Have you ever had the experience of simultaneously being so excited and entrance by a series of books that you want to spend every minute reading to find out what happens next and wanting to pace yourself in order to savor your infinite time with the characters? I sure have. In fact I am there right now.
It doesn't seem to happen with books of necessarily high literary content. (Though, how often are those part of a series anyway?) I tend to find myself in that place with works of fiction that have characters I have come to care for and high amounts of action. I can think of three times, over the last many years, that I have visited this place. And, in all cases one of the main characters is a female. Girl, actually. Teenager to be precise.
Now, some will take this as a confession. Remember I've already told you they aren't amazing bits of literature, but dang compelling. Living overseas. I have had an advantage. I didn't now about any of these books until the entire series was out.
(On a side note, my favorite novel, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell I stumbled across and had to wait, what seemed like FOREVER, but was probably many months for the sequel to be published in order to find out the resolution. The Sparrow is the only book that upon reading the last page I immediately flipped to the front and began reading again. And, if you are an audio reading The Sparrow is done well, but the sequel, Children of God, is not.)
So what have these series been? The summer of 2008 I was visiting my best girlfriend and her family in Wyoming. She handed me Twilight. We were headed on a camping trip and I inquired if I would want to plow through the rest of the books as well so we borrowed book two and three from the library. The fourth arrived from Amazon the morning we headed out. I hiked and played during the days and devoured the books at night. In five days I knew how it ended.
Last spring I spent a weekend with The Hunger Games trilogy. (I am sure I surfaced to spend time with my toddler, but it seemed like a weekend retreat to me.) Right now I am savoring Forever, the last of a trilogy I started in June. I read the first book, Shiver, thinking it was simply a novel. It wasn't until I turned the last page and found the 'coming soon' that I discovered there was more to the story. I tried to go buy the next one, but it wasn't available in the country. I put number two and three on hold at my home library for the summer and waited. Part way through the summer my turn came up for the second one. It was a pleasure to revisit the characters and walk the next section of their lives with them. I was still quire a ways down the hold list for the third one and contemplated purchasing it several times, but, for many reasons I didn't.
Now, back in country I decided to reward myself for all of the single parenting I had been (happily) doing to support my husband in his new job and downloaded Forever to our Kindle. I savored the idea of enjoying it over the long weekend. Now I am caught between being anxious to know what happens and wanting to devour every word and wanting to stretch out my time with it - savor the moments that will soon come to an end.