Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Series Struggle

So, I cannot decide if I'm a fan of the series.  I admit that I loved spending time, book after book, with my friends at Hogwarts.  But in today's YA literature market it seems like there are fewer and fewer exciting-to-read, stand-alone novels.  Why is that?  Is it because authors cannot complete their entire vision in only one installment?  Is it a crafty editor that convinces the author of the first book that surely there is more to the story?  Or is it just writers that write what sells most? Looooong, sometimes unnecessarily drawn out, stories.  When I consider my own reading habits I have to admit that I rarely read beyond the first book.  Rarely.   In fact I went to the stacks to think about which series I had completed and was shocked at my list of completions:

1)  Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
2)  Gemma Doyle trilogy by Libba Bray
3)  Divergent trilogy by Veronica Roth

That's it.  Three series.  Three.

It made me pause to think about what it is that makes me put down whatever else I'm reading and pick up the next books in a series.  I don't think it's any one thing. When I consider the series that I have completed, or read beyond the first installment, I notice that I am passionate about the plot, the setting, and the strong characters (it also looks like I favor female protagonists over male but that's a topic for another post).  Ultimately, I love everything the story offers.  I am comparing these books to the best potato chip.  I could not bring myself to stop at just one.

But I also think some of the decision is influenced by timing.  Maybe there is a certain ratio of like to wait time that must be just perfect.  I do know that if I have to wait too long then I may lose interest.  And the crazy thing is there is no set amount of time. It varies from story to story.  Sometimes I mean to read what's next (Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor or The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater) but they never seem to make it to the top of my read pile.  That said, here are three stories that I have fallen in love with and am happy to wait to read more.
   May 6, 2014

August 5, 2014

Ugh...I'll have to use my patience on this one.  There's no forecast anywhere!

What are your thoughts about series?  Happy Reading!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

What is Happening!!?

So, I'm very excited to report I've been silent (but still reading) because the JMS Library is going through a bit of a transformation.  I was inspired by some of the workshops I attended at ISLMA back in November and have decided it is time for our library to "Ditch Dewey" as our primary classification system.  A huge thank you to Tiffany Whitehead over at Mighty Little Librarian for being so generous with her ideas and experience and so very patient with all of my questions.  Since my last post I have completed the fiction collection and I started non-fiction today. Woohoo! The task that was giving me so much anxiety (creating my own spine labels) went much faster than I expected (thanks to Microsoft Publisher and the "copy all" and "substitute picture" features).  I finished the "Animals" sections today and now I just have to remind myself I don't have to finish by the end of the week (as if that was possible).  So, from here on I will faithfully post about library updates and include a glimpse of what I'm reading.

Thoughtful.  Inspirational.  Crushing.  Like many of the Holocaust stories before, The War Within the Walls creates a stark image, both in text and illustration, of what life was like in the ghettos of Warsaw.  This was a book that I did not put down until it was finished.  I look forward to pointing students in the direction of this fictionalized account of Jewish resistance during one of the World's darkest hours.