This post has been put off for long enough, I’m afraid. I’m sure you’ve all noticed by now that I am frequently one of the last people to read any book – my latest transgression being the Divergent series. So before I get on my high horse and talk about the pros and cons of showing up late to a series, or even a stand-alone book, allow me to give you a picture of Kayla circa fall of 2011 through summer of 2013: Otherwise known as…
College (and a little after).
I’ll keep this short. Basically: the vampire fad. That was all I could find in the YA section, so I stopped reading. But then after college, and when crap hit the fan this summer, I reached out to books to escape everything. And lo and behold – there were actually some good books! And then I made a blog… and discovered so many more books that it was like being reborn into the YA world! And then I also discovered that I was so incredibly behind on so many good series that I kind of had to cry a bit because I had cut myself off from a huge part of my life for more than two years.
So now that I’m reintegrating myself back into the book world, and especially YA literature, I’ve found that there are pros and cons to being so behind on everything. We’ll start with the cons, because I like to end on a good note!
- You’re behind on everything. People have been talking about this book for months, if not years now, and you walk in like “what’s going on? Wait, we’re on book SIX?”
- Huge possibility of spoilers. Enter: Allegiant. I’ve been catching up on Divergent and Insurgent, but I’ve had to tread lightly now that Allegiant has been released. Hint: I didn’t succeed too well.
- Buying all the books at once destroys your budget. If there’s all these books out, of course you need to read them right away! But at $10 for each paperback… that can add up really quickly.
- You don’t get to be part of the book tours and author appearances. That chance of getting your book signed – in person – when it’s first released? Say goodbye to a missed opportunity!
- Feelings of guilt, and feeling like you don’t deserve to be part of the hype. This one is bolded, because this is what I personally struggle with the most. You’ll find people who say that you don’t get to be excited, because you’re not a “true fan.” IE: you haven’t been there since the beginning, so what do you know? You haven’t waited two years in between each release – you haven’t preordered each book and then read it along with everyone else and been part of the flurry of social media that follows. But then I have to ask this question: how long do you have to have been a fan until you’re welcomed into the fandom? When do you pass from noob to veteran? And why the heck am I feeling guilty about not having read a book when it was first released?? Last I checked, Perks of Being a Wallflower was published when I was barely in Kindergarden. If someone’s going to hold that against me, I will personally shoot them with a paintball gun.
- Boxed sets. Oh yes. Those sexy things with their matching covers and sizes and formats and their cardboard holders… It’s a bibliophile’s fantasy.
- No waiting for years between releases. I’m going straight from Insurgent to Allegiant – no unnecessary angst while I worry how everything’s going to turn out.
- Boxed sets.
- Everyone cheers you on while you catch up. Andi and Veronica have been my cheerleaders while I burn through the Divergent series – their excitement is infectious! And they already have a list of series for me to start next.
- BOXED SETS.
- If you find an author you like, you can hunt down every single book they’ve ever published. Stephanie Perkins, Morgan Matson, Maggie Stiefvater, Rick Riordan – they all have multiple series and/or books!
- *screams from the rooftops* FREAKING BOXED SETS.
What about you? What are some pros and cons that you’ve found to being late to a series? If you’re someone who was an early bird, what were your pros and cons to being there from the beginning?