My Big Fat Reading Mistake
Nov 29, 2016
What's the one thing you want to do when an episode of that show you like is over? (No, not grab a snack or go to the bathroom or check your Twitter.) You want watch to the next episode. And the next and the next and the next, especially when every episode ends on a damn cliffhanger. (But we're not talking about cliffhangers, because that's a whole other post.) The same idea goes for books, right? When you read a book in a series, you want the next one, don't you? Even if you didn't exactly love the book, there's still a part of you that wants to know what will happen next, and you'd prefer to know that sooner rather than later. Sometimes you don't have a choice but to suffer through that wait between books or episodes, like when the sequel's not published yet or when you've fretted over a season finale. But if you could avoid that wait and just go on to the next installment, why wouldn't you?
That, my friends, is my reading mistake. I'll read a book in a series--either a completed series or one where the sequel(s) are already available for purchase and all that--without making sure I have the next book ready to go once I finish the one I'm currently one and wonder what the hell's going to happen next. I know from experience that, while the wait between books can sometimes create a sort of pleasurable masochism that works in the book's favor (the anticipation is part of the grand reading experience!), not having to go through that wait and being able to binge books is such a wonderful, fantastic thing, and you can totally get high off it. And yet, I force myself to wait when I don't have to. Why?
I might not happen to have a sequel because, hey, why I would buy it when I haven't even read the first and might not like it? Which is, of course, reasonable. I mean, I could always buy a sequel after reading its predecessor and wait a couple days for it to arrive. (I love you, Amazon Prime.) But then I'd also need a budget to constantly buy sequels, and money doesn't grow on trees, people. I could request it from the library and hope the wait isn't too long (though the publishing date wait is usually a year, so the library's wait can't be too bad), except, uh, I owe like seventy dollars in overdue fines and can't currently check anything out, ahaha. So. What's a bookworm to do?
The answer is very, very simple: I need to stop reading books from a series unless I already have all the available sequels on hand. Except then I wouldn't get like any series read, and that's no fun, is it? (Plus, I'm such a mood reader--another discussion topic. If I'm in the mood for a book and it just happens to be part of a series, then I'm going to read it, consequences be damned.) Maybe the answer isn't quite so simple, but there is an answer: embrace the suffering. Reading--falling for characters, making friends on paper, going on adventures, embarking through new worlds--is suffering, but in a good way. It's not real, but we can make it seem so. I mean, I keep watching shows and suffering through the week- or season-long wait for a new episode. And I definitely keep reading series and waiting at least a freaking year for the next installment--and hit repeat on that. So my reading mistake? It's just a seriesous problem.