How to read several books at once

Okay, if you clicked on this piece to learn how to read multiple books at exactly the same time, I’m sorry. I have not yet mastered simultaneous book-devouring, try as I might. I still only have two hands, and cannot yet turn pages with merely a glance!

But I have gathered a few tips on how to enjoy several books during the same time period.

How to read several books at once

I love having multiple books in progress at any given time. When my mood changes, if I’m more tired or more energetic, if I’m just not feeling a theme or a style, I just switch it up.

How to read several books at onceAnd the books can complement each other, drawing out different aspects—the advice in How to Be a Bawse reminds me of the career-minded main character in The Kiss Quotient, who made me think of my favorite storyline in The Illumination. The connections between each book weave a larger narrative beyond just one story.

But it can be tough, sometimes, to keep track of multiple stories and ideas. Here’s some advice on how to manage reading multiple books at once.

Take notes

I love keeping a reading notebook filled with cool quotes, major plot points, and random thoughts that strike while reading. If I’ve been away from a book for a little while, I can go over these notes and quickly catch up where I left off.

If the reading notebook route isn’t for you, you could also take notes in the end pages or use blank bookmarks to scribble notes on.

How to read several books at onceOr you could just underline key passages and write notes in the margins that you flip through when you return to the book. Some people don’t like marking up pristine pages, but I’m a fan of interacting with books by penning my responses right there on the page.

In the same vein, you can keep a reading journal or use an app or website to help you keep track of exactly which titles you’re reading, if you’re as forgetful as I can be sometimes.

Have books around

I read in several places—on the couch, in my bed, in the doctor’s office, on the Metro. So I keep a book in each place (except for the doctor’s office and Metro, natch). I always have a book stashed in my purse or backpack, and I have plenty of titles already downloaded on my electronic devices.

This way, when you have a few spare minutes to read, you don’t have to remember where you put down your book—you can just pick up whichever one is lying around.

Keeping your books-in-progress within view also helps you remember what’s happening in a story, even if you haven’t picked up a title in a few days. When I see a book sitting on the arm of a chair or my bedside table, the plot and characters stay in the forefront of my mind; if I put it back neatly on the shelf, sometimes I forget about it entirely.

How to read several books at onceMix up genres

For me, it’s harder to keep track of books I’m reading at the same time if they fall within the same genre.

As a rule, I’m usually reading one nonfiction book, one graphic novel, one literary novel, and then a romance or a sci-fi book at any given time. Each one fits a different need and speaks to me at different times.

Relax your expectations

Sometimes I start a book, and it’s not quite right for that moment. But when I come back to it, I find I can’t really remember what came before, and I have to start over. That’s okay.

I can sometimes get a little competitive, a little too motivated by numbers and stats. I don’t like the idea of wasting my precious reading time by starting a book over. But that’s silly. The point of reading is not to check a title off the list—it’s to enjoy a story, to learn something new, to glimpse a different life.

This strategy also helps with my tendency toward completionism—finishing a book even if I’m not that into it, just to say I did it. I’ve learned it’s okay to set a book down when you’re not feeling it. And it’s okay, too, never to return to it.

When I read the book that speaks to me in the moment I have to read, I enjoy myself and the book so much more!

You might have a book problem if you're reading more than 3 books at a time. Or in my case recently, 8 books at once.

Fellow book nerds are nodding their heads in understanding. The rest of you are staring at the screen cockeyed, wondering how on earth it's possible. You've come to the right place, friends. Today I'm going to shed light on the beauty of reading multiple books at the same time.

1. Start with a primary book.

Have one or two main books. Typically fiction or memoir, they captivate the reader. You want to keep reading these books. I make time to read these: after work, instead of watching TV, a leisurely Saturday afternoon, tucked into my purse in case of unexpected downtime.

In this case, my primary book was Shadow of Night, book #2 in the wonderful All Souls trilogy. Harkness masterfully drew me into the world she created. I can't wait for the third book to come out.  Heroes & Monsters was the other; I savored author Riebock's unusual memoir.

Not feeling the book in front of you? It's not your primary book.

(For the record, I only ever read one fiction book at a time.)

2. Add a non-fiction/thoughtful read.

The books in this category might not be as spellbinding as a novel. They're books I want to read but need time to digest or time to appreciate. Conversely, they could be extremely engaging but read at a different pace. Either way, these books likely make you think.

These are great books to read before bedtime. There's usually a good place to stop. You're unlikely to think "just one more chapter," resulting in you staying up until you've finished the book at 3 am. Not that that's ever happened to me.

I brought The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals with me on the plane to Austin. I've wanted to read it for years but I've put it off, given it's about the politics and perils of how Americans eat. A plane ride was perfect for reading about the prevalence of corn in processed food, as I ironically munched on the cheese crackers Southwest passed out.

The Crowd, The Critic, and The Muse is extremely thought-provoking. While the author's style is easy to read, a book on the creative process is not meant to be consumed in one sitting. At least, not for me.

3. A poem a day.

This is practically cheating. But a book is a book, no matter how quickly or slowly you read it. I've been reading one poem from Rilke's Book of Hours every night before bedtime the last few months. His words are saving my life.

What's that? Poetry's not for you? I humbly suggest you haven't found the right kind. Maybe song lyrics resonate more than, say, Emily Dickinson or Wendell Berry. Maybe Shel Silverstein is more up your alley.

4. Something for the backburner.

This is more about variety than anything else. Need a break from your main reads? Turn to your backburner books. I might read a chapter and then not pick it up for another month. I keep these books in the bedtime rotation.

I've long wanted to read Madeleine L'Engle's Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art. It is rich and refreshing and I don't want it to be over too soon. So I'm spacing out the chapters, letting them settle a bit before moving on. On the other hand, Brennan Manning's Ruthless Trust started out in the second category but I just could not get into it. (I feel like a bad Christian for saying this.) I know it's worth reading so I put it on the backburner.

5. Finally, start priming.

You have all your options, you're making progress on them to varying degrees. Now what? Identify what you want to read next. I have a looooooong To Read list, as well as a huge stack of books I own but haven't yet read. I also frequent my library regularly.

When I near the end of a non-fiction book, I add another book to the rotation for a natural segue. I might put a request in at the library for something off my list or select one out of what I already own. I decided to reread Girl Meets God, which underwhelmed me years ago. I must have not been in the right frame of mind because it's all kinds of awesome now and likely headed toward primary book status.

Bonus tip: learn how to speed read. I thank my 3rd grade teacher every day for my unusually fast reading skills.

The point is to always have a plethora of reading options. When you're not feeling the book in front of you, pick up something else. This will either make you want to go back to your original choice or press forward with one of your other options.

Start working on books from the first three categories and add in from there. Soon, you too will be a multiple book reader!

How many books do you read at the same time?

Disclosure: Amazon Affiliate links included in this post. If you click through to Amazon from HopefulLeigh, I'll get a few pennies to help support this site, along with my book habit. Thanks for your support!

How to read several books at once

At any given time, you can probably find the members of Team Epic Reads reading at least four books at once. We can’t help it—there’s usually that epic fantasy we’ve been looking forward to, something more realistic when we need a break, maybe an old favorite just for fun, and, oh, we can’t forget those books that won’t be on shelves for at least six more months. And that’s during a light reading period. So you could say we’ve become expert at balancing reading multiple books. And now we want to share all that we’ve learned with you!

Whether you find yourself juggling two or something more in the area of seven or eight, we think all of these tips could come in handy for those book nerds who just aren’t able to commit. Scroll down and check them out!

7 Ways to Balance Reading Multiple Books

1. Try to diversify their genres

As we said above, we like to balance what we’re reading against each other. If we’re diving into a fantasy that we know is going to be super emotional and all-encompassing, we might also try to have something light and fluffy on the side. Then there’s also the grounded, realistic fiction for when we want something serious but contemporary, and then the magical realism for when we’re just sort of feeling in-between. See what we mean? A book for every mood! And you’ll hopefully make decent progress through them all.

2. Read in different formats

Hardcovers, paperbacks, ebooks, audiobooks—there’s no shortage of ways for you to consume all the books on your TBR. It might help you balance your current reads better if you’re reading some in physical formats and some in other formats—digital or audio—so that your progress is tied to convenience as much as it is mood. And this way you won’t need to wrestle out that brick of a book on a crowded train!

3. Seriously, write down your TBR

We know the concept of a real TBR pile is daunting—just looking around our rooms at all the shelves and piles is intimidating as heck. But writing down the books you want to read in the order you want to read them will help you an unbelievable amount. Plus, it could stop you from starting too many books! If you’re holding yourself to that top bunch, you’ll always be able to check in, know what you’re keeping available to yourself, and what you need to get through in order to get to the next batch. Is there a better light at the end of the list than more books?!

4. Read with friends

YOUR BOOK BFFS WILL HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE. And if you’re chatting with different friends about different books, it’s the perfect way to make sure you’re making progress on all of them, and not just letting a handful sit there, half-read, while you binge your way through sixteen others. These book BFFs can be real friends, internet friends (hi, we love you Bookstagram and YA Twitter and BookTube and everyone else), or even us! Seriously, let’s talk books at any time.

5. Use apps like Goodreads and Libby

Not only do they keep track of what you’re reading, but they’re the perfect way to keep track of your progress within them. As long as you hold yourself to updating them promptly (though Libby will keep track of your digital progress for you!), they’re the perfect organizational tools.

6. Limit yourself to a book budget

THIS MIGHT BE CRAZY, BUT MAYBE STOP BUYING BOOKS UNTIL YOU READ MORE. Okay, it’s definitely crazy, because we can’t even hold ourselves to that. But if you’re already reading a bunch of books, it’ll just overwhelm you if you keep adding to that shelf and diving into a brand new story! You’ll never finish anything you’ve already started. But if you start using new books as a sort-of reward system, we can promise that you’ll be motivated to get through all those books you’re in the middle of.

7. Set time aside every day

The most important, enjoyable, and easiest way to balance all those books you’re reading? READ THEM. Carve time out every day, whether it’s on your lunch break, after school, before work, or as you’re going to bed. Just do it. Try to hit fifty pages a day—see if you can! Then, once you get into a rhythm, make a pattern out of it. Dive into one book on Mondays and Wednesdays, then another on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Maybe give each genre a day, or a week, and rotate between everything you want to get through. Just start reading, and we promise you can do it!

The truth is, sometimes I do get confused. Though that doesn’t happen very often anymore. I’ve been juggling multiple books for so long now, that I’ve kind of gotten the hang of it! So here are a few tips to help you do the same:

1. Read different genres

This is probably the most important tip. Nothing will confuse you more than reading multiple books which have too many similarities. It also kind of defeats the purpose of reading lots of different books at once. You want diversity in your reading. You want to not get stuck on just one book or genre. So have a few going at once.

I’ll usually have at least three: One novel – any genre. One non-fiction. And maybe a poetry collection, short story collection, or graphic novel. Something that’s a bit faster, or that you can dip in and out of without too much of a problem.

2. Read different books at different places

My favourite place to read is in bed. But I don’t always get time to read in bed. If I do, it’s often for only a short amount of time before bed. It’s not very conducive to the full reading life I want to have. I do have a one hour commute every single day. So I’ve gotten into the habit of reading during my tram journey. But I often can’t read the same books in these two different places. I can read serious and heavy books in bed, but when I try to read them at 7am while squashed into a tiny tram seat, my eyes glaze over. So that’s resulted in me usually picking a quick, breezy light-hearted read during my morning commute. Something that perks me up for the day ahead! So make sure you choose your books based on when and where you’ll be best able to read them.

3. Read through different mediums

As much as I love reading my paperbacks, it’s not exactly the best way to read when I’m travelling. Or when I’m going to meet my friends and they are super late as usual, and I need some way to pass the time. Which is why my various books come in various mediums. I have the paperback or hardback which I reserve for at home reading. Then I’ll have a book on my Kindle for any commutes or general travelling. Maybe an audio book for when I’m out for a walk and need something to listen to.

4. Read for your mood – not for your TBR list

I think there are times when we tend to have a fixed idea about the books we’re going to read. Which is great – sometimes! Other times, it’s just good to go with the flow. If I start a book that I really want to read, and I feel myself running out of steam, I usually start a new one. It proves a good distraction for a short while until I’m ready to go back to the original book again. Just because we’re not in the mood for a book, doesn’t mean abandon ship ‘til who knows when. It can mean taking a short break. Or adding another list to your growing pile of ‘currently readings.’

5. Take all the time you need

Lastly, don’t freak out if you’re taking months and months to finish a book because you’re reading too many books at the same time! Sometimes it’ll happen. And sometimes you’ll find yourself reading too many books in the space of a really short time. It happens. The most important thing – always – is that you’re having a good time reading!

How to read several books at onceIt’s no secret: I love to read, voraciously even.

So, it’s not a surprise to anyone (especially you, dear reader) that I read multiple books at once. It’s kind of a compulsion. Why? For one, I can’t stop myself. Two, there are so many good stories out there. And three, when I discover or get recommended a new book by a friend or a colleague, it’s really hard to say no.

If you’re trying to manage a bunch of stellar reads at once, we have a few key tips that will help. Use these 5 tips to power through your own reading list.

1. Set aside time to read.

This might be the most essential tip. Give yourself a dedicated time period every day to read. Maybe you can read at least twice a day and usually up it to three – on your daily commute and then for 20-30 minutes before going to bed.

By allowing yourself a set amount of time each day (or a few times a week), you’ll weave your way through many stories and poems in no time.

2. Diversify your reading list.

Read multiple books in different formats, genres, and styles. This is the easiest way to balance reading a few books at once. Pick a volume of poetry, a non-fiction read, a novella, something sci-fi, or a collection of short stories. Whatever your heart desires.

My current reading list includes a mix of genres, writers, and formats: Strange Stars: David Bowie, Pop Music, and the Decade Sci-Fi Exploded, The Diary of a Bookseller, Dispatch from the Future, and Death and Other Holidays. Whew, that seems like tons of books, no? But, once you break it down, my list includes: two non-fiction titles, one poetry collection, and a novella.

3. Choose multiple “reading hot spots.”

Where do you feel most comfortable reading? In bed? On your commute? In the park? On an amazing velvet couch in your local coffee shop? Designate a few spots where you can relax, zone out, and just read. It’ll be a joy. Don’t take my word for it, try it yourself.

4. Always keep a book on your person.

The real secret to reading a bunch of books at once? It’s such a simple trick. Never leave home without a book. Always have a paperback on hand. But, if you’re traveling very light and don’t have room for a small book, you can always have a few ebooks on your smartphone, too.

5. Don’t worry about time.

Reading isn’t a race. Remember to savor your books and really sit with them. If it takes you a few days to finish one title and then a few months for the next, there’s no reason to beat yourself up over it. Some books are like a fine wine and they should be savored as such.

Stephanie Valente is the Digital Marketing Manager at Melville House.

Discovering the transparency and delicacy of writing

How to read several books at onceIn the past, I have always been a 1-book-at-time gal and enjoyed it that way. For the past few years, I’ve gotten into reading two books at a time, one in paper and one on audiobook. I’m naturally a focused individual, not the greatest multitasker. Focusing on one thing at a time helps me get things done faster and to better quality. Thankfully, my mind can separate my paper book from my audiobook quite easily BUT I never read two paper books at the same time. If I begin a new book while in the middle of another, I’m unlikely to ever pick up that original book again.

I have always been hesitant to quit a book. I don’t like quitting (or taking breaks) in the middle of projects, whether its reading a book, mowing the lawn, or writing a story. But lately, I have encouraged myself to be more open to deserting bad/uninteresting books. There are too many great books out there to waste my time on something I’m not enjoying or learning from.

See my previous post on the subject, When to Drop a Bad Book.

Pros and Cons of reading multiple books at once, compiled from random blogs/articles:

Pros of Reading Multiple Books

Desire to read – One boring book won’t minimize your desire to read.

Flexibility – Being able to read more than one genre/story/author at a time. Choosing the book that matches your current mood.

Portability – Some books are more easily slipped into a purse or bag.

Cons of Reading Multiple Books

Split focus – As I am constantly deciphering the writing as well as the story, this is a huge disadvantage for me. I like to study the arch and structure and consistency of the voice while reading a book and switching between multiple books would make this difficult.

Memory – The more books you read, the harder it is to retain all the information you’ve read. If you leave sit too long, you may forget what is happening.

Less invested – Personally, I’m less likely to get enchanted by a story and its characters if I’m juggling multiple stories.

Encourages Short Attention Span – Reading is one area that still requires concentration on one thing for a long period of time. Reading multiple books at once will drop reading into the I-need-it-NOW-and-QUICK culture.

How to read several books at once

I made a commitment to read more, and ended up going to my old habit of reading multiple books at once. Looking back, the times I’ve stuck to a single book at a time were also the times I read less frequently. If I wasn’t in the mood to read that specific book on that specific day, I wouldn’t. Sometimes that feeling would last for days, in which case I did little reading.

Now, looking back at the last few months when I’ve had multiple books going at once, I’ve spent at least an hour reading every night. Both because I’ve made a conscious effort to open and read a book, but also because I have so many to choose from.

The books I currently have a bookmark in:

    , by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle , by Dr. Will Cole , by Zachary D. Carter , by Matt Clayton , by Stephen King

Most are ones that I’ve started within the past couple weeks, but Sherlock Holmes is a collection of short stories that are easy 15-minute reads that I’ve been going through for a few months.

The informal rules I follow, when I feel like it, that is. So, really the loose guidelines of reading multiple books at once, are:

  • Once I finish a book, I can then choose to either focus and finish another, or open one that I’ve been wanting to start.
  • Pick up at least one book every day. I mean, I have multiple open so I need to be making progress on one of them.
  • Use the amazing “Try a Sample” feature on Amazon Kindle. This saves me from buying/renting books I don’t like.
  • Have a designated book for nighttime reading. Something that doesn’t make my mind race when I put it down. And nothing scary.

Having multiple books open at once, and trying to follow the rules listed above, has ultimately led to me reading more, the first major benefit I’ve noticed.

The bottom line is when I read multiple books at once, I read more. And there are many reasons for this. Having more options of what to read makes it easier to read. I can pick-up something to read for 15 minutes, or grab something different and read for an hour. I can open something that’s fantasy, or a mystery, or a biography, depending on what mood I’m in. Essentially, there’s always a book I want to be reading, because I have so many choices.

Then, there’s the pressure of feeling the need to always be reading. To always be making progress so I can finish a book, thus allowing me to start a new one. I’ve found that when I’m reading just one book at a time, it’s much easier to ignore it for days at a time. When I have five books going at once, taking a few days off means I’ve ignored five books, not just one. Although the end result is really the same, the psychology is the difference. I’m not comfortable procrastinating when the “workload” is higher.

Now, this is far different pressure or workload than that of my job. This is free time pressure of something I enjoy. If reading led to the same stress as other things, it simply wouldn’t be enjoyable. This is a positive sense of urgency to always be making progress on one book, where I can choose what that one book is.

This may seem backwards since I’m always reading multiple books at once, which means the likelihood of reading bad books is higher. Yet, I find it’s much easier to put down or put away a book I’m not enjoying when I have three or four others I can open. Whereas when I’m working on a single book at a time, I feel the pressure to finish it so I can move on to one I actually enjoy. This is the bad kind of pressure.

If I haven’t touched a book for a few weeks it probably means I wasn’t really enjoying it. Normally, it would have been one I felt the need to finish just so I could move on. But, when I already have others open I can just put it aside and either get back to it when I’m ready to just put it on the shelf.

Then there’s the point I already touched on. If I fall in love with a book, like I did with Breaking the Two Party Doom Loop, I just do a sprint finish and focus almost all my attention on it. Plus, it was a rented book from the library with a return-by date.

When I put a book down for a few days, and then pick it back up in Chapter 6, I have to do a memory jog to remember where I left off. Sometimes this means sitting and thinking for a few minutes, other times it’s reading the last few paragraphs in the previous chapter. This helps me remember what just happened, as well as some key points that led to it.

When switching between three, four, or five books at a time I’m always looking back and trying to remember what I previously read. Now, this isn’t scientifically proven. Well, they do say reading in general can improve your memory, or at least slow down the decline of losing your memory. So… reading multiple books… maybe even better at improving my memory?

What I do know is that personally I’m spending more time using my memory to think back on what I’ve read, sometimes multiple times in one day. Although I am still a physical book lover, looking back at highlights in an ebook has really helped me follow along with a book and really hone in on some of the key things I’ve recently read. Mostly, I’m highlighting in nonfiction books like How to Be an Antiracist or Tools of Titans.

Which is a curious thing to realize from just reading multiple books at once. I grew up reading fiction, since that’s what most children and young adult books seem to be, but for most of the past decade my book of choice has been nonfiction or biographical. And when I’m only reading one book at a time, of course I’m going to stick to what I love.

What helped get me to this realization started with a book that was a gift, and also technically nonfiction. The Killers of the Flower Moon, by David Gramm is historical, but given the murder-mystery in it, it reads like fiction at points. Now, as I make my way through Bag of Bones, I’m remembering how easy it is to get sucked in by a good fiction story.

If it wasn’t for taking on a few books at once I probably would have continued my ways of playing it safe with books I could learn something from, instead of something to simply enjoy. It turns out there are good and bad fiction books, I just need to find the good ones.

Now that I’m reflecting on what I learned from reading more than one book at a time, there’s no way I’m ever going back. I’ve learned things about myself and become more creative and energized about my own writing. Then there’s the thing I value and judge most of my days by, productivity. Reading is something I can relax and enjoy while still feeling like I did something productive and worthwhile with my time.

How to read several books at once

I came across a story about overcoming reader’s distraction and I must admit that I thought I would discover ways of maintaining the focus to read while in a situation where many distractions are working against you, such as reading on the bus or in a cafe.

I was surprised and confused to find that there is a school of thought where the inability to focus on one book at a time is considered a malady referred to as reader’s distraction. As the article describes it, readers distraction is an inability to get through one book without putting it down to pick up another, typically leading that reader to never finish any book.

I was surprised and confused to find that there is a school of thought where the inability to focus on one book at a time is considered a malady referred to as reader’s distraction. As the article describes it, readers distraction is an inability to get through one book without putting it down to pick up another, typically leading that reader to never finish any book.

I was baffled to the point of believing that this story had to be sarcasm or satire but reading through it, I realized this was not the case. I felt a powerful need to defend my own reading habits because I regularly read multiple books at the same time but I had no trouble finishing all of them. I

I have a to be read (TBR) list that is in constant flux and I tend to add more books to it than I take off but I believe that the abundance of literature that calls to me is something to be celebrated.

Perhaps there is a line to be drawn between readers like myself who enjoy tackling multiple books at the same time and readers who do not actually finish what they start because they are always starting new books.

There is no such distinction in the article that I read and as such, I was compelled to present another point of view here. It is not my intention to deny that there are readers that fit the criteria of needing help in completing a book that they are reading. I do wish to assert that reading more than one book at a time can be completely healthy and effective.

It is not my intention to deny that there are readers that fit the criteria of needing help in completing a book that they are reading. I do wish to assert that reading more than one book at a time can be completely healthy and effective.

I am forced to conclude that what makes reading this way a problem for some is that books are never finished and if this is true, I do not have a problem. Just typing those last six words feels like asking for trouble as I hear imaginary voices yelling at their internet capable devices that I am in denial and that admitting I have readers distraction is the first step toward recovery.

Allow me the next few minutes to present my arguments in defiance of readers distraction.

Is it possible to read more than one book at a time and keep all of the content straight?

People have asked me how I keep different stories straight if I am reading three to five at a time and mine is the response is that I typically read different genres. If I am reading, one science fiction, one fantasy, one philosophy, and one history book at the same time, it is not all that difficult to keep them separate.

Reading more than one book at a time is not an innately obscene practice.

There might be a latent prejudice against picking up another book without finishing the one you have first. To this, I would say that reading multiple books at once is the same as watching more than one television show per season.

Expecting to read only one book at a time can be likened to binge-watching an entire season of one show before watching another. Either way of watching television is acceptable, why shouldn’t reading one way or the other be as accepted.

Picking up one of five books that I am currently working through is like deciding what channel to watch that night.

Know your own limits and push them when appropriate.

I am always conscious of which books are currently in my rotation and the only time I have ever not finished a book was by choice when the author and I parted over creative differences. This has only happened a handful of times. I keep tight control over how many books are in rotation at any time.

An example of this is that when I am in class and have textbooks that require my attention I might have only one or two books that I am reading for pleasure at the same time.

Remember that reading is an exquisite pleasure that should always serve your desires.

It is a fair argument that if I devoted my energy to a single book at a time, I would finish it quicker than sharing the time with multiple books. This is not something that I consider all that important. In fact, on many occasions, I have preferred to prolong the amount of time it takes me to finish a book because I want to savor the time and spend within those pages.

The excitement that I feel to start a new book leads me to forgo the agony of rushing through my current read in order to start the next one. Instead of torturing myself, I read multiple books at a time and let my passions at the moment direct my choice. I have too many varied interests to limit myself to a single choice.

Consider the way that a lot of people watch television and realize the similarity.

It is entirely possible that my reading habits are a result of growing up in a society that caters to shorter attention spans. In a world of channel surfing and web browsing, it seems to me that reading multiple books at once is just another way to multi-task.

There will always be more books to read than I have already finished but I take great pleasure in moving a book from one pile to the other.

Additionally, I read poetry the way that someone might enjoy a glass of wine. Flipping through a few pages and letting the words wash over me is often times more preferable than reading it cover to cover. A few poems are like a single glass that could enhance the taste of a meal but when you down the whole bottle you will miss the subtle nuances.

Reading can be an exquisite pleasure that speaks to the secret parts of our soul. Find your own path through and become whole.

If you do find that you are not able to finish any of the books you start because you keep starting new ones, read our article on the subject: How to Deal With a Reading Slump? – A Practical Guide

On the other hand, if you are one of us who quite happily reads out of number of different books at a time, take comfort in knowing that you are not alone.