Mystery collection. Image by Kenny Louie.

I just felt like re-reading books in a series I own some of–and I realized how sporadic my ownership of it was. So I’ve been reading in order, and just skipping over the gaps, which isn’t quite the same as reading the whole thing again from one to twenty-five. For more than a few longer series, I own the first few books, and then some scattered volumes throughout. If I really liked the series, I might have all the most recent ones, but I don’t always.

Some are bought according to sales, or someone else gives me it from a wish list, etc., and it’s pretty rare I make the effort to go and fill in these larger series. There are just so many other books to buy!

But as I was re-reading, I had half-remembered bits of the gaps, plus hints of backstory mentioned in successive books. Which made me want to re-read those books I don’t own even more. I might have to get a couple from the library.

If you re-read (which not everyone does), how do you do it? Revisit favorites? Go out of order? Or are you like me, and you want to start at the beginning and go to the end?

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

4 responses »

  1. FranL says:

    I have a huge list of books I want to reread but I haven’t gotten to them yet. I keep getting distracted by all the books I haven’t read yet!

  2. Ed Hoornaert says:

    Your question makes me realize anew that my reading habits run to single titles. Series can be very daunting to start, and unless the series is already complete I hesitate to read any of it. More than once I’ve read a couple books in a series then had to wait so long for the next book that I no longer cared. I know, I know, I’m an author’s worst nightmare in this regard.

    Whether I reread from the beginning of a series depends on the series. Some series don’t make sense unless read from the beginning — Elizabeth Moon’s Vatta’s War quintet, for example. Another series I’ve reread recently, C.S. Forrester’s Hornblower books, can be enjoyable no matter the order. I MUCH prefer this kind of series.

    • I do like a standalone, duology or trilogy, too. Then you know you’ll get to the end.

      But I have fallen in love with so many longer series–Anne McCaffrey’s Pern, Mercedes Lackey’s Valdemar , Lois McMaster Bujold’s Miles Vorkosigan , Simon R Green’s Nightside, etc., that I’m always willing to try something that looks fun!

      That’s funny, I just started the new Moon series about Vatta, and though I know I read some of the old ones at some point… I just picked them up again with the recent stuff.

      I like the looser organization, too. Like Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. 😀

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