Dammit. I’m a moron.

If you check the “What Sarah is Reading Now” section (which I swear I will update more often now that Amazon is making it easier for us to do so) you’ll see I’m reading Stephanie Feagan’s She’s on the Money. I thought this was the first book in the series. In fact, I remember picking up the spines and comparing the Silhouette numbers on them to pick the lower number.

Either I grabbed the wrong one or the numbers confused me, but I read #2 before #1. MAN I hate when I do that! Is anyone else as anal about reading a series in correct order as I am? What I find completely ironic is that I get all panty-twisted when I read a series and feel that each issue doesn’t sufficiently stand alone, especially if I’ve inadvertently started reading in the middle. There’s just no pleasing me, I swear.

So now I have #1 in my bag, which I couldn’t start because I was standing on the bus this morning and no part of my balance skills set includes holding on to the overhead rail with one hand and reading with the other. And it’s quite a credit to Feagan that I had no idea I’d jumped into #2 (heh heh), until midway through I had an inkling when the narrator referred back to a previous incident several times that I might in fact be missing the book that contained the full story.

Gosh I’m annoyed at myself. GAH.

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Random Musings

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  1. 1
    Dee says:

    Hey Sarah, Don’t feel bad. You could be like me, I accidentally—or not accidentally—read a book out of sequence and I must read the others. If I have to haunt used book stores for years, I will have my collection, dammit.

    I’m a book psycho.

    But, hey, yay for Steph, she almost got you! :)

    Smooches,
    Dee

  2. 2
    Angela H says:

    I am completely anal about reading a series in order.  I’m also the same way about searching everybook store within a 50-mile radius and then some to find every book in the series.  I’ve even resorted to e-bay and Half.com.  Because I MUST have the the earlier books before I read the later books.  No matter how long it takes or how much money I must spend.  It’s a quest.

  3. 3
    Candy says:

    Oh my God. You have no idea how anal I am about reading certain genres of books in order. It was basically hard-wired into me when I started reading SF/F, and lemme tell you, series books in SF/F do not and cannot stand alone. I remember trying to read David Eddings’ Mallorean series before the Belgariad (five books in each series) and being confused and frustrated as hell because I didn’t know the book I was reading was preceded by a whole five other books. When I found out, I promptly abandoned it (it SAID “Book 1 of the Mallorean” when really, truth in advertising should’ve made them label it as “Technically part of a new series, but really, read the five Belgariad books first; otherwise, shit won’t make much sense ‘cause the amount of backstory is huuuuuuuge”), and read everything in order. I was a much happier camper.

    But I’ll admit I’m not quite as anal retentive with romance novels, because most of them stand alone very nicely. I read Mary Jo Putney’s Fallen Angels books out of order and it didn’t bother me at all.

  4. 4
    Stephen says:

    It’s so much easier when writers put clues in the title (Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton).

    The trouble really comes when the author doesn’t write the books in the right order.  C S Lewis’s Narnia books, for instance.

  5. 5
    SB Sarah says:

    You are so right about the Fallen Angels, because they stood alone nicely. Sometimes a romance can, but the trilogies, a la Nora Roberts, usually end up needing an order.

    That said, I also read the Bridgerton series starting with Anthony (The Viscount Who Loved Me) even though Daphne (The Duke and I) came first.  Didn’t miss a thing, though I LOVE Daphne’s book so much more than the others.

    I hate to admit it, but I think my series-in-order anal retention came from Sweet Valley High, which were numbered for the neurotic reader in all of us. And really, one did not necessarily feed into another. In fact, crap that happened in previous books was often neglected entirely, an inconsistency that drove me apeshit. But if you go to the top shelf of my old bedroom in my mom’s house in Pittsburgh, you’ll find, like 1600 of the little stinkers all lined up in neurotic numerical order.

  6. 6
    Cristiane says:

    Absolutely anal about series.  This comes from mystery series.  Cannot STAND to read them out of order.  My mother is baffled by this.  Just found this site – it’s GREAT.

  7. 7
    Dee says:

    OMG, Sarah, you may have just discovered the root of my OCD!

    I was one seriously broke kid, but I loved SVT (the twins, then High, then I think it morphed into something else). My school didn’t have many. I inhaled them, but nothing made sense. I started rereading them in order…but there were massive gaps! I went nuts. Started reading them in stores and looking for snatches of info. The madness increased. And now, after all these years…someone tells me they didn’t fit together anyway??

    That shit’s just not fair. LOL!

    Oh, hey, who did the twins end up with? I remember being horrified that Jessica was dating Elizabeth’s longtime boyfriend after they broke up…and never went back. (My world was shattered when I discovered that under all that perfect hair and morals…Jessica really WAS just a skank! GASP!)

    Thank God for Barthe DeClements “Seventeen & In Between” to save my 8th grade sense of moral decency, lol. (Now THAT was a trilogy! LOL)

    Dee

  8. 8
    Asperity says:

    Not only am I personally anal about reading series in order, when I worked in a library, I tried to infect others with my … anality?  Analness?  (Okay, I suppose it should just be “anal retentiveness,” but that’s not so catchy.)  People’d say, “oh, this looks good,” and pick up a mid-series book, at which point I’d rush over with the first-of-series.  I even put together first-of-series book displays.  Good times.

    And for your transit reading amusement, I read about this contraption last week: the TranStrap.  Complete with optional “Reader Sling.”  Oy vey.

  9. 9
    Heather Foeh says:

    Oh man – I am the same. Gotta read them in order. I’ve even been known to go back and re-read a series in order just for the zen peaceful feeling of having them in their rightful place in the Book Universe.

  10. 10
    SB Sarah says:

    Oh, hey, who did the twins end up with? I remember being horrified that Jessica was dating Elizabeth’s longtime boyfriend after they broke up…and never went back. (My world was shattered when I discovered that under all that perfect hair and morals…Jessica really WAS just a skank! GASP!)

    Dee, I stopped reading so I couldn’t tell you for sure. But I think Elizabeth ended up with AJ or some dude like that, and Todd, her boyfriend, ended up with Suzanne Devlin. You can read a hysterical synopsis of so many of them here.

  11. 11
    SB Sarah says:

    And oh, my Gosh, the Trans Strap is some brilliant invention. But I can promise you, the way the bus drivers drive? I’d swing sideways into the air and crash land on a sleeping passenger.

  12. 12
    Candy says:

    “And for your transit reading amusement, I read about this contraption last week: the TranStrap.  Complete with optional “Reader Sling.” Oy vey.”

    OK, the name TranStrap made me think of something else entirely.

    This was not helped by the term “Reader Sling.”

    I will not say out loud what I assumed the TranStrap and Reader Sling were before I clicked on the link. Let’s just say I clicked only after making sure nobody was behind me.

  13. 13
    SB Sarah says:

    I hear you, Candy. I’m in a rotisserie baseball league (My team? The “Hayllar Marys” – “Hayllar” is pronounced Hail-er) and every week we get a “Trannys” email from the commissioner. He means transactions. I assume it’s a not-for-work collection of images.

    However, I will tell you, speaking of trans strap, I went to the Good Vibrations store in San Francisco with Hubby last year, and one of the marvels on display was the “soft pack,” which I can’t generate a link to without raising quite a few flags in IT. Suffice it to say that it is a soft pack of, um, manliness meant for women to wear when dressing as men. It comes complete with a miniature funnel attachment so that you can USE the soft pack for your, er, gentler moments of relief.

    Well, I thought it was cool, but I didn’t buy one. But Hubby and I drove down the cost and stopped in The Madonna Inn solely to use the bathrooms, which we heard were way cool.

    The women’s room? A complete waste (har). Padded velvet like a blind hooker’s bordello, in red, pink and puce.

    But the MEN’S ROOM? Hubby even tried to get a picture of it for me but it didn’t come out! If I’d had THE SOFT PACK I could have USED it, but NO, me and my vag MISSED the greatest men’s room in the history of lavatories. Because I don’t have a penis OR a soft pack, I didn’t get to pee in the waterfall.

    Imagine what I’ll miss without a TranStrap.

  14. 14

    Sarah, at Glastonbury music festival for the last couple of years, they’ve set up pink plastic marble-effect female urinals in which you can use these little disposable cardboard devices they called the “She-pee”. 

    I suspect the complicated origami involved may have foxed many festival-goers once they were truly into their revelry, though.

  15. 15
    SB Sarah says:

    “She-pee?” While I am ALL FOR not having to sit down on a public toilet for any reason, esp. at 8mos. pregnant when I have a reason every 12-15 minutes, “She-pee?”

    Of course, all I can think of when I hear the term is the collection of pet toys on my living room rug. My dog has a squeaky sheep toy that is known in our house as “The Sheepy.” Not useful for urination, sadly.

    But perhaps we should pursue SBTB-themed female urination devices? “Piss with the Bitches?”

  16. 16
    AngieW says:

    I must read books in order. It drives me batty when people talk about reading out of order. How can they do that? And then go back and read the rest of the books that come before? Isn’t that almost like reading the last chapter of a book before the rest? Gah!

    On a side note, I read both of those Stephanie Feagan books and thought they were enjoyable. I had a few minor issues with the second, especially, that I mentioned briefly on my blog write up, but thought they were fun entertainment.

  17. 17
    Dee says:

    AhahhhaAHAHHAAHAHhhahahaa!

    OMG, She-Pee??? I’m trying to picture that, lol, but the origami escapes me. Pissing With Bitches…why am I expecting to see this chick in the five hour sequel to Dances With Wolves?

    LOL, oh, God, I’m getting sucked back into SVTs! Thanks Sarah!

    Dee

  18. 18
    Gabriele says:

    Hehe, that’s what you get for playing with boys rather than girls as a kid. I learned to pee standing. :-)

  19. 19
    Dee says:

    OMG, Sarah…You’re evil. How could you send me there? I just spent an hour, snarking, snorting and spewing my drink! Oh, the pain, the memories…I actually had most of the covers she shows!

    LOL, thanks!
    Dee

  20. 20

    There’s also the Urimate, sold by (I think )Magellen’s travel supplies.  It’s a funnel-like cardboard device that you use once, standing, then throw away.  The hard part is convincing your brain you’re not going to pee all over yourself, otherwise it’s hard to relax enough to go.

    Oh, and chalk me up as one of those people who’s completely anal about reading a series.  I almost dread finding a well established author I like, ‘cause then I have to hunt down the entire back list.  I still haven’t forgiven my friend for recommending the Lee Child “Jack Reacher” novels to me.  Not because I didn’t _love_ Jack, but because it took me forever to get them all in order.

  21. 21
    Stef2 says:

    Sorry about the mix-up, Sarah.  But thanks for reading the books!

    And I’m trying not to take it personally that instead of anyone talking about my brilliant prose, this has turned into a diatribe on female pee tactics.  I confess I have had me some serious penis envy in my lifetime.  It’s not fair – we have to give birth AND squat to pee.  Not to mention, most men can get to the Big O in like – what? – thirty seconds?  Seems like I read somewhere, average time for a woman is twenty minutes.  In my next life, I don’t know what I’ll be, but I’ll definitely be a male.

    As for series, I’ve been told I’m an idiot for not reading the J.D. Robb books – but hell if I can figure out which one is first.  There’s a gazillion of them now.  Maybe there’s a part of me that knows as soon as I read one, I’ll have to read the next.  And the next.  And so on.  And there are so many now, I’d be in the reading cave for days on end.  No showers, no work, no contact with reality.  It could get ugly.

  22. 22
    Robin says:

    “As for series, I’ve been told I’m an idiot for not reading the J.D. Robb books – but hell if I can figure out which one is first.  There’s a gazillion of them now.  Maybe there’s a part of me that knows as soon as I read one, I’ll have to read the next.”

    Start with Naked in Death.  My suggestion is to read the first 3 or 7, Naked, Glory, Immortal, Rapture, Ceremony, Holiday, Vengeance.  I cannot read Nora Roberts under her own name (well, I haven’t been able to so far) but I do really love this series.  I’ve had some issues with it since it went hardcover (although most of those have gone away), but I adore the papaerbacks, all 15 or whatever of them.

  23. 23
    Marg says:

    I too hate reading a series out of order but what I hate even more is when the local library has the first book in a series and then only a few books after that. I just read the first book in a series only to discover that the library only has book no. 4, 7, and then 9-12. What good is that?

    BTW I haven’t ever read a JD Robb book either for the same reasons!

  24. 24
    AngieW says:

    *chanting* Read Naked in Death. Read Naked in Death. Read Naked in Death.

    I luuurrrvvveeee JD Robb. And Naked in Death is my favorite. Not all of the books in the series rocked, some had obvious flaws, but the series as a whole has kept my interest over the years and the characters have actually developed and grown.

    But for the love of dick, don’t read out of order. Don’t ever read out of order. It’s just wrong ;)

  25. 25
    Valeen says:

    I’ll buy a book, realize its part of a series and then let it sit there till I’m able to find the previous books.

    I’m extremely anal about reading in order. I like the back stories and seeing the same characters again.

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