Monday, February 11, 2019


I received an email the other day from an author I follow. Actually, I signed up for his newsletter a while back in exchange for a free copy of one of his books. A book I have yet to read. Will I ever read all those (or any of those, for that matter) free Kindle books I keep grabbing? But I just can't resist grabbing them. They're free!

Anyway, the point of this particular email was to ask for feedback from the readers. This author has written a series of books, but very few people ever read through the entire series. They'll read one or two or three of the books, and then they'll quit reading. He was asking how far we'd read and why we'd quit when we did.

Of course, since I haven't read any of the books, I couldn't speak to those books specifically, but I did give my best guess - there are many, many books available, and readers tend to get distracted.  Seriously, my TBR list is already miles long, and it just keeps growing. Every time someone mentions a book that looks interesting I add it. So, even when I start a series that I really like, I usually only end up reading 2 or 3 of the books. Then I decide to take a break from the series and read something else. Next thing I know, it's been 3 or 4 years... (there are a lot of something elses)

Here are a few examples:
  • I read the first three of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series in 2008, stopped for some reason and never continued. Now that we've started watching the series on Starz, I'm wanting to start that series again and read them all. But there are so many...
  • I re-read the first 4 Harry Potter books in 2011, fully intending to finish the series, but I took a break and haven't gone back since. (Though to be fair, I did read all of them as they came out, so maybe that's not the same?)
  • I started George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series in 2013 - After finishing #3, I took a short break to read other books and had definite plans to read the remaining 2 books in 2014.
    It's 2019, and I haven't gone back. Not because I didn't LOVE the books, because I did. (We did watch the series on HBO. Just waiting till April so we can find out what happens next)
  • I read Justin Cronin's The Passage and The Twelve in 2016 because the 3rd book in the series was coming out. I'd read The Passage several years before (in 2010) but never continued on... So I read both of them in preparation for City of Mirrors. Loved them both. And still haven't read City of Mirrors. (I do have it on hold at the library right now, so maybe I'll finally get to it)
  • And I started re-reading Stephen King's Dark Tower series in 2015. I've read a lot of other books along the way, but I haven't actually taken a complete break from the series. I'm still working my way through it and planning to finish the last 2 books this year. Check my 2019 book list when I post it next year to see if I actually accomplish that.
Yes, there are some series that I've continued with - Jan Karon's Mitford Series, The Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer (wanna listen to those again!), J.D. Robb's In Death series. And that's the real question - WHY do some series keep us coming back for more? And why do some fail to get our attention back once we've been distracted by all those other books?

I just need to learn to read faster, so I can read all the books.