Friday, February 12, 2016

Leaving Series Unfinished

I've been on a bit of a series-finishing spree lately. In the past few weeks, I've finished the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy and the Vampire Academy series, and I'm going to finish the Finishing School series soon, too. That got me thinking that there's quite a few series that I've just decided not to bother finishing, even when I liked the beginning. Why?

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the greatest at finishing series. Last year, three of the series that I finished (Gallagher Girls, The Sisters Grimm, and Divergent) were series that I'd last picked up more than two years before. That's a long time! And in all three cases, I know that I'd have liked the series finale much better if I'd read it sooner.

And sometimes, I already know that it's just too late. I read the first book in the Delirium series in eighth grade. I didn't LOVE it, but I liked it quite a bit and wanted to see where the story would go. And then I never continued. If the problem were that the other books in the series had been checked out of the library, I might have had an excuse. But they were there ALL THE TIME. I just consistently chose to check out other books instead. I always meant to come back for them later, but I never did. And a couple years ago, I finally decided that I just wasn't going to read them and deleted them off of my to-read list. 

Sometimes, I think that maybe I should keep those books on my list because a) I do finish series after a long time (sometimes) and b) maybe I'm missing out on one of my favorite series. But that's the choice you make when you choose whether or not to pick up any book. I'm not more committed to eventually reading some books than I am to others just because I've read the previous books in the series.

Once I think that through, I normally don't feel too guilty about saying goodbye to a series before the end. It makes room for other books that I'd rather be reading. And instead of thinking of how considerably less awesome the later books in the series were (because, let's face it, always putting it off = less eventual enjoyment), I can look back fondly on the ones that I did read.

Do I sometimes idly wonder how the Kingdom Keepers series, the Matched series, or the Maximum Ride series (among others) ended? Yes, but not enough to work my way through all those books. And that's what Google is for.

How do you feel about leaving series unfinished? Do you do it often? What are some series that you've given up on? How long do you wait before giving up? Tell me in the comments!

8 comments:

  1. Ugh, I have so many series that I haven't finished yet--it bothers me to no end. I admire you for being able to decide to not finish a series if it really just isn't your cup of tea. I don't think I'll ever be able to do that. I have mild OCD, and one of the ways it manifests itself is that if I start a series, it will eat at me and eat at me until I finish it. (Like, I read Delirium last year, and now I need to get my hands on the sequels so I can finish it. And I read Matched and wasn't hugely in love, but I've been thinking about it a bunch lately, and if I had the money, I would just buy the trilogy so I could finish it.) But yeah, that's just me. :P So, that's not to say that there aren't often large gaps between starting and finishing a series, but the longer the gap gets, the more it bothers me, and I can pretty much only relax if I promise myself I will eventually finish what I started.

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    1. *nods* Yeah, I totally understand that! For instance, I started the Narnia books in elementary school, but I only read two of them and haven't picked them up since. They've been near the top of my to-read list forever, even though I've never actually gotten around to reading them for one reason or another. I might just be too stubborn to consider not finishing at this point. (Also, I have a friend who absolutely adores the Narnia books, and she promises me that they're worth it. I trust her judgment.)

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  2. I technically don't ever tell myself "I'm never finishing that!" because I am so bad at being decisive. XD BUT. I do kind of decide not to finish a lot of series half-heartedly. Like if a book gets 2-stars from me? Unless the hype is craaaazy high for the next book I won't try it. I'm pretty much 0% interested in finishing Matched. XD And I think I tried the Gallagher Girls too late? Because I don't like them and I was forcing myself through the middle 2 and I still haven't read the last one. BUT THAT ONE IS BUGGING ME. So I probably will eventually :P
    But I love the satisfaction of finishing series!! I hope to finish the Skulduggery books this year!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

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    1. Yeah, it normally takes me a pretty long time to actually decide to leave a series unfinished. I think it's easier to do if I've only read the first book instead of being a few books in.

      Gallagher Girls is definitely a YA that feels a little bit more like middle grade, but they're still VERY fun reads for me. Forcing yourself through books is never fun, though.

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  3. Omg I have millions of series that are unfinished. Vampire Academy, Daughter of Smoke and Bone...can't think of anymore at the moment haha. But yeah, if I'm not hooked by the first couple of books, there's no way I'm going to continue (the exception was Divergent and I wish I hadn't...Allegiant was not worth it at all!). But I have too many books on my TBR to continue a series I'm mediocre about :)

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    1. That's exactly what happens to me! My TBR is always growing (and no matter how much I deny it, it's getting a LITTLE out of control), and there's no way I want to waste time on books that I don't actually want to read. (And I should probably take my own advice and give up on the Finishing School series because I really couldn't care less about the plot, but I have the last book out from the library anyway and the worldbuilding is EXQUISITE.)

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  4. I've left a couple of series unfinished. I started reading Animorphs when I was 11 and was so in love, but then the local publisher stopped distributing them. I picked the series back up last year when I could borrow them from a friend, but I still haven't managed to finish them! I left the Gemma Doyle trilogy unfinished for a couple of years too, but I restarted it this year and I only have one more book to go! I gave up on Eragon and the Lord of the Rings - they just don't appeal to me past the first book unfortunately. If I'm not at all curious about what can happen to the characters next, I'm not likely to keep reading a series.

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    1. I never actually got into the Animorphs series! I remember that my library had a TON of them, but I guess I just never picked them up. And I did the same thing with Gemma Doyle! I read the first book, didn't like it that much, but then I reread it and liked it a lot more! I've officially given up on Eragon, too - I finally finished the first book earlier this year, and I just have no interest in continuing the series.

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