Katie asked:

Is it necessary to read the discworld series in order?

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Stacia No. But, if you read The Wee Free Men (love it!) first & want to read the other books with Tiffany Aching, those are best read in this order:
The Wee Free Men
A Hat Full of Sky
I Shall Wear Midnight
Ruth Fanshaw There are several different groups of characters that feature in the Discworld stories - for instance: the City Watch, the Lancre Coven, the Ankh Morpork wizards, Rincewind, Tiffany Aching, and the Death stories. So you can follow any of those threads.

(There's a certain amount of crossover between these groups, but not a great deal, except maybe for the wizards, who sometimes have bit parts in other people's stories.)

Or you can just read any novel that takes your fancy, of course. But you may find that it contains spoilers for the earlier stories in the thread.

This chart may help :)

Personally, I do read the whole series in the order it was written. Because I am allergic to spoilers, even little ones. :D

Whatever you decide to do, I hope you get into the stories and enjoy getting to know the characters. :)
James Collins No. In fact don't. The early books don't have the same voice and balance the later ones do. You can backtrack later to see what Sir Pratchett was aiming for. Good starters are Wee Free Men, Unseen Academicals, Small Gods, Guards!Guards! and Reaper Man.
Tom-Kenneth Fossheim I tried both ways.

The first time, I read all the books out of order (mostly), just picking up whatever I could find at the local bookstores. Loved it.

This year (2020) I started re-reading all the books, currently reading #30 - The Wee Free Men.

I'm not reading the books by publication order and I have to say I highly recommend this approach. You're witnessing the world building and the character archs in a much more linear fashion, which I really appreciate.
Elijah for the most part, no. But I would start with "the color of magic" and find it to be a very good introduction to the universe of discworld. there are also a few sub-series such as the tiffany aching books which should be read in order
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