Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Series vs Single Book




It seems that the new trend in book writing is to write a series rather than a single book. There are different kind of series; those where the story continues over a number of books, or, those where the story is finished in each book, but the main character reappears in several books. The last option has been a trend for a long time, especially within the detective story genre. Some of the most famous sleuths belong to this category; Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Sam Spade and others. I think this is a favoured category among readers.


With the single book, the story is told and finished. There is no coming back either to the same characters or a series. When you read a really good book, you are sometimes sad when it is finished. You want it to go on, but I think that the reason the book 'stays' with you is that it does finish. It leaves you an option to figure out yourself how the future will be for the characters.

A series of books can be good. It is the same as for TV series; once the new season starts you already know the characters and you can concentrate on their new adventures. The same for a series of books; it is like seeing old friends again when you open the next book.

I have not read that many series, or maybe I have in comparison to others??? Just looking back through my blogging years I have read the following series:

Megan Wahlen Turner's 4 fantasy books
Stephant Meyers' 4 Twilight books
Charlaine Harris' 13 books about Sookie Stackhouse
Diana Gabaldon's 8 books in the Outlander series

The only series of books I have read before (as far as I can remember) is the excellent 'Alexandria Quartet' by Lawrence Durrell. I don't know if it really can be called a series, although there are four books. But each book tells the story from a different point of view. Some of the most popular series would be 'The Ring' books by J.R.R. Tolkien, the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis, the Harry Potter books by J.K. Rawlings, Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin and probably many more that I don't even know about.

One thing I would like to know before I start a series, is how many books there will be. If the story drags out because the books are a hit, it often tends to get thinner and thinner. Just like with TV series where most of them don't know when to stop!

So, what is the conclusion? As always the middle way might be best; that is, a little bit of everything! A single book to enjoy a sunny afternoon, a series of books to make the long, dark days of autumn and winter a little bit brighter, and a Poirot mystery to go anytime.

What is your preference in books? Single? Series?

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