Thoughtful Thursday: Reading a Series from Start to Finish

ThoughtfulThursday
Hosted by Pamela @ Reading is Fun Again

This Thursday’s question:

Assuming that you are late to the party with a book series (and the entire series is completed) and you want to read every piece of text within a series’ universe that you can get your hands on, in what order to you read the books, short stories, and novellas within the universe? Do you read the books first and then the short stories and novellas if you want more? Do you read the books, short stories, and novellas in order (either publication or chronological)? Do you read them in some other order?

Well, we’ve already established that I’m pretty crap at reading series. 😉 Honestly, I’m a little befuddled by the trend of having short stories and novellas as part of a series, although I suppose I shouldn’t be. I’ve been reading within certain fandoms (Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who etc.) for most of my reading life. In the case of those “series,” story chronology has never seemed very important, probably because there are many writers involved in creating the world instead of just one. The Song of Ice and Fire read-through included a couple of Martin’s shorter works set within Westeros, but I sort of ignored them even though I think I have one of the stories around here in a Legends anthology. I suppose, I’d probably read in order of publication. As a writer, I know how hard it is to keep author knowledge out of plot, and I’d probably count on some “insider” knowledge being helpful if I was reading a prequel that was written after several books in a series. (Speaking of fandoms, a question that keeps popping up among friends who have children is, what order do you show your kids the Star Wars films? I can’t really imagine seeing those movies in the plot chronology order.)

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2 thoughts on “Thoughtful Thursday: Reading a Series from Start to Finish

  1. Personally I don’t always read the short stories these days. Only because the YA bandwagon is making it the thing to come out with these shorts and novellas inbetween the books and those end up being usually like 3.99 or something or sometimes 1.99 but usually more like 2-4 and seriously I’m not going to pay that for something that might be anywhere from 30 to 60 pages.

    I will however if I REALLY love the books. Usually though…I don’t. I do love it when authors do the shorts and put them up for free on say Tor.com or their own blogs. Kelley Armstrong and Marissa Meyer did that and a bunch of other authors have lots of great stories up on Tor.com.

    1. I have wondered how much of this new (to me) way of expanding a series is based around ebook economies. There’s definite advantage to having multiple titles show up on lists at different price points.

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