Reading Books In Order

books in orderI’ve often wondered how people go about reading the books in a series: do they read the books in order or out of order, as they happen to get them.

Personally I’m a stickler for reading books in order and I’ll tell you why.

Usually a book series has one or more main protagonists who are interacting with other characters, are developing from story to story and basically they grow over time just like in real life. I like to see this character development.

Stand alone novels don’t get much into this aspect, simply because how much character development you will add in one books anyway? But going from book to book the author usually reveals more things about the main characters, and this gets us closer to them. We soon start to feel a connection with the main hero and want to know what happens to him or her.

Another reason why reading books in order is recommended when it comes to book series is because many newer books have references to what happened in previous books. Even if just fleetingly, it drives me nuts to read about something that apparently already happened, but I haven’t gotten a chance to know it first hand, so to speak.

Some series go as far as literally advancing the storyline from book to book, like in the The Last Policeman trilogy. It is a trilogy that advances the plot until the world ends due to an asteroid that is about to hit the Earth. This series simply has to be read in order, there are no two ways about it.

Finally it is just a personal preference of mine. Even when the books are more or less stand alone in terms of plot, I just feel better reading them in the proper chronological order and I really get annoyed when I happen to buy a book on the bookstand at the airport, for example, only to discover it’s the 4th or the 5th or maybe the 12th in a mystery series. I really don’t like that!

How about you? Do you like to read the books in order or you don’t much care either way?

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  1. I always start with the first book in the series. It helps me get to know each of the characters. You will thoroughly confuse yourself if you don’t read a book series in order! Great website by the way!

  2. I’m a stickler for reading books in order. I find this particularly frustrating when I’m trying to get an older series were it’s more difficult to find the first few. The reason I love seris so much is to see that character development so I want the joy of seeing it in the order it comes.

  3. I liked to read books in order. That way, I know the beginning of the story and the end.

  4. I definitely have to read books in order! Just like you, it drives me nuts when things happened in earlier books and I don’t know what they’re referencing to.

  5. I am ridiculous when it comes to reading books in order. I HAVE to or I won’t read a book. I always feel obligated to read them ALL. In some series that is a lot because there are so many books in the series but I still won’t pick up book 5 if I haven’t read 1-4…lol.

  6. I like to read in order. I dont want to be confused or wonder things by not reading it in order.

  7. I always read my books in order. Especially the ones that make it to movie. It’s why the Twilight movie bombed for me. After reading the books and seeing the performance in part 1 I couldn’t sit through another Twilight movie. On the other hand I’m dying to see the Hunger Games 2. The books were phenomenal!

  8. I have to read them in order. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been disappointed when I’ve read a book that I realize too late is part of a series and it isn’t the first one in the series!

  9. I really need to read in order. I’ts habit and it would drive me insane otherwise. Plus sometimes books reference to something said earlier in a book before…if you didn’t read it. Whoosh right over the head! So series must be in order!

  10. I can’t leave a book disordered . I always complete a series each after each . True book nerd , ahaha 😉

  11. I normally read them in order there has been the odd time when I’ve read a book not realising it’s part of a series then had to go back to the start lol x

  12. I always read them in order. I have been known to stop a series until I can find the next book on ebay, CL or wherever!

  13. I always do my best to read them in order..however, I do have a few series of books that came out in one order and then after all were out the author said that the reading order was different…

  14. I think reading books in series is more comfortable. I can get hints about what happened in previous book. My vote goes for reading in a series!

  15. Oh, definitely in order! I get so annoyed when I find out a book I didn’t realize had companions sneaks in on me and I have to go back and catch up on the previous ones!

  16. If I read series book I always read them in order. If I don’t I feel like I missed a chunk of the plot.

  17. I do not usually read series books. But when I find one I like I have to read in order. I do not like missing parts or being confused.

  18. Normally, I never read series books. I love to read but if I start a book and find out it is a series book and I am reading… like say the third one not knowing it was a series. Then I am really mad. Some series books are so good though that you just have to read them no matter where you start.

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