Thursday, May 24, 2007

In order?

I mentioned the other day that I was rereading Anne McCaffrey's Pern series. The first time I read these books, I read them completely out of order (they stand alone very well), but this time, I'm making an effort to go from start to finish. It's funny how many new things and little "in-jokes" I get now - like when two people look at each and laugh over something without saying a word. I also feel as if I'm picking up more of the undercurrents, finding more layers in the stories.

So, given all that, I can definitely see the attraction of reading a series in the right order, but I have a feeling I'm way too impatient to do that consistently - especially with long-running series' where I might accidentally pick up a book in the middle. Hmm, something to think about. What about you guys? Do you read in order? Out of order? Reasons why?

13 comments :

LesleyW said...

I prefer to read in order if I can.

A few months ago I read Stardoc by S.L.Viehl, loved it and immediately set about buying all the books of the series that I could. I managed to get all the books and a couple of the standalones also set in that Universe. But I couldn't get hold of Beyond Varallan which is book #2. Very frustrating as the story carries on. After a couple of weeks I did manage to get my hands on it. So I do prefer to read in order.

Saying that there's an author that I'm interested in at the moment. And it looks like only the most recently published of her stories is available. LOL - it's very difficult for me to start partway through a series. But I'm going to give it a go, because the character sounds interesting. Though if I really like the story I'm going to drive myself mad trying to get the first book.

Kaitlin said...

I read a series in order the first time I read it. It's when I'm rereading that I totally ignore that completely. :)


I sent you a forward. I thought you'd like it. It certainly gave me a giggle. :D

katie g. said...

Definitely in order. Although, I have accidently started a book and realized it was part of a series. For example, I read the second in the Elizabeth Lowell series about the Mackenzies. Those are still awesome books, but best read in order.

catslady said...

I want to read them in order. It drives me crazy when I find a book is part of a series after I've started it. And many times I just don't read it at all because I want to wait until I can collect all the books.

Marg said...

Always, always in order...to the extent that I am actually quite anal about it!

danetteb said...

Itry to read in order,unless I grab an impulse buy book, read it and find out its a part of a series,then I'm ok with reading out of order.*g*

clare said...

I prefer to read them in order but that doesn't always happen because I've zero patience.
If I have obtained books out of order then I generally set about reading them in order soon after.

YvonneLindsay said...

I'm so totally and in order kind of person. But I tend to read (as in Christine Feehan's series, or Stephanie Laurens's series) about six or seven of the book and then I feel like I'm saturated. I need something different.

Now, that said, I never just read one book after the other. I don't believe that's fair to the author or the book. (Which is why I'm hanging out for DEADLY GAME in CF's series and which book is so thoroughly begging to be read.)

Actually, now you've made me think about it, it all comes down to the intensity of the writer's style. My reader mind needs some variety (popcorn, a finely aged camembert, jellybeans, melted cheese on whole grain toast) before I commit again to those series that totally consume me.

FWIWl, Nalini, I could never read your books back to back. That's not a criticism in any way shape or form. I respect you and your writing too much for that. And I'd hate to dilute the passion and intensity, that each couple has by doing so.

Mwah!

Anonymous said...

I prefer to read in order. That doesn't mean I don't occasionally read out of order though. I did the same thing with Anne's Pern books.

I started on the middle book of the harper series then read DRAGONFLIGHT then I started reading them in order.

This is true of several other series including Christine Feehan's Dark series. I think I started with the third or fourth book which was just released then. Luckily, the majority of the books I have done this with always read great as stand alones which cause me to buy the rest in the series.

Shar

Casee said...

I have to read in order. It throws me off if I don't. I can normally tell if it's part of a series b/c there seems to be some sort of backstory. So if I'm starting the 2nd book in a series and then realize it is part of a series, I have to put it down.

Nalini Singh said...

I think reading in order is winning hands down! Yvonne, what you said about saturating yourself by reading a series back to back - yep, I've done that and learned my lesson. I guess it's like eating a whole box of chocolates at once. You're gonna end up sick. Eat those chocolates one at a time and you crave the next one! But sometimes it's soooooo hard not to gorge (esp when the whole series is out and you can).

byrdloves2read said...

While it is preferable to read a series in order, I think I don't more often than not. McCaffrey I read in order because I read the stories as they were published. But when I started reading Mary Jo Putney's historical books, I was just beginning to read romance and had no idea there was a sequence. I read them soooo out of order. Maybe after 5 books, I realized this was a "series." Duh! Now I try to be more aware, but I still will pick up a book and later realize it was in the middle of a series. Sigh.

Kris said...

I am a big advocate of reading in order. It bugs me if I do not. If I hae a book and find out htat it is the middle of a series I will put it back and leave it i nthe tbr until I get the ones before it.
I will say that I am not one of those who collect the series and do not read them until they all come out, I am just not that patient. I have to read them as they come out.