Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Discussion: Loving A Series So Much You Can't Finish It

There's this strange phenomenon that happens to me when I really like a series...

I can't finish reading it.

How does that even make sense? I don't know, but it's true. When I really love a series, I get horribly anxious about how the story will turn out. Because I'm usually so emotionally invested in the story and the characters, I have a specific way I want things to end up and usually the author doesn't quite agree. So actually reading the series and finishing it causes me more anxiety than just being able to exist with my own headcanons, which you can imagine puts me in a really strange position as a reader.

Don't get me wrong, I want to finish these series, to give myself some closure. I've done it before--Harry Potter, the Great and Terrible Beauty trilogy, heck even Twilight when that was a thing. But I have to have an immense amount of will power and plenty of free time to sit down and plough through the books in one sitting. (If I have to stop-and-go read on these books, I'll just end up talking myself out of finishing them and they go halfway read.)

The funniest thing is that this isn't even necessarily about finishing the last books in the series. For example, I'm stuck pretty much in the middle of two major series that I love but can't bring myself to read anymore of (for the time being.) The first is the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent, and the second is the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. For the Soul Screamers series, I read all the way up to the 5th book, and now I've been wiffle-waffling over starting the 6th (pictured right). I've heard that this is the book where, excuse my language, shit goes down. On the one hand, I adore this series and I absolutely want to know what happens to Kaylee. But what if I don't like what happens? Ahhhhhhhhhh. The only way I'd be able to force myself to read it is if I purchased the 6th and 7th book (the next two after If I Die) and could devote a weekend to just finishing the entire series, one book after the other so I wouldn't have to have time to dwell on it until it was done.

As for the Mortal Instruments series, I have read all the books up to City of Lost Souls. This series is one that just has so much going on and there are so many ways it could go. The good thing about Cassandra Clare is that she's one of those authors that found what worked for her and just went with it, so pretty much all her published works are set in the same world. Even if I finished this series I wouldn't have to say goodbye to Shadowhunters and such forever because there is the prequel trilogy and the Bane Chronicles, etc. I don't feel as anxious finishing this series, but I'm sure once I picked up City of Lost Souls eventually I might.

Anyway, these are just some personal examples to show you what I'm talking about. I don't know why this happens to me, and I'm wondering if it happens to any of you guys? Do you find yourself experiencing this reluctance to continue a series even though you really love it--because you really love it? It's like you don't want it to end so as long as you haven't read all the books, it won't. But by doing so, we're depriving ourselves of the enjoyment these books can bring up.

So my question to you... Have you ever dealt with this before? How did you get over it? Are you still dealing with it? Also, what do you think causes this reluctance to read something you love? 

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