Do you read books in a series back to back?

I’m reading The Story of a New Name, the second book in Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet at the moment. I read the last book back in November and now I’m asking myself two questions:

  • Why did I wait so long to start the second book?
  • Should I read the third book in the series next, or wait?

I can easily think of reasons for both sides of the answers to the second question. I had a few days off each time round, so was able to reader longer (and later). I don’t have a holiday for some time, so I should wait until then…but then it will take me nearly the whole year to finish the series! So I could read the third next, but then could I restrain myself to wait for the last book?

There’s also the point that blog readers might get bored with Ferrante Fever. But well…you know as well as I do how good she is! In 2016, I’m trying to read more of my own books (before I end up on an episode of Hoarders or the floor foundations collapse). But I’ve promised to read some great new releases, I’ve got some busy weeks coming up etc etc. There is always an excuse not to do something, to prolong the pleasure of a series…

I have a copy of book 35 of the Morland Dynasty by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles, which I haven’t read, because I think it is the last in the series (hard to find out). I’m not ready to say goodbye to the Morlands, whose fates I read back to back as fast as I could order them from Amazon! (They were crazily difficult to buy in Australia, my collecting spanned not only Australia wide, but New Zealand and Singapore too). The only other series I’ve read back to back has been Harry Potter (I discovered him at the time of release of book 4). Otherwise, I tend to read series at a more leisurely rate. This is probably because I start reading them on the first book’s release (e.g. Bunyip Bay series by Rachael Johns, Boys of Summer by Victoria Purman) or they are hard to get hold of! (Like the Ferrante books, I wanted them all to be the same cover!)

Do you feel the same way? Do you put off reading books in a series until a more convenient time? Do you wait for the next book to be released before reading the previous one so you’ve always got one in reserve? Or do you read them back to back?

And if you’d like to recommend me a series, please do. I love revisiting beloved characters!

22 thoughts on “Do you read books in a series back to back?

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  1. I haven’t read this series but I am about to start it so will be interested to hear what those who’ve read them all think about back-to-back or space them out. I’m not a huge lover of series and in the past, if I have read a series, I’ve tended to space them out – too much of a good thing and all that!

  2. I tend not to read series back to back. I’m not a huge lover of series and tend to get bored if I read the books one after the other. It’s weird, because I am a huge binge watcher of TV. If I find a series I like, I want to watch episode afar episode until there are no more, but I’m the opposite with books!

  3. I haven’t read this series, but I’ve got the first three, which I’ll probably read in order. I read a lot of crime series – usually police procedurals – for my blog and with most of them I’m not too fussed about reading in order – you want to review the book close to its release date, and you probably don’t have time to catch up if you’ve missed a couple out. I have a strange rule not to read two books by one author in a row – I feel it skews my judgement! I do have a friend who won’t read series out of order, though. Can I just say, I think your Ferrante covers are much nicer and more striking than the UK ones? PS I can relate to your hoarders/floor collapsing dilemma! We plan to move soon and I don’t know WHAT I’m going to do with my books! The idea of a cull is anathema to me!

    1. Sometimes I won’t read the same author back to back – like you, I worry about my judgement and if book A is awesome and book B only so-so, is that really right!
      I love the Aussie Ferrante covers – have sought them out, the just ‘fit’ somehow.

  4. Yes, I totally do this. I read Ferrante one and two back-to-back and three and four are on the shelf ready to do the same. I also have Jane Smiley’s latest trilogy – I had a copy of the first book when it was published but waited for the final one so I can read them back-to-back, oh and Atwood’s dystopian trilogy too, the one that ends with Maddaddam. The problem now is making time to read them in a row. I can’t remember whether I did this as a kid (my stepson certainly did) or whether it’s come about from binge watching box sets.

    1. I’m so desperate to read the third Ferrante now! But realistically, it’s not a good time (couple of blog tours plus a lot of evening get-togethers). I did sneak in the first chapter though.

  5. A good series I am reading is Jeffrey Archers The Clifton Chronicles which is up to book 5 of 7 each book ends in a cliff hanger, you only get one book per year, so you have to wait!!

  6. I rarely read two books by the same author. Having said that I have just bought a heap of books by Dana Stabenow, who I have just discovered.
    After reading your review I will read the Elena Ferrante I have on my TBR pile next.

  7. Hi there! I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed this blog post of yours… Not just this one but all of them because they are all equally great.

    I should mention that because of how much I loved this post of yours I had to check out your blog and I couldn’t help but follow you because your blog is both amazing and beautiful. I am so happy I came across your blog and found it because I do really love it and I truly can’t wait to read more from you, so keep it up (:

    P.s. This comment is towards all of your blog posts because they are all equally amazing and incredible, keep up the great work (:

  8. Like you I read the first Ferrante back in October. I save the rest for my summer holidays. We were going away & I wanted to take books guaranteed to woo me. But I think I should have had a break between book 2 and book 3 as I got a bit tired of it & felt a little jaded. I’m now having a break before tackling no. 4.

    In the past I have read all of Anne of Green Gables, Little Women and Lord of the Rings all in one hit. But I did crazy things in my uni years!!

  9. I’m not usually in to series, but I’ve read so many positive reviews on her work (though one reviewer questioned the identity of the writer). I’ve been waffling on what to read next and almost bought the first one. After reading your post, I think I’ll make the jump. Thanks!

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