“Probably most books stand on their own. But a lot of them are part of a series. J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings trilogy comes immediately to mind, as well as Stephen R. Donaldson’s Gap series, Elizabeth Peters Amelia Peabody series, and lots more.”
Do you read books that are part of a series?
Yes – I’m looking forward to the new Harry Potter (or HP as he is known around this house) and many of the mysteries I like to read are in series: Phryne Fisher (Kerry Greenwood), Brother Cadfael (Ellis Peters), Catherine LeVander (Sharan Newman) are just three of the historical mystery characters I’ve collected over my short span on this Earth. Kids series also are fun to read – HP, Artemis Fowl, Series of Unfortunate Events etc. Other series authors I love to read are… Terry Pratchett, Lindsey Davis, Peter Tremayne, Edward Marston, Janet Evanovich.
Do you collect all the books in the series before starting?
No! most of the series I like to read are fairly longstanding and are still being added to.
What if the series is brand new, and the only book that’s been published so far is Book 1?
When an established author that I like starts a new series I’d like to say I give them the benefit of the doubt and read the first one but I can’t – I can’t think of a single example of my doing so! – Hang on, yes I can – The Railway detective by Marston is a new series and I ate that one up – the second one is now in my reading queue now. Marston is the author of several interesting historical mysteries set in England in different historical periods – lots are going out of print but are great reads.
As subsequent books in the series are published, do you go back and re-read the preceding books?
Depends on the series – when the last Harry Potter came out we listened to them all again (we bought the audio books read by Stephen Fry (an excellent investment – Joel is always listening to one or the other of these stories). With historical mystery series I generally don’t bother. I like to re-read books anyway and don’t usually use the publishing of a new one to prompt a re-reading.