Monday, August 8, 2011

Series or Stand Alone Book?

Which do you prefer to read? A book in a series or a stand alone book?

I must admit how much I loved Jan Karon's Mitford Series. I embraced the characters and couldn't wait to dive back into Mitford and into the lives of the people (yes, I felt they were real people not just characters). I also enjoyed Janet Evanovich's over-the-top mystery series with Stephanie Plum. No, I haven't gotten hooked on reading Harry Potter's adventures, but I know readers could hardly stand to wait for the next book. Joselyn Vaughn's sweet romance stories and W S Gager's noir mystery series with Mitch Malone keep me coming back for more too.

I enjoy a good book not in a series too. The Help and the Kite Runner are stand alone books. The story is told and wrapped up in the ending. I was satisfied.

To be fair, I must cast my vote since I am asking you, dear readers, to vote for one or the other.  But I don't want to prejudice the vote, so I will hold my vote until the results are in next week.

Please vote in the poll at the right side of the page and leave a comment. You may want to share with us what book(s) persuaded you to vote this way.


Cellophane Queen said...

I'd rather read a standalone than reach the end of the first book in the series where a whole lot of unanswered questions are left lying around, insisting you need to read book 2, etc.

Series can be written so that each book can be read and enjoyed all by itself.

For example, most often cozy mysteries are a series of sorts. Miss Marple, et al. But I can pick up any of the Miss Marple books, anywhere in the order written and enjoy them. Same thing with Sherlock Holmes. I've been meaning to read the Stephanie Plum books, but haven't found my round-to-it yet. I lost it somewhere around 2008.

I also lose patience with TV series that decide they need an arc of some kind. CSI's Ray had to chase down the serial killer, Jane's persistent pursuit of Red John began to bore me.

Put me down as enjoying a series, but you'd better not leaving me hanging to find out some highly important plot point until the next book.

J.Q. Rose said...

Aha! My sentiments exactly, Marva. Each book in a series should be able stand alone. It does make it difficult for the writer to slip information in for the reader to tie all the loose ends together though.

Joselyn Vaughn said...

I like reading series with related characters that don't have to be read in order and you don't have to commit to reading them all in order to get the whole story. Not that I don't love the Harry Potter series or other books like it, but I don't have time to commit to several books right now. I want to read one story and be done. BTW, I loved the Help. It was amazing.

WS Gager said...

I like series but that is just me. I fall in love with the characters and I'm not ready to let go of them. That is why I write the Mitch Malone Mystery series. Good post JQ!
W.S. Gager

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks everyone for your comments. As you can see the stand alone book won the poll. Appreciate your taking part in this. Now enjoy a good book--series or not.!!!

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