Welcome everyone who’s part of the Tackle Your TBR Read-a-thon!
Hello. My name is Marijon, and I’m a serial reader.
Yes, that’s right. I read books that are part of a series. I read stand-alone novels too, of course, but give me a few interesting characters, and I’ll follow them anywhere.
It started when I was young. Nancy Drew. She and George and Beth… I wanted to be a girl detective. I wanted to drive a little red roadster. I wanted loyal friends who would help me solve mysteries. Nancy’s books were always on my birthday list, and my Christmas list, because I knew there would always be a new one right there on the horizon, and I wanted them ALL.
Then…Little House books. Oh, Laura! Oh Mary! I couldn’t believe that there was a real END to their story. So, as an adult, I went beyond the original books and read every biography and/or non-fiction book I could find about the real Laura, and her daughter Rose. I still have the originals. In hardcover. And sometimes, when it’s cold or rainy, or I’m feeling down, I’ll read all of them. In order. In one long, tea-soaked sitting.
Mysteries have some great series. They aren’t a continuous story, which is good in some ways, but there are usually a group of recurring, crime-fighting characters that I can read about over and over. My first serial detective was my mother’s favorite – Nero Wolfe, with his trusty sidekick, Archie Goodwin. I have all those books, most of them on hardcover, and I have, at least twice in my lifetime, read all forty-something books, all in order. Same with the Spencer series. And don’t forget Richard Jury and Melrose Plant.
The ones that really have me hooked are the fantasy series. Maybe it started with The Dark is Rising. Or the Narnia books. Or Phillip Pullman’s ‘His Dark Materials.’ And of course, Lord of the Rings. These older series are a real joy because all the volumes had already been published, so I could just read them all.
Then came The Hunger Games. I had to wait for that last book. That was ugly.
And let’s not forget the Harry Potter books. It wasn’t just the fact that I had to wait for the next book. When I knew the date that the new book was being released, I had to time my re-reading perfectly – I’d begin with The Sorcerer’s Stone, and read each volume so when the new book hit the shelves, I could pick it up and dive right in.
What? Wait – didn’t everybody do that? You mean there are people out there who would read the new book without reading all the previous books first? Yeah, sure – and I bet when a new HP movie came out, they didn’t have an entire marathon that lasted all day and night before going to see it.
Some series I had to give up on – the Robert Jordan books I couldn’t take after a while. Too much of the same thing, I guess. And there are some that I’m literally praying about – please, God, let nothing happen to George R.R. Martin until he has finished The Song of Fire and Ice, because if I don’t find out what happened to Jon Snow, I’m going to be really upset.
Books in a series have to have something more that just a good story to hold you – although, of course that’s important. The quest, the journey, the prize on the mountaintop…you want to know what happens next. You need to know if the good guys win.
But for me, it’s the characters that really hold me, keep me coming back again and again. Characters who are real and honest and human, even if they exist in a world that can only be seen in the mind. I will never go to Hogwarts, or the Shire, or Ardry End, but I know those places. I know who lives there, what they look like, what they like for dinner. I’m so familiar with them because I didn’t just read about them once – I’ve read about them time and again.
The characters are like friends. Family. And even if I know what’s going to happen next, there’s such an emotional connection to them, that I always feel a brand-new rush of – whatever. Like when Dobby dies. It gets me every time.
So yes, I’m a serial reader. And if there is a twelve-step program out there for someone like me, I don’t even want to know.
I wouldn’t read it any other way.
HEY!! Thanks for stopping by! How do you qualify for my giveaway? Sign up for my newsletter! Here’s the link – http://www.marijonbraden.com. Anyone who signs up between 9/16 and 9/22 will also be eligible. I’ll give away bookmarks to ten winners, and a signed paperback copy of Smoke, Wings and Stone to one winner. This is an international giveaway. Good Luck!