Can you read numerous works by the same author back to back and be satisfied?
Or does their work break down when read so close in time to each other?
This question occurred to me recently because I read 9 books by the same author one after another, in two different series, and loved every single book. It was Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson and Alpha/Omega series, and to be honest book 6 of the MT series was eh, but the rest rocked.
Since then I’ve been struggling to find another author and series that I can listen to and haven’t found it yet. After trying 3 different authors I can only last 2.5 books. The first one is always decent, then the second one annoys me because it’s basically a carbon copy of the first but with different names for the leads and by the time I get to the third, I can’t continue because I’m so annoyed at the repetition.
Discussing this problem with a friend of mine reminded me of something a well known m/m author said a few years ago on twitter. Something to the effect that no author’s work holds up under back-to-back reading.
At the time I dismissed the statement and didn’t think of it again, but my recent frustrations brought it back.
I actually think an author’s work SHOULD stand up to back-to-back reading. I think a reader should be able to gorge to their heart’s delight on any and all books written by that author. In fact I’ve often done that with several of my all time favorite authors.
I think a good author can make their books unique enough to stand out when read so close together but still contain the author’s voice and prose that delights the reader. Making repetitive and similar books can be a winning strategy for some authors (and there are MANY that do so) but that doesn’t mean we should overlook the familiarity by saying no author can change it.
I tend to stay loyal to authors who show variety in their books, even within their series, so their books stand up to that kind of reading. I think to say otherwise is to devalue the amount of work it takes to be unique and offer up something that will continue to delight long time readers.
I get much more easily bored with the overly familiar and repetitious books/series even if they’re read pretty far apart. Perhaps that’s just me though.