I have always struggled with reading in chunks. If I’m going to read through a whole book, I won’t take more than three weeks to do it.** Even the really long and/or tough ones, like Pale Fire or Don Quixote, hit a point for me where I have to push through them quick, because I can’t stand for them to linger more than three weeks. For this same reason, I’ve never been able to participate in read-alongs. I’ve tried a few times. I hosted a read-along for Bleak House by Charles Dickens, just a couple chapters per week. Even though I posted faithfully, I read the full book nearly two months before the actual read-along ended. Same thing when I co-hosted a read-along for Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. That particular group read only lasted six weeks, and still I was done with the book by the time three weeks were out. This is consistent regardless of whether I love the book or hate it.***
Recently, though, I’ve started to realize the value of serialized reading. My most anticipated book of 2017 – Oathbringer – is due out in mid-November. Starting in late August, Tor (the publisher) began posting three chapters per week of the novel. Since this is one of those giant fat 1000+ page books, the serializing will release about a quarter of the book before Oathbringer is officially published. Of course, the day that it comes out, I will devour the other three-quarters, after which I’ll reread via audio probably half a dozen times before I’m satisfied.**** In the meantime, though, I’m reading each snippet as they’re released.
Getting three chapters at a time draws out the excitement. I’ve been waiting for this book for SO LONG that it feels just a tiny bit closer each week. I’m noticing more details than I would get in a quick first read-through because I’m not trying to gulp down the entire book as fast as possible. Each week brings new thoughts and theories, and I’m just dying to discuss them with someone, if anyone else were reading along. And while on the one hand, I wish I could just have the whole book already, on the other, I’m rather enjoying the experience of (essentially) mini-teasers. For the first time ever, I kinda understand the joy of serialized reading, and read-alongs, and a place to discuss new developments with other eager readers. I’m not sure I have the patience to enforce serialization on myself, but I’m also really, really excited to have a chance to (ie be forced to) read this way.
**With the exception of audiobooks, which follow a different set of rules for me.
***Back in the day when I actually finished books that I wasn’t liking as I read.
****Yes, I know, I’m weird and I multi-read books.