Thursday, 24 March 2011

BTT: Series or Stand-Alone?

This week's Booking Through Thursday question from Deb is very brief:
Series? Or Stand-alone books?

I'm not sure I relly have a preference. I like both. Series can also be of different kinds: Sometimes you know from the beginning that the author planned it as one long story published in so and so many parts. (Like Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, or Rowling's Harry Potter.) With others perhaps even the author didn't know from start that there was going to be more than one book.

With some series it matters more, with others less, if you read them in the right order or not. With many detective novels for instance, there is a detective with a set of family or friends that you follow from book to book but at the same time each novel is a complete story in itself. It might be an advantage to read them in the right order, but with many of them not strictly necessary.

Just now I'm reading the third book in the Masie Dobbs series by Jaqueline Winspear, which would be one example of that kind. Taking a peek at my old reading list... It seems it's been 3½ years since I read the previous one, and checking the author's website I see that by now four more books have been added to the series... Whether I'll ever read them all, remains to be seen!

With the Harry Potter series, I got caught up in that story when the author was about half way through; and waiting for the the last three books to be published became part of the reading experience itself for me, in that particular case. (That's one series that should definitely be read in the right order.) I'm mentioning it (again!) because I just recently gave my Harry Potter blog Through My Spectrespecs a bit of a make-over (new template). It's really not so much a proper 'blog' as just somewhere to collect bits and pieces of thoughts and research connected to those books, so posting has been irregular with sometimes months between. I put in a few new posts this month though because things happened to come to mind.


  1. I like the books you cited here!

    For me, it is always stand-alone books. There are exceptions though. Check out those in my BTT: Headlines post!

  2. I am the same. Sometimes the wait is very much part of the reading experience. There is nothing quite like holding that book that you have been waiting to be released for months.

    I have the same experience with stand alones when I have read everything else the author has released. Haruki Murakami has a new book out here in October and the wait is almost killing me.

  3. Same here but it depends on how good the story is.

    Thanks for visiting my blog. ^_^

  4. I like both. I find the good stories more important than anything. My favorite series are the ones that are in the same universe but not neccessarily about the same people. I also agree with the difference between planned series and the "hey, this made money lets have another one series". Maybe, I'm being a bit cynical, but that's the way it seems sometimes. More at Mostraum Viewpoint

  5. I like both, but books in a series more. Here is my answer for this week's Booking Through Thursday.

  6. It really doesn't matter to me. Series just take more time if you are determined to read them all. I loved some C.S. Lewis series and also Tolkien and Anne Rice.

  7. I enjoy both. Truly, the problem with series is the waiting.

  8. Harry Potter rules!
    One of the things I find with series or connected books is that I HAVE to read them in order. I don't know why because in the grand scheme of things it really doesn't matter but I find I just have to.

  9. I like both as long as it keeps you reading.

  10. i like series, but stand alone is my first choice.


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