Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Does the internet ruin finishing a series?

So recently my mom read Divergent,  She loved it.  The movie was coming out so she was interested in seeing what it was all about.  She and I were texting back and forth about it and I told her that I didn't really care for the ending in Allegiant.  All of a sudden I get a text from her saying she went ahead and looked on wikipedia for what happens in the rest of the series.


This discussion with my mom got me thinking... do we now not finish books that we think could be bad because of the help of the internet?  I wonder that if prior to the internet and being able to find story endings would my mom actually have read the whole series?  There are even a few series I don't want to bother finishing because ... hey I can just google it.  Sometimes a series just get so boring or off that I just don't want to finish it but still would like to know what happens to the characters. 


Honestly the internet has really made us be able to not sit through mediocre entertainment.  Movies, books, even yes video games! (For me at least.. I google when I am stuck on a game). There is even an amazing blog called the Recaptains that summarize series for us readers.  I do like this... sometimes it takes so long for series to come out anymore and I just don't want to re-read the whole thing when a new book is released.  I just can't remember everything that happens and need to get a recap (Game of Thrones anyone????).

It's hard to decide.  Does the internet save us from reading a boring or slow series?  Or does it cause us to miss the journey of reading books?


65 comments:

  1. I also have decided to not finish the Divergent series, based on the reviews I've been reading online he he. Without the internet there would be no bloggers reviewing books and then our tbr lists would be totally out of control (well, more so than now lol). I think the internet is a good tool for readers (I can't even imagine a world without Goodreads!). Interesting topic today :)

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  2. I think it's definitely altered the way we take in such things. For the better or the worse? A little of both, I guess. I've definitely "skipped ahead" by recap/spoiler means for a few things.

    It's sometimes (though not always) the most satisfying to read/experience something from start to finish all on one's own. But I have many friends who knew, as one example, the identity of the Final Five Cylons before watching those episodes and they picked out a lot of clues and fun stuff that I missed, not knowing those identities and watching the episodes as they came out on SyFy. (With agonizing waits in-between seasons!)

    So, who knows? Good topic! I wonder sometimes if movies/ books of the future will all come with hologram hyperlinks/ click-here-for-more-info, etc. Could be kind of cool, actually.

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  3. Noooo! I would never do that. It would ruin the ending for me. For example, in this particular series, I know that she died in the last book. If I knew that after just reading the first book, I would be very, very mad.

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  4. Michelle {Book Hangovers}April 16, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    No, the internet has nothing to do with it. It's up to you and what you want to do! Finish reading or look it up! I always read the book til the end, but that just me and part of my OCD lol!!! It will literally get on my last nerve not finishing a book or anything, really!! As for reviews, yea sometimes reading bad reviews sucks, but hey every one has their on opinions. But I won't know unless I read it for myself. Now for reviews with spoilers. I just WILL NOT read them. That's why it is a MUST for bloggers to put *spoiler* up, to alert us readers.

    I think the internet is a great thing! Especially for us bloggers ;)

    Michelle @ Book Hangover Blabs Books

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  5. Well I know the internet has saved me from being stuck in video games! Which is good for me because otherwise I know I would have just given up. So I think that if someone is iffy on a series and just wants to know how it ends, that's okay because there are so many fantastic books out there, and it's nice to be able to free some time up to explore that. I'm not even really sure I'm happy I read the whole Divergent series, maybe I should have just googled it... Like Michelle said in her comment though, it really is up to the reader - the internet is just the tool. And I'm glad to be able to use it to help me when I can!

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  6. I love spoilers. So much. When I am really into a series, I look up what happens. It doesn't ever stop me from finishing though.

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  7. I think it's both - perhaps it discourages us from finishing a series because we know the ending, but I also think that it makes it so easy to find new books out there that we may like.
    Personally, I actually like knowing what is going to happen a lot, because otherwise I'm so stressed I can't enjoy the book.

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  8. The internet does change the way people read, I think, but I would hope it helps more than hinders. Sure, people may decide to avoid finishing a series, but it could save them from spending time on a "bad" book and allow them to read something more enjoyable.

    Lauren from www.shootingstarsmag.blogspot.com

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  9. Jessica @ a GREAT readApril 16, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    Oh that's a tough one to answer. I know I can't always get to read books as fast as I want to, and when people start talking about the books and basically giving out the answers, I get mad. Really mad. Of course that's with the books I want to read myself. I want to learn things on my own. People in general ended up spoiling one of the deaths in the last Harry Potter book for me. Since it was during my part time job at a grocery store and the person happened to be my manager's daughter, I couldn't really go off on her!

    I've visited the Recaptains myself, but sadly, have yet to find a recap I needed to read. There have been some I was hoping they have read, but they didn't. But I do love the concept of what they do!

    Back to the original question, I guess I'm still sort of old school. I want to read the book myself and get the answers that way. Not rely on the internet. I mean, why do you bother to read if you just want someone to tell you what happened?

    I think it could be slightly different in regards to movies and video games. I can't say for sure since I don't look for answers for either on the internet. Heck, I stopped reading movie reviews after a scathing review of a movie I loved that was in our newspaper at the time of the release. It just really grated on my nerves. And this was years before I started blogging too!

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  10. Sarah @ Girl!ReporterApril 16, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    I've not even started the Divergent series because I heard the ending wasn't great. I think I will read it eventually, but I guess because I heard peoples' opinions about the ending I've put other books ahead of Divergent in my to-read list.

    With regards to television series, I'm pretty good at avoiding spoilers, and I'm also pretty decent at not bothering to find out what happens at the end of a television programme in case I want to watch it in the future. However, I used to love spoilers and finding out what happened, so it's taken years of training!

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  11. I think that it's interesting that you too chose not to finish the Divergent series. I suppose I did the same thing as my mom with the Fifty Shades of Gray series. I read the first book to see what all the hype was about but I still was interested to find out what happens to the characters. So I googled it! LOL!

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  12. I have actually seen people use a site called Thinklink (http://www.thinglink.com/) where you can post an image of say a book cover and link onto the image. So you can link up the author's website, the book trailer, etc. I think it's neat and I have started thinking about using it. Just more time into each blog post though! LOL!

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  13. Well the story was spoiled for me... (speaking of you might want to mark that as a spoiler!). I still read it though because I did enjoy the journey. Sometimes when a series is so big I guess the internet has kind of made it so you can get spoiled anywhere.

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  14. I can't stand not finishing series myself!!! The only time I don't is if the first book just isn't that great. Then I will google the rest of the series LOL! I really am all about marking spoilers in reviews too. Typically I don't read a review for a book I haven't read if I plan on reading it... but if I do read it I really hope for no spoilers. That is just the WORST!

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  15. Did you then go and read the Allegiant plot on the internet? That is what I would've done if I wasn't going to continue on in the series. Now it is going to be two movies... so oooooo ooo yeah that sucks.

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  16. The internet has saved me too on video games. Back in the day (ahem no age reveal here!) there was Game Genie which would help get through areas. Or we would actually buy the walkthrough books. I remember when I played this game King's Quest I was soooo lost with NO help.

    I have to agree about Allegiant. One of the things I told my mom was I wasn't sure if I should've read that book or not. That was all I had to say to have her google the plot.

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  17. My mom is all about spoilers too. She will actually flip to the last page of a book to see what happens and THEN read the story. She flipped through the last Sookie book handed it to me and told me she was done. I was like WHAT!

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  18. HA! Like Jessica above.. you are just like my mom. She gets so stressed when watching movies that she will fast forward scenes that get her too excited!

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  19. I think that it does help you avoid a bad book. Sometimes though we are still curious as to what happens in a series even though we aren't going to finish it. So I still google what happens to everyone! If a series goes on forever too (like Stephanie Plum) it really helps keep up with everything that is going on too.

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  20. I think with the Recaptains you can request a series to be done. Or you can even recap one for them and they'll put it on their website. I also noticed they tend to stick to YA books. So if you are reading adult literature it probably won't be found there.



    I suppose this topic did get everyone thinking about spoilers. The worst can also be for TV shows. Walking Dead and Game of Thrones can be the worst. I try to watch those shows as soon as possible to avoid spoilers on social networks!

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  21. Just the spoilers about the ending, but that was enough. 2 movies? Hah, no thanks.

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  22. I think it depends on the person, some people detest spoilers and get really upset over them. Me, I don't care too much, it would have to be something really important, not just any old tv/book/movie. If I don't like a series and quit on it before it is finished, I'm probably not going to bother googling it to find out what happens.


    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

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  23. Oh wow... that is interesting to me that you don't even bother to look up a series after quitting it. I don't really quit a lot. I guess I did recently quit the show Helix and that one I won't be bothering to look up. So I can see your point there.

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  24. It totally can..sometimes by accident but more often then not..you are the type of person to do what you Mom did. I avoid spoilers and I'm very careful about how I write reviews and whose I read..to avoid finding out. Plus I don't always agree so If I am vested..then I put blinders on. To me it is like those people who get a new book and read the last chapter first..WTF? LOL

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  25. HA! I try not to spoil anything for people myself. If I plan on reading a book I will actually avoid reading reviews on those books even if the review says spoiler free. I love books to be a complete surprise.. so I don't even read the cover of the book to see what it's about.

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  26. Freaking great food for thought. Personally I'd say I still read the books I want to read. I have only looked at one of those recap things once and that was on the tenth book of the Wheel of Time series because lets face it that book SUCKED the fat hairy...yeah anywho it sucked.

    Otherwise I still read what I want to read and if I'm really not that interested I just cant even be bothered to look it up to find out *maniacal laughter*

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  27. It drives me insane but my bf likes to do the same as well, just to see if it ends well and whether to invest any time in it! Great discussion Angela.

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  28. I don't mind spoilers. There were a few times that I was worried about a character and googled the book to make sure they didn't die. I don't know what I would have done if I found out they had. I probably still would have finished the book but remained detached from that character. I hate getting my heart broken.

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  29. Personally, I like finishing series unless I really, really don't like a book but then I probably don't care what happens to the characters enough to look it up.


    I will admit though, that I've used the internet to alleviate what I call series fatigue. I've only done it twice - for Dune and Game of Thrones. Because there's soooo many books I just don't want to read them ALL, especially when people have told me the ending isn't great. Oh, and the Sword of Truth series. I read the first two books in that and wikipedia'd the rest. I read the first Dune book (had already watched both syfy miniseries) and went to wikipedia to see how it played out. I justified that one as different because the characters I really liked weren't even in the later books so it wasn't worth it to read alllll those books. And I just watched the very first trailer from HBO for Game of Thrones and went straight to wikipedia.


    I think it's nice to have resources out there when you want to know the story but don't want to read the whole series. But for the most part I *like* reading books so I'll read a whole series even if I just mostly like it :)

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  30. I got half way through book 2 of the Divergent series and stopped. I still have no idea what happens at the end of Allegiant, I have tried to steer clear from the spoilers online and I really do try my hardest when I am watching/reading a series to stay away from anything that may spoil it. i think that it is so easy to just give up on thing now that we can google the endings but at the same time I think that it also enables a lot of discussion about books, movies and tv, so there is a trade off.

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  31. For me the Internet saves me from spending too much time on something I won't end up liking. For games, books, movies, etc. Time is hard to come by. If I can use the Internet to help me decide what I want to spend my time on then I think its worth possibly missing out on some things.

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  32. OH yes... A long series like Wheel of Time probably needs to be looked up. I heard about book 10 too. I have the first two books but have yet to read them. I tried to read the first one once but DNF. I should pick it up and try again. I think I might have just not been in the mood for it.

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  33. It drives me nuts too. I was like really.. you loved Divergent and that didn't make you want to finish the series.. just to see if it ends strong or not??? I think had I not liked the first book so much I would've skipped finishing that series.

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  34. Oh this is a really good point. I like that you find out whether or not to be excited about a character still. I suppose that would be the case with Divergent. Since it was spoiled for me and I knew what was going to happen it wasn't very shocking and I already had all the "feels" prior to reading the book.

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  35. Game of Thrones is extremely long. LONG! I have stopped reading the books because of this. I can't wait 5 years and then read the new book without reading all the older books again. George RR Martin seems to not even care when or if he puts out the next book so I have stopped reading the series. I am still buying them and even went to a book signing of his. I'll read them when all the books are out. Until then.....


    Dune has always interested me as a series. I didn't know that the future books in the series has different characters. It's like Ender's Game. Which is why I heard Card is writing a new book.. one that will actually follow behind the Ender's Game plot line.

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  36. I too think the the internet does make it easier to just give up on a series. I have done it with a few series that I just never finished. Like Uglies. I really enjoyed the series but new books kept coming out and I just never got back to reading it.

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  37. Yes to this!! Especially games for me. Video Games are so expensive anymore. So the question is .. do I want to buy it. What I like about the internet for that is unlike the trailers (which hardly ever show in game footage) I can go to youtube and actually watch someone play that video game. This is what drew me to play the South Park Stick of Truth. Had I not watch a youtube video of the game play I would've never played that game.

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  38. With Divergent, I read the first one and didn't like it. When I saw the crazy reaction to the last one, I decided to see what happened. Without out that, I wouldn't have gone out of my way to find out. Sometimes if a story is good but the execution is bad, (boring) I will skip reading and just look it up. I recently did this with Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. Although if I hadn't agreed to discuss it with my friend, I would not have looked it up. So, the internet does come in handy, for special cases. :)

    Sometimes I do like spoilers though. And I generally think that if reading one plot point ruins the entire book, it wasn't that great of a book to begin with. I think a good book hinges more than just on plot.

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  39. I can honestly say I've never done this. I'm so stubborn that I either won't finish a series if I hate it, or I will struggle through and be miserable.

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  40. I have struggled through many times myself. Many many times.

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  41. I can't believe your mom did that! That is awful! How dare she spoil a series for herself and you! I'm shocked. After reading the first couple chapters, my dad jumps to the back and reads the last couple chapters. It drives me nuts!

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  42. HAHAH Actually, I had already read the series... I just told mom that I didn't really like the ending so she spoiled it for herself and went to wikipedia. That's not to say she hasn't spoiled other books for me!! Sometimes I can't talk to my mom about books because I know she is just going to let a spoiler loose!

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  43. I think had I heard about the Divergent ending prior to reading the first book I too would've skipped the series. Plus now there is a movie and you can just watch it and get an idea of what the whole series is about.



    I avoid show spoilers too. I know that I want to watch Breaking Bad so I avoided when people were talking about what happens in that show. Dexter is another one I have been thinking about watching so I too have avoided those spoilers.

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  44. Yes... I believe that it is the journey and not just some plot point. Which is why I went on and continued reading Allegiant despite being spoiled (on Pinterest of all places). I like both Divergent and Insurgent's writing so continued.



    My mom does that a lot. The book is boring but you still want to know what happens to the character so she'll skip through to see. I feel like I talked about my mom a lot in this post and comments. HAHA! She is going to see this and be like WHA?????

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  45. I think the internet saves me from reading a boring or slow series. I really don't voluntarily look for book or series spoilers though, but I definitely do this a lot with movies when I want to make sure that the ending isn't too scary or boring or something, haha. :P

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  46. I agree... I do think the internet saves us from a boring series. Where would us book bloggers be without the internet right? We can read each other's reviews and see if we are even interesting in going on in a series. If I see a ton of bloggers don't like a book I will pass on reading it.

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  47. I think it can help us. For example, if I didn't really like the first book in a series, and I see that it's not getting any better, than I will stop reading the series. And sometimes, it's for the writing style and not the characters and those are the times I will look ahead online

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  48. Phew! Oh good! The ending is pretty huge! ha ha!


    p.s. I'm glad you picked up the sarcasm! Not everyone does.

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  49. I've never looked up the ending of a book on the internet (yet). I DO feel the pressure to finish a series because of the internet though. I feel obliged to read a book as soon as it's released so I can keep up...

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  50. Holly cow Angie! I had no idea about "The Recaptains" I am doing a series reading challenge and there are a few books I do not want to re-read just so I can finish the series (I mean who has the time) and that sight is a god send. Thanks sweetie!!! You rock.

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  51. I think it's both. On balance though I'm glad to have the internet and all the reviews, even if I occasionally get spoiled. Spoilers don't really bother me all that much, and if I can save time by looking ahead then that's good (but I only do that if I'm not liking where something is going)- if I like a series I usually avoid the spoilers and just read it.


    I will say though about Divergent- I did hear spoilers about book three and it has made me less likely to read the series, even though the movie really intrigued me. Not sure if that's good or bad. :)

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  52. Pinterest! What? Ha, did someone post a picture and say in the caption, "I can't believe that blank blanked?" [I really don't want to spoil now!]

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  53. Wow, Angela. This is a seriously thoughtful post! I can relate because almost the same thing happened with me and Divergent except I stumbled onto a spoiler of the ending instead of looking for it but the effect was the same-I was upset and I'm putting that series on hold for awhile. And video games-yes! It's so sad. I was playing final fantasy the other day and I had the walkthough open the WHOLE time because I didn't want to miss a second cutscene or a hidden item. The thing about the internet is that it's just so easy. And that's not always a good thing. Fantastic post!

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  54. Really I think that sometimes the writing style is just not for me. It's not that the story is bad but maybe I just don't get the prose. So I understand looking ahead online. I just think that sometimes an author just doesn't write in the way I like to read.

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  55. I sometimes wonder if people who review a lot of books look up the plots sometimes. Especially if they have a lot of ARCs they need to read through. I do think I need to read books as soon as I can too to keep up with other bloggers!

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  56. Great! I love to spread the word about the Recaptains! I wish I was better at wording books or I would go over there and contribute. It is a life savor! I remember there was a series I was reading and couldn't find the recap on wikipedia and was shocked! So I googled it and found their website. So glad I could help!

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  57. I agree... reading a book a year or so later can be the worst. Between that time I have read sooooo many books. So by the time the new book comes out I have forgotten a lot of details. So I will look up a book to try to remember the smaller details that I totally forgot.

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  58. You know... maybe it is a good thing. I think I have avoided series because of reviews and things I have read on the internet. It does save us from a bad book/movie/game.



    I will say though I don't like spoilers. They are the bane of my existence! Not really but yes I can't stand them. I just think they should be marked.

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  59. YES! Someone took a picture of the book in the corner and was shaking their finger at it. It was funny so I read the comments like an idiot and was spoiled.

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  60. I love that you were playing Final Fantasy and finding everything. I do that too!!! Like when I play Uncharted I want to find all the treasures so I look on the walkthrough to find it. I am not really looking for the answers to beat the game but I want to find the TREASURE!
    I will say I don't try as hard on video games anymore to solve puzzles. I spend a while on it and if it starts to be way to long my mind wanders to google.

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  61. It's a tough call. I've have used reviews to determine if I should abandon a book or not. If I scan reviews on GoodReads and come across one with too much digging that hits the point on why I'm having difficulties, it gives me a reason to move on.


    I just finished the Ashfall series and I went back to the short review (pre-blogging days) I wrote on GoodReads of the first book. I liked the book, but did mention some stuff that bothered me. However, now that I've read all three books, those reasons are really trivial! It gives me pause to wonder if I should wait until an entire series (3 to 4 books) is out to read it because I can take the story in as a whole. You also get away from the hype that builds around the best sellers. However, then I feel lame for not jumping on the bandwagon fast enough!

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  62. I love it when I read a series and all the books are out. I am glad for example I waited so long to read Cinder. Now that 3 books are out and one more is coming out that is great. I think that you do get away from the hype around bestsellers by doing this.

    I always look back at my old goodreads reviews and wonder what I was even talking about!!

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  63. I'm actually starting a new feature on my blog called "Rewind Review." I'm going to pull some of my old GoodReads reviews and eventually some of my blog reviews into a post once a month and feature them. :) It is fun to look back.

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  64. I don't think the internet is really responsible for this; it just makes it much easier than it used to be. I love Sparknotes, because it DOES let me catch up on books I read long ago but can't really remember the details, but before the internet, there were other ways to do this; Cliff Notes for one. And I have friend that will read the last 2 or 3 chapters of a book before deciding if she wants to read the whole thing, and that certainly does not require the internet. I can relate to you wanting to know what happened with a series without actually reading it. My book club does a good job of helping out there. I read Hunger Games and liked the first one ok, but not enough to finish the series. However, most in my book club devoured it and filled me in on what happened in the last 2 books.

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  65. Huh... I have used Cliff Notes in the past.. but if I remember correctly those really only covered classics or books used in school. I never thought about checking them out for modern books. I can't even imagine reading the last few chapters of a book and then deciding to read!! Once I know what will happen in the end I don't really want to read an entire book to get to that ending. But my mom does this sometimes too so it's not really uncommon.

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