Friday, January 7, 2011

Series Reading

I'm always reluctant to begin reading the first book in a series, knowing that I am, first of all, likely to find myself committed for the duration. Because I enjoy reading a variety of literature, the idea of sticking with a series to it's conclusion can feel a bit confining. Sometimes I just stumble into series. For example, I read the first Harry Potter book when it was the only book. Somehow, on a friend's recommendation, I read it even though I didn't consider fantasy my usual genre.

After that, I was hooked. I read Ken Haruff's second book Eventide before I even knew he had a first book Plainsong, so I had to read them out of order. I didn't lose anything in the process, but I'll admit I sometimes wanted to read the second book again.

I read the first Twilight to see what the hoopla was all about. That was enough for me. I didn't need to keep going, even though some friends whose reading choices I respect couldn't wait to read them all. Now right at the turn of the new year, I find myself caught up not just in one but two series. First, I had read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but I hadn't started the second book because I was advised to wait until the third book came out because, I was guaranteed, I would want Togo right to it. Then The Girl Who Played with Fire appeared on CDs at the local library, and I set out listening to the 15-disk set. I finished today, and I can't get the third one soon enough. I do think I'll go audio again.

The. The title Hunger Games kept popping up in recommendations, so I decided to check it out. Promoted as a Young Adult novel and set in the future, the book had a female protagonist forced to compete in the Hunger Games, a sort of futuristic cross between Shirley Jackson's short story "The Lottery" and Survivor. The author Suzanne Collins makes no attempt to tie up loose ends. I feel strongly compelled to keep reading simply because I want to know what happens next.

Without meaning to do so, I've let outside forces preempt my reading list.

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Marie Cloutier said...

I rarely read series. Or, when I do, I tend to stop at volume 1. didn't read past 1 of the millennium trilogy, the nightwatch series, others too. sometimes i feel like if i get the gist of it, why continue, LOL. Never read Harry Potter or most fantasy/ya series but i'm sure i'd have the same experience.

Linda H. said...

I hadn't considered fantasy my genre either but finally read the first Harry Potter to see what the fuss was all about. you, I was hooked. Luckily, all but the last book had already been released and I checked them out of the library one right after the other.

My mother sent me The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I haven't read it yet. After reading this, I guess that is next on my list.