As I’m sure is true for most mystery readers, many of the books I read are part of a series. It often seems that’s about all we see when we look at book listings and reviews. But these series create a question, and a problem: how to read them.
Some series, such as those by William Kent Kruger and Louise Penny, I’ve read from the beginning, when the first book was published, and happily continued on as each new book came out. But many, many other series, old and newer, exist prior to my discovering them. Once I find an interesting new-to-me series, what do I do? More to the point here, what do YOU do?
It seems there are several options:
- Read the first book in the series, which is usually the first one published.
- Read whichever book in the series that initially got my attention.
- Read the first book with the intention to keep reading the series occasionally.
- Read the first book with the intention to read the series, book after book, straight through.
Most of the time I find myself trying to read a series in order, and read one and then, after reading something else, come back to the series and read the next one. It takes a long time to get through a series that way, and if the writer is active, they can sometimes outpace my reading of their books. Here are two series I’m currently reading, one now and then, as examples:
The Rivers of London series, which now includes a short story collection, Tales From The Folly.
I’ve read the first two books, and intend to keep reading, but there are so many other books in the Read Right Away stack…
The Chronicles of St. Mary’s is a wonderful series of novels, (the recent edition published by Headline is shown) and now a short story collection, The Long and the Short of It , (Night Shade Books). I read, again, the first two before being tempted away by something else. I’m planning on continuing on with these soon.
I’m reading the short story collection now and enjoying it immensely.
One more, this time no image, is Christopher Fowler’s Bryant & May series, Again, the short story collection London’s Glory got me headed back to reading the series.
So, how do you manage your series reading? Are you a read-em-straight-through person, or now-and-then, or what?