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#MicroblogMondays 84: Serial

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I am currently working my way through Ben Aaronovitch’s books based on a friend’s recommendation.  They’re fantastic — Harry Potter for grownups.  It’s a series, which is nice because if you like the characters in the first one, you know what you’ll be reading next.

Though I know that — like the True Blood books — I’ll probably take a break after three books to read something else, and then dip in and out of the series the rest of the way, even though I always start out with the intention to read a whole series back-to-back.  I didn’t think about how I read series until The Paperback Princess asked whether you read your series back-to-back or dip-in-and-out.

I’m a dipper, but I’m the worst sort of dipper because I pretend to be a back-to-backer so I can purchase the whole series.

How do you approach series: back-to-back books or dip-in-and-out?  Or does it depend on the series itself or the number of books in it?


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1. One and Done? 12. Isabelle 23. Mali (A Separate Life)
2. Uma S 13. Kasey 24. Living With Baby Loss
3. Jessica 14. Cyn K 25. deathstar
4. Karen (River Run Dry) 15. Mary Francis 26. Loribeth (The Roead Less Travelled)
5. Middle Girl 16. Junebug 27. Rain
6. Wendy English 17. Journeywoman 28. articulation
7. illustr8d 18. Just Heather 29. Kechara
8. Traci York, Writer 19. Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) 30. Anks
9. Lori@ Laughing IS Conceivable 20. Virginia 31. Cristy
10. * Our Wish* 21. Barbara Torris
11. Jess 22. Mali (No Kidding)


1 Beth { 04.04.16 at 5:44 am }

I’m a back-to-backer, a little bit obsessive actually. Harry Potter is a good example. I was so involved in Harry’s world and read them so long after they had all been published that I could intensely work my way through them all in a row. It’s hard to re-emerge into the world after all that emotion. But that’s just my personality – I can’t let a series go until I’ve read it all.

2 One and Done? { 04.04.16 at 5:48 am }

I’m definitely a back to backer. Can’t imagine dipping in and out! LOL

3 UmaS { 04.04.16 at 6:46 am }

I think it depends on the book and how much I love to be downed in it 😀
Read Harry Potter back to back. But need to check this series !

4 Jessica { 04.04.16 at 6:57 am }

It may not be possible to read back to back when the writer has not published the rest of the series.

5 Karen (River Run Dry) { 04.04.16 at 7:05 am }

If I find a series that grabs me, I am an obsessive back-to-backer; I’m just an immerser and need to see the end of a series before I can move on. I had an awful time of it when the Harry Potter series was being published, actually, because I’d read each book and NEED the next one – and was forced to wait. I’m going to see if I can get Ben Aaronovitch’s series from the library. “Harry Potter for grown-ups” sounds fantastic. 🙂

6 Middle Girl { 04.04.16 at 7:40 am }

Haven’t read a serial in a long time. My usual gambit was to go back-to-back, which was frustrating waiting for the next installment if a series wasn’t complete when I began. I may have sub-consciously decided not to do any more serials until / unless a completed series.

7 Wendy { 04.04.16 at 8:07 am }

I am a dipper and have found that for me it is fun mental gymnastics to recall events that lead up to what I am reading.
When it comes to watching a TV series Netflix has made me a back-to-backer.

8 Conceptionally Challenged { 04.04.16 at 8:18 am }

I think I’m more of a dipper – because once I start, I can hardly put the book down. And I can’t do that for too long without in a row, the rest of life somehow has other demands. I also sometimes need a break, especially if the books are intense. Will take a look at the new series you recommended!

9 illustr8d { 04.04.16 at 8:20 am }

I’m both. Since I’m a re-reader, and will re-read very favourite series (or worlds) multiple times, I’ll do it either way.

One of my favourite authors has written over 20 books in her world. Many of her books are 3 book sets that deal with a specific time period and focus on a specific character, although she also has books where characters cross in to books together. I love her. But 25 books (or whatever it is) is a huge commitment, so that’s definitely a dipper situation. 🙂 (The author, since it would torment me if someone made this comment and didn’t say who it was, is Mercedes Lackey. She writes fantasy & her Valdemar books are among my favourites. There are some adult themes.)

10 Traci York { 04.04.16 at 8:22 am }

Another back-to-backer here. In fact, if I’m reading along as as series is coming out, I make a point of rereading it start to finish, either just before the last one is published (like Harry Potter), or halfway through, I’ll go back to the beginning and binge-read them all (like The Dresden Files). Oh, and thanks for the recommendation – I’ll definitely peek at Aaronovitch’s stuff.

11 Cristy { 04.04.16 at 8:25 am }

I’m a dipper. I find that after 3 books I need to come up for air, so to speak. Otherwise it’s way too overwhelming. I do this with other tasks in my life too. If I get time to process, I feel better about handling all the emotions that come.

That said, I also envy those who can plough through. They set out to complete a task or finish a series and they can. Always impressive.

12 Cyn K { 04.04.16 at 8:28 am }

I’m too much of a cheapskate to buy books (hurray for libraries!), so I have to rely on whether the next book is available or not. Plus, I often find I have inadvertently read a book in the middle of a series, so I have to go back and start at the beginning.

13 Lavonne @ *Our Wish* { 04.04.16 at 8:52 am }

I usually do audio books. I am too ADD to focus on a book long enough to retain any information I actually get a chance to read. I have found audio books to be much better for me and I can get zoned in and listen to a book until it’s done.

14 Lori Shandle-Fox { 04.04.16 at 8:54 am }

The only series I think I’ve ever read is Nancy Drew (I still have the whole set in my garage. Don’t judge me!). I was about 9 and didn’t know about “series”. So I randomly picked one for a book report & had no idea why it had the number “31” on it. When I read a second one, I didn’t understand why they were introducing characters I already knew. (So I’m a little slow.) I think I would never dare read another series out of sequence. I never want to feel that disoriented again. xo

15 Working mom of 2 { 04.04.16 at 10:17 am }

Both–I start out as back to back but then run out of books at some point waiting for the author to write more, so then I become a dipper. I usually have several series going at once, going back and forth as books come out. Sometimes it gets difficult to keep track with the fringe (eg not my favorite but I need something to read and my fave series are out for a year or so) series to keep track, remember which I’ve read, etc.

So many series have just ended after multiple books (a few after the author died but the rest, ?) that I use this as one of my tricks to fall asleep when I need it–I think about and count all of my defunct series.

16 Jess { 04.04.16 at 10:23 am }

I think it depends on the books… when they’re all out and I can’t wait to find out what will happen to the characters, I can binge-read series, but then other times I take a break. Sometimes forced, because the next one isn’t out yet. Game of Thrones was one where I devoured books #1-3 consecutively, with just one book between #1 and #2, but then I found myself worrying about these people so much that I had to know what happened next. It’s been a while since #3 and I haven’t picked up #4 yet, but I will shortly. Those are kind of a commitment. I love the Lunar CHronicles series by Melissa Meyer, and flew threw Cinder, Scarlett, and then luckily Cress came out, but then had to wait FOREVER until Winter, but Fairest was a nice midwait bone. Then something weird happened with Julianna Baggott’s Pure trilogy–I read Pure in one night, then read Fuse pretty shortly after, but waited almost three years to read Burn, which was a mistake because I had forgotten so much. Sometimes I’ll reread earlier books in a series if it’s been too long, but this one I didn’t and I sort of suffered for it. I like binge reading, but I’m a monogamist reader so sometimes I need a little variety, especially if the volumes are ginormous. Great food for thoughts!

17 Kasey { 04.04.16 at 11:22 am }

I’m a back-to-backer all in can’t stop til I’m done kind of reader. Even as a kid, I would read a whole series before moving on to the next thing. In some ways it’s easier to read stand alone books because then I have an easier time focusing on actual work. Also, if it’s been a long time between a series and a new book, I will reread from the beginning before reading the new one.
When I saw the title I thought this post would be about the podcast. Of which I just listened to the final episode of season 2 and was left feeling like I need more to conclude the story.

18 Apluseffort { 04.04.16 at 11:40 am }

I’m a dipper. I like to switch genres and seriousness of subject in between my books!

19 chris { 04.04.16 at 12:14 pm }

I much prefer to read back to back, but since most of my favorite series one has to wait a year between books (Alex Cross, Women’s Murder Club, Stephanie Plum) once I get caught up then I guess I dip, but I also will often go back and reread a series from start to finish.

20 JustHeather { 04.04.16 at 2:58 pm }

I’m a dipper and back-to-backer. It all depends on the series. Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series I have read straight through a few times and am desperately waiting for the next installment, to which I will most likely read the entire series again before the latest book arrives (in another 3 or 4 years). I also did the same with Anne Rice’s series when I discovered them. A friend and I tag teamed on Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series. However, I have only read Diane Mott Davidson (The Cat Who series) and Diane Mott Davidson (caterer-murder mysteries) in short bits and pieces. The books are light and fun, but they are all sort of the same layout.

I haven’t read Mercedes Lackey in ages! Will have to find some of her books again! Thanks illustr8d.

21 Stephanie (Travelcraft Journal) { 04.04.16 at 3:06 pm }

I haven’t read a series in awhile. There are a few books I want to become a series. In fact, there’s an author or two I periodically check back in on to see if they’ve published anything else.

22 Betty M { 04.04.16 at 3:56 pm }

I loved Rivers of London but haven’t tread the others. I probably will though but not racing to get them. He certainly is brilliant at getting the topography of London absolutely right – so many authors don’t.

23 Sharon { 04.04.16 at 6:16 pm }

I will generally try to read all the books in a series in order once I discover them. However, due to time constraints these days, I am rarely able to tear through a series in a few short days or weeks like I used to pre-kids.

24 Barbara { 04.04.16 at 6:33 pm }

It all goes in cycles…action, creativity and rest. But, even when I am about done with this life, I will still be thinking up things to do. I love life a lot!

25 Jen { 04.04.16 at 6:49 pm }

I am even worse than an all-in. I am serial binge reader. I barely come up for air until I am done.

26 loribeth { 04.04.16 at 9:44 pm }

With series where there are already a whole lot of books available, I will probably read a few in a row, but then I’ll need to take a break 7 read something else. But if I’ve read all the books already & another comes out, I HAVE to get the new book ASAP, & dive right in. 🙂 Right now, I’m waiting for the new Flavia de Luce novel by Alan Bradley… it was supposed to be coming this month, but now I see it’s September. 🙁

I still have a few unread books in the Amelia Peabody series by Elizabeth Peters. I think I’m procrastinating because the author died a few years ago & I know there won’t be anymore after I finish these ones. 🙁

27 md { 04.04.16 at 11:47 pm }

harry potter for grown ups sounds great, will check them out! i don’t think i have ever read a series back to back -i haven’t read all that many series, really. (do nancy drew, hardy boys and sweet valley count as series? even those i never read back to back though, just whatever i could get my hands on.) i am currently reading the invisible library series, but the author has only written two books so far.. am eagerly awaiting the third. it is nice to have something to look forward to 🙂

28 anks { 04.05.16 at 1:11 am }

If the series is interesting, i will read it back to back… if it is not, heck.. i still wanna know what happened so will still go ahead and read it!!

29 Turia { 04.05.16 at 12:39 pm }

I am worse than a back-to-backer, I am a total binger, especially with series that I have already read before. I have a few I tend to reread each year as comfort reads, and I have been known to say to myself “No, Turia, you can’t start reading that book this week” because I know once I start I will have to read the ENTIRE SERIES before I can do anything else (including proper research and enough sleep). I am terrible.

A new series is different, since I try not to buy books anymore. I usually end up reading other things in between while I wait for the next one to come in at the library.

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