Mission Impossible: Tackling series.

Naamloos
We all 'suffer' from this problem. Almost every book you read is part of a series. Sometimes, you are lucky and it’s possible to finish the series. Most of the times you have a problem, because the series is unfinished and you have to wait around 3 years for the last book. I’ve been trying to tackle all the series and I want to keep you up-to-date on my progress. Don’t expect too much of it though. For every series I finish, I seem to start 10 new ones. I don't include novella's.

I made a Word document with every series I started in the past 3 years and this is the result:

Series completely published: 19.
Series unpublished:
36.
Series second chance: 4.
Total: 59 series.

Series I'm not sure I want to continue: 6.
Series I don't continue: 15.

Series I finished more than 3 years ago: So far, 19.

Finished this year so far: 7.
Amy Plum – Revenants (3)
Kiersten White – Paranormalcy (3)
Cassandra Rose Clarke - Assassin’s curse (2)
Anna Carey - Eve (3)
Alex Flinn – Kendra Chronicles (2)
Lauren Oliver - Delirium (3)
Cameron Dokey, Nancy Holder, Tracy Lynn, Suzanne Weyn & Debbie ViguiƩ - OUAT series (19)

The series I hope to finish:
Lauren DeStefano: –Fever. –Sever.
Gail Carson Levine: –Ella enchanted. –Ever. – The two princesses of Bamarre.
Jessica Day George: –Princess of the Silver woods (currently reading)
Mary E. Pearson: –Fox Forever.
Gail Carriger: –Heartless. –Timeless.

What about you? Do you keep track how many series you are reading and how many you’ve finished? This also brings me to the subject of the series vs stand-alone discussions. I love series. It's great to really get to know a character and to be able to return to that world. On the other hand, I love stand-alones too for other reasons. Sometimes it's fun to read a book knowing that the story is going to end. There is no need to wait for more. I also think certain genres are meant to be a series or a stand-alone. Fantasy, Dystopian: series. Contemporary: stand-alones or books that sort of fit together, like Anna and the French kiss & Lola and the boy next door. What do you think?

76 comments

  1. Ha, I love this post! Seriously, though, so true. I think I've only managed to finish... four series? HP, THG, Percy Jackson, and Delirium. That's it. It's amazing how I can read so many books yet not be able to finish so many series. Most of the time, it doesn't really bother me, because most of the books I read are ARCs, so I'm not THAT tempted to finish the series, I guess, than if I bought a physical copy.

    To answer your questions: Nah, I'm too lazy to keep track! Plus, like I said above, not finishing a series doesn't really bother me, unless I have a physical copy of the book(s), or if I'm really invested in the story and want to finish it. And dude - do you know what's annoying about series? It's when you want to read it, but you're not sure if you've got enough money to do so. That happens to me ALL the time. :(

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    1. Yes, I'm now trying to list down all the series I finished more than 3 years ago, just for the fun. HP is of course one of them. I'm thinking about posting more of these posts, all about a different topic like "series I'm not going to continue" and "series I finished in 2013"

      Oh yes, I know that feeling :(

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  2. I don't track my series simply because I'll have some mental breakdown where I'll try to read all the sequels to novels so I can finish off some series. LOL.

    Great post, Mel! <33

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  3. I don't track the series that I read haha, it'll probably really stress me out but it doesn't really bother me if I don't finish a series yet because I know I'll get to it eventually. It does annoy me to start a new series but if it's good, I won't mind. I would really like to see more standalones though, with having one whole story contained in one whole book.

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    1. Yes, sometimes it's a relief to read stand-alones :)

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  4. I definitely don't keep track of ALL of the series I read. That list would be ridiculously long. But if it's an unfinished series that I really love, I usually keep track of when the new releases are coming and and such. Like for the Heroes of Olympus series and Bloodlines and Throne of Glass etc etc. I also just read a lot so it would take ages to count up all the series I've read!

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    1. Yes, I've made a list on Goodreads to keep track of all the books I want to read that aren't published yet.

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  5. That was very neat of you to have a list to track down the series you’ve read. I’m a very disorganized person so I don’t track any of the series I’m reading. I just read it when it is out. ;)

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  6. I am now listening to the audio of Requiem by Lauren Oliver. I don't know how many I've completely, but like you I have many UNFINISHED and some I will probably never finished.. Great post :)

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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  7. I don't have any formal list of series I've started, but I might start keeping tack of one. I love series too, because sometimes I'm not ready to say goodbye to the characters. Fantasies definitely should be series, though I don't mind when they are more of companion books. Some examples that come to mind include The Lumatere Chronicles by Melina Marchetta and The Graceling Realm by Kristin Cashore. I think contemporaries work better as stand-alones or companion novels too. Not having to wait for a sequel is definitely an advantage of stand-alones.

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  8. Ooh I don't want to know how many series I have to finish! If I really love a series, I'm dedicated to the point of buying the latest book on its release date, but if I just like it, I'll put off reading the next book for months.

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    1. I know myself.. I will buy every book if I get the chance, haha.

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  9. I never thought about making a list, but I feel like I've only finished two series this year -- Unearthly and Breathe. I can't think of any others. I'm in the middle of a bunch and there are some that I never feel like I'll be able to finish (Morganville vampires -- there's about 14 now, and I've only tackled 7).

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  10. I don't really keep track at all. But sometimes, all those series are a pain to follow, because they're just so many, and it's agonizing. I only remember of a series when I see the book in a bookstore or when promotional material goes up.

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    1. That's why I decided to make a little list :D

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  11. Agree! Most of the books I've read are part or a series and now that you mention it...I must admit that I haven't finished most of them! Some of the sequels haven't been released yet but in some cases...I cannot find the sequels here inmy country so I have to order it online xD Reading series needs a commitment -- sometimes you discover a series you love better and you unintentionally "ditch"/forget about your last favorite series ... Which leads to me forgetting to continue the series...*sigh* I don't track which series I've read but maaaaan, it's definitely a lot xD

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  12. I don't track series, especially since it seems like everything is now part of a series.

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  13. Oh. Wow. If I start listing the series I need to finish, I'll probably start crying. But good for you! You have a goal to finish at least some of them ;P I, on the other hand, keep starting new ones. There's no one to stop me. haha

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    1. Haha, I'm not going to force myself to finish them, but it would be nice to accomplish it :D

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  14. Oh hey, I read your post yesterday on my feedly and I thought I commented. I guess I didn't. Anyhow, that's a LOT of series! I hope to finish The Chemical Garden series soon. I should also finish Across the Universe by Beth Revis and The Revenants by Amy Plum. I don't keep track of the series I read, but I do tend to not finish a lot of them O.o There're just so many. I don't know why they make every book into a series when it's completely unnecessary. You've done good though:)

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  15. I think I would be afraid to list all of the series that I need to finish. There are too many! A couple will be ending this year though, so I'll get to cross them off. Maybe I should keep track of them..lol

    I also feel like certain genres are series genres and certain ones are stand-alones, although it's always nice to find a series in a contemporary setting or a stand-alone in a fantasy/dystopian setting :)

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    1. Agreed, sometimes it's fun to read a stand-alone fantasy/dystopian.

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  16. Oh my gosh, I love this post! This is a big reason I joined the Seriously Series reading challenge for 2013: I wanted to make a big dent in all the series I was in the middle of. And it's definitely a goal for me again next year. Now you've got me tempted to write up my own charts! xD

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  17. Oh brother, I'm ashamed to say that I hardly ever finish reading series. In fact, I think I only finished three series this year. Or was it four? I always start new series though because lately, everything is a series.
    I might copy your brilliant idea though - to have a series spreadsheet staring at me will intimidate me to finish all those series I've started.
    Great post Mel! (:

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  18. I've started so many series/trilogies and DNFed almost all of them. I did finish Delirium, but wish I had DNFed it...
    I'm definitely planning to continue reading: Angelfall, The 5th Wave, Sweet Peril, Divergent and Cinder.

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    1. Delirium, UGH. I finished it too, but.. I have to agree.

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  19. haha I should totally do this too! i have NO idea how many series I have yet to finish, and it's crazy! I am obviously dropping LOTS, but I seriously need to start finishing up some series this year! Lovely post! Thanks for sharing!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  20. I've been doing a bit of tracking recently. It's pretty awful. I've started on more than ten series...ok maybe closer to twenty this year. But I've completed none!

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  21. Awesome post :D Heh, I have trouble finishing series these days.. which kind of sucks, because I loved book one/two of many books and then when I got book three I just couldn't seem to care anymore. Sigh. Anyway. I hope you'll get to finish many of those series :) I really did love Fever and Sever. <3

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  22. Great Post! I have the same dilemma. I have sets here that were bought and given--- I simply gave up on them. Fever series is one.

    -Dannielle

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  23. I am SO bad at keeping track of the series that I read. I'll start them left right and centre, but then never end up finishing about 70% of them. I only really continue with the series that I LOVE, and not many fall into that category. The rest end up forgotten or substituted for newer, more exciting looking books. Anyway, good luck with your goals! I hope you can get them all read. :)

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    1. I hope so too! It would make me feel better, haha.

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  24. I'm just now starting to go back and track which series I still need to finish. I found this really cool website called FictFact that tracks all of your series for you and lets you know which book you need to read next or when the next one is released. It makes it so much easier. Although it also made me realize how many series I still have to catch up on. :)

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    1. I found FictFact yesterday on Twitter and yes, it's a nice website!

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  25. It actually sounds just like the kind of thing I would do, sorting our what series' I've started and what ones I haven't finished/want to (it sounds really fun, the more I think about it!) but it's not something I think I would ever do. I'm completely unbothered about quitting a series if I don't like one of the books, and I ust let it fall out of my radar. If a series is really important to me I will make a big effort to finish it, and generally I remember the ones I want to go on with, but if they're not so great I generally don't really think about it.

    Excellent post, Mel! Series' are tough, and it's so nice to read a standalone when if feels as if series' are everywhere!

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    1. I'm happy you can think that way! I'm still someone who likes to finish series, unless they are really really bad - those are the ones on my 'quit' pile.

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  26. I don't keep track of the series I read but I probably should. I have major series commitment issues, and I know it's going to be a sad list lol! I usually read the first, perhaps even the second book and never finish. I think it's a phobia...

    This is a great idea, though! I may have to try it. :)

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  27. Okay so I made a list...it's pretty bad:
    14 completely finished series
    23 I need to finish w/ all books published
    27 I need to catch up on
    36 w/ unpublished books that I'm caught up on (most only have 1 or 2 books out)
    26 I don't plan to continue at all

    126 series total that I have started - yikes!

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    1. Haha, yesterday I found out I missed some series, so I'm now trying to complete my list. We're all in the same boat!

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  28. Wow, your organization here is super impressive! I've always been a much bigger fan of standalones (even though my favorite genre is fantasy, where series seem to reign). I can't even imagine how many series I've started over the years and haven't finished. The ones I've started in the little over a year since blogging/GoodReads should be easier to track. But at the same time...if I really wanted to finish a series, I'd like to think I'd remember it and be aware that I have more to read. I think for the most part I'm okay starting a series and if I didn't love the first one, I don't feel the need to continue with it. That's my policy, at least. We'll see if I can maintain that mentality lol. Good luck with all your unfinished series reads! :)

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  29. I can't even bring myself to hold my head high while I am reading your post. I am shamed by my disorganization. My only strategy in tackling series is by trusting myself that I would remember them. >,< Not very effective because if you're tracking a lot of series through the years, you tend to forget some of them. *sighs* It's very ironic because I am OC when it comes to finishing a series.

    I am so thankful for this post. It makes me think about improving my series monitoring system. But maybe I'll going to use a calendar method so there's an annoying reminder that will continuously pop out on my screen.

    Great post, Mel!

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    1. That is great to hear :D I hope that you can find something that works for you and if not, it's not bad if you don't keep track of it. Reading is about having fun after all! I just like to challenge myself.

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  30. Hey Mel! :) I should follow your example and do a balance of the series I've read and the ones I still have to finish. I've lost count on both! With time I just gave up of some many series... Now I feel like I owe them some closure.
    However, none of the series I'm reading is in your list!! Which brings me to that moment when I completely ignore what I already have to deal with, and just start adding new series to buy and read in the future. :D

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  31. Mel, I must say that I am already immediately impressed by how organized this post is. Lol, I know I have unpublished and unfinished series, but a Word Document with every series in the past 3 years? SO ORGANIZED AND DEDICATED AND I WISH I HAD THE MOTIVATION TO DO THAT. The only organization I've done re: books as of late has been my blog schedule and I was feeling mighty proud of that until now :P. Anyway, getting back on track... Yes, the series problem. Not just waiting around 3 years for the last book - what about when the 2nd book sucks? Do you choose to go on or leave the series unfinished?
    Hahah, I will root you on Mel! Even if you are starting 10 new series :D.

    What do you mean by series second chance? Ooh, very few that you're not sure you want to continue. Hey! Finishing 7 series is GREAT. I don't think I've, er, finished any this year - and certainly not the ones you've listed! (hahahahaah I just saw your Cassandra Rose Clarke marking; remember when I commented on your reviews of both titles and said I'd read soon? WHAT LIES I TELL APPARENTLY).

    YES YES totally finish the Chemical Gardens trilogy and let me know how that goes ;). I've still not read Sever and haven't seen a ton of reviews on that one. Alsoooo, you should wait for Gail Carriger! Then we could read the series along together, if I can manage to read 2 & 3 soon.

    Truthfully, although I do appreciate a good stand-alone, I'm also the type of reader who will be like MOAR!!! If I like the book. So I am much more of a series gal. If I don't like a book in series, it goes unfinished *shrug*. I don't keep track of how many series I'm reading or that I've finished (you're seriously still impressing me), but I probably should. I agree with your assessment on certain genres fitting the series vs. standalone molds more than the other, but I'd also say fantasy could be standalone companion-ish in the way Anna is. Have you read the Graceling Realm series? They're interconnected in the Sarah Dessen novels kind of are, but it's not necessary to read one to understand the other. I wish we'd see more like that or like the Parasol Protectorate series.

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    1. What can I say, I love making lists :p That is something I struggle with too! If I spend time and energy in a series, most of the times I also finish the last book. Better see the ending and get on with it.

      I've read the first book in some series and I didn't like it at that time. I do think I'll like them now, so I'm willing to give them another try! :)

      Hahahaha.

      I'm currently reading Fever! :) and I might wait for you to catch up on me. Should be fun to read that series at the same time :D

      I think I'm also more of a series type, that's another reason I love fantasy so much!I haven't read Graceling yet, but I have it on the shelves waiting to be read!

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  32. This is brilliant! I should add it to my spreadsheet - though I think it would end up looking freaking scary intimidating as hell.

    I've decided I'm not going to continue every series I start unless I reallllly love the first book or if I don't love the first book but am Seriously curious about how things are going to go.

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    1. I agree, but I almost always end up liking the first book enough to continue :p

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  33. I actually need to update my spreadsheets. I haven't started a series one, but that is a resolution for next year, to actually keep track of what types of books I'm reading and where I get them from, etc. Goodreads keeps track of quite a bit of that stuff for me, but I need to be consistent with it. I almost think there are too many series. I could handle a few more stand-alone novels. :)

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  34. Way to get organized on this! I know I have a bunch of series still unfinished (some because the next book isn't out yet, some because I don't think I want to finish, and some I just haven't gotten to) but I haven't tracked it as meticulously as you. I need to carve out some time to do so. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  35. Since I started blogging, I am so bad about finishing series! Partly because I'm more likely to start series that fall into your series unpublished category and partly because it's so hard to write good reviews for books in a series. I often feel like I think the same or similar thing about all of them!

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    1. Oh yes, I know exactly what you mean. It's also hard to not spoiler, because that way, more people can read the review.

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  36. I actually have a post about series in the works. I seem to be in the middle of like sixty series and it never seems to end. At this rate I'll never be able to run out of books to read. But I also cannot believe how addicting series can be. It's a vicious cycle at which you're faring far better than I. Ha ha.

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    1. Series are so addictive. I can't stay away <3

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  37. The only way I really keep track is on Goodreads. I made a shelf called "series in progress to read". It helps me keep track and not forget about my series!

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  38. And now I feel compelled to go through all my books and figure out how many series I've started, finished, abandoned and everything else. I know I've abandoned a couple and finished a few, but the problem with starting is that a lot of the times the rest of the books in the series aren't out yet and unless the series are FAVORITES, it's hard to keep track and carry on. *sigh*

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    1. Yes, most of the series I'm currently reading are series-in-progress and all the new books I start are in that category as well.

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