Should the books be read in chronological order?

I had put the first and secomnd book on hold at my local library. After a long wait I finally got my hands on one of them, but it is the second book ‘ The girl who played with fire’. I’m now hesitant to starrt it though, without having read the first one. Is it better to read them in order or does it not matter which one I read first. Should I wait for the first one?

Posted by Sandy S. , 18 February 2010

By Editor

40 thoughts on “Should the books be read in chronological order?”
  1. Early on in the third book you get a sort of overview of what has gone before.

    However if you take this short cut you’d realise from this brief synopsis that the entire plot is ridiculously far-fetched and conflated.

    Those that read the first two books might not think so because the plot has snuck on them gradually.

    The books are still a thrilling read though. Thoroughly enjoyable.

    Posted by R Jones in Wales ,

  2. I mistakenly read the second book first, Then I read the first book and realised how much better it would have been to understand the characters. The third book definitely requires one to have read both preceeding books. Fantastic read from all three. Not to be missed at any price!

    Posted by S.K. Brady in Manchester, England ,

  3. I bought the first book quite by chance when Xmas shopping as it was on promotion at Waterstones. What a treasure I had been missing. So much so that I couldn’t wait to buy the second one once I finished the first and now, having finished the second, I have pre-ordered the third in paperback. The best part of the process has been learning about the characters and seeing them develop – I cannot imagine reading the books out of order and would tell anyone not to risk spoiling the adventure.

    Posted by Rhian in London ,

  4. Definately read them in order. 5 of us were going to share them one by one, but none of us could bare waiting for each of the others to finish and between us we have ended up with about 3 copies of each book!!

    Posted by Mandy. Tasmania ,

  5. They are independently all great and thrilling books, but still read them in order. By not doing so you will miss a lot of the background and understanding of the characters.

    Posted by Robert in Malmoe ,

  6. You must read them in order. You will get the know the characters and the storyline from the first book and then pick up where the first book ended with the second book. I just today received the third book and am very anxious to begin reading it. I am thrilled to have found a trilogy of books that have been real page-turners from beginning to end! I recently saw the first movie and loved every minute of it – I simply didn’t want it to end.

    Posted by Donna Colarulo in Haddonfield ,

  7. You could do what I did, see the movie (of the first book) and read the second. Amazing character and plot development

    Posted by denise k in Canberra Australia ,

  8. I bought the 2nd book in the airport. Speaking to a friend she told me to stop at once and read the 1st book so I would understand who every one is. I am so interested in researching the towns….

    Posted by amy b in delray florida ,

  9. I read the second then the first then the third and I don’t think it made one bit of difference !!!!!! p.s. the first book is best

    Posted by karen Bee in cassino Italy ,

  10. I bought the 2nd because the store didn’t have the first. I’m really enjoying it, but after reading these comments, think I should stop and try a different bookstore!

    Posted by rose moira in dallas texas ,

  11. Read the books in order. Each book introduces a new facet and history to Lisbeth Salander. But unless you read the first book first, you can not truly appreciate Lisbeth Salandar and Mikael Blumqvist and their complicated lives/relationships. The order is 1) The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, 2) The Girl Who Played With Fire, 3) The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. It is like eating a 7-layer chocolate torte. Each layer is more complex and delicious than the layer before. And you want more, More, MORE!!!

    Posted by Julie in Jacksonville, FL (USA) ,

  12. To complicate things, I read 1 and 2, then saw the movie – which was a great adaptation of book 1. And the subtitles seemed pretty accurate, THEN, I re-read 1 and 2 (something I rarely do) and still enjoyed them. Three is coming to the US this month – I may have to buy the HardCover!

    Posted by mb in berkeley (USA) ,

  13. yep bought *Hornets’ Nest* in hardcover I was that impatient. MUST READ in chronological order and savour like a Werthers caramel.

    Posted by Barb in Regina, Saskatchewan ,

  14. I think to really understand the characters and to appreciate how their relationships develop, you should read them in order

    Posted by Mark in Los Angeles ,

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