Monday, February 23, 2015

Reading a Series

Since I decided not to set any reading resolutions for 2015, I've been taking it slow in terms of my reading pace. I started off the year with Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth, which I didn't end up finishing, and read Kingdom of Lies and Yes Please before picking up A Game of Thrones. It's taken me a few weeks, but I'm almost finished with A Game of Thrones, so I started to consider whether I want to continue reading the rest of the series.

Usually, when I read a series it's one that doesn't have all the books published yet. That was the case for Harry Potter when I was growing up, and more recently for my latest fantasy series obsession. If a series has more than one book (or even the entire set) available, I sometimes like to jump in and read each book in quick succession. With this read, I have many (but not all) of the books in the series available for reading, but I still can't make up my mind.

I'll be honest, I love reading Game of Thrones, but I don't think I could have made it through the first book without having watched the TV series first. I know that can be a serious crime for some readers -- to watch a movie or TV show before reading-- but in this case I am definitely a late-to-the-party fan. Plus, there are so many characters and so many complicated relationships; having those characters and their environments already built in my head is so helpful in allowing me to concentrate on the best parts of the story. I remember reading Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce (one of the best fantasy authors of all time) when I was younger and really loving the story but constantly struggling with keeping the numerous characters straight.

Considering that keeping up with the story takes some energy (and that I've spent three weeks reading the first in the series), I think I'll be taking a break before moving on to the second book. I am confident, however, that eventually I'll get around to reading the entire series. In the meantime, I'm considering how best to temper the mood of Game of Thrones with my next read. I like to mix up the genre or tone when selecting my next read, so this time around I'm looking for a non-fantasy read that is a bit lighter in tone. First on my list is this funny memoir, but I'm also considering this historical fiction read, or maybe I'll have a random book at the library catch my eye.

How do you read a series?

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