Anthologies: How Do You Read Them? ~ Talkin’ ’bout Books Tuesday (Discussion #12)

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Discussion #12 Question: How do you read anthologies?

I have a ton of anthologies, of which I will admit I haven’t finished many. The reason for this is many of the stories contained in those anthologies aren’t standalones.

I’ve gone through the table of contents of each to figure out which stories go with series. If a story goes with a series, I want to read the books that go before it. That might not be the best approach, because of how long it will take before I can finish an anthology.

When I see reviews on Goodreads for anthologies, it makes me wonder if the people just read it from cover to cover. I feel like I would be missing out on something if I hadn’t read the accompanying series. I know I can read all the stories that are standalones, but there would still be some I wouldn’t be able to read. And I wonder if other people even bother to do like I do and look up each story to see if it is a standalone or not.

So, what do you do? Just trudge through the entire book or wait until you can read each story where it goes in a series? Do you read all the stories in each anthology or just certain ones?


About the meme…

Each Tuesday, we will post a discussion about a book-related topic. Sometimes, we will gear this toward writing books rather than reading them.

If you’re a blogger and you would like to join in on the fun, you don’t have to post about the same topic, but you are welcome to do so if you want. Just post a discussion and leave your link in the comments. If you’re not a blogger, that’s okay too. Just leave a comment with your answer to this week’s question.


This post is part of the 2017 Discussion Challenge, hosted by It Starts at Midnight & Feed Your Fiction Addiction

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Jen Schaper

I am a mom of three kids, a wife, and a wannabe author. For Books That Hook, I review books, create features and discussions, design the website, and do all the administrative stuff.

8 thoughts on “Anthologies: How Do You Read Them? ~ Talkin’ ’bout Books Tuesday (Discussion #12)

  • March 16, 2017 at 9:42 PM
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    I thought most anthologies contain short stories meant to be read as stand-alones. I’m sure it would be cool to spot characters you already knew or to know you’re in a different part of a fantasy world, but I think it would be odd if the authors expected everyone to read all the series first.

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    • March 20, 2017 at 9:59 PM
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      That’s probably true for most short stories in anthologies. I’ve just had bad luck where I’ve read some that didn’t make any sense because I hadn’t read the series.

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  • March 14, 2017 at 2:52 AM
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    I didn’t even know that lots of anthologies contained stories that were part of series. I just don’t read anthologies because I’m not a short story person. I’m not even a standalone book person lol. I mean, I do read standalones, but I prefer series because it takes me a long time to warm up to characters, so anthologies just don’t work for me.
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    • March 15, 2017 at 1:02 AM
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      I’m not much of a short story person myself. I guess I mainly have all these anthologies because I know that some of the stories in them go with series that I have already started.

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  • March 14, 2017 at 2:19 AM
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    I don’t read a lot of anthologies and most of the ones I have are not necessarily related to ongoing series, like the recent Christmas and summer themed ones on the YA side. But I think if I was reading an anthology of, say, urban fantasy stories that dovetailed in with ongoing series, I would want to read those in order too, just for completist sake.
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    • March 15, 2017 at 1:01 AM
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      A fellow completist 🙂 I’m not as bad as Misty, though. If an author writes a two-page story that goes with a series, she has to read it. Not me, I can usually skip over those.

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