It is time to launch the series reader’s anonymous group and this is why. Libraries can’t keep going on like this; our shelves simple won’t support this new obsession with book series. Here at our library we have series that are rapidly approaching 50 books. And I do mean rapidly, more than 2 books a year are added to some of these huge series making our readers very happy while putting a real strain on our shelving space. You know the culprits Stuart Woods, J.D. Robb, David Baldacci, need I mention JAMES PATTERSON. What is a fiction librarian to do? I’ve tried grousing and moaning, whining and rolling my eyes, even giving dirty looks when patrons request the newest book in the series, all to no avail. Patrons will even admit that the new ones aren’t as good as the early books but they still want to read them!
A series of books I’m thinking of started in 1994 so it has taken about 25 years to fill completely four shelves of our bookcase, for just one series. These same authors always have more than one series. We have to keep 25-year-old books because we must have every book in the series or patrons are unable to read the newest book unless they have read the first. Sometimes I’ve been forced to buy 30 year old books because we must read James Lee Burke’s Robicheaux series from the beginning. When books wore out libraries would discard them and make room for the new ones. No more, now we must own and stock every book ever written by an author.
Okay; I can accept that, but it is really going too far when authors from the grave keep writing series. The Jack Ryan series and the Mitch Rapp series are still going strong even though their authors Tom Clancy and Vince Flynn passed away in 2013. Robert B. Parker beats them both with no less than three current series and he died in 2010. I don’t even like to mention this author because her books were creepy even before she died in 1986 but V.C. Andrews it is time you stop with the series; you are dead, accept it and move on.
I call this first meeting of the Series Reader’s Anonymous to order. Today we will be discussing the newer, shorter Department Q series written by Jussi Adler-Olsen. Hey, no one should go cold turkey. Baby steps!!!