Last year I did something I’ve not really done before, namely binge-reading a book series where I haven’t read (the majority) of the books before. Last summer, I decided to read the Lorien Legacies series by Pittacus Lore pretty much consecutively. I had already read the first few but wanted to finish them all and I ended up massively enjoying the experience, so much so that I have decided to do the same again at some point this year, this time with the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. So, looking forward to this, I thought I might go through a few pros and cons that I have discovered associated with this kind of reading. I should mention that in this post I am talking about book series that have already been out and finished before I decided to binge-read them, rather than purposefully waiting for a whole series to come out before reading them, both because I’ve not really done that before and I can think of a few different pros and cons associated with doing that, for example how it works out with supporting the author and series which I won’t be mentioning here. Right, after that disclaimer, let’s get into it!
Take that reading amnesia! – I won’t say much about it here because I have a post coming up dedicated to my reading amnesia, but what I will say is that I get it really bad. Even with books I have loved, ask me about specific plot points even only a few weeks after I have finished them then I won’t know. This is especially bad with series where there is months if not years between releases. Unless I read all the other books in the series before the latest release (which is a nice notion but the majority of the time is not very pheasable), I get completely confused. Binge-reading obviously deals with this problem perfectly!
(me at my reading amnesia)
No cliffhanger rage – is there anything worse than dedicating time and energy into a series and it ends in a cliffhanger? Yes, I know it has it’s pros too like keeping you excited and allowing for discussion and debate between releases but I have never been a big fan. Binge-reading works out well for me then because even if there is a cliffhanger I don’t have like, a year of sleepless nights trying to figure out what happened, instead I get to just find out a few moments later (patience has never been my strong suit)!
Immersion – one thing I really enjoyed binge-reading the Lorien Legacies series was staying in the world Pittacus Lore had created. With a book series like the Lorien Legacies which is a sort of sci-fi fantasy binge-reading was also good because it kept me up to date on the lore .etc. which was really handy!
Avoiding Spoilers – the whole premise of the type of binge-reading I’m talking about is reading books where the whole series has already been released which means avoiding spoilers! Not only is this online and on blogging platforms but also having to avoid reading the blurb of books later on in the series because they often tell you something about what has happened previously, and when buying them avoiding plot summaries and reviews!
Missing the Hype – when the books have already been released for a few years you often miss the hype. I know I said I hate cliffhangers and waiting but I was a part of the Harry Potter generation where we used to read the latest release pretty much on the day of publication, literally talk to anyone and everyone about what had happened and then start looking forward to the next book (and a bit later in the series, there was a film to look forward between releases as well!) so I do know how special this type of reading can be.
Hard to Chat – what I discovered binge-reading a series was that it can be difficult to chat to people about the novels between books because the people you want to about them have often finished the whole series and so it is difficult for them to think and chat objectively about just one of the books + them having to remember what has and hasn’t happened up to the point that you have read. On the other hand, this is a pro of binge-reading old series rather than reading them with gaps, you finish the whole series pretty quickly so can then chat and discuss to your hearts content!
So there we have it, some pros and cons that I have discovered so far in my foray into binge-reading book series. Which book series, if any, have you binged? Have you discovered any other pros and/or cons of this way of reading?
As always, happy reading!