Musing Mondays is hosted by Rebecca at Just One More Page...
Do you prefer to read stand-alone books, or books in series? Do you stick with a series the whole way through or stop after the first installment? Are there any particular series you enjoy?(question courtesy of Elena)
I touched on this in a previous post, but I'll give a more complete answer here.
In general, I prefer stand-alone books. If I start reading a series, I usually feel like I have to keep going... even if I'm not loving it. So I tend to steer clear of series in general... unless I've heard really good things about them.
However, if the series is known to be finite, I might give it a go. Everybody knew that Harry Potter was going to be seven books, so that was okay. And I have fewer problems with reading a trilogy, because I know that there will most likely be a satisfactory conclusion to the story.
What I don't like are series that just keep going and going and going... If the books can be read individually, and out of order, that's not so bad. But if the series forms one long story, that just seems like the author (and/or publisher) is stringing the reader along. I guess what I'm saying is that I don't like sequels for the sake of sequels. It makes me feel like the author (and/or publisher) is more interested in making money than in telling a good story.
Do I stop after the first installment of a series? Not if I'm enjoying it. The problem for me usually comes with the second book, though. If the first book acts as an attractor, the second book often acts as repellent. I've been disappointed with series where I really liked the first book but just couldn't get into the subsequent ones. The Queen's Thief, His Dark Materials, and Abhorsen series come to mind; awesome first books... but I never finished reading the series because the following books didn't hold my interest.
As for series that I actually finished (and liked), I can only think of a couple. The first is the Willowmere Chronicles, which I've mentioned before. The second is Philip Pullman's Sally Lockhart series. The His Dark Materials trilogy is far more well-known, but the Sally Lockhart books (The Ruby in the Smoke, The Shadow in the North, The Tiger in the Well, and The Tin Princess) are captivating as well.