Do you read multiple books at once? Or are you strictly a one-book-at-a-time reader? I usually only read one or two books at a time, but as I work on making my way through my physical TBR, I find myself picking up several books at once.
I’ve never been particularly opposed to reading multiple books at once, which is probably best or else I’m not sure how I would have managed to graduate with an English degree! I definitely understand why people have a strong tendency to read only one book at a time, though, as it makes it easier to follow the story and allows you to give it your full attention.
But I’ve been really enjoying reading a bunch of books at once lately. I’ve been trying to push myself to listen to more audiobooks when I work out, since at the end of the day, reading is probably what I’d rather be doing with myself if I weren’t at the gym. So they’re one less excuse for me not to work out, and sometimes audiobooks even encourage me to go work out so I can make progress on the book I’m listening to.
I’ve also been trying to read some business books I borrowed from my dad that I know have some good information in them, but that I’m not particularly excited to pick up when I sit down with a book. So I’ve started reading a third book so that reading doesn’t start to feel too much like a chore. I’ll make myself read a chapter or so from the business book, and then move on to my current, more enjoyable read. And then I’ll switch to my audiobook when I go to the gym or do the dishes (dishes are way more tolerable when I’m listening to an audiobook).
As if that weren’t enough, I’m also slowly working my way through a book of poetry I picked up for the Read Harder challenge. I figure it’ll be an easier challenge to complete if I tackle it in small segments than if I sit down and force myself to read the whole book at once. If I do that, I know I’ll get absolutely nothing out of completing the challenge. It’ll be reading words on a page so I can say I did it, and it might even turn me off of reading for a while if it feels too much like a chore to pick up.
That puts me at four books. It sounds like a lot, but each of them fulfills a different need for me, and the content is so different that I don’t have any trouble keeping them straight. It just makes it easier for me to tackle some of the reading that I want to accomplish but that I struggle to force myself to do. Though I have to admit, after a while I feel the need to clear them all out and start fresh so that I don’t let a book linger for too long.
I’m planning to finish up the books soon that I’ve borrowed from my dad, and I have no plans to read any more poetry after I finish the current book I’m working on, but I think I’ll still keep reading multiple books at once even after those are out of the way. I have a bunch of short story collections on my physical TBR that I think will be easier and more enjoyable to get through if I only do a story or two at a time, plus there are a bunch of essay collections on my Goodreads TBR that I’d really like to read but that I think are better consumed slowly. Limiting myself to one essay at a time will give me a chance to think more about what I’ve read and process it before moving on to the next one. I also think I’ll use this strategy to tackle some of the biographies on my physical TBR. Reading only a few chapters a week will make something like the 1,200-page Truman much more manageable (and hopefully more enjoyable).
How about you? Do you like reading multiple books at a time? If not, do you think it’d be worth trying? Let me know in the comments!