Bookish Chat About: Multi-Reading

Just a quickie today pals.

I wanted to have a brief chat about multi-reading. Reading more than one book at once. (I don’t know why I felt the need to explain that to you).

Multi-reading was something I would have never done in a million years if you were asking the ‘me’ from around a year or so ago.

I used to watch certain booktubers talking about the multiple books they were reading at any one time and think ‘u ok hun?’

However, since becoming a book blogger I have found that I am able to multi-read fairly easily. It’s necessity that initially pushed me to give it a whirl. When you have a number of books that you have committed to reading by a certain date and only a limited number of reading hours in a typical day you have to get creative.

Now I’m not saying it comes naturally. It very much doesn’t. But it is becoming more and more ‘the norm’. I would also say that 4 books at a time would be my absolute limit and one of those would need to be an audiobook (another new habit of mine, but we’ll discuss that another time).

There are certain self imposed stipulations I put upon myself with this multi-reading lark. The books have to have different settings and time periods. Ideally I would have one historical fiction and one contemporary/dystopian. It also helps considerably if one of the books is non-fiction. I don’t think I could do 3 fiction, UNLESS……one is a short story collection.

Now.

Here we change the rules again.

Hang on in there!

Short story collections are an entirely different beast.

If I was to count the number of short story collections I am currently reading then we would be up to around 15 books. Therefore I don’t really count them in my ‘currently reading’. The reason for this is that I dip in and out of short stories, usually when I’m in the bath. I pick up whichever collection I’m in the mood for reading and just go with it. However, I could put that book back on the shelf and not pick it up again for several months.

A different reading environment also helps with my multi-reading. I take one book on the bus journey to work and this also will be the book I read during my lunch hour. Rarely will I take that book out of my tote bag and read it at home. The only time I would consider doing this would be if I had literally a few pages left to finish.

I also have a book next to my chair downstairs and a book on the shelf above my bed. Differentiating which room I read which book in can help with keeping the books separate in my head.

It’s not all hard and fast rules though. Sometimes a book will blow me away and I will forsake all others to get that one finished. Sometimes I might need to get a book finished for an upcoming blog tour, therefore that bad boy will come to work with me, come and join me in the bath and see me to sleep in bed at night.

I have heard various stand points about multi-reading and I know it’s not for everyone. I absolutely get that. But what I don’t necessarily agree with is the idea that you cannot possibly be concentrating on all of the books equally.

I would counter this with the idea that having a choice of books available to you to pick up depending on your mood or circumstances is much better than forcing yourself to read the one book you’re currently reading when maybe you’re not in the mood for it. But this is of course just my opinion and what works well for me.

So.

The upshot of this post is this.

I multi-read.

Do you?…..

See you soon.

Amanda – Bookish Chat xx

23 thoughts on “Bookish Chat About: Multi-Reading

  1. Brilliant post again Mand, and yes, I absolutely multi read! Mine goes like this:
    One book upstairs
    One book downstairs
    One book in my bag at all times
    One book in my car in case I forget my bag book!!

    As with everything, it doesn’t suit everyone, but reading is reading, and if it works for you- fab! If it doesn’t, it doesn’t matter! Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I most certainly multi-read! One PB/eBook and one audiobook at all times. And I usually have a short story collection on the go too, and since recently also a graphic novel that I dip into when I feel like it.

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  3. I didn’t know people didn’t always do this?! Maybe it’s a throw back to when I studied English so it was enforced? But I have say mine reading choices are not so much to do with location but mood. If I am reading a gritty thriller, like this week it was “My Lovely Wife” by Samantha Downing, then I like to have something gentler so I have been reading “Lido” on the side. That’s just me!

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    1. Yeah we’re all different but whenever I’ve mentioned multi-Reading in the past I’ve inevitably come up against the ‘you can’t possibly be concentrating on each book’ brigade!

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  4. I definitely do and always have at least two books on the go but I average 4 normally. I used to read just one book at a time but book deadlines… 😂 I love to get my reviews out on time

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  5. Great post. When I first started blogging many years ago, one of my posts discussed why I was a serial monogamist reader – strictly one book at a time. Nowadays I can just about cope with three max – one of which will be NF, and the other two different to each other!

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  6. I’m a multi-reader too! I usually have one fiction, one-non-fiction and one audiobook on the go. I tend to read the non-fiction before bed, listen to audio in the car and doing chores, and have the fiction to read on lunch, at coffee breaks etc.

    I really struggle to read more than one fiction book at a time – I get sucked into one or other book and neglect the second one!

    I like your idea of separate spaces so might try that and see if that helps!

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  7. This makes perfect sense. I move from multi-reading to single-book reading as I feel the need and certainly reviewing can make the need to multi-read necessary. However, it’s often because I am going through one of my ‘not able to concentrate on anything for too long’ periods so reading two or three books in tandem can help a lot.

    I think much of what you say is right. Still I do like to sit and read just one book from beginning to end whenever possible and I love it when a book grips me so much that I don’t want to read anything else until it’s finished.

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  8. My brain can only copy with 2 books at a time – one ebook (which I read upstairs) and one print book (for downstairs/out and about). Different genres too. I remember when I was a kid I might have a stack of 7 I was reading but I was kind of cheating by deciding I didn’t want to finish a book that was boring me and merely started a new one.

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    1. Glad you got on ok with multi-reading! It is a revelation! Also super pleased you loved Common People and The Rapture!

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