Monday, March 20, 2017

Ramblings from the Stacks - Series Reading and Genre Fatigue

Back long long ago in the pre-blogging days the books I read weren't picked by date published or blog tour commitments.  I actually didn't even have a Kindle so all of my reading was done in paperback.  I was a big user of paperbackswap.com and frequently didn't even discover a series until they were way underway which meant I could have 4 or 5 of one series at a time.  Now since I enjoy the series it'd make sense that I'd want to read all 4 or 5 in a row right?  Well that's what I thought at first and I'd stack all the books up and get reading.  Except pretty soon I started noticing something - I loved the first book and usually the second.  But by the third book I was much less interested and by the fourth the primary characters could have all been hit by a bus and I'd have been okay.  This was before the word "slump" became a concept I was familiar with but even then I did notice my reading was sliding and I was wanting to read less and less.

After some experimentation I discovered that I needed at least 4 or 5 books in between each book in a series to keep me reading and keep me enjoying the series.  Now that blogging has changed the way I read and the way I pick current read it's a little harder to read a whole series close together.  And because I'm discovering new series at the beginning I'm not going to have the first four books ready to dive into so I don't have the series reading problem anymore or at least not as frequently.

But now I have a different problem - genre fatigue.  Lately. I've been noticing that if I have a lot of the same genre in a row then I start getting that feeling you get when you're 2/3 in to a ridiculously large dessert.  It's not that it's bad it's just that there's so much left and I've already eaten so much.  I need to mix it up with something - anything of a different feel or tone.

Can you read a series all in a row?  Do you suffer from genre fatigue?

18 comments:

  1. Oh yes, lady, it's as if you read my journals! Personally I love a series and I will on occasion read two in a row. But then I need a break from the series and read something else entirely. I still have 3 books left in my DCI Banks series. My husband say he'd just read those, plow through to get caught up. I have to have a break and I like to savor a series. If I read too much of the same thing I do get in a slump, need something completely different to get my interest.

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  2. Oh I found that if I read a series right in a row I usually get bored after like 3 or so. Genre is kind of weird. I can always read contemporaries - YA or adult with no issue usually. But other genres I can burn out on for sure. It depends though so I do try and mix it up.

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  3. Oh yeah, I need to break up reading a series, too. Usually. I can get genre fatigue sometimes. Although I haven't really gotten it with romance, but I think that is because the genre is huge! There is so much variety. So I could read a light, funny contemporary, and then a more intense historical, and then a romantic suspense.

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  4. I need to space out books in a series (even classics) and find that I enjoy reading more when I mix up genres, too. Blogging has definitely changed my reading habits!

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  5. Definitely! I felt like I could have written this post. It's exactly how I feel. I've been reading nothing but cozy mysteries for awhile now, but I've been branching out to romantic suspense and romance in between and I'm enjoying it very much. I always enjoyed those genres, but haven't been reading them since I've been blogging and reading by blog tour dates. So, I know where you are coming from with this.

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  6. I do sometimes suffer from genre fatigue, although less so now than I used to. Mostly because I read a variety of different types of books to avoid it! I learned the hard way that reading too much of one kind of book would cause genre fatigue. I sometimes do binge on a genre still, but it's not often and when I do, watch for the signs of possible burn out and take preventative action before it gets bad. At least I try to. :-)

    Great discussion topic, Katherine!

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  7. I usually mix it up by reading YA and adult romance back and forth. But I totally get what you mean about series fatigue. Sometimes I'm in the mood to binge read and will read a while series (usually romance) but than I'll need a break after. I do miss the days of starting a new genre having books on end in a series to read sometimes haha.

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  8. I can understand why Tricia would get on your nerves sometimes. This year is the first time I'm reading at least two books of a series in a row; my logic is because the characters are fresh in my mind, I want to at least read another book and I guess I feel the storyline will better cement in my memory? But I do like to mix it up which is why I have a like/dislike for a stack of books waiting to be read.

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  9. Oh I have been there done that Katherine. This is why I read so many different genres even within a single genre. Example romance, romantic suspense, women's fiction. Like you, I cannot read a series back to back. 3 weeks is the max time in between and that is with me reading/listening to 3 books a week. I do go through phases where I want all thrillers, but purposely added other, lighter genres in between.

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  10. I cannot read a series all in a row. I find when I try that I start burning out. I need to break it up a bit, but then I don`t always get back to them in a timely manner.

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  11. I do sometimes get this- genre fatigue. I mean my knee jerk reaction to a "favorite genre" question would be fantasy, and I read surprisingly little of it these days? PArt of that is tastes changing, but there's some genre fatigue in there too. I just need a break- hence the cozies, or the Victorian mysteries, or YA stuff. Now that I blog the variety helps a lot. :)

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  12. This is so me. I read a little bit of everything but if I try to read too many of one genre in a row, I start disliking it. I do try to mix it up and almost never binge read a series.

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  13. I have to mix up my reading by genre. I used to be a series reader from start to finish. Now I'm willing to jump in the middle and rarely find one that can't stand on its own. Sadly, I usually don't have the time to go back and read the previous books. As I write this I get that old feeling that maybe I should pull back from so many review books, tours, etc. I just can't seem to follow through on that thought. I need more resolve!

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  14. I have to mix it all up. I def get genre/series fatigue. I also mix it up with fiction and non fiction.

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  15. Exactly! When I was younger, I would get obsessed with an author or a series and want to read everything, preferably in order - and I notice this tendency in my sons nowadays. But now I need a bit of a change of pace in-between books in the same series or even by the same author but standalones.

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  16. I have only binge read one series and never had anything like this happen and that is the Shelby Nichols mysteries by Colleen Helme, they are all just so fun I wanted to know what was going to happen next and now I am all caught up because of that and have to wait, not sure which is worse....needing to get caught up or being caught up...lol. :) I normally don't read books in a series back to back cause I am afraid it will lose that part I love about them. :)

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  17. Coming a little late but loved your post. I can read a series through fairly on top of each other and have done so. Although most likely with few others in between. However I think of The Troubleshooters series by Suzanne Brockmann which I read through up to where I had to wait. Nalini Singh's Psy Changeling was another. Other than that others I can spread out. I do get a little genre fatigue. Romance is one I have just about fatigued myself out of. I now look for what they call mainstream fiction. I like a different genre just occasionally to spice things up.

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  18. I can't read more than two books from the same author close together - the editor in me starts noticing particular writing foibles and that gets in the way of my enjoyment. And no... I don't suffer from genre fatigue anymore because I tend to mix up what I read. I'll alternate a space opera with an urban fantasy, followed by a grimdark adventure. They are all speculative fiction, but so very different that I don't get jaded or fed up. And I'm careful how many of my least favourite sub-genres I read, anyhow. My last big reading slump was 4 years ago, so I seem to have the balance right.

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