Series? Or Stand-alone books?
This is a serious dilemma. I read both stand-alone book and series, although I have noticed I have been reading an awful lot of series lately. That is probably because it is difficult to come across a stand-alone book these days. Every decent book I pick up is a part of a series. It has started getting on my nerves.
I have several problems with series.
Firstly, they take a lot of time.
Secondly, I borrow most of the books I read from the library and it takes ages to get a hand on the next book in a series. If I start reading something, I like to read it through. It is unnerving to have to wait to read on, especially when I like the book/series and want to find out what happens next.
Thirdly, some series are apparently written just because the first book in the series was popular and the author wants to milk some more money from it. So, he or she writes some more books, dragging on the subject, not knowing which direction to pursue, just to write another book. A mild case of this kind of a book is Eclipse. Although I love The Twilight Saga, it is obvious to me that Meyer had no idea where to lead the story and how would Bella finish up when writing the Eclipse. There are of course much worse cases, such as the middle books of Benzoni’s Marianne series which could be two or three books shorter.
Naturally, there exist compelling series, where nothing is redundant and I only wish them to continue. For instance, Iggulden’s Emperor series (the reviews of which you can find listed on My Reviews page) could continue, I would definitely like to read on about Octavian’s rule, etc. Also, short series, such as trilogies, written to actually tell the story are great. I also like series, where books can be read as stand-alone, such as many of Nora Roberts’ trilogies.
I think there should be more stand-alone books. It just does not get better than a well-rounded book with a conclusive ending. That kind of books which does not leave the reader unsatisfied and longing is the most enjoyable.
To conclude, both stand-alone books and series are enjoyable if they actually say something. I take delight both in stand-alone books and series, in any case it all depends on the content.