Discussion Time - Keeping Track of Series

I read a lot and am in the middle of a lot of series. Sometimes it is so hard for me to remember what happened in the first book, but then I don't want to have to re-read the entire series to remember what is going on.

How do you keep track of characters and the storyline? I have thought of a few ideas to keep myself organized and reminded, but I haven't tackled them yet. I would love to hear what you think of my ideas and how you get organized as well.

Adding extra detail to reviews-
The first thing I thought of was to list out the main characters and a quick, detailed reminder of the plot. It would be hard not to put a spoiler in this section, so it would have to be masked or hidden somehow. But then I could refer back to my original review and refresh myself with the characters and previous plot.

Only read series once they have been completed -
This is a tough one because, one, it is hard to wait, and two, some series can be extremely long. As I mentioned in a previous post, if I wait until I can binge the entire series, it can be so overwhelming. Knowing that I have 12 books to read at once is a bit intense and I would not want to binge that many knowing that there are so many others I want to read.

Re-reading the series -
Ugh, this one gets to me. I know that this is probably the easiest thing to do, but then I am taking away time from reviews and new books. This is probably not a bookish concern for non book bloggers, but for those of us reading to share the content with the world, it definitely is an issue. I started to re-read the series in a alternate format, going form book to audio or vice versus to get a different view and a new understanding. But this, once again, does take time and timing. I have gotten so excited for Winter by Marissa Meyer that I started to listen to the entire series as audiobook, I started way to early and now I am ahead of the game for finishing all the audiobooks before Winter is released.

So, there is no real good answer to how to remember everything in a series. I really love when authors give an explanation of what happened in the previous book and who characters are in the story. But, I know that this is also annoying when singeing a series. I want to know what is going on, but if I am already aware, it is redundant. It is a double edged sword.

I would love to hear how you remember where you are in all your series and what your tips are for being in the "middle" of so many series.

Current my series include:

The Perfectionist - Sara Shepard
Throne of Glass - Sarah J Maas
Talon - Julie Kagawa
Midnight Crossroad - Charlaine Harris
The Summer I Turner Pretty - Jenny Han
Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard
Firebird series - Claudia Grey
The Lunar Chronicles - Marissa Meyer
The Raven Cycle - Maggie Stiefvater
The Winner's Trilogy - Marie Rutoski
A Darker Shade of Magic - VE Schwab
Kanin Chronicles - Amanda Hocking
The Hundred - Kass Morgan
The Naturals - Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Rebel Belle - Rachel Hawkins

As you can see, I have a lot going on. This is only part of the series I have actually committed to. There are others that I have started and I am not sure if I don't want to continue or not. I am sure that someone who is not a book blogger and doesn't understand our deep love of books, doesn't even seen this as an issue. But hey,here I am, worrying about not remembering enough of the previous book in the series to start reading the new one. #bookishproblems

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  1. Series are something. I often like them because I get to revisit characters I previously met and liked. But then I have to remember everything I read about a year before the next one comes out--but I don't like to reread, so hence the dilemma. I have a lot of series to finish but just maybe I'll be able to catch up. Great post!

  2. I don’t read many series because I tend to lose interest in the series while waiting for the next book to come out. I prefer to wait until all of the books are out and then marathon it.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  3. I'm terrible with series, I tend to avoid them since I lost interest overtime but nowadays every other novel is part of a series :( I only start series that I want to finish now. Awesome post! <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

  4. I cannot bring myself to re read books just to read the sequels! I want to read new books not the same ones again even if I could benefit! I want to read The Naturals series so bad!!!

  5. Oh wow, this is a GREAT question! I used to have a really good memory (before blogging and reading so many books ha) that I could really keep track of series and read the latest in each series every time a new book came out! Not so any more! For shorter/favorite series, I re-read (ex: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater) every time a new book in the series comes out but that is only a four book series! I think now I am more into reading an entire series once it's finished. Granted, there are some series I have been reading and it sucks because I avoid reading the new books when they come out if I don't remember everything but maybe I should start taking notes, etc. like you are suggesting in this post.

  6. Oh nice to see a younger person having trouble remembering books back in the series! I really don't reread much - who does! I rely on the author sort of helping me to remember in the new book, some do that well, some overkill it! Hate waiting for a new book in a series and yes can be daunting to start at the beginning of a long series but I pick a series out and go for it.

  7. I literately have dozens of series. I am currently trying to finish some before I take on more, but like you said, it can be hard. I am finding out that waiting for a series to come out makes it more enjoyable if I can get myself to hold off. Even if it is a long series, I can read it at my own pace instead of waiting for a release. Another alternative that I have tried is to hop in a series after several installments come out which allows me to still read at a good pace and new books keep coming out.
    I keep track in a massive leather journal. It is overwhelming sometimes.

  8. There is a blog that does nothing but summarize books in series. I am totally blanking on the name of it. Someone is going to mention it! If I think of it I'll leave another comment:-)

  9. I think I have something ridiculous like over 50 series I've started and will probably continue. UGH! For the most part I've taken to binging the series. I have so many books I want/need to read that unless the newly released first book in a new series is something that I can't live without reading right then, than I wait. I do a lot of re-reading. Or I just continue on with the sequel in the hopes that it'll spark some memory. I also go to the Recaptions website or search for detailed reviews and spoilers.
    Stupid series'....
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

  10. OMG - you are in the middle of a ton of series! I always hope for the best when I read series - I hope that as I start reading the next book, the last one will come back to me as I'm reading. Sometimes this goes better than others. I'm just not a big fan of rereading when there are so many new and amazing books just waiting out there!

  11. I generally remember stuff, or figure it out as I go if I don't. I don't know if you've heard of it, but you may find the Recaptains site useful.

  12. I have sooo many series that I'm in the middle of. I don't even want to listen all of them, it's gonna be crazy!!! I always get them mixed up too xD

    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books

  13. I've had the same problem. I have so many unfinished series because I keep starting new ones. About a month ago, I made a new rule for myself. I'm allowed to read the first book in a new series that I'm excited about. Then, I wait until all the books in the series are released, reread the first one, and finish the whole series. I may not read them all at once, but I will read them in close proximity and I'm not allowed to read the first in a new series or finish another series until I've finished the one I'm currently working on. It's been working pretty well because I can space out the series with standalone books. I think this will help me take the time to finish series rather than sporadically reading and trying to remember what's going on in several of them at once.

    This might not work for you, but I hope you do find something that works!

  14. me and another blogger were JUST having this conversation a few minutes ago! i'm having an extremely hard time keeping up with all these series lately, and by the time the new one gets out i almost always have to reread the previous book in the series. i started using goodreads and looking at the comments and descriptions to refresh my memory, and that helps now! great ideas though! i like the idea of adding extra detail to reviews!

  15. I feel your pain! This is a huge problem for me. I don't have a system AT ALL! Usually I'll read reviews of the earlier books in the series, since there are reviewers/bloggers who basically give book reports. I wish I had time to reread previous books because I feel like when I don't I miss so many details. I also wish I had the patience to wait for an entire series to be released, but that will never happen.

    Emily @ Follow the Yellow Book Road


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