I never thought that I would become a book juggler. Well in all fairness until about five or six years ago I never thought I would become an avid reader but there you have it. I have to say though until this year I was simply a one book at a time kind of guy, no multiple reading at Savidge Reads HQ. That all seemed to fly out the window a couple of months ago and so I thought today we could maybe have a natter about how we juggle books and why you do or don’t.
It was starting Justin Cronin’s ‘The Passage’ that changed my reading habits for a couple of months. Simply not being able to lug a book, no matter how good it was, from pillar to post as my work routine saw fit meant I was reading a short book on commutes. So whilst reading ‘The Passage’ became and on going project I read a good ten plus books along side it, and oddly it didn’t ruin my reading experience like I thought it might.
I won’t lie to you all whenever I have known someone reads several books at once, with the exception of maybe a novel and a non fiction read at the same time, I have always been slightly baffled and in awe of it. I just didn’t think that you could really fit several storylines in your head at once. Surely it makes the reading experience less enjoyable if you are being jiggled here there and everywhere. But recently I learnt a key to it or two. Firstly, they all need to be quite different, well for me at least. So for example whilst reading ‘The Passage’ I didn’t touch any books with a science fiction or vampire based storyline.
My notebook is also a key part for me, because whilst all the reading above was going on (and still on going now) I have had a book that has become its own battle to read. ‘The Lacuna’ after reading bits at a time for about three/four months I am now over half way. ‘Why are you bothering?’ you might well ask, well because it has some moments of genius and I get the feeling its going to really pay off in the end, it just might take me the rest of the year to get there ha. If it wasn’t for the brilliant bits I honestly would give up, I just have to have breaks during the erm, not so great bits. Hence the need for my book notebook, I am keeping everything fresh in there so when I step back in it doesn’t take me very long to orientate myself again.
Interestingly though despite having become much better at multi-reading/book juggling I am not sure it’s a style of reading that suits me. Not so much when I am reading a fiction, some non-fiction and maybe have a short story collection for in between reads or just when I fancy a mini change. Juggling lots of different fiction doesn’t quite work, occasionally a character from ‘The Passage’ would pop up in my mind whilst reading one of the short books or vice versa. At one point too I have sulked with both ‘The Lacuna’ and ‘The Passage’ because I wasn’t getting them read as fast as I am used to. That might be the length, could be because one I was wading through and the other was so addictive. Weirdly though it didn’t effect my reviewing of the books short or long that I have finished, none suffered for it and I thought maybe they might.
So do you book juggle or are you a one book at a time kind of person? If you do how do you remember all the different stories and voices? Do you have some techniques? What are the pro’s and con’s of book juggling for you? Will be interesting to see what you all have to say on the matter.