Discussion: Reading More Than One Book At A Time

A long time ago, when I was a little girl, I would traipse off to the library every week with my Mum or Dad to max out my library card. Going with Dad was better because he would check out a couple of books for me on his card, allowing me to get more than the measly six maximum that the library allowed (classic parenting skills – my Mum would just force me to put some of my choices back. I think my Dad couldn’t be bothered with the hassle). Anyway, when I got home I’d be so excited that I’d read a couple of chapters of one book, then be distracted by the shiny shiny Other New Books so I’d start a different one…then the same thing would happen…and before you knew it I’d have started them all (I had A LOT of bookmarks). Fast forward thirty years and…I still do exactly the same thing. No self control, me ☺

I had absolutely NO IDEA this was weird until I mentioned it on a tag and everyone was like “that’s crazy!” and I was like “is it? I thought it was normal!” 

Evidently not.

So, confession time: I’m currently reading nine different books at the same time. 

(I’ll leave a little gap here so you have time to digest that)

Do you get confused between the stories?

No, fictional questioner. I tend to read from different genres so I can keep all of the plots straight in my head. To me it’s like watching different tv shows – sometimes I binge read one book, sometimes I’ll read a few chapters then flip to something else. 

Do you ever accidentally leave a book that you’re not that into for months on end then forget what’s going on?

Occasionally this does happen but I have a reading planner to prevent such mishaps (get me!) It also stops me from maxing out library renewals because it can take me months to finish a book that I don’t really like.

What are the best things about reading lots of books at once?

I love the variety – you can swap between books and read whatever takes your fancy. It makes reading difficult/long/boring books easier as you can dip in and out of them when you’re in the right frame of mind. It staves off reading slumps by allowing me to start reading that new book that I’m excited about and it gives me more flexibility to fit in ARC’s that have tight deadlines. It also means that if I’m reading a big heavy paperback I don’t have to lug it round with me everywhere!

Do you have any tips for budding multi book readers?

I find it easier to read books that are wildly different from each other so if you’re going to start mixing it up I’d try to make sure I was reading a maximum of one book per genre. Also, make sure you’re prioritising books with deadlines (library books, ARC’s, borrowed books etc.) because it might take you a lot longer to get through them. And finally – enjoy the freedom!

Do you read more than one book at a time, or do you think the whole idea is batshit crazy? Are you tempted to join the dark side? Let me know in the comments!

24 thoughts on “Discussion: Reading More Than One Book At A Time

  1. I can only read one book at a time. I just finished Nicholas Nickleby, but I am taking a big break from reading. I just don’t understand why people have time for so many books at once.

    I have committed to a project of my own- I have committed to writing a children’s fantasy. I can’t read a book while writing a book-it’s too much.

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    1. I don’t necessarily have more time to read than anyone else – I just cycle through all the books on my list – it can take me months to finish them!

      I absolutely don’t have the patience to write so I have the utmost respect for anyone that does – best of luck! 😊

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      1. I am not a very patient person. I have always been a storyteller; just never wrote a book. I don’t have the patience to be able to write a book while reading- it is too much to balance at the same time, which is why I am taking that reading break

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  2. I’m reading four books right now, lol. Part of it for me is that I tend to read things in different formats. I always have an audio book in progress for when I’m driving, I like to have a kindle book so I can knock out a chapter or two from my computer at work if I have extra time, and I need to have a physical book going as well because I love them.

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    1. Yay, I’m not the only one! I like to have different formats too, although I find that I miss bits of audiobooks if I’m listening to them whilst doing something else. Usually because I’m shouting at other drivers πŸ˜‚

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  3. I was thinking this seems fairly normal until I read “9 books”!! The reason why I don’t read more than one book at a time is because I’m very forgetful and can barely remember what I had for lunch yesterday much less the plot of certain books. I’m really in awe that you can read 9 different books and not get confused, seems like fun to switch between genres whenever you feel like it πŸ˜€

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    1. πŸ˜‚ yeah I don’t think it’s normal! It’s just something I’ve always done. I can’t remember yesterday’s lunch either but I can remember book plots for some reason 😊

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  4. I agree with you on the variety. I’m very much a mood reader to so if I can’t decide or if I have to read something for an ARC or want to try a classic it helps to have the other books going on at the same time and strangely I do keep better track of the stories. So overall I’ve actually found it helps my reading. But everyones different of course!

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  5. I generally have at least four on the go, but they’re by location – so I don’t have to carry them. Some books don’t come in e-format, so they’re heavy; some are non-fiction, some library books, some are for editing (my books, so I need to leave a long time after it’s finished), some are for pleasure, and one or two in locations near the telly so I can read during the ads – and if the books is so much better than what’s on the box … no competition! And at least two by the bed – one fiction, one non-fiction.
    But I’m a light reader compared to my other half!

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    1. Yes! I spread my books out all over the house too. I generally walk around with a big pile of phone/kindle/tablet/book/blogging notebook/planner – I even have a little tray to keep them all together! πŸ˜‚

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  6. I love reading multiple books at the same time! I love variety and options. My challenge is when I can’t decide which one to bring with me somewhere and therefore must bring all the books I’m currently reading.

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  7. I have read 2 books at once in the past, but it’s definitely not what I prefer! I find I don’t become absorbed in the story or world as well. Don’t know why. What you said about it being like multiple TV shows makes perfect sense.

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  8. Nine at once? My mind boggles at the mere thought πŸ˜‚ I’m jealous though. I’m very much a one book at a time kind of reader, but I’m always so excited to get to lots of books that I wish I could read several at once.

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  9. hehe my mum also used to do that thing of letting me get out more books on her card πŸ˜‰ It’s funny though cos even though I have no self control when it comes to getting books out, I still stick to strictly one book at a time! I totally get why people flick between books- I just, dunno… I never see myself doing that!

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