Okay, so maybe I’m a little late to the party when it comes to discussing this, since it seems like the majority of posts featuring whether or not to Read Only Completed Series (ROCS) were written and posted on other blogs last week, but really, it’s a good topic to discuss at any time, and well worth giving through to.
Do I read only completed series? A quick check of the reviews here will reveal that no, I don’t. But it is something that I can all too easily understand why people choose to do. While part of me kind of enjoys the anticipation that comes along with closing one book and knowing that it’ll be a few months, possibly longer, before I get to read the next one, another part of me is saying, “But I want to read it now!” Waiting for it is both fun and not fun at the same time.
So I can completely understand why some people choose to wait until all the books in a series are released before starting in on it. However, that brings its own set of problems.
For starters, sometimes you’re not dealing with something as simple as a trilogy, with one book released every year. If, for example, I waited until all of the Wheel of Time books were released, I still wouldn’t be able to start on the first book at this point, which was released over 20 years ago. Drawback number one.
Drawback number two is that even if it is something as relatively short as a trilogy, waiting until all the books are released means that, in short, I miss out on some of the fun community type stuff that’s done surrounding book releases. Especially with the other review blogs that I read, it can be really nice to get involved in discussions with other people about books we’ve just read, pondering what might happen in the next book, discussing theories, and so on and so forth. Waiting until they’re all released means I miss out on that, and to me, that’s just not worth it.
But I can see why people do it. Especially when you’re really enjoying a book, it can be incredibly satisfying to finish it and know that you don’t have to wait to find out what happens next, because book 2 is sitting right next to you, just waiting for you. There’s plenty of pleasure in that too.
But I think for me, the fun of anticipating the next release will always keep me reading books from unfinished series. I love finishing something and then looking forward to something else. Weirdly, what it reminds me of most are my high school days of scouring used book stores for the next Wheel of Time novel to read, or waiting for the library to order something in for me. Or yes, waiting for the next Lord of the Rings movie to hit theatres. Waiting for something was its own kind of fun, and it gave me something to look forward to.