Friday, January 06, 2017

The Year of the Series

For each reading year, I tend to set a kind of general goal, knowing that I don’t intend to make it a hard and fast rule. In the past, for example, I’ve had the goal of reading more poetry, or big books, or missed classics, or graphic novels. I keep this in mind as I go through the year, and try to make sure I have plenty of books from the selected category available.

This year I’ve decided to put a focus on reading and finishing book series. I love a good book series. I read a lot of them. However, I’ve often read relatively haphazardly through a series, reading one here and one there, and often stopping part way through to go on to something else. Sometimes I’ve never gotten back to a series, even though I might have greatly enjoyed it when I first jumped into it.

The first series I ever read through completely, back to back, was the Lord of the Rings trilogy, way back in college. The second series I read like this came much, much later. It was the Harry Potter series. I’ve also got a dozen or more “series” books around the house that I’ve not yet read. So, for this year, I’ve decided to keep a little focus on completing series. I’m on the last book now of David Gemmell’s Rigante series, which is four books. I’ve got like 2 of the survivalist series books left, maybe 2 of the Cap Kennedy series left, a bunch of Edge and Dumarest of Terra books, something like 5 of the Dray Prescot series, a couple of the Destroyerman series, and numerous others. I’ve also got entire series of books in my TBR pile.

My “reading year” starts on my birthday each year so I’m well into my program for this current period. I’m having fun with it. What about you? Do you ever set general goals like this for yourself?


Paul R. McNamee said...

I usually have general reading goals but they're not hard-set and not the only books I will read in a year.

This year's bigger goals are ;
to read more authors that will be attending the Northeastern (Horror) Writers Conference.
to read more original Sherlock Holmes (Doyle) and Tarzan (Burroughs) books
to read more classic pulp authors, more crime noir thrillers
to read more of authors I enjoy but haven't read enough of (Fred Saberhagen, Glen Cook)

As for series, I usually am torn. If I read a series straight through, it tends to all blur in my memory later. But if I pick at it over the years, I tend to forget the finer details of what went before.

Keith West said...

I hope to reread some series this year, such as Poul Anderson's Technis future history, plus read a bit of Dumarest and Dray Prescott.

Then there's something called Talera I've been wanting to dive into...

Overall, I just want to read more for my own enjoyment.

Keith West said...

I hope to reread some series this year, such as Poul Anderson's Technis future history, plus read a bit of Dumarest and Dray Prescott.

Then there's something called Talera I've been wanting to dive into...

Overall, I just want to read more for my own enjoyment.

Charles Gramlich said...

Paul, that forgetting is a problem for me in series. I find it hard to pick up the next book after too long a layoff, even if I really enjoyed the earlier works.

Keith, I tend to have to read a fair amount of nonfiction for my work so when I'm at home I pretty much just want to read for enjoyment. I never take my goals too seriously but I guess I just enjoy thinking about reading as well as actually doing it.

Stephanie Faris said...

When it comes to series, I'm bad about that, too. I'll often read the latest in a friend's series so that I can review it and tell people about it to get more sales for the author. Then I never go back and read the earlier books!

Charles Gramlich said...

Stephanie, I guess it's good problem to have, so many good books and not enough time. But I do like to read the whole of a good series.

David J. West said...

I suppose for this year I want to get in control of my TBR pile instead of the other way around. It got seriously out of hand this last year and I told a lot of people I would read their books and just did not get around to them all. This year I want to be sure that if I tell someone I will - I will get it done in a reasonable amount of time.

That said, I have no real guidelines, just enjoyment, research and broadening my horizons.

oscar case said...

I don't set any goals for reading, just to finish the project(s) I'm working on. I'm afraid I don't have any series of books laying around TBR, either, but I have rerad two or three of Dusty Richards family saga novels.

the walking man said...

Can't say I like to read through a serial list like that. I liked all of the Tolkien books, and do like to at lest see all of the movies in a series once I start one, but I go more for authors like Dickens who was serialized but not serial.

Prashant C. Trikannad said...

Charles, the only series I read back to back, in recent memory, was Harry Potter. I don't have specific goals but I'd like to read and write (and hopefully publish) more this year.

G. B. Miller said...

I paid a heavy price for reading series early on. Because the bulk of my reading comes from my local library (about 96%), I have done series that have left me screaming in frustration because a particular book would be missing. And that book would be necessary to read in order to keep on top of the continuing plot threads.

Then, there are the debacles like Robert Jordan, in which each book clocks in @ 700 pages or so and each one came out in two year intervals. Made it extremely hard to keep up with the several different plot lines going on.

So now, I tread very lightly when it comes to book series of any kind. Unless I can get my hands on them all in one fell swoop, I run screaming in the other direction.

To be honest, the only series I've gotten into was/is written by Walter Mosely. He has one series (sadly I have forgotten the name of the name character but it ain't Easy Rowlins) in which I've read every single one, including one that came out this past year.

Charles Gramlich said...

David J, a worthy goal. I'm also finding it very difficult to keep up with some great looking stuff from friends that I'd like to read. I know a heckuva lot of writers these days, all doing good stuff.

Oscar, I've got a couple of thousand unread books in my house, from all different kinds of genres.

Mark, a lot of the space opera and adventure/mystery books I read as a kid were part of a series. I learned early to enjoy the stuff.

Prashant, the Potter books were extremely engaging. I practically had to go through all of them back to back.

G.B., I did have that problem sometimes as a kid but these days I can almost always find that missing one in a series. I also do like, though, to have the whole series in hand, or to at least know it is completed before I start it.

Riot Kitty said...

I tend to read things in the same way that I think: in no pattern whatsoever ;)

Charles Gramlich said...

Riot kitty, that works too!