Ponderings with little bursts of cartoon art.
serial distress [sɪriəl dɪˈstres]: suffering caused by finishing a book series.
Things are serie-ous (pun intended) when there’s no term for something and I kind of, sort of, have to invent one. It’s not like my default reaction to discovering a new series isn’t, ‘Yay, at least three more books to read in the future!’ because it totally is.
However, discovering isn’t reading and reading is this really simply thing:
So I’ve an issue with letting go of book series and only book series because yes to binge-watching TV shows and movie sequels forever. Let’s start off with how many series I did finish in my life because my suffering cannot be that distressful and I cannot be that lame. Right?
I was a normal kid so I managed to read the first six books of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter like a normal Potterhead person by the age fifteen. However, I read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows four years after that, in 2009. This should have been the first signal that something is going to go wrong with me. Then I read and re-read Sarra Manning’s Diary of a Crush trilogy countless of times because once upon a time, re-reading was my thing.
Then I went paranormal and read all of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight in a span of two months in 2008 around Twilight’s movie release. I got obsessed with it and then I hated Breaking Dawn because whiny Jacob and ew plot twist.
Come to think of it, Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games is the only series that I was dying to read because I miraculously reached the it’s-better-to-shoot-myself-then-live-in-a-Katniss/Peeta/Gale-less-world-for-another-day stage. I finished the trilogy back in December 2012. It was glorious and I cried. Obviously.
Lastly, I binge-read the first three books in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy in fall 2013 and then promptly died. My ghost, Eve and other Twitter/blogging friends somehow convinced me to finish the series and so I did. In fact, I spent my New Year’s Eve finishing it. It was also glorious.
Five series comprising of 23 books in 23 years of my life.
Considering reader statistics, it is an ordinary number but, us bookish people are not ordinary, which makes it a pathetic number. I now know how I manage to suck so hard. What am I even doing with my life?
Oh yeah, I’m spending my life running away from series enders. ‘Also, who wants to throw me out that window?’ But- but- I’ve legit reason to do just that because after I finish a book series, I’m like this:
Rather, I’m like all of those because I’ve no idea what to do with myself. If I try hard enough, I’ll be able to give a description of why I feel like side-eyeing like Side-Eye Bob on bottom right. Or why I hunch my shoulders like Tall Bob towards upper middle-right after I finish a series.
Yet, it was getting ridiculous because who needs to be in the middle of roughly 80 series with no end in sight. I wanted to get ahead while I can and so I finished Brodi Ashton’s Everneath series last week. I hated finishing it. I thought it wouldn’t matter if the series turned out to be the worst or the best ever. But it does because it made me want to simultaneously curl up and die a slow, frustrating death and rage forever.
So no, I don’t want to cry my eyes out reading Patrick Ness’ The Ask and the Answer because of too many feels, I’m nervous to read Veronica Roth’s Insurgent and Allegiant because something is very wrong with it and I don’t want to know what. I’ve more or less lost interest in continuing Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments. Clearly, I’m in the I-don’t-ever-want-to-finish-a-series-again mode but I know I’ll revert back to I-want-to-read-all-the-series mode as soon as I start a mind-blowing one. Argh.
Do you like finishing series or do you suffer from serial distress? Also, do you think I need de-stressing therapy? No, don’t answer the last one. I’m fine or will be. I think.
Pun! <3 Oh yeah. This post will be good. ;D
I don’t think I’ve ever actually finished a book series in my life. I meant to finish a lot of series (like the Harry Potter books), but I got totally side-railed by my horrible reading system or by laziness or by my inability to not get emotional. It’s quite embarrassing since I know I should finish it, but I have a hard time letting go. I get all sentimental. Even when I watch the series finale of TV shows, I get so emotional. I don’t want the characters to go away! I need them on my screen forever! (That’s similar to books.) They can have a happily ever after, but what about meeeeee? Where does that leave me? I feel a bit silly since books and tv shows are fictional, but still! I have to live with this ending. 🙁 It's like they are leaving my life forever and I don't ever want that.
The end is inevitable, but it isn’t something I look forward to. I think not reading the last book because of other distractions and whatnot is an excuse for me not to wail in distress. That’s why I still haven’t attempted to read The Fiery Heart or Cress. Sure, they aren’t the last books, but my brain is scared of eventually reaching that final book. I just can’t. I don’t think my heart can take it.
Allie @ Little Birdie Books says
I actually really enjoy finishing a series. I mean, there's always that initial OMGIT'SACTUALLYOVERNOOOOO period, where I eat lots of cupcakes. But that only lasts a day or two 😛
Then I actually become really pleased I've finished because everything has reached its climax and (if I was lucky) it ended on a really great note. And it means I get to discover a new series to become obsessed with and that I get to read other books from that author and become absorbed in another one of their worlds.
It's a bitter-sweet thing to know that characters you loved will no longer be coming back at you, but it's kind of nice to have a resolution to everything.
Alexa A says
Oh man, I have this huge problem as well, and for me, it's not even only with series. If I finish an extremely good stand-alone, I also have this feeling of "I want more." Usually, I just try to get on with my life and try to disappear in another book, but my thoughts always stray back to that amazing book/series I just finished. I don't know what to do. You can't get rid of the pain, you can only endure it. 🙁
I'm actually busy with an end-many-series-this-year-plan. I finished 13 series last year and I hope to finish at least 12 this year. It sometimes stresses me out too. I fell in a deep hole after finishing Harry Potter and I truly didn't know what to do, haha. But, it also stresses me out when I see how many series I've yet to finish.
Shannelle C. says
I don't really think my opinion would matter . . . My only problem with series is if I can't get an available source for the book. Because then, I would have to buy it, and borrowing is easier.
And that's the only way I do things. I really like reading, and I really like venting and being frustrated about things because hey, I can vent! So I'm not really scared to read books, even if people said it was bad. I'm the judge of whether a book is bad or not. I also like getting some sort of closure. I don't like just stopping in the middle of the series if I want to know what happens next.
That would be like an unfinished sentence.
Mmmmmmmmm. I think I like finishing series. It actually makes me feel better about myself, like I've actually completed something in my life, because I'm such a bloody slacker. I mean, I start things and I almost NEVER finish them. It's frustrating, but, you know, why be productive when I can be lazy instead? Hahaha.
I've only been sad about two series' endings: Vampire Academy and Night Huntress. I read VA in 2010 and the ending of Shadow Kiss made me cry (I was 14 and way too emotional) and when I read the first Night Huntress book in 2011, I felt like I finally found something I liked because amidst all the brooding vampires in books, Bones stood out because he was hilarious and loved what he was. A lot of people compare him to Buffy's Spike, but aside from being English and hilarious, I don't really see it.
Anyway, I just went in another direction 😀 Sorry, this is obviously going to be a very long comment.
I was said when these series ended because they were my favorite. I loved all the characters and the story. It doens't always happen to me. I mean, I may like or even love some characters in other series, but I've never stared at the ceiling and wondered how the series will end and what's going to happen and is my heart going to be broken and is anyone I love dying……………. Yes, my emotions were all over the place.
When it comes to series/trilogies like Divergent and others (can't remember any rn), I'm not that bothered. I like it when I finish series. Sure, maybe i'll miss the characters from time to time, but that's only until I find others to take their places.
Ana @ Read Me Away says
I'll say that I like finishing series because once it's done, it's done. I'll be feeling all confused because I don't know what to do with myself and my feelings for these characters, I have a hard time saying goodbye, and all that. But it would still be better than me not knowing what happened to those characters. I would go NUTS from not knowing! :O
lillian harp says
Yeah, I am with you on this one. I cannot finish series. I think that the more invested in I am in them, the harder it is to let go(not that it isn't hard if I just like them). I have been avoiding the last book of 3 trilogies like that would prevent me from knowing what happens and from never letting go of them. And the curiousity to know how it ends is KILLING ME! Here's something, I cried when Voldy died. It was weird because I thought I wanted him dead. Then there is Hunger Games, I binge read the first two books but put a two week gap before reading Mockingjay. I have more unfinished series than last year.
Dying of knowing how it ends and stressing over not wanting it to end is not a good combination.
Finishing a series all depends on how I feel about the outcome.
Andrea Cremer's Nightshade series? LOVED it. I had a love/hate relationship with the ending, but ultimately, I was SATISFIED. Everything came full circle and it made so much sense it HURT.
The Divergent Trilogy, however? Waste of my time. I enjoyed the first two books well enough, but I didn't see what all the fuss was about. And then I read Allegiant and realized I would never get all those hours of my life back.
And I think that's when I don't like finishing a series. When the last book ruins everything the first two accomplished, because it makes me feel like I just should never have read it in the first place.
When it's a series I loved, and the ending is one I enjoyed, I don't mind saying goodbye to the characters, because I'm content with where we parted ways. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes its sad, but every time (in the event I'm content with the end), I'm happy for their story and for how it feels (later, down the road) to revisit it in my mind, even if it's only briefly.
Sometimes. When it's a series I really, really love *coughs*Gone series by Michael Grant*, I takes me forever to read the last book. Which is stupid. Because I'm dying of curiosity BUT I'm also SO SO scared, what if my favorite character gets killed off or what if the ending is like really bad??? And then I can't go to Tumblr, because SPOILERS.
Most of the time, I manage to finish them though. BUT I don't think I've read that many series either: Let's see… HP (obv), Twilight (ditto), THG (and yay, my team won) aaand what else… oh yes, Wolves of Mercy Falls (meh), Curse Worker series (yum) aaand that's it, I think. But that's okay, I actually like standalones more 😉
Joséphine Simone says
I'd say I have great difficulty reading series. I think it's mostly because I hate cliffhangers. They are the worst. They make a book feel so incomplete to me, I want to smash the nearest object in my vicinity sometimes. So I usually wait for series to be complete and make sure to get hold of sequels as well. In that manner, I actually end up treating duologues and trilogies especially, like one big fat book that was just too fat to be bound as one book, and so had to be divided.
As for the series I actually remember finishing, the number hovers around the same. I know I finished readingHarry Potter. I recently went through The Rosie Black Chronicles. Might have completed Replica by Marilyn Kaye (more than 20 books in there!). Going to complete the Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. I probably completed more but since I treated them like extra fat books, I don't remember. Then there are those series I started but never continued because I was just so mad about the cliffhangers, I didn't have it in me to continue with the sequels.
I haven't finished many series, but when I do, I feel kind of… empty. It doesn't help that in the middle of a series all the possibilities of how it MIGHT end are open, but once the end is written, it's that way forever. Endings polarise readers. While Twilight was ongoing, there was the possibility that Bella MIGHT choose Jacob, but once it ended and it was Team Edward forever, I'm sure all the Jacob fans got upset (as an example).
If I read more than the first book in a series I do like to try to finish them. But that first book has got to convince me to go on and invest time and money in the series, and that doesn't happen too often.
Alexa S. says
I love people who use puns in their posts (and I too have a post with a series pun in it). In general, I actually like finishing series even though it often results in a hollow, empty feeling for a while afterward. I think I say I like it because it's great to learn what happens to these characters in this world that I love so. You get an "ending" if you will, and it satisfies my soul in a way.
I haven't finished that many series yet but that's not because I don't want to, it's simply because I started too many new series at one point. Now they're all coming to an end and I actually feel liberated every time I finish a series. I get this feeling that I'm stuck in a series and I'll never know how it ends. So yeah, I don't mind finishing it. You can always re-read it afterwards 🙂
Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity says
Oh. My. Dear. Lord. Sana. Kai. KAI.
You're my soulmate. I am not even kidding. I have never met ONE other person who has read Diary of a Crush. You will never rid of me now.
But seriously how perfect is French Kiss? So under-rated. Dylan was one of my first book boyfriends. "I couldn't tell if he was oddly beautiful, or beautifully odd." I cannot count the times I have read that novel.
AND NOW I CAN FANGIRL OVER IT WITH YOU, MY EMPEROR.
What was this post about again? *scrolls back and reads rest of post*
OH YEAH. Finishing series.
About that. I seriously don't know how many I have finished, but I know it's not very many. I have two general reactions to finishing a series.
1. I get this anxious thing where I look at the last book in a series. I get scared because I know that after I finish this last book there is no going back. No going back to new words and characters or happenings in the world of the series. Sure, I can go back and re-read, but we all know that's not quite the same. I like experiencing new things, and being on the edge of my seat wondering what's going to happen next. There IS no next if I finish a series. Never. Again.
2. I get really excited. In general, this only occurs when I am binge reading. Like with the Legend series (WHICH YOU AND EVE NEED TO READ RIGHT NAO). I was on a role, and I read them almost in succession. I just needed to finish that series and see where everyone ended up because it was a true and dire NEED of mine to see how everything was tied up. So I did. This also happened with The Hunger Games, Snyder's Study trilogy (which is now not a trilogy but it was when I read it), The Princess Diaries, Diary of a Crush (KAI OHMYGOSH), the first TVD series, The Mediator books – and I think that's it. I cannot think of any more binge series reading where I had to finish the series.
Most of the time I read the first in a series and then never end up reading another book in that series – even if I really liked it. There are just so many series to keep up with it's kind of impossible. And my brain simply cannot hold all that series information, and they disappear. If they're lucky, I MIGHT remember them at some point in the future. But the majority of the series I finish or want to finish are those that I love. Liking is for the weak.
Nova @ Out of Time says
I actually get a sense of accomplishment from finishing a series. It makes me feel happy that I've stuck with a series for so long and BAM! Conclusion.
I get serial distress when the series ends open endedly, like for Requiem. OMG Requiem. So yeah, sign me up for therapy girl!
I'm spreading the love for #LoveAThon and I’d really appreciate some comment love on my blog too!
– Nova @ Out of Time