How many books do you read at a time?


It feels like a long time since I last posted here. That’s because it HAS been a long time. Have you missed me?

Don’t answer that.

Today I’d like to ask you a pressing question…

How many books do you read at once?

On second thought, you could probably tell that from the title of this blog post. Good one, Emily. I hear from other bloggers that some people read three or four books at once, which has always struck me as very talented. Because you know what happens if I read two books at once?

I have trouble remembering characters’ names as it is. I’ve read 91 books this year – 91 sets of characters and often I forget the main character’s name as soon as I’ve finished the book. When reading more than one book at a time, the plots start to tangle and if there are two characters WITH THE SAME NAME…that’s just even worse.

That said, I occasionally do have to read more than one book at once. I take three units of English at school, and at the moment I’m supposed to be reading (and then re-reading) three different books for those. Plus whatever I’m reading for review. Plus occasionally something for my CPs. But if I had my way I’d only read one at a time.

I’ve heard other bloggers who say they struggle with one book, so they pick up another one at the same time. I don’t think that would work for me, because I would just keep reading the book I liked better.

Whether for school or uni or other things, I think a lot of people DO read more than one book at once, which is why so many books seem unmemorable to me.

Plus, there is so much OTHER entertainment that’s quicker and easier to consume. It’s so much more convenient to sit in front of the TV, but that’s nowhere near as fun as reading. Right, guys?

So tell me – are you a multi-tasking reader? Or do you try to read only one book at a time?

book balancing

Emily sometimes puts books on her head. And then sometimes they fall off (but only sometimes). Right now she’s reading Geek Girl by Holly Smale, and two other (boring) books for English. She’d like to know how you balance your books.

7 Comments

  1. Love this post, Em! I’m the same, only one book at a time for me. When I’ve tried more I couldn’t get invested in any of them and like you, there was always one I was drawn too. Having said that though, I almost always have a book I’m writing, another I’m critiqueing, and the third that a am REALLY reading. 😉

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  2. I tend to be one of those people who read numerous things at once.
    Currently I’m working my way through 2x MASSIVE non-fiction history books, I’ve got an anthology of short stories which I’ve just started, I read a lot of magazine articles, usually non-fiction medical/science stuff, I’ve also got a fiction novel which is my ‘travel’ novel – that’s usually something that is good but not OMG great – so I keep it on me when travelling or if I’m waiting for an appointment. I also have at least one other novel and often a collection of poetry on the go and as I’ve started a new BA, I have Uni text books/articles which I read as assignments require me to do so. I also read a lot of stuff online… magazine articles and naturally lots of blogs.
    I also work on more than one MS at a time. I’ve usually got at least three or four on the go at various stages.
    I guess that makes me a multi-reader!

    I haven’t read as many novels as you have this year Emily. Thus far I think it’s about 30-odd, but I read a lot of short stories and even more non fiction – I love history and am crazy about unknown facts and practically salivate at anything to do with advances in science. Funny thing is, I’m not a huge SciFi fiction fan… or perhaps it’s not so funny, I often stop reading when I KNOW something in the novel simply is not possible, breaking a law of physics or whatever… so I guess I’m a weirdo, geek-nutter lol.

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  3. I was just thinking about this today, actually! I try not to read more than one book at a time, but I sometimes find myself doing exactly that. It only works for me if the books are different enough. If they’re both of the dystopian or fantasy genres (i.e. where the author is setting up whole entire worlds/concepts), then I can get very confused… very quickly! Love your take on this!

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  4. I definitely read at least two books at once. I think my average is probably three, because four tends to be “oh, I’m jumping around these books and then there’s this one. I started reading it x and I liked it, and I’ll get back to it, like, tomorrow, I promise.” *never gets back to it*
    Weirdly, I never have the problem of getting characters confused. And it’s less about struggling and finding a better book, it’s more that I want ALL OF THE PLOTS! xD I get so curious, which is why, in terms of big-scale currently, I’m halfway/2-3rds through three novels and then about a quarter of the way through five or so. I really like most of those five, but I’m actually trying to finish something I started reading this year (!), so I alternate between three or so at once.
    I guess because I don’t tend to read for review, my reading schedule is more flexible than yours. And I multi-task in other activities, so that might help 😀

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  5. Usually one novel at once. But then I also read a book to my son, or we listen to an audiobook in the car on our commute. (Right now we are on The Witches by Roald Dahl.) Plus I’ve been researching for my next book – to write – so there’s some non-fiction too.

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  6. I like to read books in one sitting. And when it takes me more than one day to finish a book, I often start others, which then get finished in one sitting, and then I go back to the first book.
    One thing I have never had trouble with is keeping the stories separate in my head, I never get them confused.
    I read 117 books last year (according to my goodreads challenge), and if I went through that list, I would be able to give you a detailed outline of what happens in every single one of those books.
    I actually have trouble understanding how people can not do this, but that’s probably because I’ve never found it difficult.

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