How to read multiple books at once


Hello. I’m Joss Arden and I’m a cheater. I cheat on my books. It’s fairly common for me to have two or more books going on at once. And it’s not that I intended to be a book polygamist; indeed I wasn’t always like this. I think it started when I was in school and had to juggle several books because they all had to be read for different classes. These days, reading multiple books is what feels natural for me. Understand, however, that book polygamy isn’t for everyone. If you’re a one book kind of person, that’s fine. If, however, you’re interested in trying to read multiple books at once and don’t know how to go about it, here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Consider the sort of reader you are and what you hope to get out of reading multiple books at once. Are you the sort of person whose reading mood shifts quickly and drastically? Are you hoping to experience books in situations you may not have been reading in the past? Or are you the sort of person who can’t focus on a book until you’re done with the last one you started? Just because other people read multiple books at once doesn’t mean it’s something you’d enjoy.
  • Try playing around with different formats. Some people report that if they’re going to have multiple books in progress at once, it helps if they’re in different formats – such as an audiobook and a physical book. In addition to being very different ways to experience books, different formats might be better for different situations. For example, some people enjoy listening to audiobooks while driving, doing chores, or during other tasks when they can’t have their eyes on a book. Some people might find it convenient to carry around an ereader because it’s possible to have many books on an ereader, which translates into less space/weight than carrying around physical books.
  • Make sure your reading is varied. I’ve seen people express concern that if they have multiple books going at once, they might get confused about the contents. I can see this possibly being a problem if you only ever read the same kinds of books. But might I suggest branching out and trying different things? To combat this issue, I make a point of ensuring that the books I‘m reading are very different. I might, for example, have a work of fiction and a work of non-fiction going at the same time. Some books might work better in some situations than others. I’m personally very place bound with my books. There are two rooms in my home where I do most of my reading: my bedroom and the living room. I’ve found that I’m horrible at moving my books around with me, mostly due to laziness. So I store my physical books in my bedroom and leave my ereader in the living room. And I find that the type of reading I do in each location is different. I prefer to read denser, more difficult reads in my bedroom where I have more control over noise levels. I tend to read more fast paced books in the living room because I find them easier to read in locations where I have less control over the noise. I have a difficult time reading in public, but I imagine fast paced books would be best in that kind of situation as well. Point being: you might want to consider the types of environments you expect to be reading in and which kinds of books are best for those environments.
  • As with many other things in life, reading multiple books at once can boil down to trial and error and getting used to it. You might not figure out what works for you on the first try and that’s fine.
  • Reading multiple books at once doesn’t necessarily mean you read more or faster. I mean, it might. If reading multiple books at once means you’re reading in situations you previously weren’t, then you’ll probably read more. But if you’re dedicating the exact same amount of time to reading that you did before and just adding more books to the equation, you might not be. In fact, you might get through books more slowly.
  • Reading multiple books at once isn’t for everyone. If it’s not something you enjoy or want to do, don’t feel like you’re missing out on something.<
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    Do you read multiple books at once? What advice would you give someone who wants to read multiple books at once?

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