Discussion: Too Many Books At Once

Posted 10 September, 2018 by Nikki in General / 7 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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7 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.)

  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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