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New Books in My Favorite Series - And Why I Won't Let Myself Read Them Yet

It’s that exciting moment in the life of a series reader – the book that you’ve been waiting for has finally come out, and whether it’s arrived in the mail or you’ve gone to pick it up from the bookstore or the library, it is in your hands and you can’t wait to open it. In fact, you start reading it immediately. Right?

Not so much.

I’m not going to deny that getting a new book in one of my favorite series on release day is genuinely exciting. I am a huge series reader. I love so much about books in a series; interconnected stories, characters I can continue to revisit again and again, the opportunity for expansive world-building that can rarely happen in a single book. Years before I blogged, I fell headlong into love with epic fantasy and invested hours of my life reading The Wheel of Time, A Song of Ice and Fire, Kushiel’s Legacy, and the Farseer books among others. I have always felt that a talented author can often do more with a series than they can with a single volume, although there are plenty of stand alone books that I love too.

But that very interconnectedness and world-building means that I am hesitant to start that new book. I always have a compulsion to reread the rest of the books in the series before I start the new one. You see, I am also a reader who likes to read books in one sitting. I like to experience everything as close together as possible, mainly because I am forgetful. If it’s been a year since I read the last book, multiple years since the ones before, I know I will miss something. I’ll be disappointed because I’ve forgotten how the author has managed to tie volume 7 into volume 3. There are recaps, but they are never as good as just reading the books again.

I also know that I’m going to love rereading that series. For instance, Robin Hobb has just released Fool’s Assassin, a book featuring FitzChivalry Farseer, a follow-up to what has to be one of my favorite series of all time – in memory. But I’ve forgotten so much about these books because I read most of them over a decade ago and I don’t actually think I’ve reread any of them, ever, despite mostly keeping up with the newer releases. I’m half excited to reread them and half daunted by the prospect of rereading at least 9 books before I can get to the beautiful hardcover I bought a month ago. I hope I’m going to love them again, but 9 books, and large ones at that.

fool's assassin

Seriously, it’s ridiculously gorgeous.

The other two I have waiting? Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews and The Winter Long by Seanan McGuire. I love these series. I want to reread them actively and they’re short, too, so I think I can just sneak them in between newer books.

I know I should just give in and read these books I so anticipate already, and in fact that’s probably what you readers are thinking. But there’s always that temptation, and this time I do want to give in to it.

I think I need a rereading month. What do you think? And am I the only one with this particular bookish dilemma?

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5 comments to New Books in My Favorite Series – And Why I Won’t Let Myself Read Them Yet

  • I used to be a stickler about reading a series in order but I’ve given up on that. I really don’t keep up with many series anymore.
    BermudaOnion(Kathy)´s last post …Author event and giveaway: Lydia Netzer

  • I read some series in strict order (like Game of Thrones & Outlander), but mysteries and others I no longer care about the order. When 2 years (or even more) pass between books in a series, I too tend to forget what happened. BUt I read the new Outlander book within days of its release, so I guess I’m not patient.
    Beth F´s last post …Imprint Friday: Twelve

  • I like to stay in order. In fact, I get so worried about it, that I am getting to where I don’t even want to read series, because it takes too long between books! I’ve been thinking of waiting until the whole series is out, but then, I may die before some are finished (Game of Thrones anyone? lol).
    Heather´s last post …The Brain Needs to Purge

  • Yep, this is why I often avoid reading series that are not yet complete. I like to read them all at once, one after the other. If I do read a not-yet-finished series, I like to know exactly how many books remain and when they are going to be released. That way I can decide if it’s going to be plausible for me to reread the existing books in advance of the arrival of the new one.
    Jenny @ Reading the End´s last post …Review: The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, Genevieve Valentine

  • Sylvie

    I love series and I do agree that talented authors can do a much better work when they are not limited to 300 pages but I have trouble returning to a series after too much time. For example, I really enjoyed Kate Daniels first books as I read them in a shot a couple of years ago but I couldn’t read the last one, Magic Breaks… The recap is excellent but really not enough for such a long and rich series and I didn’t feel like re-reading everything. That’s why I tend to prefer trilogies. It’s a good length and you can still go back to the first books…