Books in a Series

You know that moment when you take a book out of the library or bookstore in haste, then open up to read and realize you have unwittingly borrowed or purchased the second or third book in a series without having read the first book?

That happened to me.

I was at the library and I don’t really scrutinize the books I take out because, well, it’s the library. I’m not buying them. I was in the YA section and picked up Linger by Maggie Stiefvater, thinking to myself, I’ve heard good things about this book. I got home, started reading, and immediately realized it was a sequel to Shiver. (The third in the series, Forever, is due in July 2011.)

I had known the books were in a series, but I could not remember or didn’t think at the time which might have been the first book. (I was also in somewhat of a rush that day.) I was going to return Linger to the library and read Shiver first, but I decided to read Linger anyway. Even though I hadn’t been introduced to the characters in the first book, they grew on me. The story was compelling and I was able to piece together most of what happened in the first book through what was going on in the second. (I’m still going to read Shiver.)

I think the mark of a good series is when the reader can start anywhere and not be utterly lost.

Have you ever read a series out of order (accidentally or on purpose)?

4 thoughts on “Books in a Series

  1. I think I read one of the Harry Potter series out of order with no dire consequences. 😀

    Glad you’rve enjoyed Linger enough to want to read <iShiver

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  2. I can’t imagine reading something out of order… I don’t think my brain could handle it.

    I do like when authors (or directors) show information out of order (on purpose), but I think of that as different.

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    • I like it when the stories themselves (or movies) aren’t written or shown in chronological order. It makes it a lot more interesting; it’s almost like a puzzle.

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