They used to call us “bookworms” when I was a kid. People like me who couldn’t keep their nose out of a book. I walked into a lamp post once reading a book while going to the dentist.
“Binge reading” has become a “new thing” with the Netflix and similar services and our ability to “binge watch” whatever we like whenever we like.
With the addition of digital publishing, we can order up the next instalment at any time of the day or night. We don’t even have to wait till the book shop opens or the library gets the next one in. Instant gratification, satisfied.
Now It Books, Not ‘Your Book’
Would be writers are now told they should have at least three – maybe even up to five – books ready for publication before they even put Book One out there – so when you find your audience you can satisfy their craving for more immediately. If they have to wait a year for Book Two they will have forgotten you. That’s the reasoning. And as I’ve been catching up on a lot of new series authors in preparation for the launch of my podcast The Joys of Binge Reading I’ve been wondering what the real pull of the “series book” is.
I’ve started to feel it’s this: You’ve invested time and emotion in getting to know these characters and this world, and you get to a crunch point – around Book Three I think – where you’re hooked in. They’ve become a virtual community you enjoy spending time in, even if Book One wasn’t exactly a blockbuster.
Maybe it’s also a reflection of our increasingly fragmented world, and the increase in one-person households. Our dogs and cats are our family, and the created worlds of genre fiction and Netflix our extended communities.
Binge reading is escapist reading. It’s losing yourself in a book for pure pleasure, with no onus on self improvement or solving the world’s problems. But it’s not mindless and it doesn’t have to be your guilty secret! I’m convinced there are lots of like-minded dreamers who occasionally like to step out of the humdrum and flee into other worlds, with characters that entertain and inspire.
What is Your Favorite Binge Read? Let Us Know!
Love to hear your suggestions for who you’d like us to interview; tell us about your favorite authors and why they captivate you. We’re looking for crazy fans to interview about their first loves in fiction too. This podcast is all about the writers who love to create series and the readers who love to read them.
For more on my thoughts on binge reading, see my manifesto on the About Page.