Binge read series or read it book by book?

If you interact with me for a while you know that I prefer to binge read series. This way I don’t have to wait for months or even years for next installment. I’m not very good at waiting.

Another positive side of binge reading is that I can single out good series. We all know how many series started wonderfully, but then went downhill. This way I pick up only series that are worth my time.

I forget some details and events from previous installments by the time the next one is released. Of course I can always reread previous books before picking up the next one, but I’m a slow reader and I usually don’t have time to do it. Binge reading fixes this problem.

And finally I can buy books with matching covers. I hate when publishers change covers mid-series, though it’s probably a topic for another post.

Lately I have doubts about binge reading, because it has downsides. Reading a series book by book you are more involved with book-community. Everyone is reading latest installment at the same time, and you can chat with you friends about the book.

When you read a series book by book you can stay with characters longer. A while ago Keertana from Ivy Book Bindings wrote a review on Burn by Paula Weston. I want to quote a passage that struck me:

“But, now that I actually do have all the answers to my questions, answered beyond satisfactorily, I am beginning to realize what a privilege it was to have Weston’s cliffhangers living with me for a year. I can remember waking up, still six months prior to the release of Weston’s next novel in this series, and just lying in bed turning over all the possibilities and burning questions and unsolved mysteries. And now, with this series at an end, I am unbearably sad that I won’t be tossing and turning at night, thinking of these characters as I used to. Yet, I got what I wanted, didn’t I? As they say, be careful what you wish for.”

This resonated with me so much, because this is exactly what I lose binge-reading series.

Obviously there is no right or wrong way to read a series, but I wonder if I should try to pick up a series when there is only one book released.

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15 Comments on “Binge read series or read it book by book?

  1. I totally agree that there are pros and cons for both ways! I tend to have ZERO patience though and can’t help but start a series when it comes out. I also don’t like collecting series and waiting and then…discovering I don’t like it. But omg cliffhangers are the wooooorst. I’m suffering after finishing the sequel to Illuminae but having like 9+ months till the next one comes out!! AHHHH.

  2. I used to love randomly picking up series when only the first book is out, but honestly, I’ve been burned too many times, by the likes of love triangles, love interest switches or even main character deaths. Those are things I just don’t like reading about, so having all the books out and having spoilers at my hands helps me. It’s also better money wise because I know I’m investing in a series that I will enjoy. I really do love that quote by Keertana though. It’s a beautiful way to think of a series, I’m just not sure it’s for me.
    Nick recently posted…The Epitome of Mixed Feelings: Off the Ice by Julie Cross

  3. I’d actually never thought about it that way either, taking for granted that anticipation of waiting for the next book in the series. But for me, I’m terrible with waiting. Even books I’ve really enjoyed, too long of a wait and I tend to lose interest. It’s harder to find time to binge series in between review copies at times, but I love a good binge. I think it really does depend on how much you’re loving the series. Wonderful post Ksenia, definitely food for thought <3

  4. I use to binge whole series or all of an author’s books but found that with series in particular I rushed and just didn’t enjoy them as much. Now I wait at least 4-8 weeks between books and find I am happier.

  5. I can totally see why you like binge-reading series, Ksenia. I agree as well, except for when book 1’s come out and I’m too excited to wait for the rest of the books to come out. 😛

    But omg, my pet peeve is starting a book into action and forgetting how the previous book ended. Like, whoops?! And I’m too lazy to reread stories too, unless I super-loved it. All these books should have summaries or something at the end, geez lol.

  6. I am of two minds on binge reading. One the one hand I totally love the satisfaction of speeding through reading all the books and knowing you have all the answers there to your burning questions you just need to get to that books. I love nothing more than doing that… but at the same time, I do like to savour it. I like spreading out my enjoyment of a series over weeks, months and years because then you really get to appreciate all the work that went into that series. You can stew on it for longer and just keep that story in your life longer. It’s why I sometimes take breaks midway through a long series I’m catching up on, I like to delay the inevitable end.

  7. I like to binge read if I can, but most of the time I don’t have that luxury. You don’t forget details in between by binge reading. Sometimes, though, if it is a long series I have to take a break and get back to it. There’s pros and cons to both. Great post, Ksenia! :)
    Rachel recently posted…Review: Act Like it by Lucy Parker

  8. I can see the appeal of binge reading a series, especially as I’m not the most patient of readers, but with a lot of the book series that I’ve read, I’ve read them book to book and although the cliffhanger endings have just about killed me, but I loved the anticipation and wait for the next book! Great post Ksenia, I had a lot of fun reading this post!

  9. When I was new to blogging, I used to binge read everything because so many authors/series were new to me and then I started getting more books and falling behind…now I don’t have time to binge read :-(

    I prefer to read the series at once and I hope to get back doing it more as I step away from ARC’s these days.

    Karen @For What It’s Worth
    Karen recently posted…friday fast five

  10. I feel like binge reading is something that I *should* like, for all of the reasons that you’ve listed, but honestly I really struggle with it. Burn out is so common for me, even when it comes to my favourite worlds/authors, and I don’t want to ruin the reading experience by binging, you know? I tried to binge read the Kate Daniels series way back in the day and abandoned them; then a few months later, I picked the books back up and ended up loving them once they were interspersed with other things!
    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted…Review: The Turn by Kim Harrison

  11. I prefer binge reading series as well. You pointed out all the reasons perfectly – not forgetting details, matching covers and most importantly no frustration while waiting for next instalment :) Bingre reading is just the best for me!

  12. There are some series that I don’t mind waiting a year in between books. Those are the really angsty ones that take a lot out of me when I read them but the lighter, fluffier series by authors that I love are the ones that I’d prefer to binge read.

  13. Depending on how good the series is, I supposed. The last time I binge-read a series was a couple of years ago. It was Darynda Jones’ Charley Davidson series. I love reading everything back-to-back-to-back. 😀

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