Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Confessions Of A Serial Reader

For those of you who do not know me, it is important to know that I am a "serial reader." I very rarely read stand-alone books. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy them, I just find myself more interested in stories that carry over several volumes, or at least have familiar characters or the same “world.”

Now, when I say “interested," I really mean “obsessed.” Tragically obsessed. To the point where I don’t stop reading until every page has been read. While I won’t go into all the reasons that this is actually a charming characteristic (I will not defend myself!), I do want to note some of the reasons it can be harmful.

It hurts the pocket book:

Personally, I don’t think I spend all that much money on literature. I know for a fact that there are people who are far worse than I when it comes to buying books. Generally, I try not to buy Kindle versions (of anything) that are more than $5, and, generally, I’m good about keeping to it.

My problem is that I have no issue throwing down any amount of money when it comes to series books. If I read a book and liked it and there are more of them, I can almost guarantee that I will by all of them. Instantly. It doesn’t register that I just spent $60 on books until I get the email bulleting my purchases. Oops.

And before anyone says anything, I’ve tried the library. I’m just too impatient. Damn you, instant gratification!

It hurts the love life:

Nothing gross, guys. Okay, maybe a little bit. Point is, my boyfriends HATES it when I become engrossed in a new series. Mostly because he knows that he will not be having any conversations/snuggle time/quality time of any sort until I resurface once finished. While, I’d really like to hold this against him, I suppose I can’t. Not really, at least.

I feel like I should note, however, that during my last spell of bad girlfriend-ness, he bought me a Kindle Paperwhite. Now he can’t even turn off the lights to get me to stop reading. He must really love me.

Most importantly, you start to notice all of the words/phrases an author uses over and over again:

I will give some examples: in Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series, Ash is always “raking” a hand through his hair; Cassandra Clare’s characters (The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices) all have “bow lips,” insanely angular cheekbones, and “unhitch” themselves from walls and doorways; Harry Potter “stops dead” more often than not; and in Game of Thrones everyone’s insides “turn to water” in intense situations.  

I don’t know who to be upset with. Is this an editorial issue? Is the author’s fault for not noticing the recycled and over used phrases? Or is it my fault for reading the series at an all-consuming pace? It might be because I also write—and, by no means, I am not above this sort of “mistake.” I am equally (if not more so) guilty as any of these authors. Hell, I’m bad enough within the confines of this blog.

All in all, it doesn’t really matter. I enjoyed all of the series listed above immensely. If I hadn’t, you wouldn’t be hearing about them.

So question(s) of the day: What are your favorite books series’? Do you read them in measured doses or like the world is falling down around your head? Have you ever noticed annoying repeats? WHO-WHAT-WHEN-WHERE-WHY-NOW!

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