Discussion: The Great Series Debate

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I’m pretty sure that I’ve talked about series books MANY MANY times on the blog. There are a lot of series books out there, it almost seems like everything has to be a series book these days. It’s not just paranormal romance reads, oh no! ANY book, it seems, can be turned into a series. But are there too many out there?

What makes a good series?

For me, I love a series where I can pick up ANY book in the series, read it, and feel content. I like books where there’s a new and exciting situation happening in each installment, with a clear beginning, middle, and end. I like to have a definite beginning and a definite resolution.

What makes a BAD series?

You know how people talk about the dreaded second book syndrome? That is what makes a bad series. Personally, a bad series is where the beginning is the first book and the resolution is the last book, with some filler in the middle. It’s terrible when you read a second book in a trilogy and it feels like a second book, like the middle of a stand-alone book. Not much happens to really engage the reader and the book just happens, rather than excites.

So why are there so many series books …

Honestly, I have NO idea why everything must be a series these days.

There are some authors that continue series books well past their prime, including spin-off after spin-off until the series is done until death, rather than ending on a high note. Then there are some series that are brilliant from start to finish, where each book brings something exciting to the series. They’re either related by a certain place or element, but with different characters or storylines in each book, OR we get to learn more of the characters as the book continues on — but the same thing still remains, the book can stand alone and has a definite beginning, middle, and end.

The series debate is something I think about often — especially when I’m adding a new book I just bought to my lists on Goodreads only to see it’s part of a series. There are so many series books out there these days that I’m usually more apt to buy something that ISN’T part of a series just so I can read that one book and be done.

There’s also the problem of a series being broken up between three really short books. Is this a YA thing? Do authors think that attention spans can’t handle a longer book? Or is it the publisher? Are publishers asking for more series books?

Either way, it is of my opinion that series books are kind of being done to death — especially in the YA category. I’d rather see an author branch out with each book, writing new things that excite me, rather than sticking with the same old, same old.

Do you think there are too many series books out there these days? Why do you think everything is becoming a series? 

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7 thoughts on “Discussion: The Great Series Debate

  1. Yes, yes, yes! I’ve actually done something quite drastic over the past few days (stay tuned to my blog for more info, he he), but I will say this-I’ve DELETED my TBR list-which means NO more tracking series. Eep! It’s getting wild over here, lol.

  2. Personally, I have a love/hate relationship with series. I do like having more of the world, the characters, the writing if I’m really in love with a book! BUT I do dread feeling obligated to read all of the books coming up, or having the second book turn me off the series. It’s an interesting problem to have, if anything. While I don’t think I could ever stop reading series completely, I do try to be pickier about them!

    • It’s the obligation! I love series books that can stand more on their own, rather than those that end on huge cliffhangers. It makes it easier to go a long period of time not continuing on.

  3. I am with you. I actually look for standalone books these days. That doesn’t mean I WON’T start a new series, but since I am in the middle of so many, I definitely think twice about it and am more picky than I used to be.

    Middle book syndrome is THE WORST. There is nothing that irritates me more. But still, I will continue on if I am invested enough. I did that with Enclave and Outpost, and I am glad I did. Horde was fantastic.

    • I hate it when a book has middle book syndrome but I just want to get to the end … I feel kind of gypped as a reader, but it’s the price I have to pay! I’m in the middle of so many series, too. It feels good to finish some of them lately!

  4. Pingback: June & July Wrap Up | Lose Time ReadingLose Time Reading

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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