Are you a promiscuous reader? Do you double-date, or even triple-date, with books? Or are you strictly a one-book-at-a-time reader?
If you only ever have one book on the go, it does perhaps allow you to focus more intensely on that book – all your imaginative journeying is to the same place and with the same characters. However, I am a great advocate of more promiscuous reading. I am certain that having more than one book on the go at a time allows you to read more. There is always something you are in the mood for and you have far more flexibility. You can move happily from a serious work of literary criticism during the day, to an easy-to-read murder mystery at night, to an audio book on car trips. If you are feeling down, you can move to a comfort read, or if you suddenly get the urge to learn more about an era of history, you can satisfy that urge without feeling that you ought to be finishing the book you began on Monday.
When younger I felt that I had to finish one book before starting on another. It has been liberating to ditch that view and move happily amongst a variety of books. There’s never a problem forgetting narrative or characters – I seem to switch into a book as easily when I have several books on the go, as when I had only one. Split focus has never proved a problem. These days I usually have four at a time – something serious and academic (non-fiction), a lighter read (fiction), an audio book on CDs that lives in the car and is just for when I drive, and an audio book on my Ipod which can be listened to in the kitchen or when I’m out walking.
How you do feel about multiple books on the go at once? How many is the right number for you? Share your thoughts by leaving a comment.
I only recommend books I have read and know. Some of these links are my affiliate links. If you buy a book by clicking on one of these links I receive a small commission. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, but does help cover the cost of producing my free newsletter.
Comments are moderated, and will not appear until approved.