Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Are You The Tortoise or the Hare?

I've been reading quite a few last books of series lately, that also prompted THIS discussion post, and I've realized that I have very mixed feelings about some final books and how to read them. What am I talking about?

I'm talking about how do you read the final book of a beloved series?

Do you pre-order and start reading the second it arrives at your door? Do you re-read the previous books in the series to get the whole effect? Do you take it slow and savor the final pages of characters you've come to know and love?

I find that I'm personally a mixed bag. Case in point. I LOVE The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I binge read books 1-5 pretty much back to back because they were all out, couldn't get enough. And then I look up the final book and I'm all, wait what?! 2 years until City of Heavenly Fire comes out?! How is this possible?! Now...I pre-ordered the book...and I'm just not chomping at the bit to read it. It's sitting on my shelf. What happened in the last book? Should I re-read? I didn't bring all my other books with me to San Diego so should I just dive in? I WANT to be excited about this book but for some reason, the long wait just dampened my excitement. Sad face. (Sidenote: I'm actually getting excited to read it so I hope I will soon.)

Another example? The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. That final book ALSO took two years since the publication of book 2 to come out...this book? OMG PREORDER, GIVE ME THE FIRST TWO SO I CAN RE-READ AND BE READ WHEN THE BOOK OF LIFE IS AT MY DOORSTEP. What's the difference? I have no idea. I think I just love those characters SO HARD that any time away from Matthew and Diana is time I will miss them.

AND, with that said,  I didn't devour the book. I found myself reading for a while and finding an excuse or distraction to step away. Why? It wasn't because it wasn't good (IT WAS AMAZING), it was because I found myself savoring this book. I didn't WANT it to end. I wanted to take my time and really feel with the characters and jive with the story. I wanted to know the conclusion but hell, I'll read about Diana and Matthew doing their laundry if it means more time with them.

So it got me thinking...

Do you read all final books the same?
Do you consistently savor?
Or immediately devour?


  1. I'm actually one of those people who is TERRIFIED of reading the last book in a series because what will I do then? Re-reading just isn't the same as experiencing the series for the first time... And what if one of my favourite character dies or what if my ship doesn't end up together or... I could go on for a while. And this is what makes me put off reading those books that I'm actually really excited about, but it's scary and ugh! I just can't do it.
    And at times I find myself like you with the Mortal Instruments, and this sad little book just sits on my shelf staring at me. I still haven't read Inheritance by Christopher Paolini.

  2. It really depends on the series for me. There has been one or two series where I'll rush out and get the next book and read it as soon as I can, but I'll read it slowly to take in as many details as I can. That's the exception though and it's when I absolutely fall in love with a series. For the most part, my excitement dampers a little over time and I'll read the final book when I'm ready whenever that may be.

  3. I am a mixed bag like yourself. Sometimes I wait until series is completed to marathon it all together. And sometimes I read books as they are released and than even re-read them all before final instalment is out (as I did with All Souls trilogy before book #3 was released - I love this series btw!). There is nothing better as revisiting my favorite characters :)

  4. I am weird about finale's too. Sometimes, I have to force myself to finally read the finale of a series that I love, for fear of serious disappointment, and leaving it behind. I have been trying to get better about that, so last year I finally read the final Lynburn Legacy series, Unmade, by Sarah Rees Brennan (AMAZING NO WORDS!), and I just finished The Retribution of Mara Dyer (WHAAATTT!!! Again, NO WORDS!!!)... When I do read them, I generally start out trying to read slowly and savor, but wind up flying through it! Oh, and I am a re-reader. When the final book is released, I start from the beginning of the series, and read them all in one go! It is just better that way!

  5. It definitely depends for me. Sometimes I'll rush out and buy it, reread the whole series and then the last one. Sometimes, and I'm having this issue with the last book in The River of Time series, I can't bring myself to read the last one because I love the characters so much. Then there are the ones that I'm just not as anxious to read and those that I must read immediately without rereading the rest of the series. Usually I do try to savor them and make them last, because it's better that way! It's hard to say goodbye to a favorite series sometimes, though!

  6. I think I am mostly a mixed bag too. But sometimes I notice that I am so dang excited for a book to arrive but when it does I wait because I'm scared for it to be over. But usually once I start I read it about as fast as any other book. Whether I delay the inevitable or not, it's always sad to finish a favorite series.

  7. I'm definitely a mixed bag when it comes to series. Some of them I read NOW NOW NOW and then others I want to read so bad and then when it gets in my little grabby hands, I put it aside and don't read straight away. I don't understand my methods of madness haha. I preordered The Book of Life, then when it got here I reread the other two and THEN read The Book of Life, and rather slowly also. I didn't want it to end either :P

  8. I've started and not finished several series. When series books take forever to come out I tend to lose some of my excitement like you. I usually have to reread the previous book so I can get some excitement. Sentinel came out over a year ago and I still haven't read it. :/

  9. Hmm, for me, it honestly depends on the series! Sometimes, I read right away because it's so, so, so imperative that I know what happens next to these characters. And sometimes, like with Ignite Me and Allegiant, I just put them off because (a) I don't feel interested or (b) I don't want to know or (c) too many vocal opinions at the time of its release. So... I'm a mixed bag, basically.

  10. I'm definitely a mixed bag! My favorite thing is to binge a series, so sometimes I'll actually wait until they're all out before I start the series. But sometimes that's just not possible... For my FAVORITE series, I almost always re-read the previous books before devouring the new one. Once some time has passed, I'll sometimes re-read the newest one and savor it a little more. I wish I could slow down when I'm reading series finales! For series that I like and want to finish but am not totally invested in, I'm more likely to let the book sit on my shelves for a bit and won't end up re-reading previous books in the series. So, I guess for me it's Favorite = Re-Read + Devour and Like But Don't Love = When I Feel Like It. And like Alexa, sometimes I'll hold off on reading the final books if I've heard too many opinions on them. I don't want to go into a final books with other people clouding my thoughts!


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