Reading Out of Order

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Prof. Sky Alton
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Reading Out of Order

Post by Prof. Sky Alton »

Something that I see a lot around HOL is people having read the HP books out of order due to only being able to get their hands on one later in the series. I have one friend who started with Chamber of Secrets (unaware that it wasn’t the first) and spent a while thinking that Harry had just had a very uneventful first year.

This got me thinking, how many of us have started a series half way through? While I can’t remember any solid examples off the top of my head, I know that when I was younger I did definitely start on book 2 or even 3 of some series simply because I couldn’t get my hands on book 1. This was particularly the case when I used to be sent books by accessible libraries who weren’t always the best at consistency or chronological ordering. I’m not sure I could manage as well nowadays without my younger self’s adaptability or willingness to read anything, however confusing.

So, do you remember reading a series out of sequence? Was it a deliberate choice or a mistake? How did you get on?
"Some things never change, turn around and the time has flown. Some things stay the same, though the future remains unknown."
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Iverian Gnash
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Joined: Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:33 am

Re: Reading Out of Order

Post by Iverian Gnash »

I'm very into starting a series at the beginning when I can get my hands on the first book, however, there have been a few times I haven't. I skipped the first book when reading The Chronicles of Narnia because I didn't realize that The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe was not the first book. After we ended up getting the whole series I had to go back and read The Magician's Nephew and ended up reading The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe again because I had forgotten quite a bit about it by that point.

Other than that series, I remember doing something slightly similar with Rick Riordan's books. Apparently the Percy Jackson series should be read before the Heroes of Olympus series. We didn't have the first book in the Percy Jackson series, but we did with the Heroes of Olympus, so I started The Lost Hero and was later told to read Percy Jackson first. Never really got into that universe though, so I still need to read the fifth book, The Last Olympian which I've been putting off because other books have had my attention :lol:

Besides those two times, I can't remember skipping a series' order though I'm sure I have before. I tend to check a series before I begin it to make sure there aren't any prequels to read beforehand. When I read the Lunar Chronicles, I didn't realize there was a prequel, Fairest. It didn't matter because Fairest was technically supposed to be read after the series anyway for another perspective and it could have been a bit confusing if I'd read it before.

Having said that, it's always a good idea to research a series before you read it to make sure there isn't a book, a prequel, or an entire series set before. :lol:
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