I can get my checking account balance, find the nearest shoe sale or get the weather in the South of France in about three point five seconds because I live in a world where ‘need-to-know’ and ‘need-to-have it-right-now’ is the norm. If a new song is released and I must listen to it this minute, I can download the song electronically and play it over and over and over again, and unlike a record never wear out the grooves. If you’re not familiar with a record, allow me to enlighten you. A long time ago if I wanted to listen to a piece of music at my convenience and not wait for the local DJ to play the tune on the radio, I would walk to the nearest record store and purchase a round disc with grooves embedded into the vinyl. That vinyl disc contained music, and one could quite literally wear the grooves out from constantly playing the same song over and over again as I did on many a Joni Mitchell album. Now, all I need to do is press a few buttons from the comfort of my own home and in seconds I’m listening to the music of my choice.
I believe it’s fair to say we’ve become a culture that demands instant answers and must be supplied with instant gratification. But, it begs the question, “Why the heck are so many of us hooked on never ending book series that go on, and on, and on.” Some might ask, “Where’s the gratification in that?” Well, I have a theory. Despite our need for split second information we still like to savor those things that bring us pleasure in a world that sometimes moves a bit too fast. How else could you describe the demise of instant coffee? Sure it was fast, but today most people would rather wait on a long line at their local coffee shop for the barista to brew a cup of caramel macchiato double frost decaf because it gives them an “Ahhhhh” moment of pleasure. I believe it’s the same with romance readers – that “Ahhhh” moment of pleasure when we begin page one of the long awaited next book in an extended series that we’ve come to love. It’s something in our lives we can savor.
Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series featuring half-vampire heroine Cat Crawfield and Master Vampire hero Bones has seven books with three more waiting to be released. We’ve lived through their harrowing first meeting, their heartbreaking parting, and their romantic marriage and the series is still going strong. Lots of passion, danger and fast paced story telling. It’s a series to Savor.
Ilona Andrews' Kate Daniel's series is a battle between magic and technology and Kate’s right in the middle of the war. In book one, we learn that Kate has spent most of her life hiding in plain sight, but when her guardian is murdered she’s forced to show herself leaving her wide open to all manner of mayhem. With five books in the series already published – its clear readers are engaged with this kick-ass heroine, who cleans up the mess after magic has gone wrong.
There’s Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series, J.D. Robb’s In Death series, J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and Christina Dodds’ Chosen One series to name just a few. And with each of these series instant gratification is not on the menu. Instead it’s all about the long haul. Savoring each new revelation, each new tidbit of information about the characters we’ve learned to love and new characters we’re being introduced to. In this fast-paced-gotta’-have-it-now-world, I say ‘savor on’… there’s more to life than rushing around and getting instant answers. Sometimes when you wait, the best things happen.
What’s your favorite long running series – and what keeps you coming back for more?
Maria Lokken is an avid romance reader and an award winning television producer