A series of unfortunate books

When there is a television or book series, and it starts to decline in quality, you usually here how fans of the series don’t like it like they once did. However, they will stick with the series because they have invested so much into the series already.

I think most fans, when they are in these situations, hope the series will turn around. Very rarely does it turn it around. Other than Friday Night Lights, there isn’t a series that comes to mind that turned it around after a precipitous decline.

Over the years, I’ve quickly bailed on a series. (That is your season one finale Heroes?) And, I have stuck around too long, before bailing, because I hoped it would turn around. (Now what, The Office?)

I’m bailing on Lemony Snicket’s A Series Of Unfortunate Events.

Now, these books I have been around for awhile. I really enjoyed the first three books. I read them in anticipation of the film adaptation. The film was one of my favorite adaptations.

I hadn’t read the rest of the books, but over the years I had amassed a number of them to read. They were on ever-growing list of books to read. I held off on reading the rest because I wanted to experience them with my kids.

Earlier in the year, I started reading the books to Liam. It was fun to reread the first three books, and Liam was engrossed in them.

And then we started to read the fourth book.

It was underwhelming. Yes, the books are formulaic, but the book became longer with less pay off. It didn’t really do anything to move the overall story forward. The fifth book rebounded, with what looked like the introduction of new characters. The sixth and seventh books? They were getting longer, but not better. More filler. I felt like I was being strung along.

Worse, I was continuing to read these to Liam. Whereas before he was asking me to read them to him, now I was asking if he wanted me to read them to him. He was indifferent. When I did read to him, he would be easily distracted. He just wanted me to read something to him, and it didn’t matter what it was.

When I finished the seventh book I realized I dreaded reading the rest of the books. I then wondered why I felt like I had to finish the series out. It went back to the fallacy of sunk costs. I didn’t want to waste my time with Liam on something neither of us enjoyed. We had six more books to read. No thanks.*

*I looked up the rest of the books on Wikipedia, read the summaries, and my decision to stop reading the series was confirmed.

I know many who have enjoyed the entire series. That’s great. However, I did not. I shouldn’t feel obliged to finish it out, or some other media, just because I started it. My time is limited. If possible, I will not experience the unfortunate event of wasting my time consuming a book, movie or show I don’t enjoy after starting it.

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