Discussion:Reading Multiple books simultaneously

So I like reading a lot. But unlike what seems to be a lot of other book bloggers, I often read more than one book at a time. I’ll talk about some reasons for this, and then I’ll go into the pros and cons. For example, right now I’m in the middle of Emmy and Oliver (closer to the beginning, actually), have started Under the Never Sky and Go set a Watchman. I’m read A Passage To India for English. I plan to finish all of them, although I don’t know when.

  1. One book is for English or school in some way, and the other(s) is for pure enjoyment. Just ‘cause I have to read books as homework doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it, but books chosen by me are more enjoyable (and good motivation to finish the homework book)
  2. One is an audiobook or in some form other than paper, and the other is a physical book. This one, I suppose, is common for other people makes sense for a lot of people, I guess. I don’t want to use my ereader all the time, and I can feel dedicated to more than one book at once, depending on the situation. Emmy and Oliver is an ebook, the others are not.
  3. I lost my book, but want to read. I am very good at losing things. (For example, if the stationery I had was a function of the progression of the school year, it would be a decreasing line with an occasional local maximum where I find a pen/pencil/eraser on the floor.) Similarly, I often leave my book somewhere, and get a new one from the library, Shanti or my bookshelf in the meantime. I lost Under the Never Sky and only found it (along with my piano music) today, in the lost and found. 
  4. I ran out of library books. In the holidays (the only nearby real library is at school) I run out of library books, then lose my readerly direction. I might begin to reread something, pick something else up, or take someone else’s, so I’ll technically be in the middle of quite a few. I was reading the 5th Wave and it was late, so I borrowed Shanti’s Go Set a Watchman.  (This probably comes under three but whatevs)
  1. This is probably the most common reason: My library ebook expired before I finished it. I use our ereader a lot more in the holidays, since I’m more desperate and less busy, and will be half-way through when it just disappears. Even if I was extremely engrossed, it often takes me a while before I get around to it again, and I’ll start a new book or three in the meantime.
    1. Example: We all looked up by Tommy Wallach. I was enjoying it a lot, and about halfway through when poof! It disappeared. In the meantime, I read 2 or 3 other books like Trickster’s Choice and Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, before I was able to finish it. (And that ending. I wanted to know, okay? I might as well have not finished it for all the answers it gave me.)

What are the pros of reading more than one book at a time?

I’m a mood reader, and I like browsing and being random. If I’m in the mood for a contemporary, then I can read that, then pick up a fantasy the next day before returning to the fantasy. For example, the 5th Wave was scaring me, so I didn’t finish it (I might one day though), and I felt more like something less scary.

It encourages me to read books I have to read. If I have to read for homework, then if I know that’s not the only stuff I have to read that week, and I can say ‘2 chapters of A Passage to India before you return to Graceling’ or ‘Get through 1 percent of LOTR before Artemis Fowl or ‘finish David and Goliath and the Help won’t vanish’ In that way I have incentive or a reward for when I want to (or have to) branch out.

This also gives me more variety

What are the cons?

Like I’ve mentioned in the list above, I’m a lot less likely to finish books when I’m reading more than one at once. I just kind of flit half heartedly from one to the next until suddenly one expires, or must be returned, or ceases to interest me.

Also, it’s very easy to get muddled. ‘She’s about to kill the king! Oh wait, that was Eragon’ and each book is read slower. I read LOTR onver 1 ½ years, and I read a lot of books in between. I forgot all the places they were mentioning, and kept being like ‘Boromir. Have they mentioned him before or is Tolkien assuming I know who he is’ and my overall memory of reading LOTR is based almost solely on The last half of The Return of The King. Sometimes it probably is a bad idea, but I do it anyway, and I’m glad I do, and that’s the kind of reader I am.

Do you read more than one book at once? Why/why not? What have I missed in my pro’s and cons? How do you feel about not finishing books (I often don’t finish ones I find perfectly fine, mainly because I start another.)

Also, I’m really sorry I haven’t been doing much reading/ posting, and didn’t add a picture to the post. I’m super busy, so yay that we’ve got a break in 2 weeks!


13 thoughts on “Discussion:Reading Multiple books simultaneously

  1. I never used to believe in reading more than one book, but I find sometimes you get bored from one book and it gets you into a reading slump, by reading two books when I’m starting to get a bit bored on one I jump onto the other one and I find that when I start reading the other one it doesn’t seem as boring as it was LOL I think if it works for you why not!


  2. I do read more than one book at a time, because I just have a lot to get through. For example, right now I’m reading multiple books for school (4-5-ish), one fictional novel, and an audiobook. I have a lot to read, and I’m fine with that. Still… it’s a little intense sometime.


  3. I don’t think I could read more than one book at a time. When I’m reading I’m concentrating and analyzing the book so I can review it, but if I read more than one book at a time it’s harder for me to organize my thoughts and critique. I really admire the people who are able to read multiple books at once and still review them! Thanks for sharing, and, as always, fabulous discussion!


    1. Thank you Zoe! I have a short attention span, so sometimes (but not always) this strategy works out better for me. I don’t review everything I read (I don’t have goodreads and I can be lazy), so I guess this also enables me to do this. I often realise when I review that the book wasn’t as good as my first impression, which is slightly sad. 😦


  4. I used to read soooo many books at once… but now, not so much. I think because I work full time now, I like to dedicate myself to one book at a time. Also, because I mostly read YA, I find I finish them quickly – or at least, before I lose interest (usually!) – things would be different if I was reading a classic, I think. (Oh, and books set for classes don’t count… I totally admire your use of different formats to keep track of each book, though!)
    Beth x


    1. Working sounds… hard. (This coming from someone who never wants to leave high school). But at least you don’t get homework! Having different formats works really wall for me, and I sometimes don’t have time to devour that many books. Anyway, thank you Beth!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I used to think NO WAY I WOULD ONLY EVER READ 1 BOOK AT A TIME…but. hehe. Nope. I quite easily do! Although it’s always on a different platform for me. Like I’ll listen to an audio, read and ebook and read a physical book and I’m totally okay with that. I never get them muddled! 😀 Although I prefer to only have 2 books going at once, I seriously am okay with 3. *nods* But I get addicted to finishing things so I basically stick to that. xD


    1. I hope I can finish all the books I’m in the middle of right now. I don’t always like it, but somehow I keep ending up doing this. Usually the library thwart my plans, especially if I’m busy. I’m glad somebody is like me 😀


  6. I rarely ever read more than one book at a time, and when that happens, it’s mostly because I’m also reading a book for school, so the other one is more of a “leisure” read. I have to admit that I find it almost impossible to focus on too many books at once, and might even end up not reading anything…*sigh*


    1. It’s better to read one thing than nothing at all! It is totally easy to get confused. If I’m ever writing a short story or something, my style can get significantly affected by that of the book I most recently read, which is annoying. Sadly, I don’t write enough, so this doesn’t happen to often.


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