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Oh, hon, multi books go on at once because I might start one with such hopes, but it doesn't draw me in, and then something arrives in the mail, or gets released, and then there's the books I want to read...anyway, not knowing what I want to read is why I ended up with an e-reader. At least we don't have to carry a big bag of books on vacation anymore. (Which was always silly anyway because we always BUY books on vacation.)


I think I used to be a one book person before I started working. Once I started working, I needed an 'easy' read for the weekdays and something more thoughtful for the weekends. Then I started reading and following blogs and I started adding books to the pile. But over the last 1 year or so I have realized that that doesnt work for me. If I have more than 2 books at any given time then I dont get thru any of them for 6 months. And also I dont carry more than 2 books on a trip - coz i have noticed I dont read at all when I travel


I'm mostly a one book at a time reader (at least at the moment). But I have to admit to starting new books before I've quite finished my last... Sometimes it makes me read faster because I'm so eager to jump into the new book. Your reading plan sounds very organized (and very ambitious). But I think, as long as you're enjoying all the books you're reading, it doesn't really matters how many you're in the middle of (unless they're due back at the library soon). Happy Reading! :)


I don't get how you do it!!! Don't you get the characters mixed up? The only way I can read more than one is if they are very different genres...fiction and children's, or memoir and classic. Otherwise, I am convinced that Hermione is whaling with Cheryl Strayed or some such craziness! :)


I always have a few on the go at any time -- but when I have more than about 6 started I begin to get the characters and settings confused. Sometimes I'll get a picture in my mind and think "where am I"? ;)


I always start books with high hopes, too. Sometimes it is easy to set them aside when they turn out not to match my mood, and other times I am loathe to stop reading in fear I will never pick the book up again. Yes, those new books and library books especially always throw me off, too. While I prefer paper books in general, I have to say there are times when reading off the ipad is really very convenient! I only had my ipad and two slender paperbacks with me at work today, and I have to say that when I left work I almost felt like I was forgetting something important so light was my load to carry home! :) And I have to keep that in mind when I go to CO, though I really do have to be 'good' and not buy too many books--though as we are driving there is no worries about dragging a heavy suitcase around!


I have different books for different moods and situations, too, though I seem to have more than the average reader.... I think blogging has really made me read more in general but also pick up many more books at once than I ever used to. I need to find a happy medium it would seem. And I think your no more than two books on vacation is a wise rule. As I am going somewhere where we'll be in a cabin, I might have more time to read than I think, but don't want to load myself down either (still an eight hour drive there and back means I will need to fill the time somehow...).


That's what it all comes down to, isn't it? Enjoying what you are reading and not feeling stressed by it all. Library books are a double edged sword--they are great--and I need to use them more as I have to really rein in my book buying--but those due dates and books that cannot be renewed mean they get to cut in line, which throws all my reading off. We'll see how long I stay organized. If I can just get things under control a bit--I think I will always be a several books at once reader, but I need to make that number a little more reasonable.


You would really think it would be confusing, but strangely I don't have a problem with keeping each book straight. As long as the books are different enough--and the characters' names don't overlap! :) Ideally I will get the pile down to a much smaller number and then will only have a novel, mystery, nonfiction, a classic, and maybe a library book on the go at once.


Six is a good number--and even that sounds pretty generous, too. Maybe that is what I should shoot for. I can usually get back into a book after it has been languishing for a while--I only tend to take a few books around with me at a time even though the pile is big, but that means a few always sit with no attention paid to them and then I do have to re-orient myself a bit when I pick the book back up again. I've actually set a few books aside for later in the hopes I can get the pile down to a quiet roar, if you know what I mean! ;)

Margaret Powling

I, too, have several books 'on the go' at once. I always maintain this is quite normal ... after all, we don't restrict outselves to just one TV programme at once (we are well able to watch Downton followed by Doc Martin followed by the News and not muddle characters or plot) so I see no point in the 'one at once' system. Currently I have about five 'on the go' from the pile of around ... well, too many ... on the bedside table. I don't have an ipad or e-reader, so if I go out I just choose one for my bag.

Perhaps this is a way of differentiating between readers and non-readers: those who can happily leave home for a period (even an hour or two) without a book, and those who feel that something is definitely missing if they are without a book, for the thought of being stuck in a traffic jam, or a doctor's waiting room without one is unbearable! (OK, I exaggerate! We'd survive!)

I'm a slow reader, though, and like you, Danielle, I wish I could read more quickly and therefore read all the books I want to read! And while I'm retired and, should I want to, I could spend the whole day reading, the main factor in the inability to do so is not housework or my writing but that as soon as I've read a couple of chapters I feel my eyes closing and I need a blimmin' nap!

vicki (skiourophile / bibliolathas)

The problem with telling us this so that you reinforce your intention publicly, is that we're probably all going to continue to do our best to undermine you. *grins* More books! More shelves! More piles!


I'm a multi book reader too. And I've been trying to let go of all the "shoulds" in my reading life. With that in mind : Is having a lot of books going at one time making you enjoy reading less?

Joan Kyler

I read several books at a time. Partly because I'm a mood reader and partly for logistical reasons. I like reading something light or a mystery before going to sleep and books I need to concentrate on I read during quiet times in the day. I read everything else whenever I'm in the mood for whatever type of book it is.

I won't read my Kindle in the bath tub, so I read paperbacks there. Hardbacks need to be read somewhere where I can support them and not have to hold them in my slightly arthritic hands.

I have to admit that sometimes the initial interest wanes if I don't finish a book right away, especially a non-fiction book. It's got to be exciting or very interesting for me to go back to it. I still feel a little guilty if I don't finish a book, but having just had yet another birthday, I'm getting less patient with books that just don't grab me.

So you can see why I HAVE to read several different books at a time!


Multi-book reader here, also. I totally understand this post, because my reading gets away from me, too. And not just the reading--I put little tape flags in the books I read or use my book notes bookmarks, and often have little snippets from my reading that I want to jot down somewhere. (I have FIVE books on my desk right now that need that service performed!)

I think if you like reading more than one book at a time, that you should do it! And if the reading becomes overwhelming, that's the time to put your catch-up plan into place. I think your plan sounds quite logical and doable.

I'm a greedy reader, and want to read everything that sounds interesting to me. My downfall is rushing through the reading just to get through it, even when I'm enjoying what I'm reading. (And that's nearly everything--I don't waste much time on reading I'm not really enjoying anymore.) I'm making an effort to slow down and appreciate what I read just as you are. It's a balance, and we sometimes fall out of it, and must correct.


Poor you. You know I read many and sometimes get overwhelmed too. I generally just let it run it's course, read a bunch from the pile and then start a new book or two when I no longer feel so overwhelmed. Most of the time it works and I feel good within 2-3 weeks. Good luck!


Margaret--when you told me how many books you have on your own night stand I had a smile on my face to know I wasn't alone and that someone else's piles rivaled my own! :) (Loved the emails and the photos by the way--hope to reply to them properly later this weekend!!). You have mentioned your TV theory before and I have to admit to using it myself when people remark on me carrying about two or even three books at once. That always makes them stop and go--oh, yaah! I never (or almost never) leave home without a book (or two), and if I do, I always pass an anxious moment wondering if I will get caught somewhere with no book to keep me company. We never read as much as we want, do we? And I am like you--I rarely get to read very long at night as I tend to be too tired--and especially right before bedtime. I have learned to save any proper mail (cards or letters) to read before I turn out the lights--it is a nice way to end the evening!


It is a dangerous thing to share my plans like this--by saying it in public I feel like I need to stick with my plan, but I risk failing miserably and then having to own up to my failure! I fully expect to be undermined by the time I go on vacation and feel the lure of new books wanting to go with me on my travels! :)


I know--I suspect I worry too much about what I should be doing and just enjoy reading what I feel like, even if it means lots of bookmarks in books. I actually like having such a wide choice of reading material--I almost always can pick an 'in progress' book out that will match my mood--but new library books and new purchases are always awful temptations for me!!


Your comment could pretty much be my comment we think so very much alike when it comes to books. I can only read certain books at the gym as it can be noisy there--classics can only be read in quiet. Lunch books need to be really absorbing and usually end up being mysteries. Well, you know how it goes! I have gotten pretty good at letting goof books (especially library books) that are just not clicking with my mood. I only feel bad when I have a nice pile of books (like now) that I am enjoying reading and having such a limited amount of reading time--knowing I just have to choose and a few will be left to languish. This is where my problem is coming from at the moment--too spoiled for choice and not being sure which book I want to read most--and therefore managing to finish none at all. Crazy!


I have a notebook I have with me most of the time--at least when I have a book in hand, so I can jot down notes and quotes and such, though lately I have not been very good at keeping up with it. I find it handy, too, to refer to when I am writing about a book. I am not sure I will ever be able to go back to reading just one or two books at a time, but I do want to whittle the pile down so I am not always so overwhelmed by the choice of what to pick up and take with me. I do know what you mean about slowing down and just enjoying whichever book happens to be in hand and not rushing it just to get to the next book in line. (Though those 'next books' often have a way of making themselves known and calling for attention!).


I had a feeling you would know exactly what I was saying and feeling. If I can finish a few books without starting three new ones at once, I think I will feel a little better--as though I can get back to a nice little book rotation again. And now I have RIP reading to think about--and have already requested two story collections from the library. The trick will be to make a list, and then just choose one book to start reading (not start reading the entire list at once!). ;)

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