Monday, March 28, 2016

Series Vs Stand Alone

I have been a wee bit obsessed with two book series lately, mostly because of the quality of the writing, but also 'cause I know every time I pick up a book in either series, I'm gonna love it (these are both longer running series that have so far stood the test of time).  This got me thinking that a) I really need to read some other books on my list, and b) what are the pro's and con's of series vs stand alone's (hence the post title tee hee hee).  Anyways here is a randomly put together list of what I love and hate and meh about the different formats.
     Pros - A good series means I can walk into a bookstore/hop online and buy any book in the series                   and know I'm gonna love it.
             - When I'm in a good book slump I can pick up the next book in a beloved series and know                     I'm gonna get what I want.

             - It gives the author time to truly explore a world/storyline/character and develop them in a                   fully readable manner

             - Gives the reader a chance to continually go back to a world they love, characters that feel                   like friends and a variety of stories.  Sometimes it feels like going to a best friends house or                 a favorite vacation spot, it's just great for the literary brain

            - The books look really pretty when they are lined up on your shelf with their coordinating                      covers.
     Cons - Waiting for the next book in a beloved series to come out, especially when the last book                        ends on a cliff hanger.

              - Some books just don't need to be made into a series...seriously, just finish that fabulous                        story that only needs one book and let it go.

             - When a series rambles on longer then it needs to or goes off track, some worlds/stories                         support an unending amount of books, others have a definite end date...

             -  A series that finishes unsatisfactory.  Seriously a huge pet peeve is when I invest all this                       time and emotion into a really great series and then the last book or two just screws all of it                 up...grrr

             - When a loved series author dies...especially if the series is left unfinished
Stand Alone Books
     Pros - A great beginning to end story contained between two covers is invigorating to me.

              - No waiting for the next book in the series.

              -  A sense of completion when you have finished a novel.

              - A good stand alone novel forces the author to choose each word and phrase with care as                       there is no later chance to fix it.  This usually leads to better writing. (Again talking about                   pros and good books here)

              - A slightly better chance that the movie made from the book might actually follow the                           actual story.

              - You don't have to worry if the stand alone novel matches the rest of the series :-)

     Cons - If the book had great world building, I am sad that I don't get to go back to it in a different                   way.

               - Less of a change to develop long term story's and sometimes a character does not get as                      fully developed.

               - A one off book that is not really the authors normal style, leaving you to be unreasonably                    disappointed in the authors other books (think of it like a radio played single that is the                        weird song on the album).

              - An overly long book that probably could have been separated into at least a couple of                           books, making you feel like the book will never end.

              - A book that has been edited for length to be a single novel from a potential multi book                         format when the editing leads to me be totally confused because key information was                           edited out for length.
I am sure that there are many other pro's and con's for both formats that we could add, and I haven't even gotten into things like shared worlds, multi-authors and things like that, but I think I have the basic point across.  Happy Reading Everybody!

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