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Old 10-16-2020, 05:21 PM   #16
sakura-panda
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I like to put a book in between the books of a series so that the books are separate in my mind and don't all run together when I look back on them. Sometimes I'll read just two series, and go back and forth between them, but I usually have one series that I'm working on that I alternate with standalone books.
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Old 10-16-2020, 06:45 PM   #17
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Well, I've just read the first 2 books in the Magdalene la Bâtarde series by the late Roberta Gellis back-to-back. I'll probably finish the rest of the series (3 books) over the weekend as I'm enjoying them. (How much reading I'll get done, I don't know - it depends on the weather as I need to clear things out of the kitchen garden.)
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Old 10-17-2020, 04:52 AM   #18
DrNefario
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I pretty much never binge-read. My feeling is that they wouldn't be separate books if they were meant to be read straight through.

First of all, I like to keep things varied by trying read different genres with every book, so at the very least I will alternate a series with something completely different.

In addition, I just like to space things out. It's quite rare for me to read two books in a series within six months of each other. (When you're in the middle of a hundred series - which is kind of a consequence of this - it takes that long to cycle through them all to the next book.) At the moment, I am taking part in a read along with one book a month, and I'm finding it a bit too fast for my liking, which might be why I'm already falling behind, on book three.

Reading straight through a series feels a bit like eating ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner, for days, and then moving on to the next foodstuff.

Maybe it is a natural consequence of the change in technology and ease of access, and I'm too old and set in my ways, but that's how I am. If I've got something nice, I want to make it last.
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Old 10-17-2020, 09:27 AM   #19
Quoth
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Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
Can you come up with an example of a series with standalone books? And can you prove they really are standalone?
Many Discworld books, though many are roughly sequential.
Some Niven Known space
Some Pern stories
Some Shanarra books
Dune first book works standalone, arguably best place to stop.
Famous Five
Hardy Boys
Nancy Drew
The so called Noel Stretfeld Shoe books are not a series at all, and some didn't originally have shoe in the title.
Maybe many Sherlock Holmes.

Book Series at opposite end, that are really serial volumes:
Wheel of Time.
Harry Harrison's To The Stars Trilogy.

Some book series are not so serial:
The Recluse books by Modsett. They jump about in time anyway.
The Narnia books now have a different reading order to the original, which was possibly Lewis's order. I read Prince Caspian first, which isn't first in any order.
The Chalet School series hardly needs to be read in order even though it's fairly chronological and was near contemporary. It's very historical now. About 62 books.
The Harrison Stainless Steel Rat books work fine standalone.


There are books best read in order:
The Enid Blyton school stories, two series.

A series may have ANY of:
1) The same characters. If they have an endless supply of holidays and hardly age, it's a floating timeline. Hardy Boys, Famous Five, Bobbsey Twins seem to stop ageing.
2) The same fantasy / SF world universe etc. Some Ursula Le Guin, Asimov (before 1970s and later retcon), Niven.
3) There are the same characters but they and the world change. There can be some overall story arcs resolved in later books, but are not important.
4) There are the same characters and they develop. There is a strong overall story arc, but each volume has some sort of decent ending. The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. Though the 2nd series didn't seem so good and I've never finished the third series. The Harry Potter series is partly like this.

A serial, OTH doesn't have a complete story per book and typically has a cliff hanger. Notorious being the Wheel of Time. I have all of it but gave up in book twelve. I don't think it's Sanderson's fault. It should have been a 5 or 6 book serial / Series.

Harry Potter Series is more a Serial than Narnia because there is the unresolved tension of Snape and Voldemort etc. It's got a stronger overall story arc than Babylon 5. Likely Babylon 5 would have had a stronger overall arc and a better later season only for cowardice of Holywood.

Some Series have serial books within them.
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Old 10-17-2020, 09:29 AM   #20
Quoth
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I ran into David Edding's Castle of Wizardry (book 4 in the Belgariad series) and decided to kill a few minutes though the only book of his that I had previously read (High Hunt) had struck me as cold pancakes and no honey. A half hour or so later, I left Chapters the proud owner of the first 4 books in the Belgariad.
Maybe that's the only book of his I don't have. Sad there will be no more.
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Old 10-17-2020, 11:36 AM   #21
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Maybe it is a natural consequence of the change in technology and ease of access, and I'm too old and set in my ways, but that's how I am. If I've got something nice, I want to make it last.
Same here. For me, it's a combination of prolonging the pleasure and not wanting to get tired of the story. I also behave the same way towards food.
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Old 10-17-2020, 04:36 PM   #22
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Can you come up with an example of a series with standalone books? And can you prove they really are standalone?
Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. All books are self-contained and can be read starting anywhere within the series.
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Old 10-17-2020, 06:27 PM   #23
rkomar
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Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. All books are self-contained and can be read starting anywhere within the series.
Didn't we have this discussion in great detail about a year ago? Some take "stand-alone" to mean that all the information you need is in the book, others take it to mean the opposite of being in a series. No arguments convinced anyone to change camps.
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Old 10-17-2020, 08:51 PM   #24
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Can you come up with an example of a series with standalone books? And can you prove they really are standalone?
The Disaster series by Max Allan Collins is one.

Each book is a standalone. The books have no recurring characters. The books all share a similar theme.
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Old 10-17-2020, 10:30 PM   #25
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Depends on the series, and my mood while reading them.

For example, tried to binge Stross's The Laundry Files series earlier this year, in preparation for the latest in the series. Got about three-quarters of the way through before I kinda of petered out - taken all at once like that, the increasing grimness of the storyline was getting to me, and I had to set them aside for a bit.

On the other hand, picked up Rivers of London and enjoyed it so much I'd bought the next six books in the series almost before I'd finished it, and proceeded to binge them in about two weeks or so.
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Old 10-17-2020, 11:35 PM   #26
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Never. I can honestly say that not one single time in my entire life have I done that.
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Old 10-18-2020, 11:45 AM   #27
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I like to binge if the series is relatively short... 2-3 books... if longer, I’ll read 3 or so and then take a break with something else.
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Old 10-18-2020, 12:15 PM   #28
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It depends on the series. I've found series where I read the first book, liked it, bought the next and kept going until I ran out of books. I've read other series where I read the first couple of books, like them, but after a couple more, it's obvious the series isn't really going anywhere.

I will frequently binge read series when I re-read the series. I can't think of any series that I re-read that I only read a couple at a time. Authors who can't hold my interest more than a couple books at a time are rarely re-read.
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Old 10-18-2020, 12:58 PM   #29
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Authors who can't hold my interest more than a couple books at a time are rarely re-read.
I'm with you on that one. I've just read the Roberta Gellis Magdalene la Bâtarde Mysteries straight through and I'm not sorry I did so. They're a light but enjoyable historical crime series set at the start of The Anarchy (so rather reminiscent of Brother Cadfael). On the other hand, I doubt I'll re-read them.
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Old 10-18-2020, 03:36 PM   #30
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I'm with you on that one. I've just read the Roberta Gellis Magdalene la Bâtarde Mysteries straight through and I'm not sorry I did so. They're a light but enjoyable historical crime series set at the start of The Anarchy (so rather reminiscent of Brother Cadfael). On the other hand, I doubt I'll re-read them.
I'm in the midst of re-reading the Brother Cadfael series. So far up to The Hermit of Eyton Forest.
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