Book Blogger Hop Nov 12

Friday, November 12, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

This weeks Book Blogger Hop is twofold: a challenge and a question.  I sadly have to admit that, while I put several new blogs on my reading list last Friday, and have read their posts this week in my RSS feed, I was very busy with work last weekend and Monday. Since then I have been catching up on other tasks (cleaning the apartment, formatting Facsimile (see sidebar) for ePub...) and didn't post five comments on any one blog.  Ah well.  I'll stick to my tactic of only commenting when I really have something to day, I guess. ;)

Now today's question:

"If you find a book that looks interesting but is part of a series, do you always start with the first title?"

I am fairly inconsistent about this, actually.  Sometimes I am stubborn about reading the first book first, or reading all the books in a series. For example, I own all of Fleming's James Bond novels because I was reading them in order from the library and I just could not get the library to send me a copy of The Spy Who Loved Me, even though I'd been trying for months.  So I broke down and bought that one and a couple more, and then I fell subject to collection sickness and had to get them all.

On the other hand, a mass market paperback that I just happen upon in the library I might try out regardless of whether it's the first one, and decide later whether I want to backtrack.  That's how I read When The Tide Rises by David Drake, although I didn't like it enough to track down the earlier books.

Or if the most famous book in a series is in the middle, and I don't intend to read them all, I might jump around. When I was getting into classic noir, I read The Long Goodbye first, and then ended up going back to read all of Chandler's Marlowe books.  This is usually a good tactic for books that can stand alone, but are tied together by a character or world.

That's another good point actually.  I used to always read series and not mind plots that might not get resolved until the end of the trilogy or what-have-you, but nowadays I tend to prefer books that either can stand alone or be part of a series.

6 comments:

Susan said...

Interesting! I think you're the first blogger I've come across who doesn't care that much about reading series books in order. I've got a little OCD and HAVE to read them in order. I seriously can't NOT do it. Crazy, huh?

Glad to have found you via the Hop!

Christin said...

You're braver than I am - I always worry about not starting at the beginning! I'm too type-A to hop around I suppose!

Have a good weekend!

My Hop

Howard Sherman said...

I can dive right into the middle of a book series if the series' story
doesn't run chronologically.

That is to say, if each novel in a series is a stand-alone story (like Lee
Child's Reacher novels) then I don't feel the need to start with book one.

On the other hand, a series of books (like Richard Hatch's Battlestar
Galactica novels) can't be read out of sequence since each new book builds
upon the story of the previous entry in the series.

Happy Book Blogger Hop Friday!

Howard Sherman
http://www.howardsherman.net

Darcy said...

Hi,

I'm stopping by from the Hop

and I'm a new Follower!

I think that you get a better understanding of the whole picture when you read a series from the beginning as opposed to reading it out of order. I'm a big believer of reading material as it was intended which in this case would be in order.

Have a wonderful weekend & Happy Reading!

Darcy @ Open Book Empty Cup please check me at (openbookemptycup.blogspot.com)

Lindsay said...

Hi Darcy,

I think you're getting into something interesting now, which is the question of author's intent vs. effect on the reader. I do read many series in order, but there are those (like Discworld) in which many books aren't connected enough for it to be an issue, and those in which the order is in question. Take Chronicles of Narnia, for a classic example: there is plenty of unresolved debate whether it is more effective for a reader to read them in the order in which they were written or the order in which the events occur. The author's intent seems to be confusing: Lewis has been cited approving of chronological publication orders, but many scholars and readers argue for publication order, and that is the order they were originally conceived in.

Long-running series in which prequels are written later are another example, and then you have the occasional series like Dark Tower! I've read both versions of the first book. I really liked the original version, but I also understand that King wanted to go back and revise it to make it fit better with the later books. Not sure quite what I'd recommend to a new reader of the series, though.

(And then of course there are comic books, in which reading from the beginning makes no sense, given how often the 'past' is revised in the current stories and how often the author changes... but that's a whole other question.)

Sorry for the rambling... I just love to think about these things.

Cheers!

Lindsay said...

Also: Hi Susan and Christin!

And Howard: Yes, exactly: some series are more closely linked than others.

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