This is a debate I’ve seen going around for awhile. Which is better, series books or stand-alones? I can kind of understand why everyone has an opinion on it, but I think it all comes down to the individual. Some people like a long series and others like to read a stand-alone book and be done with that story and move on to the next one.
As for me, I’m not really sure which I prefer. I’m sure there are many others who fall into this category. I just can’t manage to pick. I guess it depends on my mood. I love series books because you get to continue after and fall in love with the characters, watch them grow and learn new things (Yes, you can also do this in a stand-alone, but it lasts so much longer in a series). Also, with series, you have something to continuously look forward too. When I was younger I only ever knew when the Harry Potter books were coming out and I was always so excited.
Not that I can’t follow stand-alones just as easily, but I think I might hesitate occasionally to pick one up because I’m afraid. Why? Because I just don’t know what it’s going to be like. That’s the risk you always take when starting a new book of course, but at least with a series there is the familiar. You know going in that it’s going to be similar to the last one. The same characters, world, writing style (hopefully). I get a sense of contentment when I pick up the newest book in a favourite series, knowing that I’m going to devour it like the last one.
Stand-alones I just don’t know what to expect, anything could happen. I mean, you might have read something from the author before, so you have an idea of the writing style but the characters are going to be different. Sometimes I like that though. Lately it seems like everything that is coming out is a series, normally a trilogy as they are quite popular these days. Sometimes I just want to pick up a book that has no other ties to it. It’s just one book and once it’s over the story is over. No waiting and agonizing over a cliffhanger ending for the next year or so. Just a nice sense of contentment with knowing a whole story for a change. I supposed if you never take risks you wouldn’t find new authors and genres. Sometimes risks are good.
Then there is another downside to series. The dreaded last book. You’ve been loving these characters and have had something to look forward to for years and suddenly, there’s no more. It’s just done. I’m not going to lie, I cried at the end of Harry Potter. Both the books and the movies. Not because I was sad about the ending itself but because it was done. I had nothing left to look forward to in that series. I had to say goodbye to the characters that I had fallen in love with over the years. Yes, I go back and visit them every so often, but it’s just not the same.
I’m sure there are others like me that hesitate to read the last book because, what if you don’t like the ending? What if you’ve spent years reading the story only to find out that you HATE the ending and it just makes you so mad you want to toss the book out the window? At least if you don’t like how a stand-alone ends you have only invested a few days or hours into it. It’s just not the same as years.
I’d have to say that there are many pros and cons for both. So I just can’t pick a preference. I think that I have more series that are my favourites, but that’s not because I prefer them over stand-alones. For one there just seems to be more series out there than stand-alones. At least that I’ve read, so it’s kind of easy to have more of them on my favourites.
So what about you? Are you like me and can’t decide which you like more? Or are you a series kind of person? Stand-alone? Why are you in preference of one over the other if you like one better?