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Guest Post | The Fall Of The Good Book?

The fall of the good book KH header
*image sourced via Pinterest
Book being the operative word here. Not books, trilogy or series – book. It seems that many authors have simply forgotten how to write a good story that can fit into about 350 pages. There are exceptions of course – the wonderful John Green many may argue as being one of the authors still being a fantastic advocate of the stand alone story.

Before I wrote this I had good look at my own bookshelf – the one in my university room at least. It hasn’t got many books on it, just the ones I’ve collected from Waterstones since I’ve been at University, or those I’ve brought from home for friends to borrow. It contains 9 complete or partly-completed series/trilogies. There are only 9 books on the shelf that aren’t part of a series or trilogy. I also own 5 series in eBook format.

Most of the time, I love an epic series. Most of them feature worlds that can hardly be contained in the constraints of the pages, characters you become incredibly attached to and an exhilarating storyline that drags you along with it. But there are negative elements to it too – mostly the waiting for the next instalment. We’ve all done it, finished a book the next day after it was released to find out the next book isn’t realised for a year. A YEAR? What are you going to do with yourself until then?

And there’s the disappointment when the final book finally comes out. That’s not how you planned it! Doesn’t the author realise you’ve invested YEARS of your life into this thing? How dare they.

There’s also the nagging feeling of needing to start the next book immediately, if it’s available. Two weeks ago I read six books in a series in succession and completely ignored my dissertation. Oops.

Sure, there are plenty of good standalone books out there, I’m sure. But most people (especially myself) find out which books to read through other people. Or what’s on display or prominent in a bookshop. Or what we see being advertised. And most of those books are what’s popular. And what is popular is the series.

The good standalone book can be every bit as satisfying as a good series. The story can be just as epic, the characters just as well developed and you can get just as engrossed without many of the negative aspects. Once the book is finished, it’s finished. We don’t need to know what happens in their lives for the next athousandmillionyears, the good parts over! There’s no disappointment, because you don’t have time to build up massive expectations. There’s no nagging feeling that you should be doing other things when you are reading the next book, and no nagging feeling when you don’t read the next book either. There’s no waiting! 

So why aren’t they as popular?
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This post was written by Guest Blogger Kath.

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