When you’ve had enough of a book series – My Dear John letter

December 20, 2014 Discussion 23

As fiction readers, especially fantasy or science fiction readers we are all used to investing years into a particular author’s book series. There are so few stand alone fantasy books that almost every book I pick up seems like its part of a series.

But there are only so many hours in my day and only so many damn books that I can fit into my life. Yet every year more NEW series are started. How the heck do I/we decide which series to start and which ones to continue?

buried alive reading

Essentially when if ever do you decide that you’ve had enough of a particular series?

Right now I’m in the midst of that dilemma and I’ve been having all sorts of thoughts and questions running around in my head. Tell me if you’ve hit any of these.

dont want to feel like this

(Imagine me shouting and getting really uppity when I say these things rather loudly to my sister as she cackles.)

You’re reading the whatever Umpteenth fucking # in the series – (usually anywhere from say 4th to 9th book maybe?) and you think to yourself “Jeez everything in here reads just like the damn book before it!”

– It’s rinse, repeat and the writing is starting to get repetitive – how many times do I need to read the same scenario of gearing up, strapping on, bemoaning about something! Comeeee on!

– I’m getting tired of this particular brand on drama. You need to suck it up and drive on or jeezus just you know GROW. Things need a bit of a mix up, shake up. I’m feeling stagnant here – are you constipated…I think the writing is constipated – here, let me go get you laxative…

– Every new “challenge” that the protagonist faces is bigger and badder then the book previous. Jimminy Cricket! -Just how powerful can a character get? You’re stronger then me, so I’m just going to crap awesome bad-assery from my pores and become more awesome then you so I can still come out on top and maybe with a few token bruises.

– Seriously, how MUCH freaking CRAP/trouble/drama can one person REALLY get into? Dude/ette if you were a place you’d have been cordoned off with roadblocks, a million miles of hazard tape and probably put to demolition by now. Sometimes there IS such a thing as TOO MUCH ACTION!

– *nibbles* this bread is getting a little stale. I’m not getting any nutrition here. When am I going to get a little bit of closure? It’s been years now, I’m a patient person but I have my limits, some of these plot threads need to start being tied off.

But I’m invested! – I’ve been reading this series for years now, think of all the time you’ve put into reading this series Tabitha. If you give up now – you won’t find out what HAPPENS.

– Is finding out what happens at this point worth it any longer to me if I’m eyerolling and skimming and no longer truly enjoying? I say not – but I have this fear that I’m going to miss out on something fabulous.

– The new release date rolls around for the next book and I’m no longer curled up with said book in hand, nose deep in the pages late into the night.

– You put off reading said new release for other shinier books that are “new and fresh”. Cause I like my fresh fruits and veggies folks. And you aren’t going to eat a old moldy thing you found in your fridge are you?

When has a series hit it’s saturation point!!!? Maybe it’s different for everyone and yes definitely different for every series we read. Some I can read for 12 books and still want more – others I feel like I’m ready for it to be done after 5 or 6. How about we set a flexible limit publishers/authors – lets say give them no more then 10 and wrap it up?

I think it’s time to say good bye – I’m going to do it – I’m going to pull a Dear John…

terribly uncomfortable gif

Dear Series,
All the signs are there. We might be happier without eachother. I loved you once but oh how my love has faded. It’s not you I swear, it’s me – I’ve moved on and you haven’t. Or maybe it is you let’s face it – it could be you, the fault in any relationship doesn’t only fall on one side of the fence. Let’s just agree to disagree and go our separate ways. I might sneak back to you in a moment of weakness but don’t wait up for me because baby I might not ever be coming home again. Don’t leave the light on.

Sincerely no longer yours,
The Disinterested Reader aka Tabitha

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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23 Responses to “When you’ve had enough of a book series – My Dear John letter”

  1. Hooda

    Fortunately, this hasn’t happened to me yet. All the series have their ups and downs, but I’ve never felt the need to abandon one. Maybe because I’m rather skittish about picking up in progress works, and the series has to really be popular and recommended – stuff like Kingkiller Chronicle. If the times comes when I find that I’m not enjoying a series, I’m not going to stick around. As to what happens, there’s always Wikipedia.

    Also, I don’t think putting limits is a good idea. So long as the author has great stories to tell, let them! Look at Discworld. Dozens of great books.
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  2. Joy // Joyousreads

    Looove this post! Fun, and accurate depiction of how most of us feel. I don’t follow a lot of series, but those that I do are the ones that I’m a huge fan of. I know BDB is working on its 13th (?), and some natives have become restless already. Not me, though. I can’t get enough. Lol.
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  3. Mary @ BookSwarm

    You said EXACTLY what I’ve been thinking about a series I’m currently invested in AND a couple that I’ve had to break up with. I particularly dislike when they keep getting more powers and such and it just doesn’t help because the baddies still kick their asses (until they don’t, that is). No growth. No change. Same ole, same ole. NOT a good thing. Doesn’t keep me invested. (Okay, I’m going to cut it off now because I could go on about this for a long time!)
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  4. Kerry Alan Denney

    Hilarious, thanks for sharing. And this is why I write – and love to read – stand alone novels. Fresh ideas, new characters, and best of all… we don’t know if our heroes and heroines are going to make it to the end. We’re on the edge of our seats for the whole ride, wondering if the good guys are even going to break even, much less win the day, save the world, get the girl… or if the world is going to explode and the demons are going to take over. Check out mine! SOULSNATCHER http://amzn.to/ZP5vVZ

  5. Felicia

    I know what you mean! I usually stop a series when I, while reading number who-knows-what, I get the feeling that says “Right now I’m just reading this to finish the series”. You know, when I feel like I don’t actually want to read the books anymore; I just wanna pull through. Then maybe it’s time to read something else.

    – Love, Felicia
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  6. Miriam @ Inky Realms

    I loved Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel books but felt this way about her Nammah sequels. Now every time I see Carey say she won’t write any more in that universe I am secretly relieved!!! They were perfect without being added to.

    Also, you can always wikipedia the end of the series if the curiosity is eating you up! 😀
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  7. Molly Mortensen

    I can so relate to this post! I hate giving up on a book, must less a series, but sometimes it just doesn’t do it for me anymore.

    Dresden files #10 Small Favor. I’ve started it three times over the years and ‘put it aside’ at the same place every time. I used to love these books, but the last couple have been a struggle and the action has become dull.

    It must be hard for an author to write a series when they feel that every book has to be bigger than the last. More explosive, bigger bads, more kick-buttery, ect. I think the best series are ones that feature different characters and times/places in the worlds.
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  8. Silvara

    I hate giving up on series I’ve loved. But I have done it before and will most likely do it again.

    I loved Tamora Pierce’s Tortall universe. I read 5 of the series in that world, and you got to re-meet several characters from one series into the others. But by the time the Trickster series in that universe came out… I couldn’t get into it. I still like the other 5, and occasionally re-read a book from them, but the first one in the Tricksters I never got past page 100 or so.

    I should have given up the Anita Blake books years ago. The first 7? or so were really really good. And I fell in love with characters and concepts and all. And then they went seriously downhill. But I had to know what was going to happen to some of the characters. So I kept reading, I just didn’t buy them in hardcover anymore and got them used if I could. They’re finally (maybe?) getting better again. But it was a huge stream of wtf books to get there.

    I guess I give up on a series when the thought of reading another word makes me think of a hundred other things I’d rather be doing. If I can still be sucked into the book, even one I don’t like as much as previous ones in the series, I hang onto it a while longer.
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  9. Richelle Nicole

    Bahahhahahahahaha, I could actually hear you whilst reading this! To freaking hilarious. Some series simply hit there expiration date and like that moldy bit of leftovers from dinner, must be tossed in the rubbish bin. Not that it isn’t sad to see them go sometimes, that dinner could have been a five course meal once. Once I feel like a series is just regurgitating the same old thing, it’s lost its flavor and I’m done. No worries though cause there are plenty of fresh books in the sea! Happy reading
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  10. Kel @ Booked til Tuesday

    I know exactly what you mean. As a kid/teen, I finished everything, even series I wasn’t loving. As long as I didn’t actively despise it, I’d keep going. Now? If I’m not excited for or interested in the next book, buh-bye. I can always search out the spoilery reviews or pick up the last book and flip to the back to find out what happens if I get curious later. 🙂
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  11. Jackie

    This is mostly the reason why I almost NEVER finish series. I think 95% of the time I stop after book one. Because it’s satisfying, and everything else that follows will not be as good. So, let’s not ruin my opinion of an author, k?

    I can handle a trilogy, but when books go beyond that I get too distracted from the main story line. What were they questing for again? I can’t even remember. [Harry Potter excluded, mind you]
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  12. Sara L.

    The only time I’ve given up on a series was because I’d had enough of the protagonist. I couldn’t relate to her, and by the end of the second book, I wanted to strangle her. Plus, the quality of the writing wasn’t all that good. So, I figured I was better off stopping there, and I haven’t given a second thought of resuming that series since then.
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  13. kimberlybuggie

    So TRUE! This has happened to me a few times. One series in particular I’m thinking of – but I kept going and it turns out it was just a bad book in the series because the next one was awesome! But then the one after that was flat…
    Sometimes it is better to say goodbye. There are a couple that I know I won’t be continuing on for next year. Sure there’s investment, but I can also go get all the spoilers, find out what happens and then not waste my time reading something I won’t like/be mad at. There are so many awesome books out there.
    Especially with series, sometimes I wish I had stopped after the best one and not continued. (Cough, Hunger Games, Cough)
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