With the wide world o’ books being as sequel-happy as it is nowadays, there’s a good chance you find yourself reading a series from time to time. On the whole, series are pretty great. They allow us to get deeply invested in characters as their exploits provide us hours upon hours of reading enjoyment. Lurking beneath the surface of all this serial goodness (mmmm….serial), however, is a dark side.
Close your eyes (well, don’t really close your eyes; that would be a silly thing to do in the middle of a sentence) and imagine an all-too-real scenario that’s probably happened to someone you care about, or, heaven forbid, you yourself: You go to your local library and pick up a book by a prolific author whose body of work is so massive, it fills three whole shelves. Not knowing one from another and assuming they’re all equally good, you pick a title at random. You take it home and start reading. You’re loving it. Things are going well…perhaps too well. You take another glimpse at the title page and discover, in a conflicted moment of simultaneous delight and horror, that the book you thought was a standalone novel is actually the fifth book in a series of ten. “That’s great,” thinks both the excited part of you that’s tickled by the prospect of devouring nine more novels in your new favorite fictional universe and the sarcastic part of you that’s miffed about unwittingly starting in the middle of a massive story arc and having to track down nine other books in the proper sequence. You need to find books one through four stat, and you’ll soon need books six through ten. However, the order of a series isn’t always obvious just by looking at book titles and covers, and online lists of sequences can be unreliable. Where do you turn?
I recommend you turn to eSequels, the library’s handy new resource for finding accurate series information. It gives you access to vital details about hundreds of popular series, including the granddaddy of vital details, the accurate sequence of the books. You can search by traditional categories like author, title, subject, and keyword, and also by not-so-traditional categories like character and location. So, if all you can remember about a book is that it’s about some detective named Precious from Gabarone*, you can track it and the other books in the series down on eSequels. Have your valid Benbrook Public Library card ready and click here to get started, or visit the database page on our website. Give it a try, and may all your reading be sequential.
*In case you were wondering, the book you’d be looking for is The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall-Smith.