Sunday, 30 April 2017

Standalones V Series

As I've said in the past, over the past few months I have been really wanting to mix up and change up some of blog posts that I put up, rather than just always putting up the same kind of things month after month.  I have also been really wanting to do a discussion post for a good while now, but didn't really know what sort of topic to acutally do, so I've just been putting it off for weeks and weeks until I finally decided to give one a go recently.  So, I eventually decided to do an almost series vs standalone type post as I thought this would be a nice little thing to talk about and to discuss whether or not you prefer standalones or series.  And so, enjoy!

Everytime I pick a book to read, one of my biggest debates is whether I want to read a standalone with new characters and a new story that I have never read about before, or whether I want to return to a world I love and read the next book in a series. 

 Personally, I am always a standalone person.  Whilst I do enjoy series and do definitely still love reading them, I am someone who will take so long between reading books in a series, and so alot of the time it will take me years to get through the entire series.  Because of this, I often forget alot of the details of the past books and so it kind of defeats the object of reading a series rather than a standalone as each book it takes me alot of the book to remember and reintroduce myself to a story and characters that I should already know and be familiar with.  As well as this, I am a very big reader of contemporary books, of which most of them tend to be standalones, and so over time I think I have just adapted to generally reading just one book instead of reading alot of series.  

That said, I am definitely not a hater of series, I just personally tend not to read series as often because of my personal reading habits.  However, I have actually been reading alot more of series and leaning towards them alot more in recent months, mainly because I have been reading so much more fantasy than I ever used to.  I also believe that series often work so much better for fantasy books as they often include complex and detailed plots and worlds, and so more books are needed to tell the story without rushing it in one huge book. I just personally tend not to read series  as often because of my personal reading habits.  

Now in order to compare series and standalones properly I thought what better way than to create a list of my favourite things about each!

Everything is wrapped up in one nice little book 

as I've already said, one of my favourite aspects of standalones is the fact that the entire story is just in one book and that there is nothing left out and everything is covered in one story.  I just adore the fact that that book contains one whole story and that you can take 

A sequel or other book in the series can't ruin the book for you  

I can't tell you the times I have adored the first book in a series and hated the second or the third, and as much as my thoughts on later books does not mean I am no longer a fan of the first book, it has to be said that not liking a later book definitely affects my view of the series overall, and so does slightly taint my love for the first book as well.

You feel less guilty when you don't finish the book 

One of my biggest bad habits with reading is always feeling guilty when I'm really not enjoying a book and desperately want to DNF it, and so I often continue on and finish books I know halfway through I'm really not going to be a fan of.  

 The story is less likely to be slow 

Because the whole idea of standalones is that the story is told in just one book, the story is often alot faster paced or not likely to have as many slow moments as series simply because there is not enough time to tell a good story if half the chapters are just fillers.

Character development 

As a lover of characters, this is likely what I believe to be the biggest benefit of a series over a standalone.  Instead of just seeing characters over a short space of time and in one storyline, you get to see them grow and develop through different plots and storylines and in different situations.  

Amazing world building can happen 

Similarly to character development, series give you the opportunity to develop amazing and complex world building that standalones just don't allow you to do.  You get to explore some of the complexities and intricacies of the world in which the story is set without info dumps or without it getting too confusing.

 You get to return to a world and story you love more than once 

It is an amazing feeling when you finish an amazing story with characters and a world that you have fallen in love, but what is even better is finishing that book and realising that you can return to that world and characters in a different book and with a different and brand new story.

More complex storylines and plots can be developed 

One of the key drawbacks of standalones, particularly in fantasy books, is that it is hard to create very complex stories and plots in just one book, and so series are a great way to develop and evolve these as well as adding in so many more different intertwining storylines without it being too complicated or confusing.  

So, what do you think?  Are you a lover of standalones?  Or are you definitely more of a reader of series?  Tell me your thoughts down below!

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