How many books do you read at once?


If you know me, you know that I am always reading at least two books at once (my Goodreads “currently reading” on the sidebar is proof of this). I can’t really remember the last time I was only reading one book. Lately, I’ve even been upping it to five or six. People are often surprised when I tell them this. “How do you have time?” “Don’t you get them mixed up?” “Why are you reading so many?”

Personally, I think reading multiple books is great. A lot of why I do it stems from my ever-growing reading list and desire to read as many books as I can (which you can read more about in this post here). But trying to keep up with so many at one time does have its downsides as well.

What I like about reading multiple books at once:

I love variety. This is why I rarely let myself read two books from the same genre at the same time. I’m usually reading one or two fictional stories are vastly different from each other (so I don’t get them mixed up) along with one or two non-fiction that are also different, such as a self-help book and an autobiography. I love having the option of switching between things, especially if I’m traveling. On a trip I took to Congo last spring, I brought along a memoir, a book on the history of Congo, and a collection of short stories. It was great to have more than one book along so that I could switch it up when I wanted.

What I don’t like about reading multiple books at once:

The biggest thing I don’t like is that it takes me forever to get through just one book. Sometimes, I find myself having to be diligent about reading just one out of my three or so for awhile so that I can finally finish it, which is frustrating because I never like feeling like I simply need to “get through” a book. Going back and forth so much can also pull me away from a single story, making it harder to jump back into it and remember everything that’s happening.

What are your thoughts? Do you constantly have a stack of books you’re reading through at once? Or do you like taking them one at a time? I’m really curious to hear what others prefer and why!



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