This came up in a fairly recent Facebook discussion, and I realised it's another one of my reading quirks. When you discover an author whose books you love and find out that the author has written several books, do you go and acquire and devour them all at once? When you come across a captivating first book in a series, do you keep reading them (assuming the entire series is out already, or at least more than the first volume) until you have none left?
I don't. I read just the one. Then I wait. (And read something else, of course!) Then, after some time has passed, I pick up the next book in the series, or another book by that great, “new” author. Again I take a break before moving on to the next one. In other words, I never read books in the same series one after the other (unless, perhaps, they've been published as a single volume). I'm calling this a reading quirk because I've been told it's a weird way of doing things and other readers have questioned my method. (I wish they had admired my patience and self-control and will power, but no...)
Which made me wonder, why do I do that? If the series really is that good, why don't I race through it? I would want to, sure. But even more than that I want to avoid that inevitable feeling of the end. As long as I don't read the next book, and, in particular, the very last book, the characters are still there, the world is still there... it's not over yet! Anything can happen! I can always go back. And I want that feeling to last.
Yes, I can always re-read the series, and so go back into that world, but somehow it's just not quite the same when you know how it's all going to turn out. The last book, the last page... there is a terrible finality there!