Friday, April 11, 2008

Chit Chat

Lately I have been thinking a lot about book series and what it is that makes a reader continue on in a series. I read a lot of romance novels and a lot of authors within the genre write in series, or at least have characters that are interconnected. What I am not sure about is whether I continue reading in a series because of some strange obligation I feel or because I genuinely like the writing and the stories.

I have to admit, sometimes I feel like I buy books just because they are the next one in the series. Even though I really like her books, sometimes I have felt that way about Lauren Willig's Pink Carnation series. I really liked The Seduction of the Crimson Rose, but I wasn't crazy about The Deception of the Emerald Ring. So what made me continue? Ultimately I think it was the contemporary story that Willig weaves and spreads out through all her books.

And there are some series that I have to read just because I love the writing and that makes me auto-buys for me. I know a lot of people don't like her, but Stephanie Laurens is like that for me. I don't care what the plot of a particular book is. If it's a Cynster or Bastion Club book, I'll buy it.

I do so many auto-buys on a familiar series that I was concerned that I'm being suckered into buying books that aren't very good just because I read the first one. So I was very pleased with myself when I finally, finally gave up on Eloisa James after Desperate Duchesses. I started out really liking her books, but the last two books before Desperate Duchesses didn't appeal to me at all. After reading the first in her Duchess series, I finally found the willpower to say "no more." It was hard, but I did it.

And then there are books like the Twilight series that I not only love, but I have to read so I can know what happens to the characters! It's very hard to put a series down when there is no real conclusion until the last one.

I'm trying to figure this all out because I'm contemplating continuing on with the vampire series I started out of curiosity/for experiement's sake. I have nothing else to read as far as novels go, at the moment. But I don't know if I should spend the money. I wouldn't mind hearing the stories of the other characters, but am I going to regret it if I commit to five more books?

So I guess I'm just curious--how do you approach series?


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Salieri said...

I don't read a lot of fiction, but when I do read series books, I read them until the author pisses me off.

Example: I was reading a series about an alternate universe version of World War I, with the US teaming up with the Germans to fight the British, French, and Confederates. Standard war-story stuff until the end of the second book when goddamn aliens land in Alabama. After that point I was so mad at the author that I never read another one of his books.

Jen said...

There is a magical place here called the library! With so many books it will make your mind explode! Seriously though - the library here is not too shabby - and a great alternative to buying.