When and In What Order Do You Read Novellas?

Discussion Post


Today I want to talk about novellas! (Specifically the ones that are companions to series, not the ones that are standalones.) I know that people are kind of love-or-hate about the idea of novellas, but personally I’m a fan. Of course there are some duds out there, but in general I love them. They’re usually quick and easy reads that provide some background knowledge to the series and/or access to a different character’s perspective.

Some novellas that I really love are: (1) the Shatter Me trilogy novellas, and (2) The Darkest Powers trilogy novellas. Both provide some key information about the world and characters that people who only read the main books are seriously missing out on. Instead of just being fillers to bolster the author’s salary and series’ popularity, they really add something to the story that you wouldn’t be getting otherwise. No, they’re not absolutely necessary for somebody to read the series, but I found that my enjoyment of both of those series was made greater by having read the novellas.

What I really want to talk about today, actually, is not my enjoyment or appreciation of novellas, but actually a more technical aspect. My question is: when and in what order do you usually read novellas?

I’ve found that there are a few ways to go about it: 

  1. In order, exactly the way they are numbered. So, for example, if you were reading The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, you would read: The Witch of Duva (#0.5), Shadow and Bone (#1), The Tailor (#1.5), Siege and Storm (#2), The Too-Clever Fox (#2.5), Little Knife (#2.6), Ruin and Rising (#3). This seems to be the most methodical and “correct” method, but it also poses some problems. Like with, say, the Something Strange and Deadly trilogy, A Dawn Most Wicked is numbered “#0.5” on Goodreads, but personally I feel like it’s something that you should probably read after Something Strange and Deadly (#1), because you need some information gained in the first book in order to fully understand what’s happening in the novella and there are spoilers in the novella for the first book in the series. But I’ve definitely known some people to read them this way anyway, although not all #0.5 novellas require you having read the first book in the series (like in the case of the Grisha trilogy). Also, sometimes people decide they want to “try out” the series and pick a #0.5 one to read, in order to see if they like the characters/author’s writing style.
  2. In order, as they were published. This is a similar style to Way to Read Novellas #1, but in order to get around spoilers and not having enough information, you would read both #0.5 and #1.5 after book #1 and continue on in order from there.
  3.  After all of the books. Some people choose to read all of the main books in the series, and then catch up on novellas. It might be because they just prefer to read them that way, or because they didn’t realize that the series had novellas until they’d already completed it.


Personally, I used to be a Way to Read Novellas #3 kind of girl. And it was mostly because it was just easier. Sometimes I wouldn’t know that the series had novellas, or I’d just want to go right into the next book instead of reading a novella first. I don’t really know why, but it’s how I did it.

But now that, in the past couple of months, I’ve been almost exclusively reading series only after all of the books have been published, I’ve been leaning more towards becoming a Way to Read Novellas #2 person. I definitely don’t agree with Way to Read Novellas #1, and after my experience realizing how crucial it was to read the novellas of the Shatter Me trilogy in the order that they were published, lately I’ve been doing it like that instead.


What about you… Do you read novellas? What order do you read them in?


10 responses to “When and In What Order Do You Read Novellas?

  1. I don’t read novellas much, but it’s really because I usually don’t hear about them until after I’ve finished a series – way after – if at all.

  2. I’m actually a #3 kind of girl, just because I’m too lazy to read them in order and hunt them all down. Plus, if I wait till the end of the series, they’ll usually end up in a compilation paperback like with Unite Me. OR, in the case of Throne of Glass, in one lovely, humongous, hardback that is possibly my favorite in the series 😀

  3. YAY, someone else who loves novellas as much as I do! Honestly, I tend to read them as soon as they are available / as soon as I find out about them. If it’s a novella for a series I haven’t started yet, I’ll usually wait until I’m ready to dive into that series, then read them in series order unless I’ve been told to read them in a certain other order (like with the SSaD one). I’ve sometimes felt that reading the #0.5 novella before reading the first book has been beneficial for me. That’s what I did with Proxy/Avalon by Mindee Arnett, and if I hadn’t, I may have just DNFed Avalon!

    • YAY! Yeah, I’ve started compiling a list of all of the novellas for books/series I want to start. I have this huge page on my blog (which is pretty much just for me, because I’m sure nobody else cares haha) that documents all of the series I’ve finished or am in the middle of (and some of the ones that I want to eventually start), and when I add a series to that list I search for it in Goodreads to see if it has novellas, and that way I’m ready for them and will usually be able to read the whole series in order.

      Interesting that sometimes you read them beforehand! I’ve never done that before. Maybe I’ll try it sometime. Although I’m always worried there will be spoilers, because I’ve read SO many #0.5s that have them. But that’s good to know if I ever decide to read Proxy/Avalon one day.

      • Ahhh, I love it! I do the same thing with any new series I start now. I search to see if it has any accompanying novellas. And I periodically go through again and look to see if any of the series I’m in the middle of have gotten any new novellas since I last checked!

        Maybe I’ve just gotten lucky with the 0.5 novellas I’ve read. Usually I’ll check out a couple reviews and see if people recommend reading it before/after book 1 and go from there.

  4. I think I may be #2? But only if I KNOW that the novellas are coming out. I don’t really keep track of releases unless I really LOVE LOVE the book series. Sometimes I’ll finish the series, then go to the author’s site and see that they’ve got some novellas up for grabs. Other times, I might be in the middle of the series and decide to read it. It depends, really. 🙂

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  6. For me it depends on when I start to read the books, or when I REALISE that there are novellas out there, haha 😛
    And also whether or not I like the series!
    For example, I’ve read almost all the S&B novellas, but after I’ve read S&B and S&S simply because I didn’t know about them/and or they were not published yet (I cannot remember which one but yeah).
    If I discover a series that is finished and contains novellas, I’ll usually read them in order if it’s a series I LOVE and cannot get enough of (except prequels because I really think that even though in the timeline of the story they come first, they shouldn’t be read first – you don’t know enough about the characters, I think). That way I get the whole rounded story 😀
    But if I am not so keen on a series I probably won’t even bother with the novellas >.<

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