A trilogy of books–Read at once or take a break?

imageMy wife and I are reading The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson. I read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, read a few other books, then read The Girl Who Played With Fire, and am now reading a few other books, before I start The Girl Who Played With Fire.

My wife on the other hand, has gone from Book 1, straight to Book 2 and is now on Book 3. She does not like to read anything else until she has finished.

We are both enjoying them immensely. Reading reviews of the books, many people thought that both books were quite slow, and took a couple of hundred pages to speed up, but I was hooked right away. The first book starting with the delivery of pictures, with one missing drew me in and the introduction of Lisbeth Salander had me staying up late, just to find out what she would do next.

I feel it is important to cleanse my palate with other books before reading the next instalment.

My logic is this:

After Book 3, that’s it! – We know sadly he is dead, and although there is an almost complete book 4, problems surrounding Larsson’s long term partner and his family means it is very unlikely to be published. I am enjoying them so much, I don’t want to overload myself, and I want the tease of knowing there is another book, but I have to finish another few books on my list before I can read it.

I feel that cleansing the palate is important. I would not want it to appear as one big book, and stepping away from it for a short period, allows me to build up tension, to forget a few things, so that when I go back I get to discover it all over again.

Also, you get used to a writing style. Stieg Larsson has his own unique style (filled with coffee and sandwiches), and reading three books back to back in my opinion, would result in my finding the next book I read unusual, as they drink water and not coffee!

Even reading the first two of the Ian Fleming, James Bond books, I didn’t read them back to back. I read a few other books in between.

I rarely read a book a second time, and if I do it will be many many years before I pick it up again, whereas my wife has a memory that within a year she will have forgotten the story and could read it all over again.

Obviously, each person is different and they choose to read whatever way suits them, but what would you do?

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “A trilogy of books–Read at once or take a break?

  1. Personally, I always read a series of books together – that is, if they’re gripping enough. Sometimes I find myself reading a series that’s good, but tough to get through, so I just tend to forget about it for a few months before continuing.

  2. I don’t read three books simultaneously whether it may be trilogy or three different books but the third book of Larsson was so irresistible. I wanted to read it as soon as I could, while the past events of the first and second book were still fresh on my head, while I was still on my momentum. And yah, i also noticed the coffee and sandwiches were often mentioned in the books 🙂

  3. When it comes to books that I read for pleasure, I like to go with my mood at the time. If I finish one and can’t wait to jump into the next, I jump. If I feel like I need a bit of time and space to digest before I move on, I do that. I like to have as few restrictions as possible when it comes to my leisure activities. Life has enough of them already. Of course, that does often lead to the feelings of loss when I get to the end and there are no more to jump into. But that, in its own way, is a good thing. It means I’ve just had a really good time.

  4. The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo works as a stand alone novel quite well. I read it and had an interlude between that and the remaining two. I found his writing style quite dense and whilst I enjoyed it as a book and loved the character of Lisbeth there wasn’t a huge impulse to devour the others. They sat on my to-read shelf for perhaps a couple of months.

    Fire, however, gripped me. I loved Larsson’s courage in reintroducing us to Lisbeth for about fifty pages and then letting her disappear from the story. Along with Blomquist, I ached to see more of her and that alone propelled me through the slightly monochrome overly detailed (perhaps, yes, journalistic) style of writing. And what a cliff hanger! I went straight from Fire to Hornets’ Nest within the same sitting. Treat these two as a single book split in two (which seems very in vogue at the moment, isn’t it Mr George R R Martin?) and enjoy!

    On the subject of reading trilogies, I read the brilliant His Dark Materials literally simultaneously. I started with Subtle Knife, left it at home one day and picked up Northern Lights and left both at home another day and picked up Amber Spyglass. They needed re-reading afterwards to sort out!!!

  5. Pingback: Trilogy Books ~ by Amy Lyn « greencarbon2112

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