Top 5 Tuesday: Top 5 reading accessories

I usually do Top 10 Tuesday posts, but wasn’t feeling the topic this week… so this time around, I’m going with Top 5 Tuesday! This weekly was meme originally created by Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm, and is now hosted by Meeghan Reads.

This week’s topic is reading accessories:

Be it lamps or bookmarks, tabs or pens, headphones or cloth jackets ― what are the things you like to use or have when you’re reading?

For future topics, see the list here.

My top 5 reading accessories are:

1. Cozy pillows and blankets — because really, what’s better than curling up someplace comfy with a good book?

2. My reading glasses –just can’t live without ’em!

3. My phone and headphones — for long walks in the company of a good audiobook.

Listening to audiobooks wherever the path may take me…

4. Bookmarks galore! I collect paper bookmarks wherever I go. They’re not fancy or expensive, but they contain good thoughts and memories, and make me happy.

5. A place in the sun — OK, this isn’t really an accessory, but sitting in our window seat in the afternoon sunshine or out on my back porch on a beautiful day is my idea of a perfect reading situation.

What are your favorite reading accessories?

As always, if you have a TTT or T5T post this week, please share your link!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Places to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Favorite Places to Read. I actually did this topic as a freebie a few years ago, but I’ll do it again — while most of my answers are the same, it’s still fun to think about where I love to read. (Simplest answer — everywhere!)

Note: Photos are all mine; the illustration are from free web sources.

My new round of top 10 reading spots are:

  1. My backyard

2. My cozy book room (aka, downstairs TV/hangout space):

3. In a park

4. On an airplane

5. At the beach

6. Any pretty outdoor spot

7. Any place I have to wait

8. At a silent reading party (this photo is taken at a pre-COVID reading party, but I’m hoping eventually the idea of reading in a crowded room with other people won’t feel so strange):

And for audiobooks…

9. On a walk

10. Driving

Where are your favorite places to read? Please share your links!





Top Ten Tuesday: The more things change, the more things stay the same

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Changes In My Reading Life, with the explanation maybe you like different genres or topics, maybe you read faster than you used to, maybe you only like standalones now.

Here are some ways my reading preferences and habits have changed over the years:

1. I read on my Kindle much more frequently than I use to. Probably because it’s so easy and portable (especially since it syncs with my phone app, so I never have to wonder where I left off). Also, my husband is strictly a Kindle reader, and I end up purchasing the Kindle format more often for our shared library.

2. I think I’ve burned out when it comes to reading historical fiction set during the World Wars. I’ve read some amazing novels set during these times, but for right now, other time periods and settings are much more appealing to me.

3. Not so much a fan of high fantasy these days. I can’t be bothered learning entirely new systems of magic or the rules of new kingdoms.

4. I have less patience for books that don’t grab me within the first chapter or so. I have the power to DNF, and I’m not afraid to use it!

5. I’m trying to be much more cautious about requesting ARCs — I need to preserve time for me to read on a whim, and not based on publication date or other commitments.

And here are some things about me as a reader that have not changed at all:

1. I never, ever, ever leave the house without a book — or at the very least, without access to my Kindle app.


2. I continue to buy more books than I can possibly read in a year… or a lifetime.

3. I’m a complete mood reader. Having to stick to a reading plan makes me grumpy.

4. If you want to make friends with me, ask me what I’ve read recently.

5. I skip from genre to genre whenever possible — if I read too many of any one type of book, I can feel myself losing interest and have to switch it up.



How about you? Have you changed as a reader?

If you did a TTT post this week, please share your link!

Top Ten Tuesday: Unpopular Bookish Opinions


Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. This week’s topic is Unpopular Bookish Opinions. I’m a little stymied by the topic — I’m not sure that I have any bookish opinions that would truly qualify as unpopular… but here goes:

1 – I’m not fond of the genre described as literary fiction. What makes something literary? Versus what, non-literary fiction? And what does that even mean? Too often, I’ve found that books described as literary fiction are really just books where the writing gets in the way of a straight-forward plot.

2 – I’m not a fan of reading challenges. I know lots of people find challenges fun, but I look at them as an obligation. Every time I’ve committed to a reading challenge, I’ve ended up feeling resentful that my reading choices were being dictated to me.

3 – I say a big HECK YES to DNFing. Reading is supposed to be enjoyable. If a book isn’t working for me, I’d much rather stop than waste any more time on it.

4 – Sometimes, TV adaptations can be better than the books! Especially when well done or when a TV version expands the storyline beyond the plot of the original, it can be so engrossing to see how far the characters and situations can develop.

5 – I don’t like trigger warnings in book reviews. I understand they can be important for some readers, but I often find them overly broad or too spoiler-y. I prefer to know next to nothing about plot details when I’m starting a book. Maybe reviewers on Goodreads could use the spoiler formatting to hide the content of their trigger warnings, so only people who want to know will see them? Just a thought.

6 – Book signings should be free. Okay, maybe this isn’t actually an unpopular opinion — but over the last few years, there were several times when bookstores in my area charged admission to an author event, justifying it by saying it included the purchase of the book. But what if someone already has a copy? Or maybe someone wants to hear the author speak and then decide if they want the book?

7 – I hated The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Just hated it. Hated the writing, hating the sense of wallowing in the violence. I know people loved this book and series, but I just could not.

8 – Sometimes series can drag on too long. And why does everything have to be a series? I get really frustrated by continuing stories that really could have been told in one solid book.

9 – Just because something is called a classic doesn’t mean I need to read it. Take the Great American Read list. I’ve read a bunch, there are a bunch I want to read, and there are some I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole.

10 – Okay, for sure this one doesn’t really qualify as an unpopular opinion, but… I read for me. I read what I like, when I feel like it. No “shoulds” allowed when it comes to picking my books! I don’t care how much praise a book gets, if it doesn’t appeal to me, then I’m out.

Do you have any unpopular bookish opinions? If you wrote a TTT post this week, please share your link!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten random thoughts about reading, summer, and life in general

TTT summer

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, featuring a different top 10 theme each week. The broke & bookish folks are on break from TTT for the summer, but I thought I’d write a list of my own anyway.

I only had a brief vacation this summer, but even though short, it gave me time to think deep(ish) thoughts and come up with a few random realizations.

1) After allowing my IPhone to run through my music in A-Z order during long car drives, I came to three conclusions:

  • I haven’t updated my ITunes in a really long time.
  • I seem to have stopped listening to music about the same time that I started listening to audiobooks.
  • I have a disproportionate amount of Kate Bush songs on my phone.

2) Diet, shmiet. I will stop for ice cream every single day that I’m on vacation. My view seems to be that I’ve earned all the indulgences while I’m away from home.

  • Bonus points for obsessing over the local flavors. In Montana, it was huckleberry ice cream — day in, day out.

3) Different family members are different types of vacation reading buddies.

  • I just traveled with my husband. With him, we read before bed, and maybe if we have some lounging around on the porch time in the afternoon.
  • With my son, I fight for every moment of book time. His mantra seems to be “Mom! Stop reading and do something fun!” (*weeping in despair*)
  • With my daughter, it’s all books, all the time. Books go in the backpacks. Stopping for coffee? Read a book. Sitting by a pretty stream? Read a book. See a cute bookstore? By all means, go spend several hours browsing!

4) Luckily, my husband has had many years to accept how much reading I do. Because otherwise he’d find me incredibly rude.

  • My rule of thumb on airplanes? Sit down, fasten seatbelt, stick nose in book. Stay that way until landing.
  • I definitely don’t talk to people near me on planes. And sorry, even the husband barely gets an exception.

5) Have you seen the t-shirts that say “my brain has been replaced by Hamilton lyrics”? It’s so true. At least five times a day, I feel a line from a song dying to come out of my mouth… which can be especially annoying to my travel companions who are not at all familiar with the show.

6) Why does binge-watching start feeling like a chore? The fact that the entire season of a series is available at once makes me feel SO pressured to churn through it all without stopping. And it’s not necessary! The episodes will still be there if I take them one day at a time.

7) I read the news, I follow latest stories on all the social media outlets… and yet I really don’t want to talk about it for more than a few minutes a day. I think I’ve reached my saturation point. How many times can you say “what the hell?” in one day? In one hour? Honestly, I think I read and watch TV so much to hide from reality… needed now more than ever.

8) I know I’ve posted about this many times before, but seriously — I am so much happier as a reader once I let any sort of schedule or planning go. Once again, I requested a bunch of ARCs at the start of the year, and once again, I started feeling less and less happy as the months went by and I had to keep looking at publication dates to make sure I was staying on track.

  • Why do I do this to myself? I know that I hate reading on a schedule.
  • I’m also (again) swearing off ARCs. Bad formatting drives me bananas. And look, it’s not doing anyone any favors if I sit down to review a book I’m mad at because it can’t get its line breaks to make sense.
  • I’m so much happier when I don’t have a list to stick to. I love the freedom of picking up whatever catches my eye, suits my fancy, tickles my funny bone…

9) It’s been interesting having no group reads going on this summer. With Outlander Book Club, we usually have one classic read and one re-read of a Gabaldon book going at the same time, two chapters each per week, and those go on FOREVER. Well, the two most recent wrapped up in June, and I’ve been free as a bird ever since.

  • I do love our group reads! And I truly am looking forward to starting up again with a classic (Ivanhoe) in August, and the Lord John books in September.
  • But man, it’s been nice to have no obligations to anyone but myself!

10) And finally, back to the subject of binges… I love reading graphic novels, but I find they go in one ear and out the other (or I suppose that should be in one eye and out the other?) pretty much immediately.

  • I can remember overall story and character arcs, but details? I can’t seem to keep these straight for more than a day or two after I read them
  • I love the Saga series, but I end up having the re-read the previous edition each time I get the newest book… which means that I’m two behind by now.
  • I read all volumes of The Walking Dead trade paperback editions over the last couple of months, and I can tell you the big picture of what happened, but I seem to have lost the particulars within a week of finishing. No idea.
  • I read the very entertaining limited series We Stand on Guard in June, six issues right in a row. It was fun at the time, but I don’t think I could identify a single individual character at this point, just the overall plot and resolution.
  • Maybe this is why I still haven’t finished Locke & Key. I can’t read the final volume without going back and rereading the first five, and I just haven’t felt like it so far. Which sucks, because I love this series.
  • Why don’t these stories stick with me? Is it me? Is it the format? Is there something about the graphic novel approach that leaves me with memory gaps?
  • Please tell me it’s not just me and my silly brain.

Happy August to all! I hope you all enjoy these last weeks of summer.











Rereading and rethinking

I do love to re-read my favorite books. Don’t we all?

But have you ever re-read a book you didn’t love the first time around?

In thinking about it, it’s hard to come up with reasons to do so. After all, if I didn’t think it was great, why would I want to revisit it?

That’s been my take on the issue up to now. The only reasons I can think of to reread a book that wasn’t a favorite would be:

  • for a book group or discussion
  • after reading someone else’s take on the book and realizing I might have missed something
  • when there’s a new TV or movie adaptation coming out and generating a lot of buzz
  • wanting to give a favorite author another shot
  • trying the book in a different medium

My most recent experience with re-reading books that weren’t huge hits the first time around have to do with the last two bullet points on my list.

The author in question was Gail Carriger. I adored her Parasol Protectorate series — but found that two books in subsequent series, Espionage & Etiquette and Prudence, just didn’t appeal to me as much. (Want proof? Check out my lukewarm reviews!)

But recently, Gail Carriger released a couple of shorter fictions that I wanted to read (see my write-up, here), and those stories pulled me right back into her steampunk/supernatural world. What’s more, I was dying to stay in that world. And that made me think — had I really given those other books a proper chance?

I’ve become more and more convinced that reading doesn’t happen in a vacuum. What sort of mood was I in when I read a particular book? Where was I? What else was going on in my life? Maybe, in some circumstances, the main reason I didn’t take to a particular book has more to do with my own situation. In other words: It’s not you, it’s me.

(Not always, of course. Some books are just not good, and there’s no prettying it up.)

So, in the case of the Gail Carriger books, I decided to try again. This time, I thought I’d go with audiobooks.

Amazing decision.

I started listening to book 1 in the Finishing School series, Etiquette and Espionage, and absolutely could not stop. I loved the first book, and continued on straight through until I’d listened to all four books. (For why I loved them, see this post.) In fact, I was so in love with listening to this series that I was in dire need of a Carriger fix to feed my addiction once I’d finished, so I hunted down the audiobook of Prudence pretty much the second after finishing Manners & Mutiny.

Oh, my parasol. LOVED it. How could I love Prudence so much when I didn’t love it when I read it the first time? For me, there’s no getting around the fact that the amazing audiobook narrator, Moira Quirk, is a big factor. She does such a great job of capturing the different voices, the snippy/snarky banter, the nuances of aristocratic Victorian society — certain of her voices, in particular, leave me rolling on the floor in helpless laughter.

But would I love the printed books too? Probably. It could just be a mood thing, as I mentioned earlier. For whatever reason, my mindframe was such that I didn’t enjoy the books when I first read them — but right now? I’m having a ball. I’m totally in the mood for this level of silliness, combined with an underpinning of true emotions and friendship (and in the case of book #2, Imprudence, which I’m listening to now, some super sexy flirtation doesn’t hurt a bit).

Anyway, all this has made me wonder: How common is it to have strongly different opinions about the same books?

I do think it’s fairly common to re-read a book we remember loving, and find it a let down when rereading years later. But how about the opposite?

Have you ever felt “meh” (or worse) about a book, and then felt really differently about it when you read it again? And further, do you ever re-read books that you didn’t love the first time you read them?

I’d love to hear about other people’s experiences! Please share your thoughts.


Serious series reading: A look behind and a look forward


Resolutions come, resolutions go… but one that I’ve been getting better and better about sticking to over the last few years has to do with reading book series.

Last year, one of my bookish resolutions was:

I resolve to (attempt to) read series as a whole — all books in a row — rather than reading them as they come out and then forgetting all the details in between volumes.

This was not meant to be an absolute, of course. I do have some ongoing series that I’m crazy about, and I’ll continue to read those whenever new installments become available. But the intent of the resolution is clear — whenever possible, I want to resist the urge to start new, incomplete series, and focus instead on series that are already published and complete, so I can enjoy them as a whole instead of in bits and pieces.

How did I do? Let’s take a look at the series I read in 2016:

Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs: I had read the first book in the trilogy years ago, but had lost interest by the time the 2nd came out. This year, I listened to the audiobook of book #1, then continued in print with the 2nd and 3rd. (These books really must be read in hard copy in order to get the full experience, since the illustrations are really a part of the story.)

final peregrine banner

The Kate Shugak series by Dana Stabenow: I got involved in this excellent series in 2015, and finished up the 20th and most recent book (as well as the four books in the spin-off series) by mid-2016. Such a fantastic reading experience — and I’m thrilled that #21 will be out in 2017!

kate 2

The Magicians by Lev Grossman: This is another series that I started years ago, and just came back to this year. Prompted by the TV adaptation, I decided to give The Magicians another chance, reread book 1 and then went through 2 and 3, and ended up loving the trilogy as a whole.

The Magicians MAgician King 2 Magician's Land

The Wrath & the Dawn and The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh: I didn’t love this duology nearly as much as everyone else did, but I’m still glad that I read them together.

Wrath & the DawnRose & Dagger

The Giver by Lois Lowry: My son read The Giver for school last year, and I realized that I remembered almost nothing about it — so I went ahead and reread The Giver, then read the rest of the books in the quartet.


And now, looking ahead…

Series I plan to read in 2017:

This is partially a plan, partially a wish list. I really do want to read all of these, but we’ll just have to wait and see how many I can actually commit to while still reading everything else that grabs my attention. My priority series for 2017 are:

Old Man’s War series by John Scalzi: I love Scalzi’s writing, and now that I’ve read all of his stand-alones (I think), it’s time to finally dive into the series that’s supposed to be his masterpiece!


Wayward Pines trilogy by Blake Crouch: After reading and loving Dark Matter this year, I absolutely have to check out this trilogy!


Bill Hodges trilogy by Stephen King: I’ve had Mr. Mercedes on my shelf since it was published. At some point, it seemed to make more sense to wait for all three books to be available before starting. And now, I’m out of excuses!


And maybe…

I have a few series openers that I’m interested in — but not quite ready to commit to at this point.

leviathan-wakesrosemary-rueTemeraire 1

Last but not least…

Let’s not forget two series I’m already committed to, and look forward to continuing in the New Year:

Ross PoldarkThe Poldark series by Winston Graham: I’ve read the first five books so far. That’s five down, seven to go! I find that I need to space these out, and I don’t want to get too far ahead of the TV show, so perhaps I’ll just tackle another one or two in 2017.







And my very, very favorite:

silence_fallen_layout.inddThe Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs! Silence Fallen, the 10th Mercy book, will be out in March, and I cannot wait. I hope Patricia Briggs continues to create adventures for Mercy (as well as her spin-off series, Alpha & Omega) for many, many years to come.







Anyone else read series as a whole, rather than as they come out? What’s your preferred approach to reading book series? And what series are you most looking forward to in 2017?

Whatever your series-reading style, here’s wishing us all a fantastic year of reading!

Saturation point


Saturation point…

Might I add another variation of the definition?

  • the stage beyond which no more book content can be absorbed by the reader’s brain.

Which pretty accurately describes my current state of being, which can also be described thusly:


For the past few years, I’ve been able to successfully juggle multiple books at once — a book for fun, a book for book group, an audiobook for while I drive. I never thought I’d reach the point where my brain feels maxed out, but now I know:

My magic number is: five

Yup, I think I’ve reached my reading saturation point — the point at which my brain will not accept a single additional plot line, character, theme, or main idea. And symbolism? Foreshadowing? Don’t make me laugh.

I haven’t had quite this problem before. I usually do have several books on the go — typically, a big huge book from the Outlander series as part of my group read with Outlander Book Club; a classic read, also with the book club; whatever book I happen to be reading just for me (just for fun), and an audiobook for while I’m driving or exercising.

So why do I suddenly feel maxed out at 5?

Consider this: Of my five current books, 4 — yes, four — are brand-new to me.

The Outlander book (Written in My Own Heart’s Blood) is a re-read, and although we’re reading and analyzing two chapters per week, it’s not taking up a huge amount of grey matter. I already know what happens. It’s not that I don’t have to think about it, but it’s still not taking in new concepts and information.

Then there’s the group classic read. Our last group classic was Emma by Jane Austen, which was oodles of fun — but which I’d read several times before. It was a blast reading it with the group, but again, it was a re-read for me. Hey, if you know any neurologists, can you ask them if re-reading a book uses different parts of the brain than reading a book for the first time? I’m no brain doctor, but I’m betting the answer is yes.


Our current classic read is A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway… and it’s completely new to me. I know nothing about the plot or characters, and I’m definitely having to put more effort into learning what’s what, getting the rhythm of the writing style, and understanding the shades and nuances of the story.

Then there’s the audiobook. I do a lot of re-reads via audiobook. I find that my mind is often slippery when it comes to listening to books, especially while I’m driving. If there’s bad traffic or I get stuck looking for parking in a crowded neighborhood, I can’t concentrate at all on what I’m listening to. But if I’m listening to the audio version of a book I’ve already read, I can relax, not worry too much about hearing every detail, and just enjoy revisiting something that I loved already the first time around.

At this moment, however, I’m listening to a new-to-me audiobook, The Android’s Dream by John Scalzi. Granted, this is a pretty silly and light-hearted science fiction novel, but even so, I find myself getting caught up in the story… and even when I get out of the car or remove the earbuds from my ears, my brain does not want to disengage.

Plus, there’s my book book — whatever I’m reading right now, either via physical or e-book — my normal, everyday, just because I feel like it book. Basically, my daily reading fix.

And finally, I’m now tackling Moby Dick via the Serial Reader app, and I think it’s this one that’s pushing me over the edge. Don’t get me wrong — I’m really loving Moby Dick! And I love the serial approach to reading such a huge book, getting manageable bites delivered each day.

The problem, I think, with my current reading, is that with 4 of my 5 reading commitments being completely new material, my engagement is getting split in way too many directions. I read a bit of Moby Dick, and I want to know more… but then I turn on the car and start listening to The Android’s Dream, and I can’t get the action sequences out of my head. When I have a few minutes of down time, I pick up my current novel (right now, The Magician King by Lev Grossman) and get totally into it… but then in the evening, I read the next day’s chapter of A Farewell To Arms and want more of that too.


Saturation point.

I think I’m there.

Five plotlines and sets of characters may finally represent my breaking point… my saturation point… the point beyond which I absolutely cannot absorb one more detail or shred of story.

Not that I’m willing to drop any of my five reading projects. But man, my head feels full to bursting sometimes.

Remind me to STOP THE MADNESS next time I need to choose an audiobook or rethink my reading commitments. Maybe it’s time to scale back on the amount of new fiction I’m trying to cram into my brain.



Reading habits: Serial monogamy or open relationships?

book love 2

I’ve been unfaithful.

Oh, the shame.

book loveI’m usually a serial monogamist when it comes to my reading habits. Give me a book and time to read it, and I won’t look up until I’m done. Hand me another while I’m still reading the first, and straight to the book pile it goes.

I know plenty of readers who need a few books going at any given time, but that’s not me. I like the immersive experience of diving into a fictional world, hanging out with the characters, and devoting all my love to my one and only. Trying to maintain more than one relationship just doesn’t work for me.

And yet…

Yesterday, I cheated. I’m two-timing, and now I’m torn between two relationships. They each want my time and attention. There’s something so attractive about each. They fill different needs in my life, and they both make me feel good. Don’t make me choose!

Hee. Melodramatic much?

The mundane background is this: Yesterday, I had to drive my son to what was supposed to be an all-day event taking place in a town about an hour’s drive from home. The plan was that I’d drop him off at 10 in the morning, and pick him up at 10 pm. All good so far. About 15 minutes after leaving home, the kiddo expressed doubt. Normally, I’d tell him to suck it up and live up to his commitments… but he struck where it hurt: If he stayed for the entire event, he wouldn’t have enough time to do a good job on a school assignment. Wow, sneaky. I agreed to pick him up after the first part of the event, at which point it wouldn’t make sense for me to drive home and then go back, so it was off in search of a Starbucks I went to while away a few hours.

Problem? No book.

I was mid-way through a sci-fi/detective story that I was really enjoying, but anticipating just driving there and back, I didn’t have the book with me. Silly me. I normally NEVER leave the house without a book. What was I thinking?

Stuck in a coffee shop with hours to kill, I simply had no choice. I opened up the Kindle app on my phone and started a new book, an ARC I’d received for a romantic story by an author whose works I’d enjoyed previously.

And it was good.

I read about 35% while waiting to get back on mom duty. And then I had a dilemma: Keep going with the new book, which I was into at this point, or go back to the original book I’d been reading?

Either way, my heart and mind will only be halfway devoted to the book I’m with. I may be reading one, but I’ll be wondering about the other. Am I doing the right thing? What if the other one isn’t as good when I go back to it? What if it pales by comparison — but if I’d never strayed, I might have been perfectly satisfied? How can I be happy with just one when I know there’s another one out there that I feel drawn to?

Oh, the torment of a cheater’s heart!

I’m sure I’ll get through it, but I have to ask: What’s your relationship style with the books in your life?

Are you a serial monogamist — one book at a time, no room for another, until you’ve gotten all the way to the end and you’re ready for something new?

Or do you prefer an open relationship — why limit yourself to just one when there are so many options? Do you read several books at once, going from one to another as the mood strikes?

Right now, as I debate which of my two books to continue with today, I’m thinking that I’m not cut out for the two-timing lifestyle. Once I finish one (or the other), it’ll be back to monogamy for me!

The Trouble with Trilogies

I have a problem with trilogies. But not just trilogies.

Sequels, series, you name it. Anything that’s to be continued is just trouble for me right now.


Because after a certain point, I just don’t care. If I have to wait a year to find out what happens next, most of the time, I simply won’t still be interested enough to bother with it.

Why are there so many trilogies in the YA fiction world now? Why is it practically the norm to turn every potentially good story into a series? Whatever happened to a beginning, middle and end all in one book?

I loved The Diviners by Libba Bray. I preordered book 2, which was supposed to be out this summer. Lo and behold, the release has been delayed until 2015. Guess what? By the time Lair of Dreams comes out, I don’t know that I’ll feel like bothering any more. Sure, I loved the characters and the setting of the first book. The plot was different and interesting and made me want to know more. But I was also mostly satisfied with how it ended, and in fact my only quibble about the book was the fact that it was clearly building up to an ongoing story, even though the main plot of The Diviners did have a pretty great wrap-up.

Another example: I just DNF’d a book that concludes a YA trilogy that I’d enjoyed so far, by an author whose writing I admire very much. But yeah… I read the first two books, and I liked them a lot. But time has gone by, and I don’t feel a burning need to know more about the story, and when I read the first couple of chapters, I realized I’d be totally fine with not reading the book. Just. Didn’t. Care.

So what’s this mini-rant all about? I guess I’m just fed up with stories being stretched into three (or more) books when they could be told in one. The trilogy I just walked away from could have made one really good book, and I can think of a few others where the same would be true. Is it just publishers wanting to sell more books? Does a series have a glamor to it that a stand-alone doesn’t?

Look, I do read series. Take Outlander or A Song of Ice and Fire, for instance. These books are huge, and the worlds they contain are vast, and each book is an event. Or, for example, some of the great ongoing urban fantasy series, such as the Dresden Files books or the Mercy Thompson series. Each book in these is a new chapter, a new adventure, in a carefully created world that continues to grow and expand. I love all of the above — and will keep reading them until the authors are done, or until an asteroid wipes out life on Earth, or something equally cataclysmic occurs.

The problem with so many of the series out there, particularly (but not exclusively) in YA, is that a lot of them feel like filler. With many of the YA trilogies I’ve read over the years, the story is stretched and padded and chopped in order to make three books out of a story that, with some good editing and tightening up, could have been one great book. I’m tired of the “to be continued” ending that exists just to keep us coming back for more (or, to put it more cynically, exists just to keep us taking out our credit cards).

Not that my complaint is about the money, really: It’s about the storytelling. Tell me a great story, make me care, introduce me to amazing characters, and have a compelling story arc. With an ending.

Like I said, some series are great and deserve every page and every volume. But sadly, there are a lot that miss the mark by a long shot.

So, yeah, today I walked way from book 3 in a trilogy that I actually thought had a pretty good start.

If it’s been a year and I haven’t thought about the earlier books in all that time, even if I liked them when I read them, then chances are when the big finale finally rolls around, I won’t be around for it. Because I just won’t care any more.

Just something to think about.