Booking Through Thursday – How many books do you read at once?

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For something different, I’m borrowing a question from … here! One of the very first questions ever at Booking Through Thursday. Back from 2005 when Laura owned the blog but, because it was so new, it didn’t get as many responses as it does now … so, why not revisit?

Here’s the question:

Some people read one book at a time. Some people have a number of them on the go at any given time, perhaps a reading in bed book, a breakfast table book, a bathroom book, and so on, which leads me to…

  1. Are you currently reading more than one book?
  2. If so, how many books are you currently reading?
  3. Is this normal for you?
  4. Where do you keep your current reads?

I try to only read one book at a time, but will often read one non-fiction and one fiction book together, as I find it hard to read non-fiction for long periods of time. At the moment I am reading three books, and listening to one audio book – see my sidebar. This is unusual for me, but they are all related to Gone with the Wind, so I am trying to read the relevant sections together.

I often read two fiction books at the same time, and this is due to the condition/value of the books. Every day I read in the bath, and so do not take hardback, or valuable books in there with me, in case I accidentally dropped them! This means you will often find one cheap paperback, and one new hardback in my currently reading pile.

My current reads can be found wherever I am! One book is normally within arms length, the other will be by my bed, or by my computer.

Do you ever read more than one book at once?  Where do you store your current read?


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20 Comments

  1. Sandy says:

    I take my books with me everywhere! I used to only be able to focus on one at a time, however after I started blogging that changed! I usually have one audio and one hard book going for me only, as well as an audio and a hard book going with the kids. I never thought I would be able to juggle this, but I’ve found it quite easy.

  2. Jess says:

    My books are always scattered throughout my apartment. I can never seem to find one place to keep them all.

  3. Sunny says:

    The most I can usually do is one fiction and one non-fiction at the same time. Otherwise I like to just have one going at a time.

  4. JoAnn says:

    My current read usually goes everywhere I do!

  5. Jackie says:

    Sandy – I used to only read one book at a time, but I was a lot slower at reading then. Now I read books so quickly it isn’t such a problem having a few on the gp at once!

  6. Jackie says:

    Jess – Books I’m not reading are scattered everywhere, but if I’m reading it then I tend to know where it is!

    JoAnn – I know what you mean – I try to always have a book with me, and if I manage to go somewhere with out one I’ll always manage to find one!

  7. Jackie says:

    Sunny – I try to do the same, but can manage a few more if I have to!

    Bluestocking – 3 sounds like a lot! I’ll have to go and read your post to see why!

  8. I’m not a bath person, but I would be nervous that I would drop a book in.

  9. Jackie says:

    Melissa – I haven’t dropped one in yet, but the pages sometimes go a bit crinkly!

  10. Matthew says:

    I would read more than one when the books are related. But usually I stay with just one book. I tend to get confused about the characters, especially Russian literature.

  11. Jackie says:

    Matthew – I haven’t read any Russian literature (although I’d love to, and do have some in my TBR pile) but I agree, when I have characters with unfamiliar names it does get quite confusing.

  12. Rebecca Reid says:

    I always have at least half a dozen in progress. More right now. I have two with about 100 pages left, two are about half way finished, and about three or four I’ve made it to page 50. There are just so many things I want to read, I see it sitting somewhere and I pick it up and start it. And then I want to finish it.

    During the day, I have one upstairs, one downstairs — it depends what I feel like reading at that certain time of the day. I try to consolidate them all on my bedside table by the evening, because I get a precious 30-45 minutes of uninterrupted reading done before bed and I like to have all of them to choose from. Of course, my table is too small for how many I have in progress right now…..This is a problem. Maybe I need a bigger table?…

  13. Margot says:

    I like your idea of the bath book. I bet your water gets cold from time to time if it’s really an absorbing book. But, a great way to relax.

  14. Jackie says:

    Rebecca – I couldn’t read that many at once – I’d want to finish the ones which I only had 100 pages left, and would have fogotten all about the ones I’d only read 50 pages of. I’m glad you can make it work though! Are you sure you need a bigger table? I can stack about 10 books in a pile before they fall over!

  15. Jackie says:

    Margot – I can always add a bit more hot water when it starts to get a bit cold! I normally spend about 45 minutes in there each night, so it does require a top up or two!

  16. Rebecca Reid says:

    Jackie, I was thinking you’d suggest that instead of getting a bigger table, I just stop reading so many at a time!

    Many of the books I start and don’t finish all at once are nonfiction: one of the 100 pages left books is a nonfiction book of nearly 700 pages. I really like it but I can only take so many of the little written pages a day. The other book I have less than 100 pages left I’m reading aloud to my son. So there is a rhyme and reason to it. But I am a bit out of control right now, I admit it…

    1. Jackie says:

      Rebecca – I agree with you on the non-fiction – I can only read so much of one at a time, so will sometimes have a few on the go at once.

      I thought your son was only 18 months old, or do you have an older one too? My 20 month old wouldn’t sit and listen to anything unless there were lots of pictures to look at! It’s great that you read such long books to your son, however old he is!

      I hope you’re practising the book stacking – I don’t want you to have to buy another table!!!!

  17. Rebecca Reid says:

    Jackie, yes, my son is just 18 months old. I read to him while he plays in his room. No, he doesn’t sit still. He doesn’t care. But I want to read the books so I take it as a nice excuse to do so. I just read a few pages a day in the morning when he’s distracted by his toys.

    I do stack books. Five or six high. This week I’m trying to keep my table only full of the next books I want to finish. Maybe then I’ll get my reading under control!

    1. Jackie says:

      Rebecca – It’s great that your son hears your voice so much – he’ll probably learn to talk faster thanks to you.

      Good luck keeping the books under control!

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