure!


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