Standing on My Soapbox: Showing Up Late (To a Series)

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!

Cons: 

  1. 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?”
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. 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.

Pros: 

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Boxed sets.
  4. 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.
  5. BOXED SETS.
  6. 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!
  7. *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? 

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29 thoughts on “Standing on My Soapbox: Showing Up Late (To a Series)

  1. Can’t wait to hear what you think of Divergent. I’m waiting on book 2, which my daughter let a friend use (ugh! – the kid has had this book for weeks!) And my daughter finished Allegiant 24 hours after it landed in her hot little hands. Hope you like the series. I agree that it’s nice not to have to wait for the next book in the series.

    • My review posts tomorrow, if you want to take a look at it! Insurgent was good, but not quite as fantastic as Divergent. I gave that one a 5 star, while Divergent is a 5+ star for me. How did your daughter feel about Allegiant? I’m still waiting for my copy!

      • She thought Allegiant was better than Insurgent. But Divergent was still her fave in the series. Looking forward to your review!

  2. The only con for me is that I feel like I’m behind on something really good. That feeling you are missing out and I hate that. I’m trying my best to catch up on too. Boxed sets and not waiting are definitely some great pro’s – and there is also no problem when they change the covers!

    • That’s true too – like you’re kicked out of the cool kid section at school! Just waiting for your entrance… trying to poke your head in… but it just doesn’t work… Yep, just like being the loner at school.

      Just like Shatter Me! I got the paperback, so I have the matching eye thing, but the original hardback looked like a bad shoot from America’s Next Top Model.

  3. I think the biggest con for me is there’s so much extra time to buy into the hype that the book/s are amazing.
    Boxed sets are a huge, huge plus. They look so pretty on the shelf.

    If you don’t mind little black remainder marks on the bottom of your books, you could check out bookoutlet for older series. I’ve never paid more than 6.99 for a hardcover on that site. Huge money saver.

    • WHAT IS THIS SORCERY??? Time to spend more money!

      And that’s totally true, I didn’t even consider it! Like you end up buying books for everyone else, and not reading the ones you really want to.

      • I bought (no joke – twenty minutes after you told me about that thing) Bunheads, Pandemonium (both for my sister), then Scarlet (hardback for 3.99!!!) and one other book that I want to read but it was 1.74 so yeah 😛

        And the Body Finder series… I’m thinking I’ll need to return soon 😉

  4. The best thing in being late to a series is reading everything in one go and not having to wait a year or two for the next book. Everything is still fresh in your head, so character motivations and actions make a lot more sense.

    The con would be hearing spoilers for things. Sometimes when reading reviews to see if a book is good or not, you’ll see stuff that you don’t want to see so it might ruin your initial experience with the book.

    • Hmmm yes that way you don’t forget all the finer points when you pick up the next book. No wondering what you missed and why things don’t make sense!

      Spoilers 😦 It sucks when people don’t tag them! That’s how I spoiled myself for Allegiant… untagged, flaming spoilers.

  5. I am always behind on series. I was behind on Harry Potter, for heaven’s sake! (I read them a few summers ago, got sidetracked, and haven’t read book seven yet… bad, I know…I’ll read it eventually…)
    Ultimately, I think it’s because I don’t want to waste time on a bad book (you should add this to your list of pros!). I HATE wasting time on a stupid book. There’s so many other great books you could be reading. This is why I’ve mainly stuck to classics, until last summer, when I started reading more contemporary.
    When the Twilight books first came out, I really wanted to read them, cuz some girl in a Jane Austen book group at the library said they were spectacular. Thankfully, I put it off, and eventually heard more info about the books from my friends and other people with similar reading tastes to mine. I’m so glad I didn’t waste my time on Twilight. (Sorry to any fans…)

    On a different note: Along with the rest of you, I am SUPER PSYCHED about Allegiant! 😀

    • Ohhh sweetheart… Read Harry Potter! It will be the best thing you’ve ever done! And I agree about stupid books – which is probably why I have a fairly high DNF rate amongst bloggers…

      I enjoyed Twilight the first time around, but as I read it again I saw all of the flaws. Nowadays I can’t even stand to hear some of the sentences, and I only tolerate the Breaking Dawn movies 😛

  6. Haha! This post is the ban existence on my book life, I’m always late to book series. I hate missing out on all the good scoop, but a pro is that I can read all the books at my own pace without waiting on each book to be released

  7. Oh please, you’re definitely not the last person to read any series. There’re so many out there that I haven’t read yet, but everyone has! Like the Lumatere Chronicles, the Lunar Chronicles (though I AM reading CINDER now, so does that count?), the Twilight Saga (which I don’t plan on reading), the Summer series by Jenny Han… and probably a bunch more, but I can’t remember. See?!

    Hey, I was the same. My parents originally didn’t allow me to read TWILIGHT (my dad said it was a load of trash, because he read it himself), so of course that made me want to read it all the more, but everywhere I went, all I could see was vampire this, vampire that, vampire this and that. Then the months passed, and I stumbled across Twilight + Harry Potter memes on Facebook, and my desire to read it kind of died off. Then the THG hype set in because of the movie — yep, I was one of those people who got interested because of the movie. Don’t blame me! — and my grandma bought me the entire boxset for Christmas, and that’s pretty much when my love for YA started. That was in 2011. And by the time I started a book blog, everyone had already proceeded to the second or third book of a series, so I really didn’t stand a chance. 😛

    But yeah, I think my main issue for being so late in starting a series is money. I’m still in school, and I don’t work, so money is hard to come by. And books over here are EXPENSIVE. And aw, you’re not alone in the feeling of not being part of the hype. I don’t feel it as strongly as you do, but I still understand how it is. Like I said, I’m reading CINDER right now, and that book was published AGES ago — I mean, the third book is coming out soon! So I don’t think many people are feeling the same hype for the first book. (Except for Shelly from Shelly’s Rambles; she’s the one who forced — ahem, urged — me to read it.)

    Those pros, though. They almost outweigh all the cons… except that boxed sets are freaking expensive. T_T I love them, but they also tend to tear really easily. Or maybe it’s just cause I’m a horrible book keeper. Um, don’t tell anyone about that, okay? 😉

    Great post!

    • … What’s the Lumatere chronicles??

      And hey – if it takes a movie to get someone interested in a great book – I won’t complain at all! I find it so annoying when people get on their high horse because “Oh you got the movie tie in edition…” Ugh. Rude!

      See, I’ve graduated and I’m just working now so I have way more time than I used to! And the money thing I get to – the only reason I can get books so frequently is because 1) I’m a good bargain hunter and 2) I have two part time jobs that result in about the equivalent of a full time. I pay for them myself now 😀

      You mean the cardboard stuff tears easy? Yeah I found that to be true with my Percy Jackson set – the cardboard tore a bit even when I just pulled it out of the delivery box!

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  10. I am so with you. Boxed sets? Yes please. Also, it’s great just to be able to sit down, knowing all of the books are available to you when you finish one. My favourite point you made is the one about the author’s other work. This is something that has happened to me recently with Patrick Ness. I’m still working through the Chaos Walking trilogy, but there are other books for me after that, too!!

      • Hehe, I’m not really the best person to ask, only having read one of his books. He writes in such a unique and expressive way; you experience his books more than read them. He’s well worth investigating! I do have a spoiler free review of The Knife of Never Letting Go over on my blog, if you’re interested.

  11. We’re in the same boat at the moment! I’ve just started the Divergent series recently too. Although I’ve been behind with it, I think it’s been the perfect time to start it, with Allegiant’s recent release. Though I agree with you there: I’ve had to work hard to avoid spoilers for Allegiant &emdash; and I was doing so well, too, up until this morning! Unmarked spoilers are the worst. 😦

    I agree with all the points you’ve made, and just want to add my own: coming into a series so late means you don’t have to reread each book every time a new instalment is released! I’m going from Divergent straight to Allegiant and, as someone who suffers badly from book amnesia, that’s a much easier strategy!

    • There needs to be a punishment for releasing spoilers within the first month or so of a release!

      Amnesiacs unite! I’ll need to read the Grisha books (no shame there) before Ruin and Rising comes out, and if I don’t get Prodigy and Champion soon I’ll forget Legend too!

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