Monday 6 April 2015

Marathoning Series: What To Consider

Late last year, I was told by Cait that 'when I start a series I REALLY start a series' and it got me thinking about how and why I read so many series, and why I find it so easy. It's definitely not to everyones taste, but I definitely find it fun and enjoyable, in fact, it's become something I have to do from time to time, even going as far as creating my own personal reading challenge in both this year and last, and encouraging Stacie to host a month dedicated to series here on BBB - what can I say, I'm a little bit obsessed.. But I've not always been a marathoner, I didn't even know what a read-a-long was until the beginning of last year, let alone what marathoning was, I thought it was just running, but ever since I've started, I've just not been the same since.

The first time I ever marathoned a series was when I took part in YA Midnight Reads Iron Fey Read-a-long in Febuary, which firstly, encouraged me to read my copy of The Iron King, which then lead to buying The Iron Daughter and The Iron Queen, and then The Iron Knight and the short stories, and the following series, Call of the Forgotten, and that's something I just didn't do. I'd never just pissed it all up the wall and gone for a series head first, and yet, during my reading of the Iron Fey series, I accidentily started marathoning another series, Skulduggery Pleasant, which I managed to complete (up to the #8 installment) within 2 months. In fact, in 2014, I managed to marathon (and by marathon I mean read one installment followed by the other with no more than 12 days between the two - I think) 14 series: The Iron Fey, Skulduggery Pleasant, Faith, Dead Girls Detective Agency, most of Gallagher Girls, Curse Workers, Lunar Chronicles, Heist Society, Percy Jackson, Kane Chronicles, The 5th Wave, Tom Hoyles Standalones, Heroes of Olympus and Alice in Zombieland, and I've even managed to start marathoning 3 series this year too. It's definitely something of an acquired taste, bit like marmite, but, if you're feeling brave and even tempted by how wonderful marathoning series sounds, there are things you need to consider, the good, the bad and the plain ugly truths. Do you think you could be a marathoner? Lets find out..

The Plus Side

You're Less Likely To Forget Things: Ever started reading a sequel and just thought: 'What?' I know I have and it's pretty darn frustrating. You might have waited weeks, months, or years for this book and start it and BAM! You've forgotten everything. Fear not, with marathoning, you don't forget anything - well, a lot less anyway. You won't forget that major plot point, you won't feel lost in the world, and you'll remember that James is in love with Julie and that Bob is your long-lost vampire grandfather. If your memory is slow and not up to scratch, marathoning could be for you.

Being Immersed in the World: Nobody likes being dragged away from a place they love, (I especially dislike being dragged away from the bookstore because Mum hates the smells of Costa coffee in Waterstones, but anyway..) and this includes worlds in books. Why would you choose to read everything about this world over a 7 year period? You just, wouldn't, so wait. Collect all of the installments and stay in that world forever - well, a long time at least, and make that wait worth the while, but be warned, there are dangers that come with getting lost in worlds..

You Feel Like You're Reading A Lot: I don't know about you, but sometimes, I feel as though I'm not reading very many books and that sucks, because you know, I blog books, I kind of need to read some books, so marathoning a series can get you some quick, enjoyable reads and a handful of reviews in a flash. When I marathoned Heroes of Olympus, I read them at the end of 2014, but didn't post the reviews until this year, which meant when I'd finished all five in the series, I had five reviews ready to roll, and I was able to join in the conversation and fangirling like I'd never been elsewhere. Marathoning reads can get you reading more books, preparing reviews ahead of time and joining those fangirling conversations quicker than you'd think.

The Dark Side:

Playing The Waiting Game: How many times have you read a book and loved it, and read it's sequel and loved that too, and then another and just - why did you wait so long to read this series?! and then the last one and- what? I sense a cliff-hanger.. But.. but it's the last one, there can't be more.. I don't have.. the.. next.. NOOOOOO. I suffered this with The Dead Girls Detective Agency; when I read the first, the mystery was wrapped up beautifully and I expected the sequel to be the same and it just - it wasn't, and there was a cliffhanger, and my world ended. I need that sequel, although I can wait really, but the wait, no. Make sure you have all of the installments, and I mean ALL OF THEM.

Not Knowing Whether To Continue: Investing time marathoning a series means that you're, well, investing time, and effort, you could be using on another book or series, so how do you decide whether or not continue? I suffered this with Shadow Kiss and Vampire Academy and it's not an easy thing to decide. Do you lumber on and suffer and drop and go? Decisions decisions..

Other Things To Consider:

The Hangover: You don't get beautiful things in life without a catch, and the catch to beautiful, wonderful, amazing series marathons is the hangover you get afterwards. You've just spent the last 72 hours in a world with wonderful characters, with fantastic powers, with amazing plot lines, with the most beautiful writing this world has ever seen, and now it's over. Finished. Gone. HOW DO YOU SURVIVE?! Easy, you don't. It will hurt. You won't feel like moving. You'll feel lost and alone and your other books will stare longingly at you, but they don't understand. You're grieving, you need time. Trust me, it's the kind of hangover a bacon buttie will not cure.

Neglecting Other Books: There's a tough truth to be told when marathoning books. You will neglect your other books. That to-be-read pile that's getting out of control? There's no hope, forget it. Those arcs that you've got to read before their release? You're going to kick yourself next week. You can't help, you get sucked in, you love the characters, the world is amazing - no mr fluffy contemporary, I cannot read you now, I'm kicking ass and falling in love with crazy, unhinged demons, muwhaha.. ha. Say goodbye to your organisation people.

What We Learnt Today:

- If you're going to marathon a series, make sure you have all the installments, the wait will kill you.
- While you may read more books and become more organised, you will neglect your other books in waiting.
- Spending days in one world with particular characters is wonderful, but the hangover might just destroy you.

Tell Me What You Think!

Are there more things to consider when marathoning? Do you think you become a marathoner yourself? Are you tempted?


  1. Marathoning is so great, and it's something I've not done much since I began blogging. However, I did marathon the whole Seven Realms series at the start of the year, and it was really refreshing. I have a terrible memory so the forgetting plus is the biggie.

    In my experience, it's probably best to do series either as they come out with a similar gap in installments or just to wait and marathon. If I marathon and then end up waiting for the last, unless I SUPER LOVED IT, I often find myself not caring enough anymore by the time the book comes out.

    My vote would generally be to drop the series if you're no longer curious about the ending. I've continued with a lot of series I don't like anymore because I still HAD to see myself if the end would be that bad. If you don't give a shit, though, I'd probably quit.

    Hmmm, I'm lucky enough to not really get book hangovers. A good book or series gets me pumped up to read more because there are obviously gems I've been missing like what I just finished. LET'S KEEP ROLLING. WEEEEE.

    1. I feel the same Christina, the wait can ruin a marathon and you just want all the books with you, sometimes it's just easier and safer that way too. I've never considered it that way, but yes, sometimes after great reads you just want to read them all, I can feel that! Thanks for stopping by!<3

  2. I've marathoned TV shows and the way I do that, i feel like no one should let me near a series that I haven't read yet. Marathoning destroys me in the best way. I end up neglecting EVERYTHING and it's just unhealthy but I LOVE every second of it.

    1. I do that all the time too Nova, everything just goes poof and all that's in life is that series! Oops!

  3. Honestly, I think the only way I should ever read series anymore is marathoning, though I never seem to do it. But I read the first novel when it comes out, then completely forget everything while I'm waiting. And hate the wait. So having a marathon is perfect for that, if I can manage to wait until the entire series comes out. But I think I'd feel way worse about the money if I bought the entire series at once instead of spreading it out!

    1. Ah, I see, spending the money all on a series at once is scary, BUT, that's where my libraries and my series addiction come in, I'm pretty lucky that way.. Sometimes a series is worth waiting for though :)<3

  4. I love marathoning books especially if it's a series I am really enjoying but I often read a small book between each book in the series I am reading so that I don't get stuck or hungover!
    When I take a large break from reading books in a series I usually just go to recaptains so they can tell me what I need to know :)

    1. I've never needed to use recaptains, but I've heard it's a fabulous site, so I'm pleased it helps you Lily! :)

  5. I used to be a big marathon reader. Then I learned the hard way that I just can't do that. I get burnt out on authors after a few too many books in a row --- I'm not sure if I need a change from the writing style or the world/characters the most, but SOMETHING has to be thrown in to mix things up. With some authors I can make it about 3 books before I need to move on --- some a little more, some a little less.

    What's interesting though is that I'm totally fine with marathon LISTENING to books. Audiobooks I can usually do back to back to back without a problem. THAT particular quirk has been both an awesome discovery and a bit of a hit to my mom's bank account (we share an audible account, which is a mistake she probably now regrets)

    Great post!

    ~Liza @ Classy Cat Books

    1. I've never consider that people might like one form of marathoning, but it could be a writing thing, you can burn yourself out if you're reading a lot of one author, hm, that's really interesting! Thanks for sharing!<3

  6. What a great topic Amanda - though I don't marathon a series often, these are some fantastic tips to consider for either side. I think I will be doing it for Mara Dyer series since I've heard it praised so often and it has so many twists, which I would work well in not having a torturous wait for any more books to be released in it. Thanks for sharing :)

    Eugenia @ Genie In A Book


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