How do you read? Do you read one book at a time at a steady pace? Do you read a handful of books at once over a month? Do you marathon through books and take a break for a while? Do you alternate genres or ‘vibes’ of books? Do you prefer e or print or audio?
Here’s how I usually read: one print book at a time over a week or two, usually alternating genres (say YA then non-fiction or a graphic novel then fiction) or vibes (if I just read a really sad book, I’m going to want to read a happy book next). Now that I have an e-reader, a few of those are thrown in every other month or so too.
Lately I’ve been reading what I classify as a lot of books at once, though. (Rounds out to about three at a time.) It’s because of a hectic schedule, running a readalong and suddenly a giant pile of ARC submissions, but also other books coming out that I’m interested in. I just want to ingest them all at once and I haven’t figured out a balance. I pick up a book, and another one falls into my lap. Serious life problem! 🙂 It’s got me feeling a bit jumbled and delayed, but it also feels like an exciting challenge this time. I figure if I want to work in publishing then I have to say goodbye to the reading one book at a time method. Time to flex those brain muscles!
So far, so good. In the past when I’ve ended up in this predicament, I’ve worried that I won’t absorb the book the same way as if I was dedicated to just that one, or that I’d forget what’s going on. Maybe the books I’ve been reading the last few weeks are different enough, because I haven’t felt this way. And I definitely don’t absorb non-fiction the same way as I do fiction, that usually takes me longer. I still feel like I’d prefer to read one at a time, I love that feeling of just giving myself to a story for a while, but not every book beckons that kind of experience. And if I do get pulled into one, then I will dedicate more time on finishing it. This past weekend I read a whole book in a day, which I haven’t done in a while! So maybe this is actually helping me read more.
Ok, so what if you’re reading multiple books but some of them just don’t grab you within the first 100 pages? Do you keep reading, or do you put it down? I used to keep reading, being optimistic that it would get better, or feeling FOMO in case something big happened. But last year I had to put a stop to that. They can’t waste my time! Then there’s Goodreads, which I take pretty seriously in terms of keeping track of what I read. If I got halfway through a book, do I count it as read? That feels like cheating, but it also feels like a waste of time. I created a Currently Paused shelf for this reason, but I’m always curious about if other people count their half-finished as finished.
It all resonates with this musing on reading multiple books at once on BookRiot: “To clarify, a book I don’t love doesn’t slow me down because of a difficult reading level; it slows me down because I keep making excuses not to pay attention, or even pick the book back up at all. Inversely, if I have fallen in love with a novel, had my vision tunneled down to the nothing but the fictional images in front of me on the page, I can finish the densest of tomes in mere hours.”
So, how do you read? Do you have any tips or tricks to tackling a few books at a time?
Let’s keep up with each other – follow me on Goodreads!