Sunday Book Club: A Seriesous Discussion

Posted August 6, 2017 by meezcarrie in Sunday Book Club / 46 Comments

Happy Sunday, my friends!

A couple of weeks ago, I asked YOU what you wanted to talk about in future Sunday Book Clubs and you came up with some fantastic topics!

DeAnna Dodson said:

I’d like to know what readers like best in a series.


Excellent question! I personally love series that go beyond three books (those are fine too, though). But I don’t really want it to go much beyond 10 books. There are always exceptions, of course, but that’s a pattern I’ve noticed in myself.

So now it’s your turn! What DO you like best in a series? How many books can be in a series before you lose interest? New characters in each book? Or stick with the original group? Different locations from book to book or one setting?

What makes you keep reading a series?


46 responses to “Sunday Book Club: A Seriesous Discussion

  1. I like the same setting and visit a group of characters in each book. I don’t mind a series that continues with the main character until it’s complete, like Terri Blackstock’s If I Run series.

  2. I think it’s ok to have a 3 book series beyond that Id lose interest.
    but I have a bad habit of reading a book before I realize it’s part of a series lol!!

  3. I love all kinds of series! But I do agree, beyond ten books in a series is a bit much for me. As a reader, I love seeing the continuing stories of characters I came to love in the first couple of books of a series. I also love a series that takes place in the same setting, but with different characters, so they each could be stand-alone.

  4. Cathe Swanson

    I like series – especially if they are romances or romantic suspenses – that wrap up the relationship in the first book, have a different couple in the second book, etc. I recently read a romantic suspense with a swoony, satisfying ending. Loved it and bought book 2 in the series only to find that the original couple had broken up and had to re-start the relationship all over again. It was irritating.
    I think 3-5 books in a series is good. 🙂 There are exceptions, though.

  5. As a reader, everything depends on that first book. I like family ties, or a community setting, but what really determines whether I keep reading is the author’s voice and general themes. As an author, I enjoy writing in a series because it gives me a head start. The second story grows from the first, and the third from the second. It’s fun to show previous characters, but it’s also easy to burn out on a particular setting, or to rush into a story that really needs more development.

    Right now, I’m hooked on Susan May Warren’s Montana Rescue series. Can’t wait for Book No. 4! I’ve also been reading Michael Connelly and the Lincoln Lawyer books, which is a total switch-up for me.

    • Carrie

      I still need to read both of those series! But yes – so much of my series love comes from how I feel about the author’s style, the characters, the themes. An underlying arc that carries through the whole series also hooks me.

  6. Personally, I love a long series if I love the characters and the settings (as long as the author doesn’t rehash the same things over and over). But having just finished up Book Six of my Drew Farthering series, I’m curious about whether readers want more or if I should quit while I’m ahead. I’d love to at least get him into WWII . . . that’s only four years away for him.

  7. Winnie Thomas

    I enjoy series if each book can stand alone. I do NOT like cliff-hangers. I can do several books in a series, but beyond 8-10 is excessive for me. I like a main cast or family in a book series with stories about each one, but I’m okay with introducing new characters, too. Susan May Warren’s Christiansen family and her current Montana Rescue series are excellent.

  8. Martha

    I love series. But one thing that I especially like about them, is that I get to see my favorite characters from previous series move on in their futures. I especially liked how Julie Lessman has done this. Most of my favorites are 3-6 books. I want the characters to grow, but I also don’t want cliffhangers to the point that if I am waiting for another book to come out, that I feel like I have to re-read the first one to understand. But on the same note, I don’t want the previous book repeated either.

    • Carrie

      I really like it when beloved characters from one series show up in an author’s other series. Mary Connealy does this too!

  9. Marilyn

    I like series that end within 10 books. I remember reading “The Saddle Club” series many years ago and the author said she only intended the series to last 10 books. Many readers asked her to go beyond and she did. I was disappointed in the rest of the series. She had the characters doing things that were not true to their characters. I try not to get involved with the series that go beyond 10 books.

    • Carrie

      I think there’s just a point when a series is complete, whether it be 3 books or 10 or even 20. The author has to be sensitive to that point, I think

  10. As I was reading everyone’s comments, I realized just how eclectic my reading habits are. I like series and generally prefer 3-4 books. But don’t want cliffhangers. I don’t mind if they follow one person or focus on different people in each book. But I love long mystery series. I’m always disappointed when my favorite “detective” has no more cases to solve. Yes, I’m all over the place!

  11. carylkane

    I love reading a series! I devour them when complete. I enjoy following a main character or family. I enjoy reading mysteries. I can’t get enough of them! It’s always bittersweet when the series is complete.

  12. I like learning more about the characters in a series. I enjoy finding out their back story and also, why they react the way they do.

  13. I love books. Period. When books are a part of a series, all I ask is that each one matter to me–not just be a bridge to the next. I need to care about the character and about resolution of the smaller strings that tied it to the previous one. And I like a few smaller strings left dangling to tie to the next. Small stuff.

    The only time I like cliffhangers is if the MAIN plot is resolved and a new is introduced to whet my appetite for the next.

  14. Connie Scruggs

    I love series books. I don’t know that I have a limit. If I do, none of the series’s I’ve read have reached it, lol. I get so attached to characters, so with a series, I don’t have to say goodbye. Also, sometimes I have a hard time at the beginning of a standalone book getting into it. But with a series, once I read the first book, I get into the subsequent ones easily. I really enjoy when each book in a series focuses on a different character. That way I get to visit the characters I loved in previous books while getting to know a character better.

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