Reading multiple books at the same time.

United States
February 4, 2011 6:12pm CST
Right now I'm working on three books at the same time, something really rare for me. It's not that I get the plots mixed up, it's just that I seem to read slower when I'm trying to read multiple books at once. I read much faster when I concentrate at one book at a time. What about you? Do you read multiple books at once? Do you get the plots mixed up? Do you prefer to read one book at a time or do you prefer to read multiple books at once?
5 people like this
25 responses
@stevieboi19 (1429)
5 Feb 11
I usually have quite a few books on the go at once sometimes up to five books but I usually find myself getting sucked in by one of them in particular and mange to finish it within a couple of days then I'll get really into another one from the four leftover which I'll then finish. My reading pattern usually takes this form and then I'll start on another set of books.
2 people like this
• United States
7 Feb 11
Interesting. Typically my reading pattern is one book at a time. Recently it's been 1 Narnia book (and that's only going to last as long as all seven Narnia books), the non-ficition book (and it's taking me awhile, I'll admit), and whatever fiction book was on my to-read shelf. I've never picked a set to go through. How many books do you typically go through in a year when you use this system?
7 Feb 11
I can go through a different number of books a year as sometimes I slack off at I usually go through at least 4-50 books though. Narnia is it any good I've got the colletion back at my parents and have never got round to actually reading the series. I've just recently finished Sweeney Todd and I'm not focussing on some required reading for my English course. The Great Gatsby is one I'm reading at the minute although I've read it once before still a great book I'm also reading Nice Work by David Lodge which is ok and the last required book I'm reading is Breakfast at Tiffany's. I've also started reading Edgar Allen Poe but haven't really got into his book yet.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 11
I've read the Narnia series multiple times and labeled myself a major Narnia nut. So yes, I love Narnia and I think it's super awesome fantastic.. but then again I also hated The Great Gatsby with a fiery passion. So your mileage may vary, but I really recommend them. You have the collection so you might as well give them a try. I'd recommend starting with "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" first as it was written first and "Magician's Nephew" was written as a prequel. You can read them in chronological order, but I'd recommend the published order for anyone just starting out on the series.
@hlgmdt (301)
• Philippines
5 Feb 11
It depends on the kind of books. I do read multiple books at a time provided that they are of different genre. For example, one is a novel while the other is an inspirational non-fiction. I don't usually read multiple books belonging in the same genre at the same because I feel that everything is mixed up. For instance, reading two novels at the same time may get me confused regarding the plots.
• United States
5 Feb 11
It would depend on the genres of novels for me. As someone pointed out earlier, reading two mysteries at once is difficult. Reading a mystery and a high fantasy or a mystery and a romance wouldn't be nearly as confusing. Right now I'm reading one non-ficiton, and two fantasy novels... but the fantasy novels are actually vastly different and I've read one once before already so keeping them apart is a piece of cake.
1 person likes this
@hdc4free (262)
• United States
5 Feb 11
I read several books at once, but they are usually quite different so I don't mix them up. Right now I'm reading a graphic novel, a nonfiction book about color in art theory, a horror novel, and Anthony Bourdain's 3rd book (nonfiction on cooking/food/travel). By the way that site Goodreads.com is awesome for keeping track of all the books you are reading and want to read, it has helped me to get back into my reading habit in a big way! :)
2 people like this
• United States
5 Feb 11
Goodreads is my number one web destination, actually. I'm on goodreads when I'm not on mylot. lol Most of the time when I read multiple books they're different enough for me to tell them apart. It's not that hard when they're of different genres.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Feb 11
Yeah I used to do this all through high school. I always like to read a non fiction and a fiction book at the same time. I never read both fictional novels at the same time because I would probably get things mixed up, although I love browsing through multiple non fiction books at the same time. Learn small facts about many different subjects.
• United States
5 Feb 11
I find it's easy enough when they're very different. For instance, you're not likely to get a high fantasy and a modern-day murder mystery mixed up. But if you were reading two murder mysteries at the same time then you might have trouble. I rarely read non-fiction, but one of the books that I'm reading right now is non-fiction. "Surprised by Joy" by C.S. Lewis
1 person likes this
• Philippines
5 Feb 11
hmmn, a novel or a story book judging by the word you added "plot"...I read multiple books for reference on research or studying but I read only one novel at a time, since I always get so caught up in the story that it seems like I'm inside the story and I can't stop reading until it ends...literally, I start to read a noel and I won't put it down, so I just read it at times I'm not busy for I tend to forgo my work and just read...
2 people like this
• United States
5 Feb 11
Yeah, I rarely read non-fiction. I'm trying to read more... in fact I'm reading a non-fiction book right now. It's a biographical piece, "Surprised by Joy" by C.S. Lewis. I'm not likely to get it confused with the other books. I think the three I'm working on right now are all different enough that it's not a problem. I tend to get lost in stories too, but it can still happen when I read more than one at once. But I've never read two non-fiction books at the same time, so I don't know if that would be a problem for me or not.
1 person likes this
@maezee (40973)
• United States
5 Feb 11
It really depends..On the genre/type of book/storyline. Some books you obviously won't get mixed up (such as if I'm reading a romance novel VS a murder mystery - it's doubtful that those details will get mixed up because they're so different) however I've tried reading TWO murder mystery novels (I like them!!) at the same time and it got me all mixed up. My mind can only register one murder mystery book at a time it seems. Plus I generally get confused a lot, in life (in general), so it's just not a good idea for me to try this. LOL
2 people like this
• United States
5 Feb 11
I was telling one of the other posters the last time I got the plots mixed up was when I was reading two similar books by the same author. So I can see how reading two murder mysteries at the same time would get you confused! Especially if there are loads of clues and subtle hints you're supposed to be following. And as a confused person, maybe it IS better if you take them one at a time.
1 person likes this
@Catana (736)
• United States
5 Feb 11
I usually just read one at a time because I get so caught up that I don't want anything else to interfere. Sometimes, I read two at a time, one on my computer, and one print book. I've never gotten plots mixed up. I can't see any way of that even happening unless you're reading more than one book of a series. When I do read two at a time, they're very different from each other.
2 people like this
• United States
5 Feb 11
I think the last time I got plots mixed up was when I was reading multiple books by the same author and they were very similar. He might have even been writing them at the same time. lol Other than that I think that plots are pretty easy to keep straight.
@rameshchow (5283)
• India
4 Mar 11
I am a multi dimensional person. I can read two or more books at a time even the books are regarding to different fields such as psychology, technology, political, science.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Mar 11
Well with non-fiction you're not likely to get plots mixed up... cause... well... there are no plots! lol Especially with textbooks (I gag at textbooks! Oh, how I hate them!) It's just absorbing a bunch of information really. With other non-fiction books like biographies and apologetics and philosophy and the like you might actually get them a little mixed up. But you don't run the risk of that much with textbooks.
• India
4 Mar 11
I am an engineering student. So i have to study the Engineering books mainly.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Mar 11
Interesting. Engineering is a great career. You'll probably be better fed than me. My Dad is a patent attorney so he has background in both law and engineering. I'm nothing like my Dad though, that's probably why I ended up at an arts school.
• India
5 Feb 11
I will suggest you to read both the books after an interval of time so that your mind can distinguish between two.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Feb 11
Well I don't really think it's difficult for my mind to distinguish between the two if they are different enough. For instance, I'm not likely to confuse a mystery and a high fantasy novel... but two mysteries would be harder to tell apart.
• India
6 Feb 11
Yes you are totally correct, but sometimes when a person goes deep inside any story then it is getting difficult for him/her to distinguish between both
1 person likes this
• India
6 Feb 11
yes it would be nice to read two books together but it depends on the person reading if he/she can distinguish between both of them.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
5 Feb 11
I tend to read multiple books because I read in so many different places that I need a book in each place
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Feb 11
So how's that happen? Do you have one book at work, one book at home, and one book in your purse? I tend to just carry one book with me wherever I go.
1 person likes this
@ElicBxn (61143)
• United States
5 Feb 11
well, one book at work and one at home, tend to carry craft projects with me to do...
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Feb 11
Interesting. Do you leave the book at work in your desk or something? I'm very protective of my books and I don't like to leave them places.
1 person likes this
• Ecuador
8 Feb 11
I like reading, but I use to read just a book at a time. I prefer to focus all my mind and ideas to the book I've chosen to read, so that I can get a good reading. I like to read just one book at a time, because that way I get all my thoughts in that book, and I don't confuse ideas.
• United States
9 Feb 11
I like reading just one book at a time too, but I typically don't get confused between books. I just like focusing all my attention on one story. I finish books much faster when I just read one book. When I'm reading more than one then it seems to take a longer amount of time.
• Ecuador
10 Feb 11
I like reading mystery and detective novels, so, if I read more than one at a time, it's like I lose the hint of each case, so I prefer just reading one.
5 Feb 11
I don't like to read the same kind of books at the same time because I can't split my focus like that. I do however, usually have a novel going alongside a factual book with "bite-size" biographies or short stories or something and also a book like the one I have at the moment which is "self-help" book of sorts, but I don't like that term! It's more factual and medically based to help me with some of my problems. It was set by my physio-therapist.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Feb 11
Yeah, reading multiple books of the same genre can be confusing. If the books are different enough then it's very easy to keep them apart in your mind. I'm not a fan of the "self-help" label myself. I figured that if I could help myself then I wouldn't be buying a book that told me how. lol But if it's more medically based, maybe you could technically call it a medical book?
1 person likes this
6 Feb 11
It sounds better doesn't it!
@gelooo5 (113)
• Philippines
5 Feb 11
I prefer to read one book at a time because it would be too confusing for me to read multiple books. I might get the character names of the novels mixed up or even to plot. Maybe two books at a time would be the maximum number that I could be reading. Also reading only one or two books at a time would help me concentrate more on the books I'm reading. hehe! =D
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Feb 11
I don't think I've ever gotten character names mixed up but I remember a time where I was reading two books of the same genre by the same author and I was getting the plot points all mixed up. I think it's pretty easy to keep them apart in your mind if they're different enough, but if they're very similar then it's bound to be very confusing.
@gelooo5 (113)
• Philippines
6 Feb 11
Yeah very true. I guess it's enough to read just one book at a time.
1 person likes this
@dainy1313 (2386)
• Leon, Mexico
5 Feb 11
Since I read the Bible, I got used to read multiple books at once! I enjoy reading slowly... not as I used to read to got an "A", lol . Blessings!... Dainy
• United States
5 Feb 11
Well I guess if you count the Bible then I'm reading four books at once. I never actually thought to include the Bible. To me it's something that I've done for eons, so it's a very ingrained part of my daily routine. Take a shower, write in my journal, and read the Bible. lol
@dainy1313 (2386)
• Leon, Mexico
5 Feb 11
Hahaha it´s a great pleasure to know it! Blessings!... Dainy
@kristenc (107)
• United States
8 Feb 11
Most of the time, I read one book at a time, but occasionally, I will be in the middle of a book, and I will get another book that I just can't wait to read and I will start reading it and just kind of take a break from the other. But if I try to do it too often, I will confused!! SO normally I don't.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 11
I've done that too! I've been reading one book and maybe yawning a little bit and I'll buy another book and get all excited about it and then start reading that book. Then I'll finish that book and go back to the one that I was yawning about. I usually don't get confused, but it does take me awhile to finish the first book!
@megamatt (14319)
• United States
8 Feb 11
I'll be honest with you, there is only one time where I read two books at once. That was when I had a literature class at school. Therefore I was reading a book for that class, at school, during my free periods during study hall, but there are times where I had another book that I was reading at home, so that was the only time where I read two books at once. It is a tricky thing to manage to be for sure. Two books at once means two sets of characters. A bit easier if they are completely opposite genres, because it is kind of hard to get two different types of stories mixed up. However I would imagine that if there was two similar genres, then it is going to be a bit more tricky, as there are times where the same plots tend to spill over in my mind.
1 person likes this
• United States
9 Feb 11
I can keep the two sets of characters apart as long as the two books are different enough. If the characters have similar names then it does get to be a bit difficult. The last time I got two books majorly confused was when I was reading two books in the same genre and by the same author. (I also have a bit of a suspicion that he was writing them at the same time.) I also read more than one book when I have assigned reading. I don't put down my fun books for school books.
7 Feb 11
My husband thinks I am mad to read more than one book at once. I dont actually do it very often and usually only two at once. It will be if I am really enjoying one and dont want to reach the end but still want to read. So I start another to get the boring start over with before finishing the first. It is only like watching two soaps at once or remembering the backgrounds of two friends and people do that all the time. It is easier if they are two completely different styles of books as I like lots of different types.
• United States
9 Feb 11
I agree... it is much easier when they're different enough so that you can tell them apart. Usually when I read more than one book at once, that's the case. The last time I actually got two books confused was when I was reading two books of the same genre and by the same author.
@shaggin (54133)
• United States
5 Feb 11
The only time that I read more then one book at a time is say I loose one book and cannot find it and I dont want to sit around with nothing to read so I just start another book. That drives me nuts though because I like to finish one book before starting another. I do not ever intentionally read more then one book at a time that would be to confusing.
• United States
7 Feb 11
I've done that! It's annoying. The best part is I would lose the first book just as I was getting into it and get into the second book right about the time I find the first book again.
@anne25penn (3310)
• Philippines
5 Feb 11
I do read several books at a time. Especially when I find the books quite interesting. I also reread a lot of books, so you will find my bed and bedside table crammed with at least four or five books. My mother once asked me if I am reading the books and she won't believe me that I do pick up and read these books.
1 person likes this
• United States
5 Feb 11
I've got a stack of three books on my nightstand and I try to keep the number down to three. lol If you want to be technical then one of the books is a seven in one volume (Chronicles of Narnia), so then maybe there are nine books on my nightstand. I don't typicaly re-read books, but I am re-reading the Narnia books as part of my Sunday school class. And cause I love them.
@sender621 (14933)
• United States
5 Feb 11
If i am reading a book, i have to focus on just that book. if i were to read more than one book at a time, i don't know that i could keep the plots straight.My comprehension of what I read wouldn't be what it should.
• United States
5 Feb 11
I think it's pretty easy when they're different enough. For instance, if you were reading a mystery and a fantasy novel then you wouldn't be likely to get the two mixed up, but if you were reading two mysteries then you might get confused.