Multiple Reading of Multiple Books in Multiple Slots; Multiple Madness?

I never used to be someone who could more than one book at a time, let alone three, yet weirdly that is the situation that I have found myself in. What has lead me to this unusual, for me at least, situation? Well, in the main, it is circumstances. Firstly there is the fact that work is so bloody busy (I know, I know, Simon sounds like a stuck record at the moment, but it is true) and then there is also what I am reading.

With work being rather bonkers (the small side effect of being on a project team running a £15million two month event with the aim of creating £100million in UK business, no pressure) at the moment I seem to be finding less time to read; grabbing mini reading moments (which I have to say I don’t like as I invariably need to re-read whatever I had read) or reading in stints of an hour or two when I get in, an hour after tea and/or an hour or so before bed.

Now normally this would just be valuable stints to read my way through just the one book, but because of what I am reading these have become stints to juggle three books. Two books of short stories (Sherlock Holmes as I started them for a nostalgic read, Oscar Wilde short stories for next week’s Hear… Read This!) and the latest choice at book group Sophie’s World which I am reading in bits as I am struggling with it – it feels like a very thinly veiled text book on philosophy if I am honest, so I am reading it in bits to get through it as I don’t like to give up on a book group book.

Multiple Reading

Weirdly, though I wouldn’t choose to do this normally, I am not struggling with it all. I am not even getting mixed up with the two sets of Victorian tales, not that they are the same genre but you would think that might happen. It is even helping me get through Sophie’s World in a way. If I am a bit philo’sophie’d (see what I did there?) out then in my next reading stint I turn to Sherlock or Oscar and they get me through.

Do any of you do this with books? Especially if you are struggling with one and are determined to finish it. Or do you just do this anyway, swapping between books between reading spaces or commuting and home etc? I would be very interested to know, as I would if Sophie’s World might actually be worth all the hard work in the end. Cough.



Filed under Book Thoughts, Random Savidgeness

18 responses to “Multiple Reading of Multiple Books in Multiple Slots; Multiple Madness?

  1. I normally have two or three on the go. but they have to be different; i.e. fiction and travel.

  2. Kateg

    I am usually a one book at a time girl but if you look at my Goodreads page I have been reading Portrait of a Lady by Henry James and then one other book. I go back and forth as I have other things I need to read for book groups and they have deadlines. In general, if a book group pick is not to my taste, I’ll force myself and as a reward, I’ll pick up something fun to read and alternate them.

  3. I’m currently reading four and trying very hard not to start a fifth. I have one hardback (mainly reading in bed), one paperback (mainly reading on the train), one on Kindle and one non-fiction and dip between them, and it seems to work. Got through the whole of 2013 without a reading slumpt, first time in ages.

  4. Usually have more than one book on the go. Always have. Helps to sometimes put one down when you’re struggling with it and then to go back to – for me at least!

  5. I’m doing this at present. I’m struggling with The Poisonwood Bible, I’ve just finished a book, which I have agreed to review and I am studying/reading three different books of the Bible, which all happen to be Old Testament history. I also have a Mark Twain book on my Kindle app. which I dip into from time to time.

  6. I always have 2-4 books on the go. Generally all fiction but of varying degrees of ‘heaviness’. Plus I like to have books on the go in different formats – hardback and on each of my two Kindles.

  7. I quite often have a fiction book and a non-fiction on the go at the same time. Also if I’m reading a hardback I tend to leave that at home and take a paperback out with me. I think short stories are a good thing to read along with a novel, just a short interlude if you need a break.

  8. I used to read one book at a time but I’ve gotten into the habit of reading multiple books in the past year. Like you, it’s a mix of short story collections and novels / non-fictional books. The short stories work well for bed-time reading and when travelling short distances. Novels are fine if the story keeps me interested as I tend to follow through. However I struggle a little with non-fictional books – e.g. I was reading about capitalism and madness (separate titles) – as I find myself having to re-read the previous chapter to refresh my memory on where I’ve left off.

  9. LauraC

    I loved Sophie’s World for the first half, but when I got up to the more modern philosophers I dropped it. I feel like I need to understand them just a little bit more before I attempt it again. Or perhaps read up on each one as he is met in the book. Or maybe I just don’t have the brains for philosophy (most likely).

    I always have a few books going at a time.

  10. Funny you should mention this now. I have just bought a new phone and can now read ebooks and listen to audio books on it. So I am now listening to a book, reading a fiction paperback, reading a non-fiction paperback and reading an ebook! And this is from a one-book-at-a-time kind of girl! Like you, I am not confusing them (they are all very different) but I tend to get a bit impatient with a book if I’m reading it for more than four or five days so I have to be very patient with myself and what I am reading for it to work.

  11. I had the same problem a while ago, but simply couldn’t manage multiple books. I am a bear of very little brain…

    I posted about it here:

  12. Marte

    I always read at least 4 books at the same time. It helps me get through non-fiction or books I struggle with, and I can read according to mood or how much time I have to read. I usually read one audio book (on the bus and when I’m walking the dog), a couple of fiction books (one easy, one more “serious”), non-fiction, short stories and one book on my Kindle for work or in bed. They are all so different, so I don’t confuse them. And I often get hooked on a book and leave the others for a few days until I have finished it.

    I loved Sophie’s world, but I read it when I was 12 years old. I don’t know if I would have enjoyed it now.

  13. I used to be a book monogamist, but over the past couple of years I have started reading more than one book at a time. I don’t have any problems with it as long as the books are relatively different in subject matter. I usually have at least one treebook and one ebook going at the same time.

  14. David

    I have two books on the go at any one time. I get up at 5:30 and read a short story or two before breakfast – it wakes my mind up and often (if the story’s any good) gives me something to mull over on my walk for the newspaper (my version of the morning commute as I work at home!). Then in the evening I read whatever novel I have on the go, typically aiming for 100 pages each day, depending on the pace of the writing. Rarely, if I’m finding the novel an uphill struggle, I’ll have another on the go, though typically what happens is I’ll read the second novel exclusively and then either go back to the first one refreshed or decide I don’t care enough to continue and abandon it. I tend to get too involved in a story to read 50 pages of one book, put it aside and read 50 pages of another.

    My Dad read ‘Sophie’s World’ years ago and I remember it took him an age to get through, but then this is someone who is currently making each Father Brown short story last about three days, so that may not tell you anything!

  15. Jeremy

    I used to only read one book at a time, but once I started my book group, I started reading multiple books simultaneously. It started out as only two, the book group selection plus one other, but as the years go by, I find myself reading more and more. Typically, I always have at least a fiction, a non-fiction and an audio going at any given time. At the moment, however, I have six going: 1) Grimm’s Fairy Tales (from which I’m reading one tale per night), 2) A Tale for the Time Being (book club selection), 3) Empathy Exams (non-fiction), 4) In the Woods (fiction, also a recommendation from a co-worker) and, finally, 5) The Graveyard Book (my library loan expired before I could finish, so I’m waiting for this one to come back to me), 6) Unfettered (audio).

  16. I’ve found I usually have a novel and a non-fiction work going at the same time. Sometimes two novels. I switch back and forth depending upon my mood. I don’t have any problems hooking up immediately with each book as long as I read something from each every day.

  17. Marie

    This is me in a nutshell. I always have two or more books going at once, mostly because I´m reading a hefty one and need to take breaks from it. =)

  18. I am usually always reading more than one book at a time. It’s a matter of checking out too many books with similar due dates from my library, and having a huge pile of unread books around the house! It’s hard to just read one…kind of like eating just one potato chip!!

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