Buying Full Series Before Reading the First Book: How Has That Been Working Out for Me?

A bit ago I saw Destiny from Howling Libraries in an instagram caption ask people if they buy full series before reading the first book. She mentioned knowing her taste and that it mostly was working out for her. That got me thinking, how does it work out for me?

For the most part I try not to, but sometimes I find myself owning a whole series before having started the first book. Its a problem. I have full series on my TBR shelf that I still haven’t started yet. Some are completed. Others are not because they haven’t all come out yet. Or in some cases I feel like having the first three might be enough for a start binge.

Some of My reasons for Buying Full Series Are:

  1. I can binge read it if I love the first book
  2. The price is cheap, and I’ll never find them cheaper so I am saving money
  3.  I must have matching editions/covers and they might be hard to come by on a later date.
  4. My feeling tells me I am going to love this.

How Is It Working Out for Me?

Now this requires me to dig a little in my memory but that is the beauty of having book shelf tours from 2015 onwards. I can see how I had some things on the shelf and try and remember when I started reading certain series. Much fun.

1 Farseers trilogy by Robin Hobb = LOVED
I got books 1 and 3 in a sale and then hunted down the same edition through various book stores because I couldn’t find it online. Before I even ever read it. I know I’m insane.

2 Eon duology by Alison Goodman = Okay
This duology was okay to me. Dragons you know but there were some things that bothered me like the magical cure of a disability. Still a decent read.

3 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Addams = LOVED / Okay
I mean, it depends on the book but I loved the first 2 for sure and the next three were a bit less love for me. Still I really adore it and I need to reread the first book sometime.

4 The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare = LOVED
I got these when the hype of Cassandra Clare was on an all time high over on Booklr and I think I might have read City of Bones, but I might not have. All I know is that I got the box set for this one. And I loved it so much more than I did The Mortal Instruments.

5 The Darkest Powers by Kelley Armstrong = LOVED
I really ended up enjoying this so much more than I thought.

6 The Iron Fey Series by Julie Kagawa = Meh
I got these cheapish in a package at the supermarket a Summer many years ago and I was not much convinced by the plot or the characters. I still read all four though. I haven’t touched the spin-off/continuation.

7 Talon by Julie Kagawa = Meh, not continued yet
I got the first 3 books when I found them signed and have since read the first book. Dragons yeay but I am not very convinced by the first book and I am still not sure if I want to continue with this series.

8 The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater = LOVED
The first two books in this series are two of my favorite books and the other two were good too so yes, loved for sure.

9 The Archived by Victoria Schwab = LOVED
These two books were so much fun and I still hope that some day we will get that third book. One can dream.

10 A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin = LOVED / Okay
I have an up and down relationship with this series. Up because I love a lot of the things but down because I don’t care for certain characters and that does take the joy somewhat out of some of these books. I got them in a boxset so that is why it is on this list.

11 Inheritance by Christopher Paolini = Meh / DNF Series
Eh. I went out of my way to get these cheapish. Then I read Eragon and then I got the last one. And then I just could never get myself to pick up the second book. These were definitely a no even though there are dragons…

12 The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis = Meh / Not Continued Yet
Okay I am ducking here. These just don’t seem to be for me and especially The Horse and His Boy got much hate from me. I don’t know yet if I want to continue. I got them in a large bind-up because husband was read these books for bed time as a kid.

13 The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien = Okay
I got the books all in one go though seperately because as a teen I found the bind-up to thick to read haha. Its been a long time since I read them. I don’t think I love them but I love how much love they inspire in others.

14 The Heroes of Olympus by Rick Riordan = LOVED
I guess this one is a bit of cheat since I had already read PJO entirely but still its a seperate series. I got the box set when the full series was published for my birthday and I was so pleased.

15 The Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead = Meh/Okay / DNF Series
Eh. I had such an up and down battle with this series. I got the boxset just before the movie came out. Read the first 3, liked it well enough, hated the 4th, okay on the 5th but then I could never get myself to pick up the 6th one and that was a chunker.

16 The Morganville Vampires by Rachel Caine = Meh / DNF series
Vampires are rarely any favorites of mine with books but I thought these looked fun so i bought them for cheap whenever I found one. I had like 5 or 6 of them, not in order. I read the first one and then dnfed the second one. I could not get through that second one.

17 The Reckoners by Brandon Sanderson = Meh
I am ducking again here. This whole trilogy didn’t end up working for me. I thought at some point I would get the Sanderson magic but nope.

18 Wings of Fire by T. Sutherland = Meh / DNF Series
I got the box set of the first 5 because, hello, pretty dragon covers. I read the first book and liked it well enough. The second was okay but I realized how much violence and blood there was in this for a middle grade and that put me off from reading the rest.

19 The Chronicles of Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones = Okay
I got the bind-up books for the first 4 on my birthday a few years ago. I only read the first 2 but I am planning on continuing for sure. There is something interesting about the setting and it is Diana Wynne Jones you know.

20 Half Bad by Sally Green = Meh / DNF Series
Another book where I got the whole series, read the first and then realized I was just never going to pick up the rest. Oops.

21 In Death by J.D. Robb = LOVED
I got quite a few of the books in Dutch before I finally read the first book. I really enjoy this series. They are great books to read in between all my fantasy.

So of 21 books I had 9 as LOVED, 3 as Okay and 9 as Meh/DNF/Not Continued Yet.

So that is about 55-60% where it works for me and with the rest it did not. I think the reason for that is that it took me a while to read some of these and my taste has changed over time. With some I read the first one, with the intention of reading the second, never got around to it and then lost interest all together. Because I found other books that worked so much better for what I liked in that moment. Better books for me.

Those Unread I Have for the Future

Here is still some book series that I have full or a good portion of that might revisit for a post like this in the future. Clearly I have a lot of reading still to do…

Spellslinger by Sebastien de Castell (Books 1-3) / The Summoner by Taran Matharu (Books 1-3) / The Kingkiller Chronicles (Books 1-2 + novella) / Temeraire by Naomi Novik (Books 1-5) / Serafina by Robert Beatty (Books 1-3) / Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi (Books 1-3) / Abhorsen by Garth Nix (Book 1-5 + novella) / The Conquerer’s Saga by Kierstin White (Books 1-3) / Lightbringer by Brent Weeks (Books 1-3) / Draconis Memoria by Anthony Ryan / (Books 1-2) / Avalon by Mindee Arnett (Books 1-2) / The Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson (Books 1-2 + novella) / Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness (Books 1-3) / Kingmaker, Kingbreaker by Karen Miller (Book 1-2 + prequel) / Duivel by Adrian Stone (Books 1-2) / Splintered by A.G. Howard (Books 1-3)

21 thoughts on “Buying Full Series Before Reading the First Book: How Has That Been Working Out for Me?

  1. Wow you have a lot of books and series!!! Most of my experience with buying a whole series before reading them has been great, but I am a very cautious person so I also rarely ever do that. For example I slightly regretted not buying a boxset of the Artemis Fowl 7-books series and bought them one by one instead, because until today their covers don’t match 😦 Great post idea!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a really cool post because I kinda wish authors would put series out all at once but also have individual book buying options too…or maybe do that just at libraries (that might be current broke me talking) so once you.are hooked you can just buy the whole freaking thing (as a special edition like the Illuminae book boxes or something) instead of having to wait a year between book (or maybe I am just impatient and pissed I missed out on the SOC box lol).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I bought Sarah Morgan’s From Manhattan With Love Series and Lucy Diamond’s The Beach Cafe Series, still haven’t read them, so not sure if it was a good idea, but I will find out if I ever decide to read them lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I find I’m overwhelmed if I have the whole series but haven’t started reading it yet. I think I prefer to read the books as they come out, it seems to be less stressful😁

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Awesome idea! Me personally, I find it hard to buy a whole series if I haven’t read any of it because if I hate the first book, then I have the whole series on my hands and wasted. I’ve been trying to be a lot better about actually buying and reading sequels, so I’ve been picking one series at a time to just focus on working my way through (as long as I enjoy it). I have middling success so far (too many ARCs!). Good luck on the rest of your reads, I know Spellslinger is on my list to check out!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah I’m always scared that if I don’t already have the next in line I might not actually get to it. Its one of those crazy things. Arcs get in the way of everything haha.


  6. I very rarely buy full series without reading the first, but I have done it a few times. Most often it’s because it’s a series I’m fairly certain I’m going to love and I have the chance to get the books signed (usually at a conference or something). It would be interesting to take a look at my success rate with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Before anything else, I’m currently re-reading The Archive series and I’m also hoping one day a third book comes out too. =D I rarely buy a whole series before reading the first book. However, if the series is selling for a good price, I’ll probably buy it to save a few euros. Even though I know what I love and what works for me, I rather buy the following books in the series after reading the first not to waste money.

    Happy readings! 😉
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It would not work out for me because more than once I have hated other series/books by favorite authors, or have been led to believe they were not what the were. I’m looking at you Throne of Glass series, ha ha. I will buy an ebook bundle if it’s really cheap, though. I bought the first four Fairytale Land books, and His Dark Materials for $2.99 and the Patricia Wrede Sorcery books for $1.99. I also got $1.99 bundle deals on all the Octavia Butler series, and the Dirk Gently books. 👍✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it certainly doesn’t work for everyone. Haha TOG. Have you read His Dark Materials? Very few people seem to agree with me on them haha. I still need to get the Dirk Gently books at some point. Kindle bundle deals are pretty great.


  9. Ik heb net nog Waanzin van J.D.RObb gelezen en die vond ik weer heerlijk. Eigenlijk heb ik tot nu toe nog maar één boek in die reeks gelezen dat ik wat minder vond. Maar van sommige boeken die in je lijstje staan en die ik vroeger 3 tot 4 sterren gaf vraag ik me af of ik daar nu nog hetzelfde over zou denken. Zo lees ik de laatste tijd bijvoorbeeld minder YA. Van Sally Green las ik het eerste en ik vond dat toen een fijn boek maar nadien ben ik niet meer verder gegaan met de reeks. Deels doordat het een tijdje duurde vooraleer het tweede deel er was en toen kreeg ik het niet meteen te pakken en vervolgens sprak het me plots niet meer aan om het opnieuw op te pikken.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ja het is gek hoe sommige boeken vroeger geweldig waren en als je ze nu zou lezen, het toch niet meer zo zou trekken. Ligt toch ook aan onze leeftijd en aan alle andere boeken die we in de tussen tijd hebben gelezen. Dat geeft toch ook weer hogere verwachtingen. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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