One book at a time, a few, or many?

In another thread, someone commented that they are starting to read more than one book at a time. This is something I’ve done for years, starting when I’d have books that simply seemed to fit certain circumstances better. For instance, I didn’t want to read anything gory while eating, and nothing scary as I got ready for bed.

According to Goodreads, I’m currently reading 16 books. I bet there are others I just haven’t remembered to list yet. I’m also betting I’m a bit of an outlier on this.

Are you a magpie like me? Or do you stick with one book until either it’s done or you are? Or something in the middle?

And if you read more than one, do you vary the genres?


Two audiobooks, at least. One I’ve never read before for daytime. A reread for night. (One that is really familiar, so I won’t miss anything when I conk out.) A few impulse books from the library, plus whatever holds came in for me and an active book or two on my kindle.

Some of these will get pitched. Some will take me forever. Some I’ll be married to until I’m finished.

My reading time is so limited these days, I have to pick one thing and stick with it or I’d never finish anything. I was more of a magpie as a child.

Car book, work book for lunch hour, house book, by the bed book.

And the started never finished John Irving’s “Until I see you again” haunts me daily.

This sounds exactly like me. I have a few on the list I’ve been reading for nearly a year.

I was a single book at a time reader as a child. Unlike most people, my attention span has gotten shorter as I’ve gotten older. :smiley:

I start a book and keep reading until I finish it or I decide it’s not worth my time. I also like to reread, which is something my husband doesn’t do.

Magpie. I can think of at least three open books around the house and Og only knows how many on the Kindles.

In the middle, I’m normally reading two or three. One fiction for before bed, one non-fiction for after dinner/weekend days and one whatever strikes my fancy on Kindle if I’m stuck waiting somewhere.

Back on my old Sony PRS-350 ebook reader, I would have several books that I was “sort of” actively reading, and had dozens more that I had started, bookmarked, and set along for A Really Long Time. (I had many hundreds of books on the reader.) After 5 years of heavy use, my Sony died the death of a broken USB connector, so I’ve started over on an old Android phone without SIM card as my reader (until I some day bother to track down another ancient Sony PRS-350.)

Because of the rebuild, I have only 3 books in the “reading now” pile on the phone–The Nightmare Stacks by Charles Stross, A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers, and Transformation by Neal Asher.

I’m not much of a reader anymore but historically, not counting those non-fiction works in which narrative is not important, I’ve been a sequential reader. Once I get into a good story, I need to fully invest myself in it. To me, working on multiple novels at the same time would be like watching 30 minutes of one movie, watching 30 minutes of another, then 30 minutes of another, etc, before resuming the first one.

Yes, and yes. I’ll usually have just one (or maybe two) novel in progress at a time, but also a handful of non-fiction on various subjects. Plus all the collections of stories or essays or articles or whatever that I dip into from time to time.

Do you mean Until I Find You? You really should finish it: the last part puts the first part in a totally different light.

Depends on the book. If I’m reading somewhat heavy science or history, I like to have a lighter fiction book around to cleanse the pallet. But usually I try to stick to one book at a time. Occasionally a book grabs my attention while I’m in the middle of another, and I’ll usually read the second one real fast and then go back to the first. Sometimes the first book is a slog and I set it to the side and move onto another until my mood changes and I go back to the first again with fresh eyes. I rarely stop reading a book entirely, but sometimes life gets in the way and I do just that.

I usually read one work of fiction and one or two works of nonfiction at the same time.

I am a multiples reader, with a book in every room in case I have to wait for anything (I am a terrible waiter - no patience), several ongoing titles on Kindle, and when I worked, a book in the drawer of my desk.

I have a thing about finishing a book if I start it, no matter how little I like it. It was those books I took to work for lunch hour reading. I only ate in a couple times a week, so those titles relegated to work reading sometimes took a year to finish. If I am really into the book, it will be my bedroom read as I allow myself an hour’s reading time every night, far more than in any other reading locales.

Change “as a child” to “in my 30s,” and that’s me. :slight_smile:

Not only is my reading time (and brain power) more limited now, but I just realized – as I was considering my response to this thread – that using a Kindle has also affected that habit. For some reason I found it easier to read multiple physical books: switching between e-books on the same device bugs me, in some vague and irrational way.

Only one fiction book at a time. For nonfiction I read multiple books at a time, depending on my mood.

Magpie I guess. Lots of books in different places. Some because they are re-reads. Some because they are just not right for whatever mood I might be in.

I rarely buy a book, I depend on the library, so when I check one out, I read it and return it.

I used to joke that I have ‘‘book ADD’’ because I have such difficulty finishing books I start and I’m always jumping from one to another.

Then I received a specialist evaluation in December and learned that… I have ADD. :smack:

I have 16 books I’m ‘‘currently reading’’ on Goodreads and about 82 marked ‘‘Unread’’ which means I downloaded them (or samples of them) and never started, or started and didn’t finish.

I will confess I’ve enthusiastically recommended books that I read 50-75% of the way through but never finished. I claim to like Dickens, though I’ve never finished a damned thing he’s written. Some of the best books I’ve ever read, I never finished.

I tend to have one novel going, one re-read for bedtime and several nonfiction, for various moods