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  • Jane McGarry

Series vs Standalone


I love to read all the books, all the time, but nothing gets me quite as excited as an engaging series. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy plenty of standalones, however I love the prolonged delve into an imaginary world and its characters over multiple volumes, when you can connect a bit deeper and linger a bit longer.

From Nancy Drew and the Little House books of my youth, I’ve always gravitated toward a series, savoring all the standards—Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games , and Twilight. Series lovers know the satisfaction of a first installment with the promise of more story to come. Will Frodo destroy the ring? Will Harry defeat Voldemort? Will Katniss take down the Capitol? Will Bella realize forever is a LONG time to be stuck with anyone, even if he is a hot vampire?

The more books in the series, the more invested we become in the story. Anticipation builds until the sequel’s release date, speculation of what will unfold. Then at last, that delicious moment of opening the next book for the first time and continuing the journey. For every new volume added, excitement increases, the countdown to pub day even more unbearable. (Pro tip: If your TBR is out of control enough, you can wait until an entire series is published and read them all back to back. You’re welcome.)

Finally, there is the bittersweet moment of those concluding pages in the very last chapter of the final book. And then it’s over. We are bereft, missing the characters and world we have grown to love, usually resulting in a weeklong book hangover. You series lovers out there know exactly what I mean. There is a specific gratification found in reading a series, and I, for one, am addicted to it.

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