SERIESous Discussion: How Long is TOO Long Between Books?

SERIESous Discussions: Every once and awhile I will post my random ramblings about a bookish or blogging topic. Feel free to join in by making a comment below or linking back!

Waiting for sequel novels–especially when you pre-ordered the inaugural book and finished it the day it was delivered–can be torturous!

We all know that books go through quite the process in order to be published. Authors are people too with lives and families and other responsibilities. Even if we wish that that wasn’t necessarily the case.

But how long is too long between sequels?

To read them that is.

I’m not talking about waiting for the publishing date. One year between books–the standard for most YA novels–is a long time, but it’s out of the readers’ control. You can’t do anything besides wait or reread the previous novel.

What I am talking about is: how much space between you reading Book 1 and Book 2 is acceptable?

This past summer, I caught up on a lot of series I hadn’t read in 1-plus years. Meaning the plots and characters weren’t fresh in my mind. I had to put a lot of trust in my personal summaries as well as previous reviews to get me in the right mindset to read the sequel.

And it came with mixed results.

I’m a series-a-holic (obviously) and I like to read my books as close together as possible because my memory is absolute crap. So for series that had more intricate details–I struggled to get back into the flow of things and subsequently rated the book lower than I expected. Whereas series that were more romance based or focused on a different set of characters–I rated them as I usually would.

Case and Point:

Finale (Hush, Hush, #4)

I LOVED Hush, Hush when I first read it in October 2009. And I kept up religiously with this series every year the sequels were published–except for the very last novel, Finale. I pre-ordered it in September 2012, lugged it with me every year through undergrad (end of 2014) and yet I still hadn’t finished it (as of June 2016). That’s nearly 4 years!

Part of it was my own personal hype–I didn’t want one of my favourite series ever to end even though I was dying to know how it all wrapped up. The other issue was that I got into other series and simply forgot.

But I did eventually read it this year thanks to some major changes to my reading habits and reading challenges.

And I did not like it at all!

I feel like the biggest issue was me simply not remembering the plot details and being so far removed from that series since it had been nearly 5 years since I read Silence (Book 3).

So Lauren, why this long ass post?

I wrote this post because I’m getting ready to clean up my Goodreads TBR. What that means is that I want to eliminate books I probably won’t ever read and finish series I have left hanging incomplete.

My issue is that I have a lot of series that remain unfinished that I haven’t read in years! And I can’t decide what to do!

Should I reread the previous books? Just dive in and hope for the best? Or write them off as incomplete series?

The “finisher” in me really wants to wrap these series up. But the “practical” part of me wonders what I can possibly gain by reading a series I haven’t touched in 3+ years? If I haven’t thought about it in 2+ years, is it really worth bringing back up to the surface?

Which is why I raise the question:

How long is too long between sequels?

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Comments 2

  • YES!! So true! The wait for a sequel is simply a painful process, a few months is okay but a year feels tooo long! That’s why I love to binge read series, I mostly wait for all the books or at least the first two to be out before starting a series.
    Great post btw!

  • I find it’s easier with New Adult contemporaries to pick up sequels months later because they are often about a different set of characters (so what happened in the last book isn’t totally relevant). But it’s harder with fantasy and dystopian novels where there are multiple over-arching plots. So I’m starting to get to that point where I only read series with at least 2 books out. But sometimes, I just can’t resist picking that book up and diving in. Especially if I have been waiting a long time for it in the first place. (Like Starflight–I wanted to read it a solid year before it was even published!)

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