I've been think, think, thinking about the last book in my Lucky Numbers series lately. It's bittersweet to say goodbye to characters I've really gotten to know (even though I'm also dream, dream, dreaming of the next series, too). The reason I love to read books that belong to a series is that I get plenty of "what comes next" after the happily ever after for my hero and heroine. I love it when characters from previous books pop up in the next in the series. I can see they're making it last!
The first series I ever binged (although this was many, many years ago and we didn't call it that) was the Little House books. My mom would take me to the library and I would check out two or three and read them obsessively until they were gone. Then I badgered my mother into another library trip. Finishing the last book by Rose Wilder Lane was the first time I felt that book loss, after all the good ones are gone (woe!). Almanzo Wilder was the first fictional (is this right? If he's a real person but...) character I fell in love with.
And my patient mother. She read all the time. She made me a reader and had no one to blame for all the library trips I forced her to make but herself. Once I found the joy of a used book store and series romance, my love affair with books started to gather speed (and cost). I miss my mother every day for a lot of reasons, but bookstores were our thing. I can't walk into one without thinking of her.
From the prairie, I visited Marmee in Little Women (and I always wanted to be Jo) and read through Little Men and Jo's Boys. There was a total eureka moment when I found Janette Oke's Love Comes Softly series. I've had a love affair with the prairie my whole life. Until now. I currently live in (a house in) the middle of a pasture. Cows are a hassle and they aren't even mine. And when I hear the coyotes yipping in the spring and fall, I feel very Half Pint-ish in her cabin listening to the wolves.
What about you? What was the book that lit the spark? We all love books. What's the best series you've ever read? I think it might be time for me to hit a bookstore. (It's always time for a bookstore.)