{DISCUSSION} Reading Multiple Books

Do you read multiple books at once?

Don’t want to read?
Listen to/watch the discussion on Youtube!

In case you haven’t been paying attention, my review schedule is PACKED! And I mean packed. I have books scheduled until June! 0.0 This happened because I made the mistake of requesting waaaay too many ARCs that release in the next couple months.

But, why did I do this? Wouldn’t have been easy to tell which books I’d requested and just stop requesting? Well… the thing is… I didn’t actually think I’d get accepted for any of them, much less most of them!

Now, this is both good and bad. It means I get to read a LOT of books before they come out! Yay! And I’m borrowing a Kindle right now, which means I don’t have to read them on my itty-bitty phone! Double yay! But the bad part is that 6 of the books come out in April… and I only review books on Sundays… oops. 

If that weren’t bad enough, I’m the slowest reader on the planet. And I know what you guys are thinking: “Oh, come on! You can’t be that bad!” Nah. I’m serious. I can sit around and read all day and I still only manage to get through 100 pages of a YA novel, which means reading all these books is going to take me FOREVER!

Which is why I pondered this super crazy, twisted, insane idea of… reading multiple books at once.

I know people who do it. They read a few chapters of one book. Set it down. Pick up another and read some of that. I know some people (my brother) who read 3+ books at once! Apparently it has something to do with getting tired of the story, kind of like when you get tired of one flavor and want a different type of food.

While I understand getting tired of something when you spend too much time with it, this still baffles me! I mean, how do you do that? How can you compartmentalize your brain by story? Don’t you get them mixed up? Don’t you start to cross characters and worlds and plots? I can barely remember what’s happening in the one book I’m reading after I put it down for a few hours! I can’t even imagine trying to remember what’s going on in two or more!

Though, perhaps those people are able to compartmentalize. Maybe the truly can just shut the door on one book and open the door on another. Or perhaps they don’t, but they don’t care because they’re just reading for enjoyment instead of reviewing (like me.) I think reviewing is definitely one of the reasons why I don’t try and read more than one book at once because I’d hate to screw up my review because I get the books mixed up.

Do you read more than one book at a time?
Let me know in the comments!


And check out my discussion from last week:
Politics in YA

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40 thoughts on “{DISCUSSION} Reading Multiple Books

  1. If the books are different enough, I could manage two at once. Like one non-fiction, and two genre fiction stories in separate genres would be doable. But if I don’t like a book enough to do this, then I’ll just stop reading it.

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  2. I definitely used to be a polygamous reader, but I’ve recently started just reading one book at a time. I find I give up on books less if I’m only reading one at a time. I tended to always read the most interesting books on my bedside table and neglect the others when I was reading several at a time.

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    1. Hmm. That is an interesting concept, Anna. I hadn’t thought about how favoring one book over the others might lead to never finishing a book, but it makes sense. I suppose it’s kind of like how I am more likely to read a book I just bought over a book that’s been sitting on my shelf for a while. Did you ever find you had to go back and start one of those books over again after neglecting it?

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  3. I think a lot depends on why and how a person prefers to read. It may well be that some who read multiple books at the same time get them confused, but don’t mind that.
    Then again, many people watch multiple shows at the same time, owing to the convention of one episode released per week, though that may be a visual vs textual matter.

    When I’m reading a book for the sake of reviewing I’ll often pause after each chapter and jot down some notes, which certainly help me to better retain the diverse opinions & reactions I have.

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    1. See, and a few people have brought up watching multiple TV shows as the same, but I don’t think it is. I think the additional sensory details added to the TV show allow the person to keep them separate. What I mean by that is TV shows interact with a person’s hearing (assuming they aren’t deaf) and their sight (assuming they aren’t blind.) Therefore, each TV show connects to two separate parts in the brain, giving them more unique cues, where books only interact with the visual part of the brain. Additionally, when reading a book, the brain is left to make up the images and they have the ability to change and adapt based on what the person is reading, but TV shows show us exactly what is there. We don’t have to imagine it and there is little, if any, room for the image to adapt. (Jeez. Did any of that make sense?)

      Also, dang! You are far more meticulous about your reviewing than I am. :p I just read and if something catches my attention, I may jot that down, but otherwise, I just read.

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      1. Thank you, though I find that if I don’t jot down notes I can’t write a proper review. I have a friend who can casually read and still pick up on patterns, and I greatly admire those who can, but I’m a slow learner.

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  4. I generally read 2 to 3 books at a time. Never more than 3 though haha. This is a newer habit I developed over the last 2 years. I do not know how to explain it other than comparing it to watching several television series. It works the same way for me. I have never had issues when it is time to review. I just read on whichever title I feel at the moment and can hop around so to speak. I do usually tend to favor one always though 😛

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    1. Oh man. I wish I could do that. It would be so awesome to be able to read multiple books at once because there are definitely times when I set a book down simply because I don’t want to read that book, but I still want to read. sigh Though, for you it sounds like you kind of have… a favorite of the three books. Like they have a hierarchy? :p

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  5. Hey there! I definitely read more than one book at a time. Sometimes, I am involved in up to 5 different books!😅 That’s because I have to read a lot for uni, and I read for my blog, for my business and then there are also those books that just came into the stores or presents and then there are always audiobooks and yeah.. But it works well for me, even though I don’t do it for pleasure but because I don’t have the time to read one after the other.

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    1. Wow! That’s a lot you have to read for. Though, I have heard that separating the books into nonfiction (for school/work) and fiction helps people compartmentalize. Still, I’m in awe! I thought 3 was a lot of books to read at once. 5! I mean… My brain can’t even compute. :p

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  6. I always read about 4-5 books at the same time. Am I weird? I just can’t resist starting a new book the second I get it! I usually read lots of different genres so that help me to keep the storylines straight and if two start to get confused I’ll leave one of them and come back to it later. Plus I listen to audiobooks but I’m not much of a fan because usually I’m doing other stuff so I don’t always take everything in. I can read for hours skipping between different novels – if a book gets boring I’ll set a target number of pages to get through, then start a different one to give myself a break. I’ve always read like that ever since I was little.

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    1. Wow. You’re like a machine, Lucinda! 0.0 And I mean that in the best way. Haha! I definitely have seen people saying that different genres of different mediums for books helps them to compartmentalize, but I’m like you. I end up accidentally missing pieces of audiobooks. So, I often refrain from listening to them. Still, I think it’s amazing how you have a system for reading. If I’m bored with a book, I just… keep reading (usually because I’m reviewing it) or I put it down and let it sit for a while. Though, I don’t pick anything else up in the meantime, which is probably where I’m losing a lot of time. :/ Something to look into. Thank you for giving me a new idea and keep up the amazing reading speed! 😀

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      1. Haha! I thought everyone read like me. Maybe not! I find it much easier to stick to a review schedule if I’m reading multiple books too, if I know there’s a massive 500 page behemoth coming along I’ll read a couple of novellas or graphic novels at the same time so I still have something to blog about. I guess everyone is different but maybe try it and see how it works for you 🙂

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        1. Haha! There are reasons why I only post one book review a week and that’s so I can read short books and create a buffer for reading longer books. :p However, that backfired when I received ARCs and had to post them by a certain date. :/

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  7. I read very slowly too, under 20 books a year. When I read multiples, I tend to read two books, one every other day. That way, I keep them compartmentalized. My reading speed drives me crazy, and I often get impatient for the other books on my TBR List.

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    1. Growing up, I was lucky if I finished 5 books a year, but I have made a concerted effort to really vamp up that number in the last two years because of my TBR. I have 200+ books on my TBR and I’ve bought at LEAST 80 of them, and I feel bad just letting them sit around unloved. 😦 So, I completely understand. Perhaps I will try that compartmentalizing by day trick, though. Sounds like a good one! ^.^

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  8. I do read multiple books at a time, but it has to be different genres. I will carry my kindle in my purse every where I go which usually has a Netgalley ARC on it. So if that is a romance book and I read it during the day on lunch break or whatever, then at home before bed I will usually read a fantasty, sci-fi or YA…

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    1. Hmm… maybe that’s my problem. A lot of people seem to read books that are in differing genres from each other, but… I don’t read much outside scifi/fantasy. :p Makes it a little more difficult to separate them when they’re all in the same genre. Haha!

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  9. Nonfiction? Of course. Fiction? I have, but not often and I prefer not to. If a book is good, I get pulled into the universe and can do nothing else except read it until I am done. I can’t read news, can’t eat (unless I’m also reading), can’t… well, you get it. If I am a third of the way into a book and haven’t been sucked in, I don’t finish. So, the question is, where in there is there room for reading a second book, not to mention a third or fourth? I mean, I don’t have time to sleep if I’m really into a book…. (I don’t read as much as I would like because I have to be strategic – I know my life is stopping until I am finished)

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    1. Oh man. If I were to read like you, I wouldn’t eat or sleep for days! Haha! But I’m a super slow reader. :p I imagine I used to read school textbooks while also reading fiction on the side, but I almost wonder if it uses a different part of my brain because one is sciencey and the other is creative. Curious thought. I’m still not sure how you manage to survive when reading. You must read pretty fast, yeah?

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      1. I do read fast. Also, I eat with a book in my hand. And it was a slight (very slight 😉 ) exaggeration. I have stayed up all night reading, but typically I can put it down for a short time to sleep and such. I can even suffer through the work day if I must 😉 But, the part about planning when I’m going to start a new book isn’t an exaggeration – if i know I’m going to be committed, I make sure I have time.

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  10. I can’t read more than one book at a time, but I do listen to an audio book at work and then read a physical book at home. I think that the two different mediums help to keep the characters separate from each other. I have no idea how people can read more than one physical book at the same time. I’ve tried in college, but I get the plots and characters confused.

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    1. Aw. I’m jealous. I can’t do audiobooks because I always hate the voices and the pace with which they read. Also, I’m not sure when I’d ever listen to audiobooks since university courses aren’t really an appropriate place to listen to books. :p

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      1. I also go the audio book route. It allows me to listen to the book while I do other things. This is helpful because when I do read a paperback I have a very hard time putting it down. I also use Natural Reader 14 where I select voices I like listening to that can read the book files for me. 🙂

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        1. Maybe I’m just weird, but the few times I’ve tried listening to audiobooks (always while driving), I kept zoning out and forgot I was listening to a book. Then, I’d zone back in and be upset that I missed something. Maybe that’s why I’ve never really gotten into audiobooks. Though, what else do you do while listening to audiobooks besides driving?

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          1. I work on my websites, social media, or graphic design/ book illustration projects. When I’m not working I usually listen to them while I crochet. I don’t like silence much, so an audio book allows me to do other things and not have a silent house.

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