Today's Musing Monday asks:
Do you prefer to read stand-alone books, or books in series? Do you stick with a series the whole way through or stop after the first installment? Are there any particular series you enjoy?
I have been "musing" on this topic for quite sometime. My youngest daughter, until recently, almost exclusively reads serials. She always starts with the first book and reads each one in chronological order. I, on the other hand, almost exclusively read stand-alone novels. While I pride myself on the ability to stay focused, I think my attention span is only good enough for one novel. Once I finish reading that story, I am ready to move on to something different.
In analyzing this from an English teacher's perspective, I wonder if perhaps I am missing out. I now think it would be fascinating to see how an author develops major characters over time. I also think it would be instructive to see how an author reiterates pertinent information in each sequel in order to bring new readers up to speed, while at the same time not boring loyal fans.
The only real series I have read in my lifetime, and I certainly did not read all in the series, was Nancy Drew. That was the start of my love affair with mysteries which unfortunately I allowed to lay dormant until last October. I have since purchased the first in a series of several mystery authors: Laura Child, Anne Perry, Elizabeth George, Julie Kaewert, Joanne Fluke, Diane Mott Davidson, Stephanie Barron, Jacqueline Winspeare, Rhys Bowen, Victoria Thompson, and Hailey Lind. My game plan is simple: read the first in the series and if it grabs my attention then continue with that series. I have enjoyed several of the authors enough to continue reading the series, but I have not yet had time to read all these "firsts"
I have also started listening to the audiobooks of Harry Potter. Yes, I am one of the last human beings on the face of the earth that have not read this fantastical series, but I must admit that I have absolutely loved the Jim Dale narration. In fact, I have enjoyed myself so much that I joined Galleysmith's Harry Potter Challenge so that I would have an excuse to actually read the books. I understand that JK Rowling does an amazing job of tying together all loose ends and keeping various plots and subplots in constant motion. I am really looking forward to this serial experience and I am hopeful that it will lead me to a greater appreciation for the authors and their works.
I would love to hear your opinion of stand alone vs serials, and if you are interested in reading others' responses to this meme, please visit the Musing Monday blog of Just One More Page.