A Readerly Woe

I’ve talked a lot about how I suck at series! I’ve got some ideas why — getting distracted by other books during the wait between books, being afraid to move on, loss of interest over time — and it’s so sad because I LOVE a good book series. I even tried Operation Make Jamie Suck Less At Series and this year one of my bookish resolutions is designed to help me with this. I just want to be better at reading series and not leaving so many loose ends.

A thing happened to me recently….and I wonder if this is some of my hesitation when moving on with series….sub-consciously.

So I recently picked up a book 2 of a book I LOVED last year and that had just released this Fall (I barely read this Fall because of adopting Finn so I never got to it). Like suuuuuper loved. I was obsessed with the world and the characters and soooo emotionally invested. I couldn’t believe I had to wait for a book 2. I mean, I am on the HIGHEST of book highs upon finishing this book.

So I crack open the book all ready to be wholly immersed in this series again and just pick up where we left off……and I felt nothing.

I mean, sure, I was having a case of book amnesiaย as I always do (which reminds me…I have a post related to that that has been sitting in drafts for a bit and should publish that). But I read a summary and some spoilers about what happened thinking that might help. But it didn’t. I just did not feel those same feels heading into this book. I mean, it took place like pretty much right after the explosive ending of the first book so I should have been right back in there.

But there I was….feeling not much at all. I’m like OKAY OKAY you will get back into this, and I did, but it took a while…like 20-30% of the way in to finally feel those feels and that connection to the story and characters again. And I mean PRAISE KANYE that I ended the book again on the highest of book highs because it got even more amazing.

And I kept wondering….is it the book? Is it just not up to par? Or is it that year in between that just wedged itself in between book 1 and book 2 and slowly siphoned my excitement level and connection.

It doesn’t always happen to me. I can think distinctly of a few series that a year later (ummm Queen of Shadows!!) and I’m right back in the game. Maybe some of those are different? Maybe I talked about them and discussed them more with people throughout that year? Maybe it’s because some of them weren’t book 2’s but further into a series or a conclusion? I don’t know.

All I know is I think that is why sometimes I dread picking up the next book in a series when it’s been a while in between books. I know there is a chance that all that head-over-heels-in-love-with-this-series mega fangirl love and excitement has faded away a little bit with time. I’ve read 100 books since then. I’ve fallen hard for new books and characters. I’ve forgotten the details that made me fall in love. I can’t feel the pain or the exhilaration or the joy the book gave me with the same FEELING.

And it’s SAD. It makes me want to just wait til more books are out so I can binge read/semi-binge read but I also really like supporting the books when they come out and also it’s fun to read when a lot of other people are. In an ideal world, I would love to always be able to reread a series book before I moved on so I could at least come close to replicating those feelings and be super ready to dive into book 2 and rid myself of any of this disconnect (that isn’t the fault of the book itself).

But alas…I am a mere mortal.

Anyways, there is no real point to this post other than 1) I wanted to share how sad it was to have such a hard time being plugged back into this great story I loved and 2) I figured out yet another reason why I suck at series….despite loving being invested in a series.

 

Does this happen to anybody else??? Or is it just JAMIE PROBLEMS — table for 1?

 

PS. Some of my other readerly woes — the logistics of reading heavy books and all 10 of these bookworm problems

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 30 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, listening to music with oversized headphones and having adventures with her husband and dog.

Comments

  1. OH MY GOD!!!! Same!!! Even though I exactly loved the first book, the second book is always a dread. I haven’t even read the complete Under The Never Sky Trilogy and I feel like I’m gonna be burned by my friends. >.<
    But have you tried The Series of Unfortunate Events? That to me just kept getting better and better.

    I hope you get to actually read more series, Jamie. Good luck!

  2. A similar thing happened to me but instead of losing interest while reading the next book, I lost interest in continuing the whole series because a) I forgot what happened b)another book got my attention. This is why I wait for a whole series to wrap up instead of waiting yearly. Sometimes what I do to avoid this is to re-read the 1st book. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

  3. Oh my gosh I’m having this problem AS WE SPEAK. I had such issues with mood reading last year; got this SUPER anticipated-for-me sequel on NetGalley… didn’t read it in time, bought the paperback…. and I’m just starting it now. I remember enough and the writing is really good, and I like the characters but… I don’t feel like reading it? And I’ve read 3 books this week so I don’t know if it’s because it’s long, or fantasy, or like you said… lost a little interest. And it bums me out bc the first book was SO good and I tell people to read it all the time! I’m going to try and keep reading, only 50 pages in but yeah. I feel this post so hard.

  4. What series was it? I was the same way with reading “Heart of Betrayal” by: Mary E. Pearson this year and I was so glad I stuck with it, because it got SO much better the more I read!!

  5. I’ve done this with more series than I care to admit. The Name of the Wind…Annihilation…His Dark Materials a few years ago…

    I’ll read a first book, not shut up about it, maybe even look forward to the next one, and then…nothing.

    I think it’s a mix of things. As you point out, life (both the one we’re living and in terms of literature) goes on and moves pretty quickly, so our attention might be drawn elsewhere. I know I have a long list of books that I would like to read that only gets longer.

    I think burnout is possible. It’s like trying a new restaurant, loving it, and then going back every day for a week. You’re going to need a break to get that adoration up again.

    For me, I think I’m also just used to a lot of ambiguity in literature, so it’s not some kind of terrible shock to read a book, like it, and then just stop after book one and have the story end there for me. It’s a terrible habit in a sense because I’ve come to care for these characters, but it also may come from a desire to want to maintain that enjoyment and preserve it. Does that make sense?

  6. I have the same issues, Jamie! I’ve started purposefully not starting a new series until all the books are released because of these reasons. I either forget everything I read before the next book is released, or I lose all the magic and could care less about the series anymore by then. It sucks!! It makes me wish there were more stand alone books than series books coming out. It’s too stressful committing to series books anymore. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. Oh, this totally happens with me too and is definitely one of the reasons why I dread picking up some series to finish too! I just recently read the last book one a beloved series and it was just… okay, it had been over a year since I finished the previous book of that series and I did remembered stuff about it but the deeply connection with the characters just wasn’t there anymore which took a lot of my enjoyment while reading the conclusion. One of the things that helps with this is def re-reading but yeah, sometimes we just don’t have the time and also, I want to just jump right into a new story. Oh well, another thing to put on the bookworm problems.

  8. I almost always re-read before reading the next book in the series, so I cannot relate. And the few times when I don’t re-read, I am able to get back into the book almost immediately. Sorry! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. You’re not alone. I almost always have to read the prior book(s) again in order to get “in the mood” for a new sequel. But the problem may be with the book, not you! Ever heard of Middle Book Syndrome? It’s a super common problem that those books that have to bridge the gap between the start of a series and its conclusion just sort of… aren’t as exciting. And if you experience that over and over, it makes wanting to carry on with a series less appealing, doesn’t it?

  10. In my opinion, trilogies are the WORST! I tend to love the first one (sometimes like the second), but by the third book, I’m completely over it and could care less. I have a co-worker who won’t start a series until it has been completely published, so that she can binge read the whole thing all at one time.

  11. For me, it is hard to get back into the mood of a series if there’s been a long wait between books. I may remember the broad strokes of the previous book(s), but not the specifics, so it’s hard for me to get back into something I barely remember. I think it’s also hard because books in series either start off slow or pick up where the previous book left off, so I’m either bored in the beginning or really confused and trying to remember what happened in the previous book. This is why I try to pick series to read where all the books are already out, so I can binge read and not have this problem!

  12. This happens to me all the time. And it’s not even a year in between books, too! I’ve been catching up on a series and I just finished the amazing, OMG LOVE book 1, and book 2 is already available so I immediately start reading… then nothing. I could not get into the story at all. *sigh

    I think I just may have series-itis or something. I’m still on book 1 in The Throne of Glass (yeah, I am sooo late) and currently reading Crown of Midnight and have been stopping in between chapters… ๐Ÿ™

  13. Same here! So many times I LOVE the first book and I feel like I NEED the next book, but then by the time it comes out (be that months or years later) it takes me much longer to connect – if at all – because I’ve forgotten things and time has passed etc. You’re definitely not alone!

  14. I am the same way! I don’t read or own a ton of series and I think this is why. The only series I can distinctly remember rushing out to buy the next book and be as immersed in the reading experience as I was the first book is Harry Potter. Others sadly sit on my shelf until I end up binge reading them.

  15. This happens to me all the time! Last year, I made it a goal to take the time to reread if it was a series I really loved and that made a world of difference. I think the feeling for me has mostly to do with book amnesia. I have terrible book memory so I’ll remember that I loved a book, but I won’t remember why or what happened. Rereading helps me reconnect with those feelings. But I don’t always have time to reread either. I’m making time for the ones that were like 5 stars, but I still like to continue the series I gave 3-4 stars, but I don’t necessarily want to reread those. Ugh. The struggle is real. I definitely think it’s the time and it’s so tempting to just wait for the whole series to be out so I can binge. But then I feel like I miss out on the experience of reading it with everyone else and like you, I like to support the author when the book comes out so….. basically I have no solution to this problem and just wanted to ramble a bit. Lol

  16. This definitely happens to me too! I think binge reading the series helps, but that is SO hard to do if you’re getting books for review – or at least it is for me ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Book amnesia… such a good way to describe it. I was yelling, “THIS HAPPENS TO ME TOO!” Throughout your whole post! I’m so glad I’m not the only one. Every one around me gets so excited about book 2 coming out and nowadays I’ve not even picked up book one because I KNOW I would have forgotten it by the time book two comes out!

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