When it comes to books, I am definitely more of a fan of standalones. I have a really short memory, so I can not pick up a series and wait more than a couple of weeks to read the next book. I do like trilogies and duologies, but that is as far as I’ll go. Once a series is longer than that, I am very unlikely to continue it.
Why I like Standalone Novels:
- No waiting- You don’t have to wait months (sometimes years) for the next book in a series to come out! Obviously this does not apply to older series that are already complete. However, starting a new release that is the first book in a series is pretty difficult. By the time the next book comes out, I have already forgotten the main characters’ names, let alone the entire plot.
- Less cliffhangers- I hate when a book ends on a cliffhanger, even if it is part of a series. That’s because then I feel as if I am forced to read the next book, which is not something I want to feel. I want to continue a book not because of how it left off, but because I liked the characters and/or plot enough to continue it. I can’t say that there are no cliffhangers with standalones, because there are definitely some exceptions. BUT the majority of them have a nicely wrapped up ending, which leaves me as a reader very satisfied.
- More Variety- You get more variety in stories when you read standalones because each book you pick up is completely different. With a series, you are (most likely) reading about the same characters and the same world, just with some differences in plot. I like change, I can’t be tied down to one set of characters for multiple books.
- No fear about the second book being bad- I hate when I dedicate my time to a series but the second or third book do not live up to the standards of the first book. It is the absolute worst! And then it makes you not want to continue with the rest of the series, so it is just a huge mess.
- More action- Standalones are typically a lot more fast-paced than series. This is because the author needs to fit everything inside a certain number of pages. They don’t include all of the extra, unnecessary details that drag on forever. I can not stand slow moving books, and with a standalone, I am less likely to get that.
- Less time commitment- You don’t have to dedicate as much time to standalones because they are just one book. With a series, there is so much time involved in order to get through all of the books.
I can definitely acknowledge why people would prefer series. You can spend more time with the characters you fell in love with or with the world the author created. I think this also really depends on what genre you like to read. With high fantasy, you are more likely to get a series because the author needs to spend time describing and explaining everything. With contemporaries (which I prefer to read), it is easier to get everything said in one book.
So, which do you prefer? Standalone or series? Let’s have a discussion on this in the comments!