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What Else Are You Reading? > Do you re-read previous books in a series before you read the newly publish book?

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message 1: by Paul (new)

Paul | 18 comments I like to binge read an entire series from the first book through the final book. The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordanchanged all that.

I started The Wheel of Time books right before The Great Hunt came out. Then before I would start a new book in the series I would reread all the previous books to catch myself up with each character before I started the new book. I read like this for the first 6 or 7 books. Then I just gave up rereading all the books. Who knew when the series would end? Who knew how many more books would come out? or how much time would pass between books?

Now I buy the books as I they catch my interest or when I hear a lot about them, then I read a lot of reviews and do some research at to how many books will be in the series. But I don’t read any of the series until all the books are out.

This does cause some problems. Often I accidentally read spoilers, or I feel way behind the curve, or I am not able to join in the discussion as the books come out one at a time.

On a positive, I have more time to read new authors, and I now find myself able to buy box sets of complete series.


message 2: by Gregor (new)

Gregor Xane (gregorxane) | 111 comments I don't. I just muddle through.


message 3: by Mark (new)

Mark Catalfano (cattfish) I like to judge the actual books themselves, so usually I try and let 6 months or more go by before reading the next book in the series. I figure it's the author's job to recap what he/she feels is important for the current book, not mine.


message 4: by Joanna Chaplin (new)

Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments Only if it's been a long while between books.


message 5: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4190 comments It really varies for me.

Generally, yes, I try to read the series before the next one comes out. But it depends how much time has elapsed since the last book came out and if I did a complete re-read then. It also depends on how many books are in the series.

For example, with Wheel of Time, when the final book came out, I only re-read the Brandon Sanderson books. Before the 2nd to last book came out, I'd done a complete re-read. Same for the book before that. Sometime--next year, maybe, I'd like to re-read them all again, end to end to end. When I was doing my re-reads and when I was in the final book, encyclopaedia-wot was instrumental in remembering key items from previous books.

With the Song of Ice and Fire books, I almost always do a complete re-read. I have yet to see if the TV show influences my feeling of need to do this...guess we'll see how far along the show is when the next book comes, assuming it does... ;)

With Words of Radiance coming up soon, I'm torn on re-reading Way of Kings. On the one hand, I only read WoK in late 2012, so it hasn't been that long, plus I'm trying to burn through an already large list of books this year. But I feel like there were probably nuances that I missed the first time through, and I'd like to really catch them all before the next one...or, if I can find a good wiki...


Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 888 comments Back in high school I did. Now I just don't have time. But it usually comes back to me as I read the newest installment, else I can read a synopsis.


message 7: by Sandi (last edited Feb 03, 2014 05:01PM) (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments I usually don't. However, when The Wise Man's Fear came out, I got The Name of the Wind in audio. I picked up a lot that I had missed or skimmed over the first time, like the stories told within the story. I enjoyed it so much more in audio than in text, that I listened to The Wise Man's Fear instead of reading the text.

Like Terpkristin, I'm really torn on a re-read of The Way of Kings. I really liked it, but it may have been the longest book I've ever listened to. It's right up there with some of Stephen King's giant tomes. I don't think I really want to spend the time re-reading it when I have such a huge backlog of print books, ebooks, and audiobooks to get through.


message 8: by Phil (new)

Phil | 1152 comments I don't re-read even if it's many years between books. There's too many other books I want to read and the first couple chapters are usually enough to get me back into the story.


message 9: by Trike (new)

Trike | 8768 comments I never have re-read previous installments. Now with Wikipedia's plot summaries, I don't have to.


message 10: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Preiman | 347 comments It really depends, sometimes I will go back through them all, more often just the last book or two and more and more often just dive back in with the new book. What makes me decide? Even I'm not sure whims mostly. I don't really mind waiting for the next book in a series either, figure there will always be enough books to keep me occupied in the meantime. I am afraid with more and more people waiting for whole series to come out before starting, that even fewer great series will get past the first volume. This will cause even more readers to hold off and it will just spiral from there.


message 11: by Michele (new)

Michele | 1154 comments I usually do a reread previous books, but now ONLY if I know for sure that it's going to be a trilogy. I real a lot of books in a year and generally want to refresh the story in my head before I read the next one, but I also very rarely get the next book as soon as it's published, I just pick it up when I'm in the mood to revisit the world.

WoT broke me from this habit also - I bought the first book way back in the day thinking it was a stand-alone, then reread and bought the second, then the third...by book 5 I was getting angry that there were no signs of an end in sight and stopped buying them in hardcover, then at book 8 I stopped buying them at all. I just finally read the entire series all the way through and it was only the knowledge that the whole thing was done that got me through the very tedious middle books to the unsatisfying ending.

I've stopped buying the Game of Thrones books also, will catch up when they are done.

I went several years before catching up with the Dresden Files, though those are always fun to reread, and same with the Sookie Stackhouse books - waited until the series was done to read the last few.


message 12: by Mark (new)

Mark Catalfano (cattfish) Christopher wrote: "It really depends, sometimes I will go back through them all, more often just the last book or two and more and more often just dive back in with the new book. What makes me decide? Even I'm not su..."

OR they will force publishers to put out all 3 books in a timely fashion!


message 13: by Jeremiah (new)

Jeremiah Mccoy (jeremiahtechnoirmccoy) | 80 comments For a number of years, I would reread Lord of the Rings, and Dune. I would reread them every couple of years. I stopped a few years back. I think the movies getting made me stop rereading the LoTR every so often. The movies were good, so it wasn't a negativity thing. I just felt less compelled to.

The Dune prequels, set a 1000 years in the past, killed my desire to reread or dive into Dune anymore. Those prequels were just that bad. The first three, much closer to the main Dune novels, were much better.

The only other book I reread often is Watchmen. I studied that miniseries for years. I keep finding new stuff in it, every time.


message 14: by Cliff (last edited Feb 03, 2014 11:48PM) (new)

Cliff | 69 comments It was this exact concern that led me to make the same decision as Paul: that I wouldn't read any books that were part of a series that is not completely written.

As others have pointed out there are so many books that are on my to-read list that I'm never really hurting for something else to read.

But on the negative side, this probably has outed me as one of the few S&L members (may the only one?) who hasn't read any of the Kingkiller Chronicles or a Song of Ice and Fire.

And to be fair, I've read a book here and there without realizing that it was the first book of a series. But I do try and avoid it when I can.


message 15: by Misti (new)

Misti (spookster5) | 488 comments I do occasionally, f there is a large gap between books. If it is a long series, though, then it gets a little tedious to read all of them.


message 16: by Dara (new)

Dara (cmdrdara) | 2702 comments It depends on the series. If they're long books, I'm unlikely to go back and re-read them. I don't plan on re-reading The Way of Kings before Words of Radiance because it's just too long. Same for ASOIAF but also because I hated A Dance with Dragons.


message 17: by AndrewP (new)

AndrewP (andrewca) | 2502 comments I usually don't unless it has been a long time and I cannot remember much about the earlier volumes. Currently I am thinking of rereading The Eye of the World since it's the only WOT book I have read and that was 15+ years ago. Now want to read the entire WoT series.

The Way of Kings was a mid 2012 read for me, but that book was so good that it's still very fresh in my mind. No need to re-read before Words of Radiance.


message 18: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Lawston (andrewlawston) | 52 comments It depends... in general I don't bother, but if there's been a long gap between books then I might. A Game of Battleships came a fair whack after Wrath of the Lemming Men, for example, and I imagine most people would have had to refresh their memories of The Weirdstone of Brisingamen and The Moon of Gomrath before tackling Boneland, given the 49 year gap between books!


message 19: by Dustin (new)

Dustin (tillos) | 365 comments Sandi wrote: "Like Terpkristin, I'm really torn on a re-read of The Way of Kings. I really liked it, but it may have been the longest book I've ever listened to ..."

Next one is bigger.


message 20: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4190 comments So....people getting ready for Words of Radiance, have any of you found a good summary (the more detail the better) of The Way of Kings to read/refresh before WoR? Maybe the Tor re-read (though it looks rather long)...if only every series did something like encyclopaedia-wot. :D (Sorry to threadjack but it seemed relevant)


message 21: by Amanda (last edited Feb 09, 2014 01:34PM) (new)

Amanda (amandaquotidianbooks) | 50 comments I almost never read new books. I have physical pains when I feel the need to purchase a book for more than $7.

Consequently, by the time I get around to a series, chances are the author is three books ahead of me already. So I have the freedom to read one after another if I'm so inclined, forgoing the need to reread.

For instance, I just discovered the Mistborn trilogy last year and am just now starting The Hero of Ages.

But if I really enjoyed a book and am eagerly awaiting a sequel, I might give it a reread.


message 22: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisapond) For me it definitely depends on the series. If the books aren't overly complex or it hasn't been too long, I can definitely handle not rereading. I find with long, complex novels with many characters or storylines, especially when there are long stretches between books, I try to pick them up and have absolutely no idea what's going on.

I've sort of joined the camp of not starting a new series unless it's already finished. I've been burned too many times!! Basically, I just have abandoned those series with the hope of picking them up again when I have the time to read the entire series at once. I felt that way with the Wheel of Time series (which I feel obligated to finish at some point because I put so much energy into them years ago) and A Song of Ice and Fire in particular.


message 23: by Ken (new)

Ken (kanthr) | 334 comments I don't read the back-catalog. I just read the new one, remembering what happened before. Plot is always the least of a book's merits anyway.

When a series is complete, eventually I may revisit it if I really liked it and read it from start to finish.

I don't mind starting unfinished series, but I do not like endless ones and ones where the plot is all there is to it.


message 24: by Andy (last edited Feb 13, 2014 06:05AM) (new)

Andy (andy_m) | 311 comments It very much depends on the series for me.

Dresden Files: I re-read the series every so often, usually every 2-3 new books.

King Killer Chronicles: I will VERY much be re-reading the first two when the next comes out.

I will probably look for a summary of the Way of Kings before the next comes out, I have forgotten to much detail from my initial read but I have too much on my to read list to fully re-read it.

For the rest, it honestly depends on how the author works, does he/she use call backs, are there long story arcs? The Dresden Files I read because I love the series, not because I need to remember the details.


message 25: by Teadragon (new)

Teadragon | 24 comments I re-read the series if it is deeply complex, it's been a long time since the last book, or I simply love it. If a series is less complex or detailed, then I find my memory is sufficiently triggered when I start reading the new book.


message 26: by terpkristin (new)

terpkristin | 4190 comments Andy wrote: "I will probably look for a summary of the Way of Kings before the next comes out, I have forgotten to much detail from my initial read but I have too much on my to read list to fully re-read it."

I've got all the sections of the tor.com re-read (so far, they're up to Chapter 57) in my Pocket queue. My plan is to read through those in the week before Words of Radiance.

I'm totally with you on Kingkiller, too. Definitely going to re-read those before the third one comes.


message 27: by Sandi (last edited Feb 13, 2014 10:44PM) (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments Kevan wrote: "I wonder if folks would find a brief recap of the story useful. Say, a page or so on the 'story so far' at the beginning of a book (except the first volume of a series)."

I love it when books do that. Just a quick synopsis of the previous book is so helpful. It was done a lot more in the past than it is now though. It doesn't take a lot to jar my memory of something I've read and enjoyed.


message 28: by Kevan (new)

Kevan Dinn (kevandinn) Sandi wrote: "Kevan wrote: "I wonder if folks would find a brief recap of the story useful. Say, a page or so on the 'story so far' at the beginning of a book (except the first volume of a series)."

I love it w..."


I agree, Sandi. It's great when the author has control over the summary. She/he can write what is necessary and minimise spoilers for those who haven't read the earlier book. A wiki summary sometimes gives away too much.


message 29: by Ken (new)

Ken (kanthr) | 334 comments Kevan wrote: "I wonder if folks would find a brief recap of the story useful. Say, a page or so on the 'story so far' at the beginning of a book (except the first volume of a series)."

I really really hate this. Especially when it's not done that way, but attempted to be injected in the first chapter or so, reintroducing characters and such.

Hate hate hate. Trust your audience, authors. Tell the story, it's not TV, we don't need credit reels and title sequence cinematics. At least, I don't, and despise when books do this.


message 30: by Gregor (new)

Gregor Xane (gregorxane) | 111 comments Kenneth wrote: "Kevan wrote: "I wonder if folks would find a brief recap of the story useful. Say, a page or so on the 'story so far' at the beginning of a book (except the first volume of a series)."

I really re..."


Yeah, I don't like that either.


message 31: by Keith (new)

Keith (keithatc) I play "that menacing song from the narrated prologue of all the Lord of the Rings movies" and then refresh my memory via a wikipedia or similar such summary, which of course in my head is read in Kate Blanchett's voice


message 32: by Kevin (new)

Kevin | 701 comments If I did this I'd hardly get around to reading anything else. Though I am planning it for Patrick Rothfuss Kingkiller Chronicles.

I don't mind, and in some cases would appreciate a "story so far" page or 2-3 long "chapter" at the start of a sequel book, but often it's written into the first chapter as the overly detailed thought process of the protagonist or something and I really dislike that. Last book that annoyed me with this was Necessary Evil, which is, as is the entire series, absolutely excellent otherwise.


message 33: by Ken (new)

Ken (kanthr) | 334 comments Thing is, Alex, you only "have" to do that if you want to maximize profit.

If you want to maximize the quality of your story, you only have to appeal to the first group. In real life, there are no recaps after commercials. No commercials either. It's a single chain of events. You can break the chain between parts of the story, and tell it out of chronological order of courses. But retelling part of the story in summary fashion is a faux pas in my book.


message 34: by Molly (new)

Molly (mollyrichmer) | 134 comments It depends. When I was a kid, I would re-read all the Harry Potter books before the next one came out. Adult me is rarely so invested. I might read the book just previous to the one about to be published to refresh my memory, but I also might just read the wiki.

There are a few exceptions. For books that are clearly building up to some "big reveal," I like to re-read in order to fully appreciate how the author is pulling all the narrative threads together. I'll probably end up doing this with the Dresden Files when it's closer to being finished.


message 35: by David(LA,CA) (new)

David(LA,CA) (davidscharf) | 327 comments So far I haven't. Of course, most of what I've read haven't had a second book in the series come out yet, or had their whole run done by the time I got around to reading them.

I'm actually going to listen to the audio book for Cold Days before the next one comes out. But that's just as much for the narrator as for wanting a refresher course on what happened last time.


message 36: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 1212 comments I just finished For a Few Demons More, the 5th book in Kim Harrison's Hollows series. It was unputdownable. The series is really hitting its stride at this point. I already checked the next one out at the library.

I've only got an hour left of my audiobook, The Mongoliad: Book One. I thought I'd finish it today, but I was wrong. I'll clean something tomorrow.


message 37: by Reed (new)

Reed Bosgoed (ReedBosgoed) | 17 comments If it's been a few years in between then I will re-read the earlier books in a series.


message 38: by Matthew (last edited Feb 21, 2014 09:33PM) (new)

Matthew (matthewdl) | 341 comments For me it depends on the series. How many books are in it? How long are the books? How long has it been since I read them? I just picked up The Robots of Dawn. I'll probably reread the other two books before I read it because they're relatively short and it's been a long time.

I do not reread the Iron Druid Chronicles or the Alex Verus books because they're released regularly and I'm caught up on them.

In the case of big series like ASOIAF if I get to feeling like I'll want to reread I typically stop reading until I can do a big binge. For instance I read A Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings in 2012 and bought A Storm of Swords a year later but left it on the shelf because I had the urge to reread book 2. Eventually I'll get the next two books and read all 5 back to back.


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