December 5, 2013 • Cee • Discussion

three c'sWell, guys, did you ever have an intricate system for reading series (especially for series that has more than five books)? Like say you’ve been waiting for the fourth book and the publishing date is approaching, you decide to reread the previous three books to refresh your memory of what happened?

The only time I had an actual reading system was when the last three Harry Potter books came out. (You’ll understand why this was a one-time deal.)

The Harry Potter series was a big part of childhood. I remember trying to read the first book to my little sister. I wanted to prove the awesomeness of Harry Potter to her, but she was having none of that. Ha. She’d interrupt, talking about mundane things because it was apparently far more interesting than wizards and magic. I remember when I was ten, a staff member at my summer camp read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and I was completely enthralled by the story. I have very fond memories of reading it.

But this reading system…it was a fucking failure. Plain and simple.

(I was at first like the guy with the thumbs up, but soon I became the girl facepalming.)

It was face-palming worthy.

It started with the fifth book – Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. I generally do not buy books on the day it hits the shelves, but for Harry Potter, I made an exception, and thus began a tradition of buying the remaining books on the day it was released and a semi-complicated plan of how I read the books.

The steps were:

  1. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (book 5) releases on a weekend in 2003. I get up a little earlier than I usually do on a weekend and force my mom to take me (and my sisters) to buy the book at Barnes & Noble.
  2. Once I bought the book, I return home and don’t read it. (Yes, you read that right. I do not read it.)
  3. I read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (book 4) instead because I wanted to refresh my mind on what happened in this book.
  4. After I finish, I go to read Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (book 5), but I stop myself. A light bulb goes off in my head. I decide to wait until the next book is out to read it.
  5. A couple of years have passed. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (book 6) is finally released. I go to the bookstore and buy it.
  6. I put away the newly bought book on my shelf and read the previous book Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix (book 5). (I would’ve read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (book 4), but I remember what happens in that book so it’s unnecessary.)
  7. Once I’m finished, I wait until the next book comes out.
  8. I wait a couple of years and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (book 7) is finally released. I go out and buy it.
  9. At this point, I would read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (book 6), BUT I run into a problem. It was something I did not factor in – my laziness and my forgetfulness. FACEPALM!
    • For the life of me, I could not remember what happened in the previous book – Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix (book 5). This problem could’ve been solved if I reread it so I could read the sixth book. But you know what I did instead? I said fuck it. I gave up. The reason: I am goddamn lazy. I realized I had to read three thick books and I was not feeling up to the daunting task. Even though Harry Potter is one of my favorite series, lazy teenage-Cee was shutting down and saying “nope.”

  10. I put the three books away on my bookshelf, its pages still pristine. I have not attempted to finish the series since then, which was six years ago. It’s disappointing I never finished the series. I know I should read them, but mehhh.
  11. I will allow you to side-eye and judge me. You can even laugh at me. (I do it all the times. ;D)

THIS WAS NOT A GOOD READING SYSTEM. What was my teenage self thinking? (She was obviously crazy.) I really don’t understand why I thought this was a good plan. This reading system did not make any sense! I could read the books at any time, but I chose not to. WHY? I DON’T KNOW. It was doomed to fail. My friends told me it wouldn’t work, and it didn’t, but I was being stubborn and refused to see the neon lights. *sigh* It’s somewhat embarrassing, but I find it an amusing story.

Since then, I pretty much avoid putting too much thought in the way I read series. I don’t want another failed reading system. ;D

Did you have a reading system that you use for series? Something that either worked or didn’t? What did you think of my Harry Potter one? Pretty useless system, right?


13 Responses to “THE THREE C’S: CANDID CONVERSATIONS WITH CEE | A Really Bad Reading System (featuring the Harry Potter series!)”

  1. *gapes at you in horror* You…you stopped after the fifth book? *slowly backs away*
    I can’t say that I’ve ever consciously made a reading system for series. I mean, if I buy a sequel but forget what the first book is about, I’ll read the first book again and then go on to the next one. I will say that I usually don’t put sequels on my TBR list until I’ve read the first book, just in case I don’t like it. But that’s pretty much it. I’m not too picky. :)
    I actually cannot believe you never finished HP. It doesn’t compute with my brain. The seventh book (well, the second part of it at least) just blew my mind, so I can’t imagine having it on my shelf and reading it. Especially after what happens in the sixth book, because that was just cruel, J. K. Rowling. CRUEL.

  2. Amy M. says:

    I’ve never had a reading system for a series, but I get your problem. I usually have to reread the previous book before reading a newly released sequel to refresh my memory of what happened.

    I am with you on the Harry Potter thing though. I never finished it! I stopped at #5! Of course, my reasoning behind stopping is a bit different from yours. I ended up not reading the 6th book because the ending was ruined. Seriously whoever drove by the bookstore on the day of its release, yelling out the window that “so and so dies on page…” is just terrible and totally unnecessary. So I do have #6 and #7 in pristine condition. & I should read it, but that’d mean reading 1-5 again. & With all these other books on my TBR, I just can’t get myself to read them.

  3. Katie says:

    CEE! Stop what you’re doing and go finish that series. :P

    I am forgetful, too, but these days, I usually just resign myself to maybe being a little lost when I start a newly releases book in a series. If it’s an important book, I might do some re-reading, like I skim-re-read all the Psy-Changelings before the new ones came out. I think I usually re-read Harry Potter before a new one came out, but . . . I don’t actually remember, haha.

  4. This is a pretty strange system. At least you’ve read most of the HP books… I haven’t started any of them (but plan to…eventually)

    I don’t really have a system. Most of the time I try to read the next book in the series ASAP, occasionally putting it of because of lack of time or fear of feels. Sometimes I’ll reread the books before it because I can’t remember what happened, think I need to know as many little details as possible, or I really loved the series. Other times I think I remember most of the important things or can’t be bothered to reread so launch back in (if I don’t remember something my memory is usually jogged by something in the novel.

  5. It’s okay Cee, I haven’t even read ANY of the Harry Potter books and I don’t know if I’m ever going to read it. I really wish that I read it during my childhood, but I thought back then that it was way too long, and I was more interested in the Goosebumps series and Katie Kazoo Switcheroo books lol. I hope you finish the whole series one day.

  6. Ummm tell me you’ve gone back and read the books. Properly.

  7. Arial says:

    This is definitely the best thing I have read all day.

    I won’t judge you for your odd reading system. (I remember you saying something about it when I confessed that I hadn’t read the series either.) But it is very amusing. I don’t think I could ever have the willpower to keep myself from reading a book that I was waiting that long for. But, there ARE some perks to waiting, such as avoiding the agony that comes after finishing those dreaded cliffhangers. :)

  8. I don’t really have any reading systems that I can think of, but I probably do without knowing it. I was lucky (sort of?) and didn’t read the Harry Potter series years and years ago when they were still being released and instead read them all together in the spring. I liked it because I could remember everything that happened and I didn’t put off reading them like I can often do.

    Loved reading this, Cee! It’s really got me thinking!

  9. Angie says:

    Way back before my TBR list got huge (thanks goodreads) I used to re-read the entire series prior to a new book coming out. Then I started getting books from the library and having so many to read that I just couldn’t do that anymore. Yes… half the time I forget what the book was even about. Soooooo I have to go to wikipedia and just hope someone has written a synopsis of the plot on there!

  10. I don’t have a system. Maybe I should, because what I do now for most series, unless they are trilogies, is just reread everything. I read pretty fast so I’ve been able to do this so far.

    I say read HP, though!

  11. Kelly L. says:

    Psst, this is why Recaptains exist. ;D
    And if Recaptains don’t have the book I want, I just grab the book, skim it, and hope that I’ll remember what had happened in the previous book. If I had taken notes for that book, yay for me! :D<3

  12. Well, because I have so many books to read, by the time I even start thinking about starting a series half the time all the books are out, so I just read them in order. If they aren’t all out, I start reading up until the point of the not yet published book. When the published book comes out I’ll either 1. If it’s only the second book, re-read the first one or if it’s later in the series I’ll just skim through my review of it. Honestly though, I’m pretty good at jumping into plots. I tend to remember everything about a book; the title, the author, the cover, the character, you name it. Sometimes my mind is hazier than other times, but I’m constantly astonished when my memory is pristine about a book that I read in my childhood.

    ~Remy @ Books In Her Head

    P.S. What I did with the Harry Potter books was refuse to read any of the books until they and all the movies were out to prevent myself from spoilers, and then I spent an entire summer, (more like a week) devouring all the books and movies in a quick time period. I recommend that you try them again, just because they continue to get better as the series progresses! :)

  13. Charleen says:

    This is the main reason why I try to wait for a series to be complete, and then I just read them all at once. Not that that’s a solution to your system, since the whole problem was three books being too daunting. It’s not always easy to wait, but given the choice I’d much rather immerse myself in the world and enjoy the story as a whole. Much better than getting the story in bits and pieces and then either have to re-read (not that I’m against re-reading, but it’s frustrating feeling like I HAVE to) or just hope I remember enough of what happened before.

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