Personally, I’m a re-reader.
I suppose it’s because I enjoyed the story so much, that I want to recapture that special feeling that I had while reading the story for the first time.
And many times while re-reading, I have found something New within the story, that I missed the first, second, third, or the multiple times of reading.
One set of books that I have returned to time and time again, is to David Eddings, fantasy series: The Belgariad, The Malloreon, and The Elenium, The Tamuli. Always finding something different, that I have missed on the many times of reading . I have read them that many times, I have lost count! And I now own them all in audio as well as in paperback/hardback. They are my guilty pleasure.
I love going back and re-visiting old friends, because that is what the characters have become over a period of time, friends.
Probably why I love reading books that are a part of a series.
It is like watching an ordinary wood block being carved, as the author whittles away at the block and the characters start to take shape, breathing life into their characters. Watching the author sanding off the raw edges and polishing them, so that they shine.
Recently I received a newsletter from the wonderful author Carolyn Hart, announcing that Walking On My Grave, would be her last Death on Demand book. With a message to her readers…
“I am always and ever grateful to the wonderful readers who have made it possible for me to be a writer.
From Death on Demand to Walking on my Grave, I’ve loved spending time with Annie and Max on their sea island. Walking on my Grave is their last adventure and I will leave them as I found them, young, happy, always there for each other. My thanks to the wonderful readers who welcomed them. It’s been fun.
Like all good things…they eventually come to an end.
But like all great works, they will continue to live on through the readers of the present and hopefully the readers of the future.
This lady has been entertaining and enthralling us, for the last 50 plus years.
And will continue to do so, for many more years to come. Because her books will draw us back time and time again.
Many of the series that I read (and re-read), were written long before I was a twinkle in my parents eyes. And in some cases, before they were twinkle’s in my grandparents eyes!
Like movies, that are watched and re-watched. Books have that same timeless appeal, to be read and re-read.
With each book that comes out, the author is presenting us with each new-born creation or continuing saga, for us to like or dislike. What is one persons cup of tea, is another’s poison, and visa versa.
Some series continue for years and years, with growing followers.
Some dwindle away, because the sales figures are not up to the publishers standard…it might help if they put some effort in publicising the books they publish, then they would get more sales…but that is like talking to a brick wall!
That doesn’t mean that the series was unpopular with readers or didn’t sell. It has nothing to do with the cost of publishing…it’s all to do with the bottom line…the profit it will make for the publisher. And as we have witnessed in the last 12 months with Berkley slashing their cozy series, even long running series have been dropped.
Or the author is no longer writing, or not writing for that series any more.
But just because a series has been discontinued, does not mean that it isn’t worth reading or re-reading.
I like to sample new books that come out. To see whether I like them or not. Some I will like, some I won’t. But until you try them, you won’t know either way. It’s like testing the water in the pool, either the temperature is just right, or you have to come back later in the day, when it has warmed up a bit.
I like the ‘Golden Age’ crime/murder/mysteries from the 1930’s, through to the Sixties. Many readers have done Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham and Ngaio Marsh, but there are scores and scores more authors, that are out there to be read.
Here is a list of some that I enjoy reading and re-reading:
John Dickson Carr – Dr. Gideon Fell mysteries – 23 books from 1932 to 1967 – Locked room/impossible crimes – some are still available in paper, but many have been reissued in kindle/e-book.
Carter Dickson (aka John Dickson Carr) – Sir Henry Merrivale mysteries – 22 books from 1934 to 1953 – Locked room/impossible crimes – some are still available in paper, but many have been reissued in kindle/e-book.
Elizabeth Daly – Henry Gamage mysteries – 16 books from 1940 to 1951 – Agatha Christie’s favourite American author – Henry is a Bibliophile and is later joined by Clara, who becomes his wife – some are still available in paper – but I don’t think that they have made it to digital format as of yet.
Leslie Ford (Zenith Brown) – Colonel John Primrose, and later joined by the widow Grace Latham mysteries – 16 books from 1934 to 1952 – Colonel John Primrose is a former intelligence officer, that is called in at times to help with tough murder cases, and Grace Latham tends to trip over said bodies! 😀 – these are harder to find in print format, and have not been reissued due to being considered not PC…which is a crock of pooh! Wish some publisher would take these books and republish them, it would be a crying shame to loose them because of stupidity!
David Frome (Also Zenith Brown) – Mr. Evan Pickerton mysteries – 12 books from 1930 to 1950 – Set in England and Mr Pinkerton helps Scotland Yard in their investigations – these are harder to find in print format. And as far as I know, like the Leslie Ford books, have never been reissued in digital format.
Frances Crane – Pat and Jean Abbott mysteries – 26 books in the series, all with colours in the titles – Pat is a private detective, who meets Jean in the first mystery, The Turquoise Shop – some have been reissued in print, but as of yet, not in digital format.
Frances and Richard Lockridge – Mr and Mrs North mysteries (Pam and Jerry) – 26 books – charming and ditzy mysteries from the 1940’s to 1963 – Jerry is a publisher, and Pam likes finding dead bodies! – these have been reissued a number of time over the last 30 plus years, and I consider well worth giving them a go – and are now been digitalised by Mysterious Press in the USA (not available outside the USA 😦 )
Stuart Palmer – Miss Hildegarde Wither mysteries – 14 novels and numerous short stories – from 1931 to 1955 – School teacher with a sharp tongue and a even sharper mind! – available in all formats, including audiobook.
And my all time favourite.
Patricia Wentworth – Miss Maud Silver mysteries – 32 books from 1928 to 1961 – ex-governess turned Private Enquiry Agent. With her knitting needles never far from her side, she graces the homes of the gentry, who are in need of her services – Available in all formats, including audiobook.