I am a devourer of books series. I gobble them up like a hungry hamster in a bowl of peanuts. But even though I love to read them, there are a few things about series which drives me nuts. Below I’ve compiled my top four most annoying things about reading series, and I’m pretty sure they’re familiar to you too if you’re a serial reader of series.
Waiting for the next book
This is definitely one of the biggest downsides when it comes to reading series. In an ideal world, you always find a series where the author has finished all the books – leaving you to enjoy it all at your own pace. However, most of the series I’ve started wasn’t finished, leaving me to wait for subsequent instalments to be published. If you’re lucky, there can be a couple of months between books (which is pretty rare), but often the next book in a series is released a (whole) year later. If you’re unlucky, it can take years before you see the next book in a series (A Song of Ice and Fire anyone?). The waiting time can be pretty tough – especially when you’ve just finished the latest book and want to read the next one ASAP.
I can’t count how many times I’ve bought the first few books in a series, only to have the publisher change the covers halfway through, relaunch the series with new covers or switch to hardback. I have so many series where the books just don’t match because the publisher suddenly realised that they had a goldmine on their hands and could charge a fortune by upgrading to hardback or a fancy paperback cover. If you borrow your books at the library, it’s of course not a major problem, but for everyone who buys books to fill that empty place in their soul on their bookshelf, it’s unbelievably annoying to look at the mishmash of books.
When the author stops writing
Sometimes you start reading a series, only to find out that the author won’t or can’t finish it. For one reason or another, they leave you hanging. Luckily, this is pretty rare, but I have experienced it once or twice. It’s probably also one of the most annoying things I’ve ever faced when it comes to reading. Imagine if J. K. Rowling decided to quit after writing Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire!
Of course, it’s one thing if the author dies, they can’t really help that, but it’s pretty devastating none the less because you know there’s no chance they’ll change their mind and write the rest of the books AND you miss out on any future books which they could have written! Brilliant authors really should be allowed to live forever…
Finishing a really good book can be painful; every bookworm knows that. However, the pain can be so much harder to bear when your favourite series end. I cried when Harry Potter ended and I’ve been emotionally unavailable for days when some of the other series I’ve read came to an end. You’ve followed your favourite characters on multiple adventures spanning years. You’ve invested so much time and a tonne of emotions on these books, so when it all comes to an end, the loss is substantial. Even if the author decides to write another series, you just know that, however great it is, it’ll never be the same.
These four things are incredibly annoying, but they are, of course, not enough to make me abandon all the lovely series out there. You just have to take the good with the bad, I guess.
What do you find most annoying about reading series? Have I missed something obvious?