As of late I’ve had a couple of series I’ve read the first book that I haven’t liked very much. On several occasions when I’ve expressed my opinions on not really liking them I’ve had people tell me that it “gets better in the second/third book”. Which, I won’t argue over because there are a lot of books where the story gets better in the later books. I mean, my favorite Harry Potter is definitely not the first one.
But if a story doesn’t catch me in the first book, there’s a very slim chance that I’m going to continue to see how the series progresses. There are so many books that I want to read, so many that I actually own and haven’t read yet. If I don’t like the first book then I don’t have any motivation to read the next book in the series.
I feel like there can be a lot of pressure from book communities to continue a series because it gets better in later books. As though by reading the first book it wasn’t given enough of a chance. But isn’t that the point of a first book? To set up a world and capture the reader’s attention? I honestly don’t see why if that didn’t work for me why I would give it another chance.
I’m even cautious about series I’ve already read several books of and liked. I’ve been disappointed halfway through a series and give up on it. Which is why I no longer buy ahead books for a series. The Outlander series really solidified this feeling for me. I loved the first book and even the second but the third novel went down a little and the fourth made me completely give up on the series.
I don’t see the point of continuing a series at any point if I start to dislike it. Even if people tell me it gets better (although I’ve heard from a friend that Outlander gets worse) I don’t want to keep reading. There’s so much I want to read, if I don’t want to read something I don’t see why I should try it anyways.