Piece of Mind: On Series Over Time

watercolor piece of mind

Where I share my thoughts, musings and bookish questions.

i’m just not that into you anymore

So recently, Allegiant was released. You may have heard of it? It’s the final installment in a pretty popular trilogy. People were going slightly crazy. There were interviews. There were parties. There was fangirling everywhere. I’m sure you’ve noticed. (And if you haven’t: where on Earth have you been?)

For me, it was the biggest release since I started blogging. But for a book that was so highly anticipated by so many readers, I was surprisingly… calm about the release. I mean, The Book Depository didn’t even ship my pre-order until a couple of days after its release, which meant I got the book ten days later, and I was not complaining. Sure, I’d get it later, no big deal. The fact that I feel so indifferent about this release is surprising me. Divergent was one of the first books I read when I’d started blogging, and when I finished, I was very much in love with it. Insurgent was no exception, no matter how mixed everyone else’s reviews were. I adored this series. And yet… I can’t bring myself to care about the release of this final installment.

Maybe the wait for the final book was too long, maybe I’ve just read too many brilliant books since those first two, but all I know is that I’m not particularly excited for this book anymore. I will still read Allegiant, sure, and maybe it will bring back some of my earlier enthusiasm, but my hopes aren’t very high at this moment. This feeling worries me, because it’s been happening to me a lot lately: I’m not excited for Ignite Me at all at the moment; I am in no hurry to continue the Under the Never Sky books in time for the last one, and all the unread sequels on my shelves can wait. It seems like over time, I just care less about certain series, until they no longer excite me at all. It makes me sad.

Please tell me I’m not the only one this happens to. Do you ever just notice that when a new book in a series is released, you just can’t bring yourself to care? Are you ever just not into a series anymore? Do you think it is the long time between two books that causes this problem, or just a change in own reading taste?

Judith is a 21 year old book blogger and reviewer, English student, part time magazine editor, compulsive book buyer, aspiring writer, proud book pusher, founder of Paper Riot and co-founder of the Recaptains. She is kind of addicted to Twitter. More?

19 Responses to “Piece of Mind: On Series Over Time”

  1. Kim says:

    For me, there are just too many series released each year. Every time I start a series I’m so excited, and if I end up loving/liking it, I’m already waiting on the next one that will release a year later. And so it happens quite a few more times, until the day my pre-order comes. And I SHOULD be reading it right away. But there are other pretties now, NEW series I’m excited to start. So I start those. And the sequels are just hanging around on my shelves.

    Well that’s basically how my reading of series works! I have so many sequels that I still need to read. I only pre-order sequels if I LOVED the first book, if I merely liked it I will wait until I feel the need to buy the sequel. And with some series, even though I really enjoyed the first one, I STILL haven’t felt the need to read/buy the second one. And I feel really bad, but I don’t think I will change that soon because there are new releases I’m more excited about.

    I can’t relate with you on Allegiant – I’m one of the very few who didn’t particularly like Divergent. Under the Never Sky is one of my all time favorite series, so it is quite the exception to the rule (which means I AM going to read it as soon as it is in my hands).

  2. Rebecca says:

    I know exactly how you feel. The first book of a series is the hook that you gets you in, then you eagerly anticipate the next book coming out, because the first one was just so good. By the time the third book comes out another year has passed, you remember how much you loved the first two books, and yet you just aren’t excited for this new release. I think often it can be that so much time has passed that you don’t have that same initial passion for the book and the storyline. I do wonder if it has something to do with the series fitting my reading mood at one point, that it fits the genre or style of writing that I was enjoying at that point, but since it’s been so long you’ve moved on and read other things and that style or whatever isn’t what interests you anymore.

    I’m currently reading Allegiant and I have to say, as much as I loved the first two, and as much as I am enjoying the book whilst I’m reading it, I just don’t have that feverish need to get to the end. My thoughts are ‘I’ll finish it when I finish it, no rush’ I think the passion has left me for the series. But sometimes I think it may be old age or something, because when I was reading Harry Potter I could never put the new book down until I’d finished it. Who knows.

  3. Judith, I can promise you are not alone!

    I’m rarely excited for third/fourth books in series that are really hyped up. I know that this major hype around books/series usually kills the mood for me. I love discovering new books, new series, different books and it’s not that I don’t read and enjoy hyped up books, it is just that I don’t feel the need to read it straight away. I also don’t feel the need to buy books that everyone talks about immediately. I started reading Vampire Academy only last year and I still onlyhave read the first two books. I haven’t started Divergent, Pushing the Limits, Shadow and Bone (yes, I know, shame on me) or Shatter Me. I know I will read them one day because they are calling my name but at the moment they are not at the top of my list of books I NEED to have and am DYING to read.

    So, to sum up my rambling: I can totally relate to your situation and I think that it could be because of the hype and also because the fact that everyone is talking about it, posting reviews about this particular book, etc. That’s usually the moment when I don’t want to read it.

  4. NO! Definitely not the only one! It’s the exact same here! It just happens. It’s like… a reading slump of sorts, I think. At the beginning, you feel like you have to have every sequel to those huge blockbuster series right away and like there’s nothing better on this planet. Then those sequels start piling up, just like all the series you haven’t even started and all those standalones EVERYONE but you has read already. I mean, maybe it’s just me, but I simply get overwhelmed. I noticed that, for Allegiant, I did everything right for once. I did remember my enthusiasm for the first book. I did read all those interviews and participated in the Twitter fangirling, I did pick the book up from the bookstore as soon as I could. i just went with the flow and that’s why I really enjoyed the hype. I think the problem is that there are too many books and as you go on blogging every day it becomes clearer and clearer that you will never be able to read them all. So you start doing the best you can. And then you read some more, and some more and then you forget to be excited about that. one. single. book.
    oh, yeah, and then I also agree with what many have said before: the waiting time is a big mood killer, too. Of course you are super excited after a major cliffhanger ending. But SO much happens in a year (or more, sometimes). In books and with your reading, but also with life in general.
    I think what helps if you do want to get excited about sequels from time to time, is just to “fake it until you make it”. For Allegiant, that worked perfectly :) Just engage in enough of the hype and you WILL be addicted again!

  5. You’re definitely not alone in feeling that way. Before blogging I was definitely the kind of person who would count down the days until a book’s release, but now there are SO MANY to keep track of – and usually a year (or more!) in between each installment, that by the time the next book is out, I just don’t care enough to immediately fly out and start it.

    There was a new MG series that came out this January. I REALLY loved the first one and have been dying for the sequel. I received an ARC…and wound up waiting until after the release date to read it. Even though I was still really excited and wanted to read it, I no longer felt the need to immediately read it.

  6. I think it’s the long timeline between book releases. It’s so hard to stay invested when you can’t even remember what happened in the first two books. And sure, you can go read a summary on Recaptains (which I love), but let’s be honest, reading a summary isn’t going to get as excited about the book as when you first read it. And who really has time to reread the first 2+ books in a series? Especially us book bloggers. I know I don’t. Between my review pile and my ever growing TBR, I just don’t have time. So I totally understand where you’re coming from. For me, there are a small number of series that I love and am really excited for, but if it was a series that I only gave 3 or 4 stars to…. the final installment is going to sit on my shelf collecting dust because I’m just not interested anymore. It’s sad. Which is why a lot of times I like to wait for an entire series to be released before I start reading it so I can binge read. I feel like I enjoy the series more that way.

  7. I’ve been wondering this myself as to why I’m not excited for Allegiant all that much. I read Divergent back in March and it gave one of the longest book hangovers ever. I knew I’d re-read Divergent before reading Insurgent. But I didn’t get to read nor did I want to. I was slightly excited for Allegiant’s release and I’d be like come on already so I can finish the series. It came and went but my excitement has worn off. I still plan to re-read Divergent then move on to Insurgent and Allegiant but I really have no idea when.

    I wish they wouldn’t keep changing the release date for The Retribution of Mara Dyer because my excitement might start to wear off. Ughhh.

  8. You are definitely not alone (as you can see). I think there are just too many series in general. It feels like everything is a series anymore and it makes it hard to fall in love with them all, or stay in love with them all. And sometimes, I think, even given the relatively short time frame between releases (in the grand scheme of life, of course), our mindset/tastes can change as well.

    Sometimes I’ll go back and revisit the previous books in the series to try and get that spark back, to ignite the fire (haha… I *am* still excited for Ignite Me. :)). But it doesn’t always work, no matter how badly I want it to.

  9. Zoë B says:

    I can definitely relate.
    I’m exactly the same with Allegiant and a few other series ‘enders’. Maybe it’s because subconsciously, I know the series will end so I should enjoy the moment instead of rushing to grab the nearest book remotely related to it to read. Maybe I know that I have time and I’m trying to stop myself from having the horrid emotional hole after finishing the series.
    Or maybe you’re right about the waiting thing, it has been a while, plus my copy hasn’t arrived yet so…yup
    Either way, although this goes against us bloggers dna but…they are just books. They won’t be going away anywhere and you have to be in the right mood, just so long as your house doesn’t burn down or you explode any time soon, you’ve got all the time in the world to finish the series, so make it count :)

  10. Meg says:

    You are not alone!! You’ve described the exact thing that happened to me with Allegiant. Loved Divergent, loved Insurgent (although I did find the relentless moping to be a tad tiresome) and then when I read Allegiant I was shocked by how little I cared.

    In this instance, it was definitely a case of having read too many amazing books since reading Divergent. It shifted my perspective of how ZOMGTHISISAMAING it was and it didn’t shift it in the series’ favor. Then there are books like the Razorland trilogy that came out on a similar timeline and I was still just as into the series when I read the third one as the first.

  11. Gillian says:

    DEFINITELY. I felt that way about Allegiant. I feel about that SO OFTEN. Or it’s like, I thought I was SOOOO EXCITED FOR A BOOK, DYING FOR IT TO SHOW UP, WILL TEAR THROUGH IT THE MOMENT IT’S IN MY HANDS. And then I get it and…. I don’t know. The fire’s gone. It’s so sad.

  12. Oh, you’re not the only one! I’m in 400th place for Allegiant at the library. I’m sure I’ll be able to muster up some excitement by the time it comes in. Probably. LOL.

    Recently, this happened to me with Of Triton. Five minutes after I finished Of Poseidon, I might have been persuaded to commit murder to get my hands on an ARC of Of Triton, LOL. But I’ve checked it out from the library twice and didn’t read it either time.

    This is one of the 4738902 reasons I prefer to wait until a series is complete and binge-read all the books at once.

    (The exception for this one is Ignite Me and the whole Shatter Me series because those are the exception from EVERYTHING because I love them to infinity and beyond. ♥)

  13. Johannah says:

    I have this whole trilogy on my shelf. I haven’t read any of them. yet. Yes, I know this is the second post I’ve mention not reading a book that is on myshelf and I need to catch up but I fee like I never, ever will at this point. Too many good books out there and I’m like trying to catch up from years of not being in the loop with reading… crazy I know.

  14. Alexa Y. says:

    I honestly felt that way about Allegiant as well. There was definitely a difference between how I felt when I read the first two and this one! I just finished it, so I didn’t wait THAT long, but there was still a marked difference in my reaction. So, it’s definitely not just you!

  15. I have the same. There are some exceptions though (the wait for Throne of glass 3 to name one), but I think the wait is sometimes SO long that I forget my enthusiasm. That excited feeling I had after finishing a book has disappeared because of all the other awesome books. I think once I start in, for example, Allegiant I might get that feeling back :) I think it’s just.. forcing yourself to start in the book.

  16. I’m feeling the same way about Allegiant, and the fact that so many of the reviews I saw (but did not read for fear of spoilers) were negative doesn’t help. I don’t have many friends who read YA, but one friend who does read some read Allegiant this past week and she just wanted it to end. Add in the fact that I didn’t like Insurgent very much AND I hate the casting for the movie and now I really don’t want to read Allegiant at all. I will, just to see how it ends, but it won’t be for awhile.

  17. Charleen says:

    I typically don’t read series as the books are released, unless it’s an ongoing series without a planned end. So, for something like the Divergent trilogy, I’ve waited until they’re all out and am planning to read them soon. And then I just immerse myself in that world all at once, so I don’t really have time for the enthusiasm to fade. (But I guess if I was willing to wait to read the series, my enthusiasm level wasn’t all that high to begin with.)

  18. I know exactly how you feel! I have the same problem. I have a major problem committing to series, I think that’s what my issue is. I can read a book, LOVE it, and say how I’m dying to get my hands on the next one…yet when it comes out a year later, I don’t care anymore. It’s a serious problem for me!

    Oh, and I never even read Insurgent. I should probably get on that, and see what all the fuss is about Allegiant…

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