A Reading Life Confession...And How I'm Working On It

By Thursday, March 10, 2016 , , , ,

I have a rather discomfiting confession to make. As you know, I love all things books and reading. However, there’s an aspect of my reading life that needs help. In truth… 

I am awful at reading more than one book at a time. 

There, it’s out. I hope you’re not too put off, as this is an almost universal and expected gift among book-lovers, but I’m just terrible at making it happen. So, if you share this failing with me, I hope you’re encouraged. I used to be a whiz at it, but maybe required college reading, the many commitments and distractions of adult life, or the feeling that I just have to be fully committed to one book at a time all overtook me. I think it could be a combination of all three. But there is hope! I’ve been working on this and have found that two particular methods have noticeably helped. It’ll likely be a work in progress for a while, but I’m making strides. I hope these tips help you too if you struggle with this! 

So, when you attempt to read multiple books at once: 

1. Pick one to purposely read over a longer period 

This takes the pressure off for me at a certain level. When I pick up any book, I feel like I have to commit to it, which is one reason I have difficulty reading multiple books at a time. But deliberately deciding and knowing to take one of them slowly helps me. Usually, this pick is a deep, chew-on-it, and often spiritually themed one. This way, I’m giving myself time to take it in thoroughly as well as time to read other books. For this type of take-it-slow selection, I’ll only read a little of it (maybe just one chapter) each week so there’s more than enough time to devote to the faster paced ones. And as mentioned, reading this slowly also forces me to think about it intentionally, so it’s a win-win. 

2. Use multiple book formats 

I now have three reading methods – regular old hard copies of books, a Kindle, and audiobooks. And I honestly recommend all three without hesitation! Obviously, the tried-and-true hard copies can’t be beat for me. There’s just something special and magical about holding a book in your hands and turning the pages. But my Kindle and Audible have become my very good friends this past year. 

I recommend the Kindle for its amazing portability, if nothing else. You can store so many books on it and it’s small, ideal for most bags, so you can usually have it on hand. Mine is light enough to slip into most purses, so I carry it with me everywhere. It’s easy to whip out when I’m in a waiting room, a long line, or anywhere else that I might find a spare minute to read a few pages or even a few paragraphs. Gone is the excuse for not being able to carry around a book everywhere! Plus, the low Kindle edition prices are beautiful things. There are well-respected titles going for two and three bucks regularly on Kindle edition, and I take full advantage!

As for audiobooks, I’ve kind of fallen in love with them. It almost feels like cheating since you’re not reading words, but listening is really also a great way to absorb a book. Audiobooks save me during commutes, long car trips, and workouts. Music just doesn’t do it for me for very long, and there’s nothing like getting lost in a good story to make the time fly! I'll likely have more posts coming soon about my favorite audiobooks so far, so stay tuned for that!

So, having all three of these book formats going at once, I’ve found that I’m getting better at working through multiple books simultaneously. Audiobooks are for the car, cleaning, working out, etc. My Kindle and physical books can be used pretty interchangeably, but usually if I’m out and about, I’ll have my Kindle instead of a hard copy. When I’m lounging at home, either one will do. 

So, how good or bad are you at reading more than one book at a time? Do you have more tips for how to make it happen easily? What are your thoughts on Kindles and audiobooks? I’m all ears.

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  1. I'm terrible at reading multiple books at one time!! I'm totally okay with that too. The only way I can occasionally do this, is if it's a nonfiction and fiction. Then I'll read a chapter or two of the nonfiction and spend most of my time reading the fiction. But I usually just stick to one at a time :)

    1. Well that's good to hear! So glad I'm not alone, Jamie! :)

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