The Art of the Binge

Posted February 1, 2017 by Cristina (Girl in the Pages) in Features / 37 Comments

Ever since I entered the world of book blogging, the WAY I read has undeniably changed. I rarely reread, and my reading tends to be all over the place in terms of genre, author, and format. As a result, my attention span is usually always 5 books ahead, always focused on the NEXT BIG THING being released, and not giving me a whole ton of time to focus on getting through series. At the same time, I’m reading different volumes of so many series that I often can’t really recall what happened in previous books all that well when reading the next installment. I think in some ways this has made me become somewhat adverse to series, as last year I read 36 standalones and only 20 books that were a part of series. 64% of all of the books I read were standalones! I didn’t even know I had so many stand alones on my TBR!

With all of this in mind, this year I’d really like to take some time to binge read a few series, particularly series that are already completed or are near completion. I used to chronically reread and binge series (Harry Potter and Twilight were personal faves, I would alternate binge rereading them every other year) and while I’m glad to be exposed to so many more books now, I miss the ability to loose myself in a story that spans over several books, staying with characters over the course of a journey without any breaks to dull the emotional impact or loose any of the small details to fickle memory.

Series I Hope to Binge in 2017

I own all first book in the above series, so there’s really no excuse for me not to start them. I read Grave Mercy back in December so I’ve got a little head start on binging the series so far. It’s rather high fantasy for me so the sooner I can read the other books, the better, lest I forget all of the details. After meeting Susan Dennard twice (and loving Truthwitch) I really want to read her debut series (and prove to her that people do read it, as she’s convinced no one has!). Finally, I’m going to hear Victoria Schwab speak in February and I HAVE to read something by her before then. This series seems to be her most popular, so I need to bust through these three within the next few weeks!

Series That Require a Pre-Binge Reread

There are also a few series that I own but have only read the first installment, often over a year ago, and now need to reread before I can read the newer books in the series. I had mixed feelings on Splintered but the gorgeous covers really make me want to see it through to the end. I’m thinking I can MAYBE get away with not rereading These Broken Stars before I read the rest of the series, since they’re supposed to be companion novels (I think? Any insight on this?) And even though I only read Passenger a year ago, time travel often goes over my head and it’s a concept I find really confused (poor Max has tried explaining it to me SO many times but I’ve been confused ever since I saw the movie LOOPER) and there’s no way I’m going to remember any of the rules going into Wayfarer without a reread.

Do you binge series anymore, or are you more focused on reading stand alones or review copies? Have your reading habits changed since you started blogging? Do you have any recommendations for series to binge, or insight as to which books of the above are worth binging/are most satisfying when binged? Let me know in the comments!

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37 responses to “The Art of the Binge

  1. I love, love, LOVE binge reading series! It’s my favorite thing to do in general, since I have trouble keeping track of all the details and plot twists and characters if I don’t. It does, rather unfortunately, result in delays in me finishing up certain series, but it’s what works for me!

    I loved Susan’s Something Strange and Deadly series. It was really fun, and I really enjoyed the characters and the overall story! Also, Wayfarer was absolutely brilliant and rereading Passenger before it is a great idea. I’m also excited to see what you think of His Fair Assassin, because I absolutely love that series too!

    As for These Broken Stars, you technically don’t need to reread since the next book is a companion novel about different characters (and the third is too). But there are details that they recall from the earlier books that culminate in the third, if that makes sense.

    Happy binge reading!

    • I used to love binge reading SO MUCH but it’s so much harder to integrate into my reading schedule these days. I’m actually feeling not so pressured to keep up with series now because I’d rather wait until all (or most) of the books are released so I can binge them because I read so many books that it’s hard to keep track of everything, as you said (although I do find reflecting on my past reviews help). I REALLY need to reread Passenger especially since I have a hard time grasping the nuances of time travel in general so I know I’m going to be SO lost if I just dive into Wayfarer. What are some of your favorite series that you’d recommend binging?

      • I definitely share your feelings. There are only very few series I keep up with as each new book comes out, but a lot of series I either haven’t finished or haven’t even started because I’m waiting for all the books to be available in my hands!

        Let’s see… I’d recommend binging The Darkest Minds series, the Fire and Thorns series, the Elemental trilogy, Six of Crows duology, The Orphan Queen duology, the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy, the Lynburn trilogy, just to name a few off the top of my head that are finished and can be binged πŸ˜‰

  2. I LOVE THIS. I am terrible about series binging too! I’m always thinking ahead to the other books on my TBR with self-imposed deadlines, etc. It can be such a pain because I used to looove binge-reading series before book blogging! Literally all of these are on my TBR too.

    • Maybe we should think up some sort of binge-collaboration post if we both binge one of these together? There are also some I haven’t listed as well that I need to binge (like Vampire Academy and I sort of want to do a Shadowhunters reread!)

  3. I plan on binging a lot of series this year. For a blog that is supposed to read and review series, I’ve been a little slacking on getting those update reviews and full series reviews out there.

    Something Strange and Deadly is one I plan on reading in the next two months once school is finished.

    If you don’t have time for a full reread, Recaptains.co.uk has great a in depth recap of These Broken Stars that you can probably get away with. And there’s this beautiful image recap for Passenger (https://static1.squarespace.com/static/57d478de414fb51a88afb5c3/t/5863fce1cd0f689594067006/1482947821967/wayfarer+%281%29.png). So maybe start there and save yourself some time!

  4. Strangely enough, I find myself reaching for my old favorites to reread lately rather than wanting to read new books. I’ve frequently been binge-reading old series’ that I’ve loved. I’m like you, though, that a lot of the time I don’t read a new series all in one go so I forget what happened when I finally get back around to reading the next book. When that happens, I usually like to just reread the whole series up until the point I’m at so I’m sure to understand everything. This is a really good idea to catalog the series’ you haven’t finished and finally tackling them! I should put a list together sometime and get through it so I finally know how all the series’ end!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    • Thank you, Laura! I also have found myself gravitating to older releases (though ones I haven’t read) so far this year, as it’s really satisfying to finally get to backlist releases I’ve REALLY been wanting to read that seem to always get pushed aside by the shiny new releases that come out. I think the first series I’m going to try to binge this year will be ADSOM since I am going to see Victoria on tour this month!

  5. I looooove binging series! You have some great ones here– I loved Susan Dennard’s first series (and you’re so right; she’s totally convinced no one has read it), and my love for the ADSOM series is a littttlllle bit out of hand.

    • I need to read the ADSOM series within the next like 3 weeks before I see Victoria on tour (hopefully they’re quick reads!) I’m also excited about binging so many fantasy series because a major problem I have with fantasy books is forgetting elements of them in between books and I HATE going into a sequel without really remembering what happened in its predecessor.

  6. I actually never really binge series although I love the idea too. I have so any ARCs that I find it hard to fit them in. I am actually binging HP (my first time reading it!) but went the audio route so I can keep listening to the whole series in one shot. I hope you get to these and enjoy!!

    • I know what you mean. Ever since I started blogging it’s hard to dedicate so much concentrated time to a single series, especially a backlist one, when there’s new releases and ARCs always stealing your attention. I’m glad you’re getting to binge HP, that has to be such a satisfying feeling (I remember waiting YEARS between the books!) How are you enjoying it so far?

  7. SO excited to see what you think of ADSOM. I love Schwab’s writing; she is a goddess. I feel like I got really caught up in the hype of AGOS and didn’t enjoy the end as much because of that, but the characters are so fantastic that I can’t wait for ACOL. And I’m almost entirely certain the the Starbound books are companion books, so you should be fine there. I read and *adored* These Broken Stars last year, so I really want to get to the second one this year!
    -Monica @ Tomes Project

    • So I just started ADSOM a few nights ago, and even though I usually only get through one chapter before passing out because I’m so tired at the end of the day, I can already tell that the writing is SO GOOD. Fingers crossed I have time to get through the first two books at least before I go to her author signing at the end of Feb!

  8. I have to be careful with binge-reading. I used to binge read series all the time, but I discovered I get sick of authors when I do that. So now I’ll read one or two books, then go to something else, then come back, and it usually works really well. Of course, there are some series that absolutely MUST be binged, and I just let those happen when they come up πŸ˜›

    • This is SUCH a good point, especially for authors who have super long series or a lot of series set in the same universe. I’d like to try your method of reading one or two books and then taking a break and coming back to the series within a reasonable amount of time where you can still remember all of the important plot points and details!

  9. I very rarely binge a series, mostly because I’ve moved a few times in the last few years, so my books are everywhere! I think I binged Twilight only because my friend lent the books to me all at once, and I had to read them immediately. Harry Potter may be the only series I binge for a reread, but again – I haven’t had all the copies with me in five years that it’s been that long since I read the whole thing!

    • I’ll admit I binge Twilight every now and again because those books are just so addicting! I totally understand what you mean about struggling to binge read when your books are spread out everywhere! I only have a small collection of books in my current place and many others are in storage or at my parent’s house still, so I can’t really access them easily!

  10. I totally agree with you. My reading habits have definitely changed and lately I have somehow become very reluctant to start series because I know it will take me a while to read all books and I definitely forget a lot of stuff if I don’t continue with the next book right away. I’ve also recently developed this habit of reading about a hundred books at the same time, which is not helping with that.

    • YES I read SO many books at the same time. In a lot of ways I like it because it adds variety to my reading life and I’m a big mood reader, but in others it just compounds other problems (like trying to remember where I am and creating a high backlog of reviews that I have to write). I really need to start binge reading fantasy series because it’s SO hard for me to keep track of the world building if I’m waiting a year (minimum) between books.

  11. Rebecca

    I’ve never been a huge series reader. Probably because I read a lot of contemporary and there aren’t many series in that genre. But I read Tomorrow, When the War Began last year and am reading another series currently, and while I won’t say they’re perfect on a whole, I must say there’s nothing else like it. While it’s harder to nail a series – some books you love more than others, it falters in pacing, it feels like it’s being drawn out, it’s so great immersing yourself in a world and the characters for many books! I think I may look into reading one great series a year. One of the great things about this is that if you wait for all the books to release, you can binge them. I highly recommend this…I’m so over stopping/starting series and forgetting the plot of the previous instalment. I love To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, but I can’t say I can recommend any of the other series you’ve mentioned. Have fun revisiting and starting series. They can be a lot of fun, so happy reading!

    • YES I definitely agree with you about being over waiting for series to release their installments. I find myself in the same predicament as you where I read more contemporary and those are much more often stand alones rather than series (although I’d love to take this opportunity to get back into fantasy series, since I don’t know how I strayed so far from them!) I love your idea of concentrating on one great series a year! Also, just wanted to let you know that you leave the loveliest comments! πŸ™‚

    • I actually find as I grow older that I am reading less and less series! I think maybe it’s because most of them are fantasy and I’ve found that the older I get I lean more toward contemporary. Hopefully we both find more series that we love enough to binge read soon!

  12. When I first came to book blogging and became aware of so many great series, I was lucky that they were all already released, and I LOVED binge reading them, it’s like Netflix but for books. After a while though I got sucked in by new series (anything by Maas springs to mind) and had to do the agonising wait until the next instalment thing. It was exciting to have that feeling again – the anticipation of waiting for a new release – that I hadn’t felt since the HP days, but it can also be very frustrating! R xx

    • I totally agree! Especially with the agonizing wait, I just honestly forget everything that happened in previous books (with HP I was constantly rereading them and watching the movies so I feel like it always stayed fresh in my mind even between books!)

  13. I don’t think I’ve ever really been a binge reader. I had much more patience for series before my blogging days, but I still was really awful at finishing what I started. In fact, I’ve only ever officially finished two series in my entire life! Although, I’m about to bump that number up to three next month. The only time I do any sort of binge reading is when I read Harry Potter books (it’s worth mentioning that I’m not much of a re-reader either unless of course it’s the Harry Potter books).

    • Hi Jackie! I used to be a major re-reader, but it’s super rare if I reread anymore now that I blog because I am SO aware of all of the new books coming out and it feels like a bit of a race to constantly keep up! What are the two series that you’ve completely finished before?

      • Harry Potter, of course! The other was Twilight, rather begrudgingly I might add. Okay, I admit, I actually liked the first two books, but I think I literally skipped half a chapter in book three (is that even allowed?!), and it took me over a year to finish book four. I get to add the Mistresses of Versailles trilogy to this list soon. It’s a historical fiction series about King Louis XV and his mistresses– pretty naughty, but hilarious!

  14. Cali W.

    I still binge on series. I am on A Court of Rose and Thorns by Sarah Maas and the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. The problem is waiting for the next book in the series. πŸ˜‰

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