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Reading habits.

Hari Seldon

Jan 17, 2008
When reading a series, especially a lengthy one such a The Wheel in Time, do you read each book one after the other or do you break it up by reading other books in between? I’m asking because I just finished GRRM’s A Game of Thrones and am wondering if I should jump into the next one or break the story up and read something completely different. Just wondering what others would do.


Press "X" to admire hat
Jan 11, 2007
If I've got the whole series to hand, then I'll read through the whole series (or trilogy, as it usually seems to be) without a break, and then move on to other authors. I find that if I break up a series with completely unrelated books I start to forget the small points of the series - all the minor plot details and what not.

So in your case, if it were me I'd carry on the series. But you might be different - do you think you could handle a whole series at once? The same writing style, the same characters and what not? If so, then goferit. If you'd prefer something different and refreshing, then break it up with other books.


All Hail Skaven!
Aug 22, 2007
Hunting in the woods
hmm I often end up reading several differnt books at the same time ( well not at the same time, but you know what I mean). If one engrosses me more than the others- the others get left at the side for a while.
But it depends in the end on the reader as to how many in a series they read - persoanly with most series I get through all 3 in one line -- but in something as long a wheel of time you might want a break every now and again


Smile people are watching
Dec 16, 2007
I often prefer to break up the series every now and then before returning and finishing the series.


Obsessive Fantasy Fan
Jan 18, 2008
I also read through the series if possible. That's quite difficult for books like WoT though, because they're so incredibly long. I know when I read it I had to take breaks in between to earn the money to buy the next book in the series, and it actually worked out quite well. It meant I had time to figure out a couple of subtleties that otherwise would have gone over my head. You could try that with ASOIAF - there's certainly subtleties to look for - though I'd be highly impressed with your discipline if you could actually do that, it is a highly addictive series.


Not Drawing
Feb 1, 2007
I think there's a nearly identical thread to this around here somewhere...

Personally I like to read an entire series in a row, when I get the opportunity. I can get into the world better, and don't have to worry about forgetting the little details, like the main character's name.;)

j d worthington

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2006
Generally speaking, if it's something I've not read before, then I usually read the entire series before turning to something else. If it's something I have read before, then it varies more often. The same is true of reading books by a particular writer. Often, if it's a writer I've discovered and like, or have read a few books by that writer before and now have all (or nearly all) their work, then I'll tackle the whole enchilada (which, with Robert E. Howard and Michael Moorcock, takes a bit....:rolleyes:). I may do this on a reread of an author's work, for that matter; but not always.

So... whatever works best for you. Some prefer to vary, others like to saturate themselves in a world or a writer's vision and get to know them intimately. That's the way it is with me; I get to feeling I understand much better what the writer is attempting to convey, and the richness of their vision, their style, and their philosophy....


Well-Known Member
Jan 14, 2008
I try to avoid series, like the plague.

I think long, seemingly never-ending voluminous tomes are, well, troublesome.

It sometimes seems to me that contemporary authors have forgotten how to tell a concise story, with tight plotting, brevity and concrete language, and so they just kind ramble on, and on, and on.

I will always take a single volume story.

I do like books with recurring characters that can be read as stand alone volumes. Like the Stainless Steel Rat books. Each short book is a self-contained story. You can read one, or all, whatever you choose you'll get the same out of it.

The only two long series I've ever started, and finished are The Dark Tower series and the Elric Saga. Although, now with Elric, I see that Moorcock has continued the albino's journeys. I don't know why. But even a lot of the Elric stuff can be read as smaller, self-contained narratives. I really like the DT books, but even they were too long. I like King in general, but damn his books are too freaking long.

This is why I am so drawn to classic science fiction. I love those short, tightly plotted books.

Karn Maeshalanadae

I'm a pineapple
Dec 2, 2007
My own twisted Wonderland
I tend to slam series in one go, if it interests me, seeing as how I'm able to read fairly quickly-usually at the rate of a novel a day if I'm really into something-so it really doesn't give me time TO get into other books.

But, if it were something like the Wheel of Time books-which I never got into-or Piers Anthony's novels, I can usually take a volume at a time and go onto a different author. Especially with Piers, seeing as how most of his stuff are usually standalone, connected only by the same world....Xanth and the Proton/Phaze novels heavily coming to mind in that respect....:D


Easily amused
Feb 21, 2006
Ontario, Canada
I like reading the whole series at once. So much so, that I'll often wait for the final book to be done before I start the series. The main reason I do it that way is that my retention is generally poor over the length of time it takes a new volume to come out. Therefore I'm often in a position where I have to reread the preceeding books anyway.
However, some series are just too good and too far away to be completed. Those I dive into and reread if I have to (ex. Gentlemen Bastards, ASoIaF)


The Wicked Sword Maiden
Jun 14, 2005
I find that with a series there is a very long waiting time for the next book to be published. I would prefer to read the whole series together but this is not usually possible, so I try and read the previous 1 or 2 volumes just before the release of the next book.


Lady of Autumn
Oct 26, 2006
Lincolnshire, UK
This is basically what I do with books. If it's possible to get the entire series at once, then I'll likely read them all at once.


Mad crazy poet
Jan 8, 2007
This reminds me of the time I read the Wheel of Time (10 volumes) in a row, non stop, it took me less than a month to finish (I was obsessed with it then). Obviously, this was before discovering Martin, Erikson etc. and I thought at that time Robert Jordan's WOT was the best thing since sliced bread :eek:. My taste for fantasy series has changed since then of course, but the approach to reading then still remains the same. Yes, IMO the best way to read a series (especially something huge and complex like ASOIF) is to do so in one go, without any interruptions in between the books and as lot of posters pointed out, the characters stay with you and its easier to keep up with the numerous subplots. I also find my self immersing into the world more when done this way, and since a lot of epic fantasy are escapist in nature, what better way to achieve maximum effect than to read them through and through.

Cheer's, DeepThought

Who's Wee Dug

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2006
Or how about The Business - Ian Banks not his SF but it is alternate reality an may be an interesting book to get them hooked.;):)


The Cat
Apr 5, 2006
Curiosity was framed. Ignorance killed the cat.
If it is possible to get the whole series at the same times; then yes I'll read them all together; often staying up to read them in one sitting.

If I cannot get them all at once I generally have a tendency to wait simply because bookstores in Malaysia are notorious for not getting all the books of a series in and I'd then have to source them elsewhere.

However, if it's a popular author whose books are flying off the shelves; they will get them all in and I'm then safe to read them as they come. Harry Potter is a good example here.


Well-Known Member
Jan 28, 2006
Heh... I'll go against the grain here. For the last couple years, I've made something of a project of pacing myself when reading so that I don't read books by the same author (or in the same series) too close together, and don't read too many of my big favorite authors all in a row.

Two reasons for this:
1. My TBR pile had gotten pretty stagnant at one point. I kept putting stuff on the pile, but only the stuff on the very top every came off. Forcing myself to delve into the older stuff that might not be what I *most* want to read right *now* makes for a more varied reading schedule, and also helps me get my money's worth out of books I bought, but never got around to reading. Getting more older books into the reading queue also means that the big favorites stay in the TBR a little longer, so I always have one or more favorites to look forward to (instead of twiddling my thumbs wishing they'd come out with a new book already :) )

2. There have been several times where I read Book 1 of a series, fell in love, and scurried off to devour the rest of the series... only to get kinda bored by the middle of the second book. There was nothing wrong with the books themselves... I just needed a little breathing room between them. I find I can appreciate the individual books in the series better if I read them each as a separate experience.


Great Old One
Staff member
Jul 29, 2005
47°9′s 126°43′w
With the majority...
With a new (to me) series or trilogy that is complete, I'll always try to get them all before starting the first one.

But I also agree with Jen....several times I've stopped half way through the second or third book, read something else and gone back after a break.


Canadian Girl
Jan 15, 2007
Considering that you are asking in regards to books following A Game of Thrones, my advice would be to spread them out. I read them rabidly once I found them, and then found myself waiting two years for what I thought was the end of the series. Only to discover that there were TWO more books to come, and I have now been waiting years for even one of them. No word of a lie, it will be post 2010 before the series is finished.