Discussion: What makes you continue reading a series?

I recently finished reading the first Landover book, and though I know it’s part of a series I’m not feeling totally inclined to read the rest of it. Magic Kingdom For Sale–Sold (the book in question) was fun, but I’m not really interested enough to read any more of the books. That got me thinking.

What makes you continue reading a book series? A cliffhanger at the end of the first book? Characters so engaging that you want to read more about them? Unanswered questions? (Something else?)

Those are all things that make me continue a book series, even if I didn’t particularly like the the first book (for example). On the flip side, the absence of those things makes me not want to continue reading a series. Sometimes a definitive ending in the first book makes a sequel seem unnecessary, even.

What makes you stop reading a book series? There was something like this over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books the other week. What makes you stop reading a series? Or not continue one at all?

I guess my main question is: what makes a good book series? What do you think?

0 thoughts on “Discussion: What makes you continue reading a series?”

  1. I love series. I would only not continue one if I didn’t really like the first book and wasn’t at all curious about what came next. This rarely happens. Even if the first book is satisfying, I will still be interested in what’s happening to the rest of the characters. I actually prefer series where each book is its own contained story, unless I have all of the books with me and the time to read each and every one of them.

  2. The only series books I read are the themed-mysteries, and those I read for comfort and coziness – whether they’re knitting mysteries or sheer cuddle-worthy like the Aunt Dimity series.

    I stop reading when I start getting the giggles about how many murders can take place in a tiny little bitty town, and can be solved using crossword-puzzle clues….

  3. I love series! I keep reading because I want to know more about the characters. So whether it is mysteries or fantasy or another type of series, if the characters don’t grow, I get a little weary of them. Sometimes the plots start to fall apart, as if the author himself has grown tired of his characters.

    I’m not bothered by cliff-hangers, but I like self-contained books better.

  4. I think what makes a good book series has a lot to do with broadening and deepening the original books as you go on. Start with good characters and an interesting plotline, and that’s all lovely, but for me, what makes a series really excellent is when I can go back and read the first book and think, oh, wow, things have really changed since then.

  5. Hmm…I don’t know. I think there are so many series these days it’s really hard for to keep track of the next books, even if I liked the one I read. I guess if I get really invested in their lives and want to know more, I’ll try and get the next one.

    Good question, even though I don’t have an amazing answer. 🙂

    -Lauren

  6. I am definitely a fan of series. I have started a couple of series that got off to a rough start. If I choose to continue, it’s usually because I liked the first book enough to want to see what trouble the characters get into next. There was one occasion that I actually had decided not to continue with a series, but then I read an interview with the author and decided I needed to give the series a second chance. I’ve since read ten books in the series.

    I have only given up on two series that I had followed several books in. In one case, I finally admitted to myself that while the books were okay, they really weren’t holding my interest. And I wasn’t impressed by the writing. I can overlook some minor issues in the writing if I love a book, but not so much if I am not blown away by it. The other instance was with a series that was one of my favorites. But then the author’s writing really started going downhill. And I lost complete interest in her characters. I didn’t like the direction they were headed and I stopped caring about them or what would happen to them. I read a couple of other books in the series after that, not wanting to believe my affair with the author was over, but it truly was dead. I still recommend the author’s earlier work now and then. I have no regrets about giving up either series.

  7. for me, successful series depend mainly on the characters. if the writer can continue to develop the characters and the plots remain plausible, i’m in. when i feel that the author is just going through the motions and the characters are stagnating, i give up the ghost. great question!

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