Friday, May 18, 2012

The last chapter is not always the end of the story.

My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter.  ~Thomas Helm

A New, Expensive Habit

There are those of us who love a series.  Again, if you're new to this blog, I'm not talking about the World Series.  What was the first series you found yourself needing to complete?  Which did I read as a kid?  Little House on the Praire, Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables--more of the classics than the modern Sweet Valley High books of the time. 

The final book in the Sisters Grimm series came out on May first.  We were fortunate enough to get it the last week.  I'm waiting for my turn to read it, I think I'm next in line.  My oldest daughter read it and then asked if she could give it to her friend.  I said yes on the condition that we get it back, since that friend is also the daughter of my library director.  We will have the book for three weeks; and in that time, as many as four people will read it.  My middle child is also waiting for her turn.

There have been many kids turned into readers by the power of the series.  Read all of the 39 Clues books, and then you have to wait for the next once to be available for purchase or check-out.  So, you find something else to read while you wait.  Diary of a Wimpy Kid spawned a lot of readers.  Harry Potter was huge.  Before J.K. Rowling finished the series, there would be kids coming in to find something similar to help them pass the time until the next book came out.  

There are a lot of adult books written in a series.  The most talked about one right now is the Shades of Grey trilogy by E.L. James.  The Game of Thrones is another series people have been reading lately.  Twilight, anyone?  Sookie Stackhouse books by Charlaine Harris?  How about Robert Ludlum's  Bourne series?    There are a lot of them if you start thinking about it.  If you are a serial series reader, how do you choose which group to start next?  Are you a strictly series reader?  Or do you shy away from one book that will lead into another or more?

I've read a variety of series in my time as a reader.  Among my favorites has been the Wicked Years series by Gregory Maguire.  Wicked is the first--and I read it before it was a series (or a Tony-winning musical).  The final book in the series came out last winter and I hated for it to end.  I want to hear more about what happens to the Lion, the wicked witch's grand-daughter, and Dorothy.  But, that's not going to happen, at least with Gregory Maguire as the author.  I guess I'm going to have to go back to the original series by L. Frank Baum.  Maguire's books may be darker, but the same kind of surreal magic is there.  Many of the lands and people that didn't make it into the move, but made it into Gregory Maguire's books can be found in Baum's original series.  I just moved the Oz books from the old library into the new library a couple weeks ago.  I'm going to have to put reading them on my bucket list for the summer.   

Dorothy picked up the bucket of water

One of the advantages of reading books is that you get to play with someone else's imaginary friends, at all hours of the night.  ~Dr. Sun Wolf

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