Binge Reads (& a Giveaway) – Barbara Monajem

Barbara here. 🙂

Do you ever go on a binge read, where you read all of one author’s books (or one series) one after the other with scarcely a break (for work, food, bathroom, whatever)?

Cordelia's Honor

Until recently, my answer would have been NO. I have plenty of favorite authors, and I’ve read many of their books over and over, but not one after the other without reading anything else. Usually I have three or four books by different authors going at any one time, so that if I get tired of one story, I hop over to the other for a while, and maybe then to the next, and so on. This doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying any of these books—I am, but I seem to need variety in my reading. Even if I love a series, I often stop reading it after four or five books; I don’t care whether I read more. (This is probably why I don’t seem able to write a series of more than four or five books, either.)

But now, I am in the middle of a total binge read of the science fiction Vorkosigan Saga books by Lois McMaster Bujold. I’d already read some of them years ago, as well as some of her fantasies, and enjoyed them all, but I moved on to other stuff. Then a few months ago, when a friend recommended one of the more recent ones, I read it and…OMG. I simply can’t get enough. I put one book down and immediately pick up the next (not necessarily in order; I’ve never cared much about reading books in order). I have a few other books going, but I can’t get more than a page or two of them read without putting them down. They’re good books, too—but only Bujold’s books hold my attention right now.

I wish I understood why. Yes, the writing is wonderful, the characters are brilliant, the plots are beautifully convoluted, the world-building is amazing, the issues she tackles are relevant, there are lots of surprises, etc. But all this fabulousness didn’t make me binge read her books the first time I encountered them. What’s driving me this time? They make me think, and I love that. They’re also comfort reads to some extent, but… but… but…

Anyway, since I haven’t been able to figure out my own motivations here, I thought I’d ask you all. Do you ever binge read? (Or binge watch — such as a year or several years of a sitcom or other TV series.) Why? What is it about a series or just a particular author’s books that drives you to read them (and maybe reread them) one after the other without stopping to sample anything else? Is it something about the books, something about you, something about the right combination at the right time?

~ * ~

Now for the giveaway. To Kiss a Rake is now out in paperback!

To Kiss a Rake 600x900

Last week, I posted here about my Goodreads Giveaway of a signed copy of To Kiss a Rake. To enter, go here. This one is US only. (https://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/183409)

But for far better odds of winning a copy, comment on this blog now. I’ll give an autographed copy to one lucky commenter. This one is open to readers in the US and Canada.

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Barbara Monajem started writing at eight years old. She has wandered from children’s fantasy through mystery to paranormal and historical romance. She lives near Atlanta, Georgia with an ever-shifting population of relatives, friends, and feline strays.

26 Responses

  1. Teri

    You book looks delightful. I can’t wait to read it!

  2. laurenlinwood

    I have a tendency to binge watch TV shows I’ve missed since I have Roku and belong to Amazon Prime. I’ve watched entire series that way (Friday Night Lights) or caught up (The Americans) and then joined current shows in progress. My first binge reading was decades ago when I discovered Victoria Holt. MISTRESS OF MELLYN was my first, and I tore through everything she wrote!

  3. tamarahughes

    It’s a mystery. Sometimes I binge on books or tv shows. It really depends on the mood I’m in.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Tamara. It really is a mystery, isn’t it? If I’m tense, I’ll choose differently than if I’m relaxed and not in need of comfort. So a long period of tension may mean a binge of comfort reads — not necessarily by the same author, though.

  4. Barbara Monajem

    Hi, Lauren. The only TV show (I guess you can call it that) I’ve ever binge watched is Pride and Prejudice (the one with Colin Firth as Darcy). I think I watched it three and a half times over the course of a month or two…. It got more absorbing each time, as I noticed more and more. I think it’s the only movie or TV series where I looked up every single one of the actors, to learn more. Brilliant casting and acting…

  5. beppie2014

    There’s something in the water. Or air. Or somewhere. We are in the midst of packing up for major move from Michigan to Massachusetts (Norwell, just south of Boston on the South Shore) and I’ve been sorting paperbacks (what can be tossed, what must be kept) and made the mistake of picking up Julia Quinn’s first Bridgerton book, and have been grabbing stolen moments ever since to read them ALL (well, not the new one that’s just come/coming out) which I do NOT have time to do.

    • Barbara Monajem

      LOL, Beppie. A binge on Julia Quinn’s books sounds perfect for a stressful time. Moving, yech! I dread the day I will have to go through all my paperbacks. Good luck with the move!

  6. Ashley York

    When I find an author I like, that’s all I look for. I don’t like to have more than one book going at a time. It’s all of nothing. That’s probably because I spend a lot of time with research books where I do have more than one going.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Ashley. I understand re research books!!

  7. vicki

    Hi, Barbara! I do binge. I like to read all an author has written if I just adore their work. But then I heard one in particular used a ghostwriter and was a little disappointed; so that one went off my list. Right now, I tend to explore different works now.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Vicki, my friend! I do a lot of exploring myself. I used to feel that I had to finish every book I started, but not anymore. Some I don’t finish, some I skim, some I read thoroughly, some I devour and look for more. But I don’t remember binge-reading before this.

  8. ElaineM

    I’m an on again, off again binge reader. Sometimes an author will just capture my attention, and if I start a series of one of these authors I just have to read the books in order. Then other times I just flit from on author to another.

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Elaine. Mostly I flit, which is why this binge took me by surprise.

    • Barbara Monajem

      LOL, Collette. I think it’s something you can’t control — you have to get grabbed by something and forced to binge. Well, more or less. You can control it if you really want to, but I haven’t seen any reason to do that so far. 😉

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Mandy. Hmm… Well, I don’t want to cure this particular addiction, that’s for sure.

  9. BelleAmiAuthor

    I don’t binge books or TV, however, I am loyal to certain authors who earn my love. Alice Hoffman comes to mind. Justin Cronin and his series called The Passage held me so rapt I couldn’t breathe without thinking about those books. I think I’ve waited years for the third book in the series to come out. It’s out and I bought it. Wait I just remembered, speaking of vampires, I read all of Anne Rices books in a binge. I guess I’m a binger too!
    Thanks,
    Tema Merback
    Writing as Belle Ami

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Tema. Maybe we all have the capacity to binge, if we find the right books to binge on. 🙂

    • Barbara Monajem

      I’m totally in agreement with you there, Violetta. I don’t watch much TV or movies. I like being able to control the pace and use my imagination — works much better with books! 🙂

  10. Janet

    Yes I binge read often! I’m a huge lover of series and love to read the whole series from book 1. Even if I’ve read the books before, if the author releases a new book in that series, I’ve gotta go back and read the whole series again! I love taking a weekend curled in and do nothing but read and drink tea!

    • Barbara Monajem

      Hi, Janet. 🙂 Yeah, I can happily curl up and drink tea, too.

  11. Barbara Monajem

    And the winner is… ElaineM! Elaine, I will email you about getting your prize. Thanks for the all comments, everyone. 🙂

    • ElaineM

      Thank you! Can’t wait to read it. Sent you my snail mail address via email.