Discussion: Too Many Books At Once

Posted 10 September, 2018 by Nikki in General / 14 Comments

Too many books spoil the broth? Hmm… not quite right. Well, I mean, they would, but it’s not quite in the spirit of the proverb.

…Anyway, this week’s discussion post is about reading multiple books simultaneously. I know a lot of people hate doing that, feeling that they lose the thread of the plot or there’s just too much to pay attention to, and I get it. I just can’t sit still for long enough — I’m very much a mood reader, and that means if a book is taking me ages and isn’t something I’m super in the mood to read, I’ll pick up something else to fill in the gaps. The problem occurs when I then pick up another book to supplement that, and… on and on it goes.

Personally, I think you all know my Golden Rule of Reading: have fun, and don’t ever let it become a chore. I did try to reduce the number of books I had on the go at once, because sometimes it is a little stressful or I end up not making progress on a book for ages even though I was enjoying it… but overall, I prefer to give myself the flexibility to just put a book down and come back later, because I don’t ever want to feel resentful about reading or annoyed that I’m dying to pick up Book X but I’m stuck on Book Y. I don’t think it’d work if I read books all in the same genre — they might blur into each other — but maybe it helps that I’m all over the reading map.

So yeah, I refuse to have shame about my currently-reading pile. Vive la stack!

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14 Responses to “Discussion: Too Many Books At Once”

  1. Yep, what you describe is my approach too, especially not reading two or more books in the same genre concurrently. (Unless it’s non-fiction, on the same topic—sometimes it’s good to compare and contrast approaches and check factual details.)

    • Hmm, I wouldn’t read two books on the same topic at the same time, usually. One after the other, totally, though. (My reading speed helps, there!)

  2. At what point do you just give up on a book and count it as DNF instead of “I’m reading 14 books at once?”

    In high school I used to read at least two books at all times. I would have my required school reading and a personal choice book! Now as an adult I still usually have 2 books. An Audiobook for the car and a physical book for all other times. Tho recently I was reading 4 books at once. An Audiobook, two buddy reads, and a book I could read freely when I was caught up on the buddy reads so I wouldn’t read ahead
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  3. I don’t mind reading multiple books, but three is pretty much the limit I can juggle! I can get a bit scatterbrained after this point when I start getting the different stories confused with each other.

  4. Grégoire

    Time and mood are my credo ! so “light” stories, i could easy be reading 2 or 3 at a time but when the book is really good and i enjoy it, i read it without letting me being distracted by others Now that i’m older, after 3 chapters when i don’t like a book , i will let it down for another
    nota : I can’t say “reading” for the audiobooks For me it is only “listening to”, not the same thing at all …

  5. I’m very much a ‘one book at a time person’ unless I’m tackling a big non fiction book. If I’m doing that I’ll alternate with a fiction read sometimes just to break things up a bit. But I never do more than one fiction at a time. I do get how it works for other people and for me it’s whatever works best for each reader that is important. As long as we have fun reading!

  6. When I read multiple books at once, I’m also reading books from different genres. Usually something like a middle grade fantasy, adult novel, and maybe a non-fiction book. I agree that this helps satisfy mood reading!

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