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How Many Books at a Time?

Musing Mondays2

I’ve seen several bloggers mention reading multiple books this week. Do you frequently read more than one book at a time? Do you try to limit this to a certain number? Do you have different books for different purposes/topics?

I very rarely read more than one novel at a time. I need to summon all my attention on reading about the development of one plot and not to confuse about characters from different novels. As you have have noticed from my reviews, I read books back to back with no break. There is always a book lined up when I finish the current book. Even if several books are vying for my attention, I only pick up one and peruse it closely, i.e. scribbling notes, jotting down passages, marking page references. A ho-hum book I would skim through to the end; one of which the story doesn’t take off at all I quickly abandon for another. When I do read more than a book at a time, it would be for collection of essays and short stories, a non-fiction on history or travel, something that doesn’t require an attention span that would distract me from fiction reading. David Sedaris is a perfect example. I do not prefer to read a novel over a long time, meaning, I don’t allow gap between two readings to disrupt coherence.

23 Responses

  1. I read one book at a time most of the time.

    However, when I have two interesting, short books, I might read both at the same time.

  2. During the school year I read several books at once because I have books I’m reading for class and books I’m reading on my own. Right now I’m reading five books which is just insane, but one of them is a collection of letters so it is not demanding with a plot. When I’m not in school I am more apt to read 1-2 books at a time. It seems like you have a very structured “way” to read, with note taking and everything. I kind of have that but it varies from book to book.

    • Books that are not demanding in plots would be perfect if I want to read more than one books. For example, I would read something very light, or even a non-fiction, when I’m reading a dense novel by Virginia Woolf. The brain would appreciate the break. 🙂

  3. I always have at least three, sometimes four going at once. Somehow, because one or two are books for my kids, and at least two are audio, I never get them confused.

    • I know you’re the multi-tasker since you also listen to audio books. I am reading two at the moment: Bastard Out of Carolina and a book on cultural history of Hong Kong. The latter is light because I’m so familiar with the topic and reading it like a magazine. 🙂

  4. you are very disciplined.
    I try to have only one active book..but I always have a few semi-inactive books waiting on the sidelines, begging to be finished. They are usually books I put aside but don’t want to give up on totally.

    • I like your tactic to reading/finishing sem-active books. That way you can be released from the more dense, demanding ongoing book if you want to have a little something to read.

  5. I read books back to back as well, although this year, I am trying to write the review beore I pick up the next book to help keep me ahead.

    • I usually let my thought on the book saturate for a day or so before I write a review. In the meantime, I would be starting anew one because sometimes it takes a little while to get used to the new book. 🙂

  6. Seriously, I am always so impressed with your focus and dedication to whatever book you’re reading. I am constantly switching between books, because I always end up in different spots of my apartment, and then I don’t want to go all the way upstairs or all the way downstairs for one book when I’ve got another one right here. That probably does take away from the experience of reading each book, come to think of it.

    • Really? Geographical barrier dictates your reading? 🙂 My current book is always in my bag when I’m not reading it at home. I rarely read in bed so the small stack on the nightstand are books lined up to be read. 🙂

  7. One book for me at a time. Here’s Mine

  8. I have a hard time reading more than one book at a time. I’ve tried reading something on my Kindle and then an actual book thinking I could trick myself somehow but it didn’t work!

    • That’s very interesting! I think I can multi-task with magazines and books that either do not have demanding plot or are non-fiction. Usually I focus on just one book because I want to be very consistent to the flow of the novel.

  9. I read only one book at a time. I think the only time I would make an exception is if I’m reading an anthology. In my experience, they are not good for reading straight through.

  10. I try to read one book at a time too…there are times where I’ll read a graphic novel or a short story while I’m engaged in a novel.

  11. I limit myself to four at a time (unless I have something that needs a review per a publisher). And, my reading consists of two LGBT and two non-LGBT books at a time.

  12. i can and usually do read more than one book at a time. But the books have to be not too alike. I read a lot of different genres so this makes it easy for me to switch up. At the end of the month – it usually all works for me in the total number of books that I read.

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