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Kindred Spirits
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And I thought I was the only one....

I like to read a series in order, not only for the development of the characters and the events in their lives, but also for the development of the writer him/herself.

It's interesting to read the first book of a series. It's often good, but flawed. Tentative, even. The potential exists and you expect it to blossom.

Then there is the second book. The writing may have improved--and the editing--but often the second book of a series is a disappointment. Trite, formulaic, uninspired.

It's not until the third book that a gifted writer, in my opinion, really takes wing and soars above the rest. You can sense how the writer has settled into his/her craft and you know there are good books ahead.

Since I like to read books in order, I'm frustrated by Amazon's listings. Even when searching for a particular series by order, it seems as though the books are listed by most recent issue date, not by copyright date. Drat.

I turn to Wikipedia or to the author's own website for a list in chronological order. I was recently looking for Robert Parker books (Spenser mysteries), Vorkosigan series, and Anne McCaffrey's Pern series. Wikipedia had the listings by first date of publication, including related short stories and other books. Very nice.

I wish Amazon had a similar module.

All in all, it's nice to know we regard spoilers and reading books in order in similar fashion. Readers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but a few boring TV programs.

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