Series Books and Commitment

You just picked up a new novel at the library, only it’s part of a series.  You’re not sure you want to be committed to reading and waiting for the future installments, so do you take the book home or do you pass it up?  

Similarly, your neighbor has been reading a series since it was first written 5 years ago.  She’s starting to not enjoy it as much as she used to but feels committed to continuing the series.  Should she continue to read it, or should she quit?

Series books can be great. They allow us to see favorite characters again and again, and to continue a story that otherwise would have ended with the last page.  However, they also often end on cliffhangers, drag us in, and don’t let us go so easily. We often feel compelled to start from book 1, continue reading even when we stop enjoying the story, and constantly have future installments on our to-read list. 

So Library Readers, do you feel compelled to continue reading a series even after you have stopped enjoying it?  Do you think twice before beginning a new series? 

Here’s what a select sampling of Livingston Public Library Librarians have to say:

  • Katie, Head of Adult Services: Katie feels compelled to continue a series after she starts reading one (even if she isn’t in love with it).  She doesn’t like it when an installment of a series feels like part of a book and prefers it when the books within a series tell their own complete stories. 
  • Jessica, Adult Services: I feel terribly guilty for not wanting to continue series after I have started one, so I usually do. This is especially true if I LOVED the first few books in the series. 
  • Gina, Youth Services: I haven’t been a fan of series books since I started reading! That being said, if it can hold my interest, I’ll read it.  (For example, in Neal Shusterman’s Unwind Dystology, I LOVED each book!)  Oftentimes, if I feel the formulaic writing can’t sustain the series I do not continue reading. There are too many other good books out there.

Comment below with your thoughts!

-Jessica, Adult Services Librarian 

Livingston, NJ 07039, USA

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