How Do You Prefer To Read A Book Series?

How Do You Prefer To Read A Book Series?

I think it's time for a discussion post.

‘Nuff with all of these reviews and what not! I’m kidding, I’ll be posting another later today 😛 Anyways, I thought it would be fun to take a break from this April ARC madness and pick all of your brains on this topic. 

As a book blogger and reviewer, I find that I’m constantly battling with myself over how I want to read book series

I believe that perhaps every book lover encounters this at some point or another. If I tried to count how many series I’m trying to keep up with, want to read, or have read, I don’t think I’d be able to. There’s simply too many! This is especially true in the Young Adult genre, where it seems majority of books are part of a series…even when they shouldn’t be…

Before I got into writing reviews, I would almost always read complete series that were already published, instead of waiting impatiently for the next installment to be released. 

However, when I started blogging, I wanted to conquer the book world and stay on top of every new release that tickled my fancy. Yeah, I quickly realized I wasn’t WonderWoman and could only handle about a fraction of what I actually desired to read. I also made the mistake (several times) of requesting books that I didn’t realize were sequels. So, thanks to my lack of investigation, my TBR would double instead of slowly increase. 

Then, book series began to turn into my nemeses. 

Amidst my stacks of awaiting ARCs and new-releases, I found that because of jumping from one book–to a new book series–to the last installment in a series– that they sort of all lost their luster. In other terms, I began to have difficulty deciphering one from the other because I was just trying to get through my TBR. Doing this, however, made me appreciate and analyze less in what I was reading–which is not my goal when it comes to writing reviews. I began to look at my approach and what I could do to improve the book series reading experience altogether.  

A few solutions I came up with were:

  1. Write much more detailed reviews, including a longer-than-necessary summary to outline the events of the book for me to look back on–spoilers or not. (I always include right away if the synopsis contains spoilers or not for viewers’ sake.)
  2. Re-read (and sometimes write a new review) for earlier installments before the upcoming release of the sequel.
  3. Focus on completing already-started series before moving onto another.
  4. Don’t request ARCs that are part of a series!

I’ve actually been trying to implement all of these strategies to see if they work. My reviews have become immensely longer (which is a downfall in a way because of the amount of time they take to write, but also positive because I’m reflecting more on different aspects of the book that I had left out entirely before.) 

I have also been doing some rereading, but have also been refraining from that to stay on top of current reading demands. 

The last two suggestions I listed I’m trying to implement more, but for now, don’t foresee much of a change in the next few months because I’m already in this pickle!

Is there truly a perfect formula? I’m not really sure. When it comes down to it, I think I still prefer reading book series as a whole before moving onto another one. It suites me better, as I try to stretch myself too thin between all demands of life. However, I really do enjoy staying on top of series as the books are released. So, I can’t even make up my own mind! 

Now, it’s your turn.

Pick your poison (or juice is fine too):

Do you prefer to read a series consecutively, or when each book is released?

What are tactics that you have found that help you remember the plot of a series while in-between books of the series?

I am the author behind Foals, Fiction & Filigree. An all-encompassing blog about horses, books, and my art.

18 thoughts on “How Do You Prefer To Read A Book Series?

  1. Somehow I’m actually alright at remembering the general gist of books if I have to wait for the next book to be released. It really does depend on the book though, typically though I read books where most of the series is already published. The times I don’t as long as I own the book I tend to be alright. There are cases where I’ll need to reread though but I don’t mind if I loved the series haha. Loved the post!
    Chloe @ Book Dragons recently posted…Writers Den #2: InspirationMy Profile

    1. Whew! You are a lucky one, then! I feel that I used to remember books a lot better. Maybe it’s because the volume that I read has increased drastically that it’s hard to keep track? Who really knows…

      I’m glad you liked the post!

  2. I don’t read very many current series for this exact reason! There’s just so much to keep up with and I don’t always remember details from the previous book when another comes out a year or more later. Some books are worth re-reading, like I did with His Dark Materials before the prequel novel came out last fall. Others I may just read the Wikipedia summary, if it’s detailed enough? But I prefer to wait until the full series is out…or I can at least read 2-3 entries that are already published!
    JJ @ This Dark Material recently posted…down the tbr hole #15My Profile

    1. Oh! Wikipedia is a good suggestion–I’ve never thought of that! However, I agree. I think waiting until the entire series is published is definitely easier to get the “entire” story all at once and not disjointed because of time lapses.

  3. Great post! I’m glad I’m not the only one in this predicament! 😱😄 I try super hard to only read complete series especially if they’re cliffhangers…gah! I hate cliffys! But if they’re standalones within a series, I’m ok starting wherever.

  4. I agree with you. After becoming a book blogger over rally doing it very difficult to keep up with the series in general. That might also have something to do with the fact that when I write a detailed review I look at every aspect of the story and not just the skin, which means when the next one even vaguely resembles it I lose my interest

    1. Yeah, there are simply too many series out there to try and keep up with! I’ve found that even with writing detailed reviews–if a book is “mediocre” like a 3 out of 5-star rating, I tend to have a lot of difficulties remembering what it was about!

  5. I LOVE binge-reading series. It’s my fave way to read most series. And there was a point when I decided I was only going to read series once they were finished, but I quickly realized I didn’t have the patience for that. I kept staring longingly at these first-in-series books and I realized, I may not even like the book. And then I will have waited 3/4/5/6/however many years just to find out I don’t even want to read the whole series! I also don’t have a lot of money to spend on books, so I rely on review copies a lot, especially for series since series get expensive. And in order to get review copies, you often have to jump on the bandwagon right away. So I’ve just accepted that I am forever going to be in the middle of a million series lol. I just solve the memory problem by keeping my own summary for series books. But I keep it on my computer, not my review, so I don’t have to worry about length or making it sound good or spoilers or anything 🙂 I do reread sometimes too, but it’s just not practical to do that for every series every time a new book comes out!
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Cover Characteristics: Book Covers featuring ShipsMy Profile

    1. Haha! I hear you on that! It’s such a battle with reviewing books because we want to be on top of new releases…but have to wait to finish the series so we find ourselves (quite literally) in the middle of several series like you said!

      I have done some rereading, but it’s only for a select few series that I either: really enjoyed and want to go through them again, or need to provide a solid review for.

      Thanks for your response, and good luck with the millions of series 😛

  6. I like reading series back to back – but sadly, I am almost never able to, especially now that I’m a reviewer xD I have to wait for them to come out 😀 xD

    Oh yes, agreed about accidentally requesting sequels! But did you know you can just say “sorry I requested this, I haven’t read book 1” in the feedback section and it will count towards your ratio? So it’s k xD you don’t have to read those.

    I also suffer from forgetting stuff about the first book, but lately i’ve been thinking maybe i should use one of those book recap sites? Cause I mean, it would solve so many problems!
    Evelina @ AvalinahsBooks recently posted…[Slice of Life] Fall In Love With All The Characters, And They’re Diverse TooMy Profile

    1. Girl, you know, I NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT! Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll probably be utilizing that in the future if I accidentally request another sequel!

      Recap sites are great resources too. Perhaps it calls for too much common sense to think of these tools on my own. 🤣

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