I never thought I would delay in buying a book recommended by a friend (or this fine blog). But that day has come. It’s like realizing you are suddenly old.
Like most of you, I’m an avid reader. I buy books knowing I will get to them sometime and this has lead to a to-read pile requiring its own room. That doesn’t even count the e-books.
Here’s the thing, though: I have so many wonderful books stacked up waiting to be read that I find myself debating picking up a new book if it’s in a series.
One-off e-book buys happen all the time. If it can work as a standalone and a trusted friend advocates for it, it gets the immediate buy. But what do you do when the suggested single read turns into a promise of a series you’d love—one that already has five or more books available?
Me? I get nervous. I could fall into a delightful literary hole, gorging my mind on title after title of an addictive new series. I’ve done it before (J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series, Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy). And that means foregoing the books already waiting on me—the review reads, the friends’ books, all of it.
Is it going to be worth it? How do we, as avid readers, decide we’re willing to take on a new series? If it’s every bit as good as promised, it’s going to end up on the auto-buy list. You’ll devour the next and the next. The angst promised in Vicki Pettersson’s Signs of the Zodiac series sounded right up my alley, but I had to wonder if I was ready to be wrapped up in the saga.
Really, you’re starting a relationship with the author. Are you ready to make a commitment to stick with these characters for a few years?
My answer is almost always yes. I spend time reading about the series. Does the blurb sound good? Well, Friend A says it’s fantastic. Hmm. Let’s see what my favorite bloggers thought of it. Sure enough Bloggers B, C, and D put it on their favorites lists.
Here’s the backward part. While all this hesitation on committing to a new series makes me waver and think about how I’m going to convince my husband we need to buy another round of bookshelves, I’m more likely to jump on board if all my friends call the series addictive. If it really is good enough to make me abandon the stacks of awesomeness I already own, then I’m willing to dive in.
I will then groan about how I’m so behind on my to-read pile. If it’s not enough to make me forget about everything else—even the great titles waiting to be read in the other room—then maybe we’re meant for a one-night stand. And if it does make me devour book after book, not such a bad thing.
Perhaps the truth here is if you’re really a reader, you’re always going to be behind on your reading list. There will never be a time when there aren’t new books you need to devour, when there isn’t something you must read.
What’s the last series you got addicted to?
While Chelsea Mueller runs Vampire Book Club, she won’t turn down a sexy werewolf, demon or faerie. Her appreciation of Alexander Skarsgard is well documented. Bother her on Twitter - @ChelseaVBC — she likes it.