Sunday, December 16, 2007

Reading Habits

I was in Walgreens yesterday, picking up a few things. Naturally, I wandered down the magazine/book aisle.
I usually don't buy books in the drug store, or in the grocery store, or anywhere else other than a bookstore. They simply don't have a great selection (at least those around me don't). However, this time around, there on the shelf, was one of James Patterson's books that I was pretty sure I hadn't read yet.

Like I said, I was pretty sure. I've been known to buy a book, only to get it home and discover that I've already read it, or that it's stitting in the TBR pile. The solution to never buying a book twice, of course, is to carry around a rather thick notebook that lists everything I've ever read. I don't think I want to attempt to make such a list -- though it's kind of interesting and fun to watch books accumulate on my Shelfari shelf. Or I could always check to make sure I'm buying a book that's been released in the past couple of months. That way I'd never buy a duplicate of something I read months or even years ago.
But then I'm sure I'd miss out on some great reads. Like the Alex Cross books. I've read most of them, but not all.
And as you may have guessed, I'm reading the series out of order. This doesn't bother me a bit. However, I know people who insist on reading series books in order, who will collect them and put them aside until they have every one before reading any of them.
What do you do with series books? Do you read them as you buy them, or hoard them away for a reading fest when you've collected them all?
Wishing everyone a blessed, joyous Christmas, and a healthy, prosperous New Year!


catslady said...

Cat and Mouse is the 4th in a series of 11 books and guess which one I'm missing - book No. 1. Unfortunately I'm one of those that wants to read in order so all those books sit here 'til I get that first book. I'm always afraid I'll miss something and I hate when books refer to things that I know nothing about. On the other hand, besides books just sitting unread, I've been known to buy a whole series and then find out it's not so great. Ideally I would like to get just the first book of any series but it doesn't always work that way.

Shari Anton said...

I started with Roses are Red before I knew it was a series, so the earlier ones will be backstory for me. I guess I don't mind it so much because each is a good story on it's own. Just a bit disconcerting, however, to have Alex's kids at different ages!

blackroze37 said...

i really wished the would put the number in the book title or somewhereeeeeeees on it
one,part one, the first one........ cau i hate to get on the 2n or 3rd boko, then get to reading and figure out its sevral part series, and really odnt make as much sense as if read the other ones first

Sinda said...

Although it is great to read a series in order, when I read a good book and discover it is number 2, 3 or 12 of a series, I am thrilled to know there are that many good books by the author I can go back and read without having to wait until a new one is written or published.
Enjoy your books Shari.

Diana Holquist said...

I always have trouble with reading books in a series. I get SO disappointed. It always seems to go something like this: I read one great book. Then an okay one. Then a real stinker....

I won't keep reading just to know what happened to, say, the 47 McDuffycoy brother. I'm done. And often, I won't even go back to the author because I've lost faith.

Now that I'm a writer, I see it's HARD to keep a series fresh. And yet, I still hold authors to high standards as a reader.

I wish there were less series. They strike me these days as mostly a marketing ploy.

(Oh, dear, I am grumpy today, aren't I? I better go have my coffee...)


Shari Anton said...

I hear you, Rose. I thought it was kind of interesting that Patterson numbered the books in the Women's murder club series, and of course, Janet Evanovich has her numbered series. Since we all can't be that obvious, I guess we need to settle for checking the inside of the book for a list, or checking the author's web site.

Shari Anton said...

Bless you, Sinda :).

You're right about those standards, Diana. Once you become a writer, you tend to become more selective in your reading. I know how hard it is to keep a trilogy fresh -- and those are all pretty much stand alone books. I can't imagine keeping a Character (like Cross or Plum) fresh over a series of books.

Elizabeth Hoyt said...

Go drink some coffee, Diana! ;-)

I can't believe you all can read series OUT OF ORDER! This is just impossible for me...which can be a problem for something like JD Robbs IN DEATH series...

Barbara Vey said...

Although I've often read books out of order because I didn't realize they were series, I'd much rather read them in order.

I read all kinds of books, but I like series because, to me, it's like spending quality time with friends.

Diana, I do agree with you about when the series goes downhill. I've stopped several series because of it.

Shari Anton said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shari Anton said...

Hard to leave old friends behind, isn't it? I've stopped series too, but very reluctantly, and have been known to give it "one more try" first :).

Thanks for the thoughts, ladies!!

Amy said...

Like others have said, I only read them out of order if I didn't realize it was a series. I absolutely hate reading series in the wrong order because I don't like any details to be spoiled or given away.

but that's just me!

Shari Anton said...

That's how I'm feeling at the moment, Amy. Wouldn't you know -- I stumbled into the middle of Laurel K. Hamilton's Meredith Gentry novels. I really need to pay better attention. ::sigh:: I think I need to head for the library for previous books. I have a feeling the details in this one will be too hard for me to ignore.