Why I Prefer to Read Books in Series

books

Hello, hello, hello!

Today for Blogger Book Club, Chelsea, Megan and I decided to take a bit of a detour from the norm of sharing reflections on a book we all read during the month and instead share our favorite Christmas or holiday stories from over the years.

I sat down tonight to write this post, thinking it would be easy peasy.

In my head I was all, “Uh, I’ve loved books since before I could read so OF COURSE I’ll have a million favorite Christmas stories to choose from to write this post.”

Then I stared at the big empty window in my WordPress dashboard for ten minutes straight with nothing to say.

So I scratched my head.
Walked around my apartment.
Grabbed a snack.
Googled “popular children’s Christmas stories.”

And realized: the only Christmas stories I remember were stories we talked about in Church or stories that I read on my own. I literally have no recollection of books before I read them to myself.

It’s weird. I know that as kids we were read to. I vaguely remember my parents reading books to us at night before bed – but the only part I actually remember about it was cramming my sisters and I plus mom or dad into one of our twin beds to do so (’twas quite cozy).

It made me wonder: how much more of my childhood do I not remember? And how much more of it will be lost as I continue to grow up? Am I not going to remember my twenties when I’m in my forties and my forties when I’m in my sixties and so on and so on…!?

So basically right now I’m having an existential crisis about memories and whether I’ll completely forget everything and have to refer to this blog as the sole source of memories of my twenties when I’m fifty. Which  makes me wonder what I’ll think when I read this post about not remembering something that happened just 18 years earlier and not remember the disdain I felt at the realization that memories are not actually guaranteed to stick with me as my brain gets filled with new (likely unimportant) information with each passing day…

Note to 60-year-old self: Chances are, you won’t want to remember a lot of the babbling you do on this blog. So tread carefully with the archive dive. Just know this: your twenties are awesome. Just as your childhood probably was, despite the fact you can’t remember shit about it.

Yeah. Talking to my future self here, don’t mind me.

WELL THAT GOT OFF TOPIC.

Sorry.

I’m leaving the previous three paragraphs in this blog post just so that you guys can have a glimpse into the scarier parts of my reasoning that more often than not get chopped out of blog posts so that I *appear* to be more normal and less scatterbrained.

Anyway, back to books.

Once I started reading on my own, I became really into reading series of books. The Boxcar Children, Little House on the Prairie, HARRY POTTER, etc. etc. I still really enjoy reading book series (ahem, HUNGER GAMES) and multiple books by the same author as an adult, in fact.

Reading books in series have three major benefits, in my opinion: 

  1. The pace of the story is more laid back. When you’re reading book one in a seven part series, chances are your main character isn’t going to die right when you begin to identify with them. They’re probably just going to have a few crazy things happen over the course of each book – all manageable and very few devastatingly heartbreaking (hello, each time Harry was in  a precarious, life-threatening situation in the early Harry Potter books, instead of worrying about his imminent death, I was more like, “How’s he getting out of this one?! HUH? HOW? TELL ME NOW.”)
  2. While reading a series, you get to the point where you feel like you know the characters on a personal level and can re-assure yourself that regardless of how the series ends, you know what your new “friends” would do in any given situation. You can essentially write your own epilogue, because you get those characters. You’ve invested hundreds (or thousands) of pages into getting to that point. The unfortunate downside to this observation is that if the author goes ahead and ends the series with an epilogue, you might be annoyed at how things turn out.
  3. You can go on multiple day reading binges. I remember full days spent reading, until my eyes crossed and blurred to the point of no return. Christmas and summer breaks? Sounds like a GREAT time to re-read all of the Harry Potter books until my eyes bleed. It really was the ultimate escape. As an adult, I haven’t been able to do this for quite some time and frankly, I miss it.

An ancillary benefit to reading books in series is that you get to fully experience the full calendar year with your favorite characters. Which brings me back to Christmas, the original intent of this blog post.

Christmas was one of my absolute favorite parts in each of the Harry Potter books. From the first book, when Harry gets gifts for the first time from Ron’s family and his friends at Hogwarts, to the fourth book when they attend the Yule Ball and Ron gets SO jealous of Viktor Krum for taking Hermione, to descriptions of Hogsmeade during the holidays… I loved it all.

So my simple answer to today’s prompt: My favorite Christmas stories are my favorite stories in general. Harry Potter fan (freak?) fo’ lyfe.

If you lasted this far into this RAMBLING blog post, give yourself a big ol’ high five. Then scurry on over to Megan and Chelsea‘s blogs to actually read about Christmas books.

Do you ever freak out about not remembering your past? What’s your favorite book series? How’s your day? Talk to me in the comments (it sure is more fun than talking to myself, I tell ya.)

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  • http://www.janenotsoplain.blogspot.com/ Tori @ Jane Not So Plain

    I feel the exact same way about reading books in series. First of all, I l.o.v.e. Harry Potter, and I felt like I was BBFs with the characters as I was reading the books. Sometimes though, when I finish a series, I can’t start another book/series right away. It’s like I need to mourn that the series is over before I can move on. Crazy I know!

    • http://allthingseblog.com/ Erika Sevigny

      No girl, not crazy at all! I think I’m STILL mourning the end of the HP books. Sometimes my sadness over books ending lasts WAY longer than it should.

  • Danielle

    I love that Annie Dillard quote – so lovely, so perfect! (Also, we should be friends again sometime and have a weekend-long reading session together.)

    • http://allthingseblog.com/ Erika Sevigny

      Well that would be the MOST FUN. :) But really.

  • http://deliberatelybeautiful.wordpress.com/ Millie

    Am scared about losing my memories too!Am a new mother and am scared I wont remember these days in future!I wish I could freeze every moment and store it for the future!

    • http://allthingseblog.com/ Erika Sevigny

      I can only imagine how difficult that would be as a parent!