I don't recall when I started reading the series but I know it was not from the beginning (for I was too young then really). I have faithfully bought ever book that came out after I started, 1st print and in hard back even though I have put them off for far longer than I should have.
Book 7 was released in 2006 if I am to believe the information on Amazon.com (or that could be that the paperback portion was released then) and here I sit in January of 2012 just finally finishing it, nearly 6 years later.
I had known that I wanted to read the last three books in succession after sai Kings accident and as such I kept picking them up but waiting on reading them. When they were finally released I started the journey and enjoyed pretty much every page on the way to the final destination.
Wolves of the Calla went by very quickly for me and I had visions of running through the last 3 books within a month. However, about 200 pages into Songs of Susanna I put the book down and walked away from it for a couple of years.
Once I started it over I made quick work of it and then started book 7, The Dark Tower, and once again I stopped just a couple of hundred pages into it. I did not realize it at the time, but the reason I kept stopping was not because I had lost interest but because I did not want it to end. If I did not know what was written on the pages ahead then the journey was still continuing. However, as all things must, I knew that I had to eventually finish the series so that I could see the end of the journey for the ka-tet.
Another reason why I decided to finally finish with the series (as it exists at this moment) was because The Wind Through The Key Hole is coming out this year and I did not want to go into that book without having finished the other books in order. Now that my journey has ended (until Keyhole comes out) I wish that I would have ended it sooner. I wish that I would, instead, be looking to begin anew much like Roland and start back over with The Gunslinger so that I can read the new book in it's proper timeline of the series.
Unless a random lightning strike of motivation hits me this will most likely not be happening. I need to turn my attention to something of a lighter nature and a quicker read for that last book was definitely a heavy hitter on my mind.
I don't know if I'll ever sit down and give this book a good full review because I just don't think that's my style. I'm not one to delve into the inner workings and come up with good words and sentences to do anything justice - I don't believe that I have that kind of talent - at least not enough to make other people say that it was worth their time to read. However (I rely on using that to start sentences too much) I do know that I have two fine folks waiting to palaver with me on the subject of The Dark Tower, Tricia and Josie.
Also, I did want to say that I had no long internal debate on whether or not I wanted to read the "ending" or stop when sai King warned me to stop. I had come this far and I was not going to leave the last few pages sitting there, unfound, without me having knowledge of his artificial ending.
Truth be told I got to the point where I almost expected that ending. It had played in my head over the last couple of weeks in a "wouldn't it be funny if..." kind of way. So in that sense I was not disappointed by the way those last few pages played out. I will state that I do feel that the other ending, before we get to see the inner workings of the Dark Tower, is the true ending and I would have been much happier if the book would have just quit right there. I'm sure it would have pissed many a person off but I feel like that would have been satisfactory.
I loved this book, I loved the series and I will re-read them from start to finish (which is very very rare for me as I almost never re do anything - books, games, whatever). I'm sure as I go through them a 2nd time that I will pick up on things that I didn't before, the language will be quicker to read and easier to comprehend and I will also take the time to go back over sai Kings vast catalog of books and read the other books that come into play in the Dark Tower story line. I've got a lot of words ahead of me but I'm up to the challenge.