In the Bookcase


Tell Me Something Tuesday: End It Already

Here we go, my first time joining Tell Me Something Tuesday.

Let's talk!

The topic for the week:

At what point do you think a series has gone on too long?

I'll just jump right in! There are some series that just go on forever. And then just when you think you finally read them all (like a hundred books later), then it turns out there's a spin-off series that's connected... so you feel that you must read that series too, just to read the whole story, right?

Here's 3 examples of series I think went on too long... (even though I still adore most of the book in these series).

Oz series
by L. Frank Baum
14 books
1900 - 1920

Ahh... The series that spawned from The Wizard of Oz. I love and cherish that first book. And some of the sequel stories are fun in their own way too, but some have tiresome plots with too much talking, not enough adventure. (But... there's a few sequels in there that are worth their salt.)

Elsie Dinsmore series
by Martha Finley
28 books
1868 - 1905

I think the last interesting book in the series was #15. After that? The characters discussed a LOT of history, landmarks, etc... and there wasn't much plot. I persevered though (over much time) and finished. The first half of the series is quality vintage.

Mandie series
by Lois Gladys Leppard
40 books (+ specials)
1983 - 2004

This is the longest series I'm talking about today... It started out as a fun mystery series when I read them as a girl, but as I grew into my teens and still kept reading through the series, it seemed like the plots just disintegrated... So many elements kept getting repeated over and over in the books. It was a bit frustrating to see this to some really good books.

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Let's change up the discussion!

Here's 3 examples of series that are the PERFECT length, each in their own way...

The Lunar Chronicles series
by Marissa Meyer
4 books (+ short stories)
2012 - 2015

Sometimes trilogies are fabulous, but sometimes a quartet works too. This series oh-so needed 4 books to completely identify the reader with each of the main characters and explore each of those fairy tales... and they fit together cohesively because the overall story arc leads up to the big finale in book 4. It seemed perfect.

The Chronicles of Narnia series
by C.S. Lewis
7 books
1950 - 1956

The Chronicles of Narnia is a greatly beloved set of 7 titles. I don't think anyone could really argue that this series went on too long, as each volume serves a different purpose in allowing the reader to see glimpses of Narnia and the related characters. (Can anyone argue with this fact? Certainly not me.)

Amelia Peabody series
by Elizabeth Peters
20 books
1975 - 2017

Okay! NOW we're talking about a longer series done well (in my humble opinion). Each of these books always keeps me intrigued. There are new plot developments all the time in the serires; each of the characters progresses through life and change as they grow a little older (change in a good way). I have to assume that this series has ended at 20, and that it had a thoroughly good run.

My hard rule about when a series should be done... Quality over quantity.

I think that if the quality (the supercool plots and amazing emotions that a series brings you) ever starts degrading.... the printing presses should be stopped. But if every single book (even 20+ titles down the line) are still totally epic? Then whoever you are that's writing those books, please keep going.

Which series have you read that were the perfect length?


  1. Great points, and I loved that you highlighted older series, I totally agree if a series is still fresh and original twenty books down the line keep it going, but I think sadly that is not the case. Best to end the series when it is on a high than let it falter and die a long drawn out death. Thanks for being a part of TMST this week!

    1. Heidi, thanks for hosting the conversation starter! I finally just wanted to dip my toe in the water... it was fun... and I'm ready to participate again soon. :)

  2. When I love a series I do not want it to end but the Chronicles of Narnia was perfectly completed. For me P.G. Wodeshouse's series could go on forever and the Elizabeth Peter's Amelia Peabody series too but when authors die, series often end. I am happy to say that Tony Hillerman's daughter, Anne, is continuing his series in a high quality way.

    1. Terra, I'm thrilled that we agree on the Narnia books and Amelia Peabody series (they're just too good, each in their own way!). I keep hearing great things about Wodehouse, so... I will get around to his books one day.

  3. I prefer duologies or trilogies so any book series that is that number is an A+ for me. What I I really hate is when an author extends the series into longer books because of $$ you know? I am looking at you Throne of Glass! This book should have ended at Queen of Shadows. I'm actually giving up on this series.

    I agree that TLC was the perfect length!

    One series that had lots of books was one that I used to read before - Nancy Drew and Sweet Valley. Those books have over 100 books!

    1. Zeee, TLC is too perfect of a series, really. :) You're totally right about series similar to Nancy Drew... the plots all start to blend together at some point (no matter how interesting of a mystery it is), you know?

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  4. I love this post.

    I totally agree with you. I read a series that was four books and it was way to long. The Love Comes Softly series long but it didn't feel to long.

    1. Aww, thank you, Sarah!
      Some stories just need to stop sooner than others... sometimes it's just not so interesting several books later. :|

      You've just reminded me that I had read a Janette Oke book earlier in the year, and I really need to read book 2.

  5. Not sure about length since the series has many books but I really love the New Species series by Laurann Dohner

    1. Laura Lu, sounds cool. Thanks for commenting!

  6. I had no idea that the Wizard of Oz Series was so long! I agree that a lot of series just go on way too long---I can't commit to that many books!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  7. This is a fun feature! I have not heard of it before and I will have to bookmark it. I have seen those other books in the Oz series, but have never read them. I can imagine that they would be unnecessary.