A difference that is no difference makes no difference.
Here's the thing, what I want, when all is said and done are stories that matter.
Now someone reading that might assume that means that I am talking about the kind of books we are getting from the post Destiny novels, or from the newly minted RotF era. But it's not quite as simple as that.
Continuity is nice. I'm a fan of continuity, and I do like it best of best when the events in a novel influence events in other novels.
But that's not the only way to matter.
When a story gives me insight into a character the way that Metamorphosis, gave me insight into Data, then the story matters.
When a story gives me a sense the history of earth that led ultimately to the Federation we have today the way that both the Eugenic Wars and Rings of time have done, then the story matters.
When a story takes an event that I've taken for granted and gives me a fresh perspective on it and it's impact on a character (such as Mr. Bennett's take on the events of Inner Light) then it matters.
The problem for me was that for much of the 90's "self contained" stories far too often seemed to mean that there was nothing but endless repetition of what had been seen on the screen, with no allowance for any aspect of the story to step even so much as a big toe outside of established box.
For a time I didn't mind, but the older I got the more tiresome I found that.
Fortunately right about the time they might have lost me for a long spell as a reader they decided to launch The New Frontier series.
That was the beginning and from there it has blossomed. Now we have things like the DS9 relaunch, and the Typhon Pact thread, and now the investigation of the early history of the UFP.
Now when the odd story comes along that is maybe a little simpler I don't mind. Often there will still be some fresh insights to be gleaned. But even when that isn't that case since I have so much stuff that matters I find I can better enjoy a story that maybe doesn't but is still well presented.