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.
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?