July 9, 2016

How to Read Multiple Books at the Same Time

The title is perhaps a bit misleading, because I'm not going to teach you how to read multiple books at the exact same moment. But I can give tips on how to read more than one book at the same time over the course of a day or more. Anyways, first I'm going to answer the question that may be on your mind.

Why would someone choose to read two or more books at once?

It all comes down to supposed efficiency. I read pretty quickly. It's a skill not every bookworm is blessed with, so I'm grateful I was. I can read a whole book in just a few hours, if I have the time. I'm also a perpetual multitasker. I rarely watch TV or movies without doing something else (not while I'm at the theater, of course). I often listen to music while I read so I'm taking in sound and new knowledge at the same time. So one day, I decided I might read more if I read more than one book over a couple days. It also gives me an opportunity to mix things up (since, for example, I don't like reading intense thrillers right before bed). I haven't figured out if I actually read more or less because of this practice. I certainly feel like I read more, but I'm not sure. Still, if you'd like to try reading two or more books at once, here are my tips.

Tip #1: It's usually best to pick books of different genres. It helps you separate the characters and settings better so you don't start to mix up plot points. Advanced multi-readers can do the same genre with ease, but if you're a beginner, start simple. Read a contemporary novel and a fantasy novel. Or sci-fi and historical fiction. Or romance and non-fiction. Whatever floats your boat.

Tip #2: Unless one book is especially riveting, alternate reading the novels. If you read while you eat breakfast, start with book A. If you read while you eat lunch, too, than pick up book B. This tip is pretty loose because, if book A is especially exciting, the key is to keep reading it. Otherwise, you'll start to resent book B and reading it won't be as fun. So you want to alternate unless one of the books has sucked you in.

Tip #3: If one of the books isn't working for you, don't be afraid to DNF it! Otherwise, it'll bog you down and it'll make reading more of a chore in general. You don't want that book to affect the others you're reading, right?

Tip #4: If you listen to music when you read, listen to different genres or artists or playlists for each book you're reading. It'll help keep the plots and characters separate in your head.

Tip #5: Reading a new book and rereading an old favorite concurrently is always a valid option. I do this all the time! Since I'm already familiar with the reread, this is where I often read books in the same genre at the same time because I'm not taking in twice as much new information. But it's a good way to squeeze in rereads and still tackle that enormous TBR list.

Do you have any other tips for reading multiple books at once? Let's talk!

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