Tuesday 24 April 2018

Do You Prefer Series or Standalone Books?

I mentioned in one of the reading groups I belong to a few weeks ago that I was trying an experiment: I was going to resist adding any books to my Goodreads TBR shelf if they were part of a series.

I had no idea how difficult that goal would be.

The thing is, I very seldom read series. Your series-starter has to be very good indeed to convince me to add the next one to my TBR. And, because I have so many books on that TBR already, it may be over a year before I read that next one... and if it's not good enough to make me immediately remember what happened in the previous one, you can bet I won't be adding the one after that.

I've spoken before about how I pick books to read: unless I'm specifically looking forward to a particular book, I generate a random number from one to the total number of books on my TBR (which currently stands at a little over 700). Then, I scroll to the book at that number and decide then and there. If I still want to read it, I'll buy it and start. If not--because my tastes might have changed since adding it--I'll delete it.

The thing is, with so many books on that list, and the fact that it's growing every day, I can't really justify committing to a series.

With a few exceptions (like A Song of Ice and Fire), when I crack open a new book, I want to be sucked into a whole new world, with new characters I've never met before.

I guess a nice compromise would be a collection of loosely connected standalone books, which happen to feature the same characters or setting, but which can be read in any order. And, where it doesn't matter if it's been weeks or years since I read the last one.

Over to you, dear reader. Do you have a particular preference? Can you get absorbed into a good series, or is it standalones for you? Do you actively hate one or the other?

I'd love to read your comments!

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