Recently I’ve seen a lot of people talking about binge-reading a book series.
I’m no stranger to the binge. I binge-watched Vikings, Spartacus, Stranger Things, Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones & (secretly, over the top of a book) Glee.
I’ve watched the extended edition of the Lord of the Rings trilogy back to back (11.4 hours). I’ve had my share of nights out I can’t remember. I’ve gone on spending sprees I couldn’t afford, and I’ve waddled out of restaurants after overindulging and fell to sleep in a chair when I got home. The binge is real.
But I’ve never binged a book series.
Partly because I feel like I have such a huge list of highly recommended books to catch up on, I feel like I want to sample a bit of everything, so jump from one series to the next. Often, especially as I’m easily distracted, once I’ve finished one book I’ll have the urge to try something new – even when I’ve adored the book I’ve just finished. For example; if I’ve just finished a fantasy book, maybe I’ll be in the mood for sci-fi. If I’ve just finished a bit of a brutal book, I’ll usually fancy something a bit lighter. If I read a bit of everything, it gives me the allusion that I’m more on top of my TBR than I actually am, and can at least talk a little with other people about different book series too.
So why are you talking about binge-reading?
Because I think I’m gonna do it!
But why? You just gave reasons NOT to do it…
Because. Is an epic fantasy series as epic if you take a few breaks? I want that all encompassing feeling of being really involved in an overwhelmingly immersive experience; an adventure, a journey. I want to read on while I’m still attached to the characters rather than coming back weeks or months later and having to fall for them again, or remind myself what it was I liked about them. My reviews help tremendously in giving me a recap on this though, and for incomplete series it can’t be helped anyway. It’s not a major inconvenience.
I guess there’s always the danger of getting bored of the characters or a little fatigued if it’s a series you need to concentrate hard on (I’m not sure Malazan is the best series to binge based on what I hear?)
With a completed series though, when you just read one book and move on for a time, there is a feeling of something left unfinished hanging above you in that respect. I’m sure as a reader you’ll have felt that warm, satisfying feeling of having read something really good that spoke to you or made you feel something or was simply just exciting or imaginative. It’s a buzz in a way. I feel like finishing or getting towards finishing a series of books will give that same feeling of achievement, immersion and fulfillment that perhaps can’t be quite achieved when reading something without finishing.
Is it still binge reading if you read 1 a month or do they need to be read one after the other? How many books is a binge read? What’s the last series you binged? Let me know!