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Let’s Talk Bookish – Series vs. Standalones

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books & Dani @ Literary Lion, where they discuss certain topics, share their opinions, and spread the love by visiting each others’ posts.

OCTOBER 1: SERIES VS. STANDALONES (SUGGESTED BY M.T. WILSON @ LAST BOOK ON THE LEFT)

Prompts: Do you prefer standalones or series? When you read a standalone, do you wish there was more, or are you content that the story has finished? Are series sometimes too long? Do you feel like some genres work better in series while others work better in standalones? What are some standalones you wish had continued? Are there any series you think should have stopped at the first book?

Welcome to October, and our first LTB of the month! Today’s topic talks about standalone vs. series – I feel like most people prefer one or the other, though you’ll all have to let me know for sure below. Like movies in series or standalone, I’m sure there’s a similar thought here when it comes to books. Let’s get into some of the details.

Do you prefer standalones or series?

I personally prefer standalones, but I am not against series. Perhaps it’s something to do with the level of commitment to a trilogy or saga, but I suppose I just also enjoy when books are nicely tied up in one book. Additionally, I tend to gravitate towards mysteries and thrillers, which are most often standalones. All this being said, I do tend to like when each book in a series can function separately, except that there’s a continuous storyline or timeline between the books – this works for me too.

When you read a standalone, do you wish there was more, or are you content that the story has finished?

I mean, this depends on how well the book was written right? I’d say a perfect book should leave you satisfied with the ending, and just yearning for a little bit more. I’m usually content to be finished with the book and move onto a new book, rather than to hold onto all the details of the first book in hopes they make a reference or reappearance in the second, third, fourth…book.

Are series sometimes too long? Do you feel like some genres work better in series while others work better in standalones?

Some series are definitely too long and overstretched. I think I mentioned this in the review, but I personally felt that the Shadow of the Fox series was a bit too stretched out (into 3 books). I felt that it could probably have been combined into one big fantastical journey, and I think I would’ve preferred it as such. Some genres definitely work better in series though. Mysteries and thrillers I tend to prefer standalone, but fantasies tend to have so much content and world-building that there’s enough to expand on over multiple books.

What are some standalones you wish had continued? Are there any series you think should have stopped at the first book?

Browsing through my history…most books that I would want continued…will probably be continued (e.g. Ninth House), and the rest are thrillers and mysteries. If I want a thriller to continue…it probably wasn’t very good to begin with. Or I really just want the next standalone from the same author. As for series that I think should have stopped at the first book… Harry Potter. Just kidding, obviously. Nothing that I’ve read recently comes to mind, as I’ve generally enjoyed the series I have read. Like I mentioned earlier, I wish Shadow of the Fox was one book, but not because I want to cut the second and third, but rather I wish that they were more succinctly combined.


And that’s a wrap! What do you all think about standalones vs. series? Let me know in the comments below!

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