When authors write novels, they can decide between two options: create a series or leave the stories as stand alones. As a reader, I enjoy both. I have to say that the majority of my favorite stories are series, for example The Gabriel Series by Sylvain Reynard, the Fifty Shades trilogy by E. L. James, The Remembrance Trilogy by Kahlen Aymes, The Sempre Series by JM Darhower,The Thoughtless Series by S.C. Stephens, and these are just a few — there are many, many more. What I love about reading a series is that I don’t have to let go of the characters after just one book. I’m the kind of reader who gets really invested in the stories I read, and it almost emotionally hurts me when I have to say goodbye to my beloved characters. It’s like seeing off at the airport a person you love, knowing you won’t see them again. OK, this is a bit dramatic, I admit, but you get the idea. With a series however? I know for certain that the story doesn’t end in one book. I know that there will be at least two other instalments (and sometimes more) where the characters will keep me company, will make me laugh and cry, will make my heart beat faster, will make me dream…Bliss, right? 😉
The excruciating aspect of the series, though, is the time period that passes between the different book releases. Patience is a virtue, but alas for me, I’m not very good at waiting. I tend to get a little antsy, to say the least, and I start thinking about the possible directions the story will take (and usually I get it completely wrong) and so on…Thing is, until I don’t have the next book of the series in my hands, the waiting for me is really painful…But the joy I feel on the release day, makes it all worth it 😉
As far as stand alones go, of course this kind of problem doesn’t occur, since the story has its beginning and its end in the same book, but the downside of it is that we have to say goodbye to the characters sooner than we’d like. However, this is not always the case. Authors like Judith McNaught, Jennifer Probst and Charles Sheehan Miles, for example, write amazing stand alone stories where they also give us a glimpse of the life of those characters we loved, but we had to leave behind in a previous book. They are made part of the new story, this time as secondary characters. And whenever this happens, it makes me so happy!
One thing is for sure: when a book is well written and the characters conquer my heart, I don’t mind if it’s a part of a series, or a stand alone. I’m going to buy it and read it nonetheless 😉 Like the proverb says “A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.” And it’s one of the best gifts we could receive.
Now I’d like to hear from you. Do you prefer series, stand alones, or both? Let me know in the comments 🙂