Let’s say you start a light novel series with 20 volumes. Do you read all the volumes that are available before moving to another? Do you read until you get tired and then switch?
With anime or manga I usually finish everything that’s been published before moving to another series because I like to immerse myself in the story, but I feel this system does not translate well with light novels because of the time needed to read everything.
But in the other hand, I think that if I start multiple series I may not finish them ever because of the same reason, plus having to choose what to read between the books I already started or even to start a new one.
What is your approach?
I almost never read a series straight through. First, many series become stale if I read too quickly. Second, if I really like a series I intentionally take breaks to savor it! For example, I read one volume of シャドーハウス per month until I caught up, and now I read new volumes right when they come out. I did read New Game in two batches (1-6, 7-13) and a few series straight through, but that’s more the exception than the rule. And I certainly have never read straight through for a LN series.
I have ADHD so I’ve learned to just embrace it and go where my brain wants to. Sometimes that means reading a full (shorter) (manga) series in a matter of days, sometimes it means reading a series halfway and then reading a bunch of other things and picking up the first series again a year later. If I try to force myself to read something while my brain’s pining after something else, it generally doesn’t go very well. I don’t get very far, and I probably won’t have very much fun either since I’m constantly fighting with my brain who’s decided that, yes, A gave me dopamine yesterday, but today is a new day and the only thing that’ll give me dopamine now is B.
I always have probably 5-8 novels/LNs ongoing at any one time (including book club picks), but only 2-3 in active rotation, and the ones in active rotation are subject to change even before I’ve finished any of them. Currently I’ve got 1 in active rotation—I finished the other last night and have pulled the next volume but not started it yet—1 in semi-active rotation, and then 5 more on the backburner. And I have even more manga series than that started, and yes most of them I own at least the next volume, if not the whole series.
Sure, it often means that it takes me forever to finish a specific thing—hell, I’ve got one book, a short story collection which is the first thing other than song lyrics that I attempted to read in JP, that this month it’ll be a full 2.5 years since I started it and I’ve still only read about half (whereas if I read it now, time and energy and my brain willing I could read it cover to cover in 3-4 days)—and there’ve even been a couple times where I accidentally left something long enough to forget where I was and restarted the chapter when I picked it back up… but the tradeoff is that I get to read a whole lot more than if I forced myself to stick with one thing even when I wasn’t in the mood for it.
Then there’s also the fact that I seem to get burned out on series sooner in JP and in EN, though whether that’s got anything to do with my reading speed or not, I’ve still no idea. But sometimes, even when I want to read something, I just can’t, but I can read something else, so I have to switch before finishing it anyway or else I’ll get Actually burned out. And then there’s my favorite series, which is also my hyperfixation/special interest, which makes me Feel Things too much because of my emotional dysregulation and I have to take breaks even when I very much Do Not want to because it makes me Too Crazy. I could be on the last arc right now if it weren’t for that, but nooo
It really depends on my enjoyment of the series and if I get interrupted by some other series or bookclub or whatnot.
I read 本好き in from start to finish (using the web novel once I reached the end of the published content). I think I also did that for 蜘蛛ですが、何か (not that I enjoyed it that much, but it was just super fast to read).
But except for those exceptions, like the others, I usually take breaks from series. In most cases, I read one volume at a time, with a bunch of other stuffs in between.
I tend to cycle between 3 LN series at one time. At the moment, I’m reading a couple volumes of かくりよの宿飯, then a couple volumes of ティアムーン帝国物語, and after that a couple of volumes of 本好きの下剋上. I also mix manga in there, but I tend to read more novels than manga, at least on a regular basis, since manga is more bingeable.
This system works for me, since I prefer a bit of variety, but within a smaller number of series so that I remember everything that’s happening and don’t have more than 1-2 months between books in a series.
Even though in my head it makes a lot more sense to continue with a single series, especially since getting used to a particular author makes their works easier to read… I still prefer juggling, I guess? For some reason reading 10 pages each from 3 completely different series feels a lot easier than 30 pages from one.
I go back and forth between “reading 10+ things at once” and “obsessively reading this one thing!!” I also periodically drop various things (and sometimes pick them up later), to reduce choice paralysis. Ideally I would just have 1-2 things at any given time… But ADHD means I just have to roll with it sometimes
- Manga (excited): binge whole series on the spot
- Manga (normal): read on and off
- LN 20s: read series straight through
- LN 30s: usually pause mid-book
- LN (bookclub): probably drop (3/3 for the main LN club)
Lately I’m reading in lessons and book club. So 3/8 things on my reading list are things I can “just finish”. This is a bit frustrating. I’m also reading 2 very hard visual novels (Fate/Stay Night and Fate/Grand Order), so I’ve completely stalled on my LNs.
The last time I tried playing a Japanese VN my reading just poofed to nothing, too. My PS Vita is sleeping safely on a shelf for now…
I like sticking to one series, because I get used to a certain writing style and that helps improve my reading speed, and solidifies common vocabulary used by that author, or vocab for a certain theme.
Like I’ve been learning military related words to prepare myself to read series like Full Metal Panic, 86, Metal Gear Solid, Gundam… etc. SRS is super helpful, but I’d prefer to spend more time seeing those words in context.
I understand wanting to take your time and cherish a series, but there are so many good series out there, I might end up juggling too many series at once. So I’d just prefer to stick to one, maybe two and 一心不乱に読む.
Besides, I can always reread a series in the future. No doubt there will be things I missed on my first read.
Yeah something similar has happened to me last month, I read the last 4 higurashi VNs I had pending and I almost had no time for reading LNs
They vary wildly in level and time. Like anything else, you’ve gotta find something level-appropriate. One cool trick is to find playthroughs where people read out loud (eg for F/SN or FGO)
thoughts on level, for a few things I've read
This is the third time I’ve tried to read F/SN. The first two times, I quit because it was hard to the point of stressing me out. It’s the hardest thing I’ve tried to read + 60 hrs of playtime (more like 120 at my reading level, lol). Idk if I’ll finish it this time either.
Otoh おいでませ、こくりさん is 2 hrs and easier than most books I’ve read. Stuff like うたわれるもの or 五等分の花嫁 I could play without too much struggle (but still plenty of lookups).
Based on jpdb they seem equivalent to reading a LN anyway. To be fair, it’s actually FGO’s gameplay
and spending too much time on the forums/tweaking lists that’s eating my time. But Fate VNs definitely consume my “reading hard things” energy.
I’m someone who reads a lot of different books at the same time, and I’m honestly also hesitant to start long series, especially in Japanese. With manga in English, I find it easier to binge read, but I just lose steam after 2-3 volumes in Japanese.
Honestly, as long as I’ve finished the book/volume I’m in, I don’t feel guilty if I don’t move forward with a series. I’ve forced myself to read content I disliked in the past and nowadays, I’ve just accepted that it’s ok to stop if you’re not enjoying it.
Manga: I binge.
Books: depends on whether I am listening to it or physically reading it, how many volumes and if it is finished.
But, generally speaking, if it is a lightnovel with 5+ volumes, I will pick one up now and then but not binge them, unless 1 volume ends in a big cliffhanger… then I might just pick up the next one immediately… or just read a couple of pages to resolve the cliffhanger.
Right now, I am giving priority to my physical TBR and I have almost no series on there, so LNs are on the backburner for the moment. (Only reading those for bookclubs.)
How do you handle reading multiple series?
How do people handle reading just a single series?! Even series that I really like, if they’re more than a few books/seasons long I at the very least need a palate cleanser show/book/manga.
As close as I can get to a serious answer, I try to read every day, ideally not starting something new, but if that’s what I want to do, that’s what I do. When I have too many half started things, I do try and go through and do a clean-up, or just decide that I’m done with a thing I’m not going to finish.
Full disclosure, I’m also one of those ADHD havers.
It is a tricky thing, isn’t it? When I started I thought I would just focus on one series at a time, but I got kinda bored with Kuma Bear about 10 or 11 books in so I took a break to read some shorter manga series, but then I also started reading the Kirby novels which I now also want to read all the way through. I think I’ve basically kidna settled on having one “big” series and a smaller manga that I read along side, but really I’m sort of bouncing between manga when I finish a volume of something. I have some shorter ones, but I’m also trying got read all of Mario-Kun which is like 57 volumes. It’s a mess lol.