Chat Between Chapters: Stand Alones, Trilogies, Series, Companion Books: What is your preference?

March 30, 2014 Chat Between Chapters, Featured Posts 25


 Do you prefer reading stand alone books or books in a series? If you like series, do you have a preference in the number of books in a given series? Do you prefer new main characters in each book of a series or a continuation/progression of storyline in a series?

Julie Review Avatar Julie:

Honestly I’m not a huge fan of long series books (here I mean 10+ books in the series). I don’t want to feel like I’m in a long term relationship with this series. The story just drags out forever and sometimes toward the end it gets to feeling like the books are just being churned out but they aren’t all that great. Companion series novels are alright because you can just pick up and leave wherever you want and you don’t miss out on a huge plot arc since each book in the series is more about that particular character’s story. But even there, I get burned out after a while. I prefer shorter series. Trilogies are best, and I’m a fan of duologies. I think a series shouldn’t be longer than about 5-7 books. That gives enough time to develop characters, really build an interesting world and create great plot lines, and then end the story before the readers get bored with everything.  I do enjoy standalone books as well.

Rose review avatar Rose:

I prefer a good book. Plain and simple. If it is part of trilogy, that is okay, so long as it is good. I also like long series if the characters remain throughout. In other words, I am not a big fan of a long series where each book features a different main character. I like long series because of the unique perspective it allows me to have on the main character. After I have been through a long series, I feel like the main characters are MINE. They are my friends. I know them so well. Does that make sense? I like stand alone novels as well. I like that they take no more commitment than one book. I can commit to just one book. Committing to a series can be tough. I also will not read a series out of order or start with book 4 in a series or something. My OCD will not let me. I must start at the beginning. But the bottom line is, I enjoy a good book… or three…. or 10…. or….. What about you?

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25 Responses to “Chat Between Chapters: Stand Alones, Trilogies, Series, Companion Books: What is your preference?”

    • Rose

      I know exactly what you mean Carrie. Sometimes my OCD compels me to read the whole series when I realize I do not even like the books, LOL.

  1. Tina at Mommynificent

    Wow! You guys really are kindred spirits! Especially Rose’s bit about being incapable of reading books out of order. That is so me! My family laughs at me regularly, but it doesn’t matter. I just can’t do it! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday! Hope to see you again this week!
    Tina at Mommynificent recently posted…Booknificent Thursday Book Link Up Party #40

    • Rose

      haah thanks Tina! My family laughs at me too, but oh well. We book lovers get it!

    • Julie

      I need to read more standalones. That should help with reading burnouts.
      I enjoy your linky 🙂

    • Julie

      Stalling for series is a good idea. Because waiting isn’t as fun. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

    • Julie

      I know what you mean! I have that issue too – not remembering if it has been a year (or even year and a half in some cases) between books in a series. That is just not right.

  2. Alise

    10+ series… blah. Not only do I lose interest around book four or five, but drawing it out for not reason except money or adding more drama for no reason makes me quit a series too. Trilogies are pretty nice, unless book two is a bore and then I’m done. I hear the Throne of Glass series is going to be at least 5(?) books and I’m definitely okay with that 🙂
    Alise recently posted…The Opposite of a Reading Slump?

    • Julie

      I’m with you on that – I can have a pretty short attention span and super long series really burn me out easily.

  3. Keith Schoch

    I love a series, but only when I stumble upon one I love that’s already complete. I hate waiting for the next book! I guess I’m like those folks who skip entire seasons of a show and then gorge on a whole season at once via Netflix.

    But as a teacher, there’s nothing like a great series to build readers in the classroom.

    Found you via Linky Party! Come by and visit some time.
    Keith Schoch recently posted…Destruction, Disruption, and Defiance: Jewish Resistance in the Holocaust

    • Julie

      I find it difficult to wait to watch a TV show until the entire season is out, but not as hard to wait for more books in a series to be written. Interesting, guess TV is more instant gratification in short bursts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  4. Jeannie

    I prefer stand alone books, but if I’m reading a series 3 books is enough. I find that I start skimming more than reading the 3rd book just to finish the story. I also like books that are “spin offs” taking characters from one book to make a new book.
    Jeannie recently posted…Sky Blue is a relaxing view.

    • Julie

      Spin offs are an interesting idea too. It is the same world, but not the same characters. Almost like a companion book. Glad you brought that up 🙂

    • Julie

      Do you space out your 10+ series reading, or do you tend to binge read them? I’m trying to space stuff out to avoid burn out.

  5. April @ The Steadfast Reader

    I’m with you guys. I don’t mind a 5 – 7 book series (assuming that they aren’t a zillion pages each and that the author doesn’t take a million years between volumes *pointed stare and George R.R. Martin*) but trilogies are fine (assuming it’s not a trilogy that’s written solely for the purpose of generating more profits). Most of the time, stand alones are just fine. 🙂

    Thanks for linking up with Spread the Love!
    April @ The Steadfast Reader recently posted…Spread the Love 2.0: Week Eight

    • Julie

      LOL at your pointed stare. Seriously though, everything in moderation, right? So a good 5-7 book series, where the books are a normal length, those are tolerable. I don’t read enough good standalones though. Sometimes it is just a breath of fresh air not to have to keep going in the world for ages and ages.

  6. Jessica

    I love them all. Like Rose said, I just love a good book. I think I lean more towards the shorter series, or standalones.

    The one exception is the Stephanie Plum series {book #21 releases this June} and although they are repetitive, I can’t help but love them.

    The one thing about series is that I hate starting one and being stuck in the series for a year-ish while waiting for the next one to release. I always forget all the details before starting the next in the series and often I have to re-read the 1st book{s} of the series before starting the next to become refreshed. And I don’t mind re-reading except that it takes time away from NEW books and NEW stories!! Which is why my new ‘rule’ of reading is that other than the series I’m currently in the middle of, I won’t be starting any new series unless all the books are released 🙂

    • Julie

      I agree, it is so hard to wait for the next book to come out and then run the risk of forgetting all the details. I shy away from starting a brand new series too. It is easier to read a series that is already established, or even completed.

    • Julie

      You make a very good point about having to reconnect with new characters when the companion series switches to a new set of characters. It really is like getting to know a new book. When a series continues with the same main characters you are already right there with them at the start of the next book.

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