Lola’s Ramblings: Do you continue a series or not?

July 9, 2015 Lola's Ramblings 32

LolaRamblings

Lola’s Rambings is a feature on Lola’s Review where I talk about me. Usually these posts are everything that doesn’t fall under any standard header, like blog tours, book blitzes, cover reveals or reviews. Lola’s Ramblings posts are are personal discussions of a certain topic. Sometimes about book related topics and sometimes about non-book related topics. This feature was previously known as About Me. The banner for this feature is designed by Michelle from Limabean Design.

Nowadays lots of books are part of a series and I feel like start more series than I finish. I’ve even seen reading challenges for finishing series. I start lots of new series each year and have no problems with starting a new series, unless the series is very long. The amount of series I actually finish is much smaller though and I thought it was interesting to think more about which factors play a role in whether I continue a series or not. If you want my general opinion about series, whether I like them or not and how I decide whether to start a series check out my post about series from last week.

Which factors play a role in whether I continue a series or not.

  • debtcollector season1How much did I enjoy the first book? Probably the most important factor in deciding whether to continue a series or not, is whether I enjoyed the first book. In most cases a 4 or 5 star means I will want to continue the series, a 1 or 2 star rating means I won’t and for 3 star ratings it usually depends on the book. The more I enjoy a book, the more likely I am to continue a series, but for some books I enjoyed, but didn’t love the other factors can play a big role in whether I will continue the series. Also things like how much I am invested int he story, characters and world plays a role in whether I will continue. Sometimes a book can be great, but not have me feeling like I need to read the rest of the series. I also have had a few instances were I loved the first book or first few books and then am in no hurry to continue the series and not sure I ever will, like Delirium by Lauren Oliver, years back when I read it I loved the book, but while I own the second book I have no urge to continue the series at all. In general though the more I enjoy a book the more likely I am to continue the series.
  • How much did I enjoy the later books/ last book I read in the series? If I have only read the first book, this will be the same as above, but in some cases a series starts out meh and get’s better and in some cases a serie starts out great and then get’s less good. In those cases where the overal enjoyment of the books changes as the series progresses whether I will continue a series is a result of how much I enjoyed the first book and later books. If I really enjoyed the first few books and only slightly less enjoyed the most recent book I will probably continue the series as overal it’s a good series. Once the last two or three books where not so good or around the 3 star I might start doubting whether to continue a series. Or if I give a later book in a series a 2 star rating I probably stop the series or give the series one more chance by reading the next book.
  • Do I own the next book? Usually I only buy the first book in a series and I first read the first book and only then consider buying the second book, then read the second book and buy the third etc. It has happened a few times that I already own the next book in the series and this can influence my descision of whether to continue the series or not. If it was a good book and I already have the next book changes are higher I will continue the series as I already own the next boook anyway and it would be a shame not to read it. If I really enjoyed the first book I will continue the series no matter if I have the next book in a series, but for those series where I doubt to cntinue or aren’t sure, having the next book can make me more likely to continue the series.
  • Rice Cooker RevengeHow soon do I buy/ read the next book? The sooner I buy or read the next book the more likely I am to continue the series. The longer ago it is that I read a book in a series the less likely I will continue. I know some books I read years ago and haven’t continued the series and by now I simply lost interest as it has been so long ago. In some cases I might take a long break from a series, but still want to continue. It depends a bit on the book and series and how much I enjoyed it, but in general the sooner I buy and/or read the enxt book in a series the more likely I will continue the series.
  • Is the book memorable? With this I mean how long a book stays in my memory. There are books I loved that still feel fresh in my mind and I can still easily recal how much I loved those books and get excited about thsoe books again. With some books I might have loved them when I first read them, but after a while I just sort of forget about them or they aren’t at the forefront of my memory. If the first or recent book in a series I read left a memorable imression I am likely to continue the serie ven though it might take a while for the next book to get releases. While when a book is less memorable or left less of an impression the more time goes between reading the bok and buying/reading the next book the less likely I am continue the series.
  • Price/ availablity of the next book. If I can get the next book in a series easily or for nice price the chance is higher that I will pick up the next book. I even had some series where I wasn’t sure I would continue the series and then got the next book in the series for a nice price and decided to give it a try. I also have given up on series when I can’t get the next book in the series. I can’t buy books on amazon, so if a series is/went amazon exclusive I probably won’t continue the series as I can’t buy those books. For most series this won’t be an issue, but there are series I stopped because of this. If I really enjoy a series I probably will do my best to continue it even if it’s difficult to get ahold of, but if I really can’t buy the book because it’s amazon only then I can’t continue the series unless I can get a review copy.
  • The Legacy HumanIs the series by an author I know? If I already know the author and have enjoyed soem of his/her books I am more likely to cotninue a series. This is because I feel more connection with that author and their books, but also becasue I know what to expect. If one of my favourite authors starts a new series and the book is just okay I probably still continue the series as I love this author their books in general.
  • How long till the release of the next book in the series? This one is only relevant for series that I am up to date with, so I have read the most recent book there is and have to wait with continuing the series. If the wait for the next book is very long it might diminish my enthusiasm for the series or I forget enough about the book that I amnot sure if I want to continue the series anymore. Ofcourse with books I loved this one doesn’t matter as much and I don’t care how long I have to wait, but for those books I am on the fence about whether to continue the series or not this might be the factor that makes me decide to give up on the series.
  • Can I get the next book for review? Again this mostly influences my descision when I am not sure whether to continue a series or not. If I can get the next book in the series for review, I am more likely to continue the series as it’s easier and cheaper to get the book. And a series I might continue can suddenly get bumped to the top of my reading list as I got a review copy. I probably won’t say no to review requests for later books in a series if I enjoyed the first book.
  • Do the future books in a series feature the same main character? This one can go either way, if I liked the main character I might not be as enthousiastic to continue the series if the next one has a different main character. If I didn’t like the main characetr, knowing that the next book has a different main character will make me more likely to continue the series. If I liked most things about the book no matter if I liked the main character or not, this factor probably won’t influence my descision of whether to continue the series at all.
  • What do reviewers say about later books in a series? Sometimes the opinion of other bloggers or reviewers can help sway me towards continuing or not continuing a series. When people say a series get’s better as it continues or I hear good things about later books I am more likely to conitnue. If bloggers or reviewers say the series get’s worse or goes in a direction they don’t like or the ending was disapointing this might make me less likely to continue a series. So reviews and other people their opinions can also help me decide whether to continue a series or not.

ADAMANT final front coverIn most cases I decide more on a feeling of whether I want the next book than have these factors consciously influence my descisions, but I like thinking about issues like these and figure out which reasons and factors play a part even if it’s a small part. So my thought process isn’t as complicated as it might seem and in general my enjoyment of the books I read in a series so far will be the most important aspect in the decision. When I am not sure whether I want to continue a series or not, those other aspects can really push me towards continuing or not. So most cases how much I enjoyed the books in a series so far will be the deciding factor, but the other factors can certainly play a role in my descision as well.

At which book am I most likely to stop with a series?

I don’t have any stats, but in general I feel I am most likely to stop with a series either after the first book or after the first 2 to 3 books. With stopping after the first book it’s often the case that I either didn’t like it enough to continue the series in the first place or I just sort of forget about the series. In some cases a series starts out good and then after a few books I lose interest in the series or the series goes into a direction I don’t like.
Sometimes stopping with a series is a conscious decision, often when I read the first book and don’t like it enough to continue the series. In some cases I plan to continue the series, but eventually for some reason never do. Usually thanks to one of the factors above. One example of this is the Delirium series by Lauran Oliver. I loved Delirium, the first book in the series. The second book wasn’t released in paperback yet, eventually I bought it or pre-ordered it, but I didn’t feel the love and ethousiasme for the series anymore and that book still stands on my bookshelf unread. I know I loved Delirium, but I can’t feel any excitement for reading the rest of the series, so it’s hard to decide to pick up the book then, when you lost that excitement.

Which factors play a role in whether you continue a series or not? At which book are you most likely to stop with a series?

32 Responses to “Lola’s Ramblings: Do you continue a series or not?”

  1. Aimee @ Deadly Darlings

    You made a lot of interesting points here, Lola! Normally it doesn’t affect my decision whether or not I already own the next books in the series, but it matters to me a lot the amount of time it takes for me to buy/read the next book and how memorable the most recent one I read is, because I have a huge case of book amnesia and I most likely will be really confused if the last one I read wasn’t memorable. Reviews play a big part of my decision as well!
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…5 Things the Bookish Community Does to Make Me Smile + Mid-Year Blog SurveyMy Profile

    • Lola

      While my memory is quite good, I seem to be able to lose interest over time. I can remember I loved a bok and even tell you a few points why, but I don’t feel that anymore, which makes it hard to get enthousiastic for the next book. So reading the next book soon can help. And reviews for later books can be great, especially if I am not sure whether I want to continue a series or not.

  2. S. J. Pajonas

    I stop a series if I get angry enough at the plotline. I realize that’s kind of nebulous, but I’ve stopped several series in later books because I was either annoyed with where the story went or something happened to the quality of the series to make it unreadable. In general, if I’m enjoying a series, I keep going. I may take time off between books, but I am still interested in reading them!
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    • Lola

      I can also stop series at later books, but I tend to stop most series early on. I also haven’t read as many long series. Sometimes a series can really go downhill as it progresses, while other series become better with each book. I have a few series I basically paused, I haven’t read a new book in the series in years, but I am still planning to continue. Like the Elemental Assassin series by Jennifer Estep, I am multiple books behind, but still have fond memories of it and plan to cath up eventually. Enjoyment of a series is definitely my main factor of whether I continue a series or not.
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  3. Lanie

    Ooooh nice post Lola:D Hmms, I’m pretty much the same way as you, after two or three books, if I’m not amazed or entranced by what I’m reading, I’m totally moving on. No point in spending money or time on something that’s not doing it for you. Price is a deciding factor for me as well, I have a cap I’ll spend on a book now, if it’s more than I’ll spend, I look to the library, if the library doesn’t have it chances I’ll move on. I just dont see the point of putting out a lot of money for something I’ll probably only read once, I know so bad of me.
    Lanie recently posted…Book Tour: Archangel’s Desire by Karen Swart +GiveawayMy Profile

    • Lola

      I feel that the less you have to spend the pickier you get on which series to continue. Although there are also a lot of series where I never really made the conscious decision to stop, but not in a hurry to pick up the next book as there are books I rather read. I read most books only once, even if I love it.

  4. Renee (@Addictofromance)

    the biggest issue for me, is whether the books or book I have read from the series made an impression on me or not. Most of the time they do that I want to continue the series. But it really depends. I will admit there are some books that are part of a series that I couldn’t have fun with at all and don’t read other books. And then there are other times when I adore that one book and have to buy everything from that author to read.
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    • Lola

      Whether a series makes an impression is very important. While books can be enjoyable when they fail to impress me I am still less likely to continue them than series that do impress me.

    • Lola

      But if you love the first book, don’t you want to read more or know what happens next? I am a big series reader, although there are a few series I never continued even though I loved or really enjoyed the first book in a series.
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  5. Keionda@Keionda Hearts Books

    Hmmm, I guess it really all depends on like you pointed out, if I connected with the characters enough to care about their story, the wait between each book, and if I’ve connected with the author and HAVE TO READ HIS OR HER BOOK no matter what. So really, I think it all depends on these things. 🙁 awesome post!
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    • Lola

      Thanks! I always am a bit surprised when I realize how many little things can influence my decisions.

  6. anna (herding cats & burning soup)

    Hmmm lots of good points. I like series and will eventually finish a lot of the ones I read if I make it past book one and two. After that it’s either ditch the series because it’s not working for me or it gets added to my gonna get to them one day list 😀

    The review option is big for me now since most of what I read is review books so if I can finish a series I’m enjoying and knock out a review for an author/pub I’m all over it 😀
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    • Lola

      I agree usually if I enjoy the first two books in a series I will finish the series eventually, unless the series really takes a turn for the worse and I really dislike later books in a series, but I don’t really remember that ever happening.

      Same here, if I can continue or finish a series while at the same time knocking a review book from that pile it’s great. And it’s just fun to receive books for reviews in a series you already enjoy.

  7. Silvara

    If I rated it at least 4 stars, I’m likely to get the next book. If it’s an author I love, and I liked the book (at least no lower than 3.5 Stars) I’m likely to read at least the next book in the series.

    If I only thought the book was okay, but I can get the next one for free to review, I MAY request it. If it sounds good enough, and if there wasn’t anything that really turned me off in the prior book. But I’m super picky about that as I’d feel bad requesting the book if I was only “eh” about it, and taking it away from someone who may have loved it.

    If it’s an author I’m not familiar with, and they have no other books out as yet, then it’s harder. I’m a total blonde with names, and if I actually remember to look for the next book I’ll get it if I 4-5 starred the prior book. But there’s a huge chance I’ll totally forget, especially if the next book won’t be out for a year+. (Which is where I currently am with 2 new authors. ADORED their first books, but #2 is still being written! No idea if I’ll remember to look for it next year…)

    I’ll stop reading a series if the plot irks me too much down the line. Though it takes a lot for that. Like, I totally should have stopped reading the Train Wreck that is Anita Blake when the books went down hill. But I loved too many characters, and had to know what would happen next. Even though I wanted to beat on them a bit. So I started borrowing them instead of buying them. They’re getting better again, so I’m glad I kept reading. But some series I’ve just stopped and never gone back to.
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    • Lola

      Most 4 stars books or higher means I continue the series, but there are some exceptions. And also soem 3 star books where I continue the series. And indeed if a book was okay but I can request the enxt book for review, that makes it easier to say yes and give the next book a try. It depends a bit on what issues I had with the first book and how likely I am to stumble against those in the next book again.

      Sometimes it’s hard to remember to check for the enxt book in a series indeed. I have a few authors where I keep track of eveyr new book I write or for others when I know I will heard about their next book or receive a review request then. There are also authors who I simply forget about and then never hear of again.

      If you love the characters it’s easier to continue a series even if you don’t like the direction the plot takes. For me that happened with the Soul Screamers series, the last 2 books were only okay, but at that point I was so invested I had to read the last books a swell.

  8. Sophia Rose

    Your reasons match with some of mine, too. I start many series, but I get behind or never finish many of them for an assortment of reasons. Most of them, I might even like, but not enough to immediately grab up the next book unless I find it free or on sale. On rare occasions, I will pick a series back up again. If I continue a series, it is mostly because I move right into the next book shortly after I finished the first one.
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    • Lola

      I think starting to many series is the main cause that I won’t continue them all. Some I do enjoy indeed, but just not enough to continue the series. Or I might one day, but am not in a hurry. And indeed if I do find the next book free or on sale I will grab it probably. There can be a lot of time in between books in a series for me, I often start series when the first book releases and then have to wait for the next book.
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  9. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    I am, um, kind of ridiculous about finishing series. The book has to be REALLLLLY not great for me to not finish. I can think of a few examples, but not many. I mean, some I haven’t finished yet but DO intend to finish. For me, I just feel like I am missing something if I don’t finish a series, which doesn’t make a lot of sense, especially if I don’t like the book! I can think of only a handful I won’t continue: Magonia, because I didn’t like it BUT I liked how the book ended, so I am fine with stopping there. Frozen, because it was so awful I wouldn’t subject myself to it again. But then there are books I have only given 1.5 or 2 stars to that I actually think I *might* read the next book of? But… why? I guess I want to know stuff? Now, will I actually read them? Maybe not, but I do kind of tell myself I will. Someday 😉
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    • Lola

      If I don’t like a book I won’t continue the series even some 3 star books I don’t continue the series. on the other hand I can understand hping the next book is better or wanting to know what happens next, sometimes I spoil myself for that reason. So I don’t actually have to read the next books, but still know what happens. It does feel unfinished to not finish a series, but I can’t bring myself to continue a series I don’t enjoy as there are so many series out there that I do enjoy. Or maybe my problem is simply that I start too many series, so I cna never finish them all.
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  10. Mary Kirkland

    I love series and have been reading a few long running series for many years. Series like The Dark Series by Christine Feehan and the Anita Blake series by Laurel K Hamilton. But the only series I can think of that I stopped reading is the Merry Gentry series by Laurell K Hamilton. I read several of the books and then there were a couple of books that just lost my interest and I couldn’t get into it again. I know that most long running series will have one or two books along the way that aren’t as good as the rest of them but I can over look that unless it’s several books in a row and I lose interest. That first book has to capture my attention and after that I’ll read the next and maybe more if they are really good.
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    • Lola

      I think I read the first Merry Gentry book years ago, but never continued the series. I also read the first Anita Blake book, but it wasn’t for me. I can overlook one or two less good books as long as I still enjoy them and the next book is better. It depends a bit on the series itself.

  11. Faye M.

    Great discussion, Lola! Personally, the most important factor whether or not I’ll continue with the next book of a series is if I liked the book published before it. I just don’t want to waste my time on stories and characters I didn’t enjoy reading about. If I get it as an unsolicited ARC, why not? I’ll review it and then see if it gets better. Otherwise, I’ll say “adieu” and “don’t let the door kick your ass on the way out.”

    BUT there have been exceptions. There are times the first book IS SO, SO BAD THAT IT’S FUNNY. I know I hated THE JEWEL by Amy Ewing and even wrote an epic rant review about it last year. The second book’s out soon and I grabbed the eARC because of my curiosity – is it going to improve? Or is it going to get worse? (Hint: It got worse)
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    • Lola

      My enjoyment of the previous books in the series is certainly the most important factor when deciding to continue a series or not. If I can get a review copy I might continue a series I was on the fence about, but if I really didn’t enjoy the books I probably won’t continue the series.

      Sometimes it’s worht it to break the rules. Or sometimes I am already invested enough in a series to finish even when the books are getting less enjoyable. And sometimes I love a book and never continue the series. It’s weird.

    • Lola

      It’s sad when the wait is long, but there are also authors who write pretty fast and you’ll know the release date of the next book already. I remember a manga series I used to lvoe when younger and then the next book never came for years and then I forgot about it. But that doens’t happen often. I also remember a few book series I started and am still waiting on the next book.

  12. Jade @ Bedtime Bookworm

    I think it can be such a hard decision sometimes to decide to quit series. I am often optimistic about books and hope they get better, but I have to weigh that against all the other books out there that I want to read. I usually try to take into account if a series is completed before I start it, but sometimes I can’t resist and I’ll start it anyways!
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    • Lola

      For me it’s often not a conscious decision, I just lose interest in the series eventually. Only rarely do I really decide to stop with a series. I start so many series that aren’t finished yet as I just want to read the first book now.

  13. benish

    You do make a lot of interesting points, nowadays I give up on the first book but if the reviews for the second book are really good – I give the series another try like Throne of Glass. I agree with you on the enjoyment factor, that is really the most important factor that determines your liking to a book. Great post overall Lola 🙂
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    • Lola

      If I didn’t enjoy the first book I usually stop the series there unless I have good reason to believe a series get’s better. I actually DNF’d Throne of Glass and even though I heard the series get’s better I just can’t bring myself to pick up the book again.
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