Reading Habits: How Many Books Do You Read At The Same Time?

One of the many things I love about being a part of the online reading community is how you get a peek into other people’s reading lives. Stripped down to its bare bones, reading is a pretty solitary hobby; you get yourself a book, you sit down (or lie down, or stand – whatever floats your boat) and you read that book. It’s just you and the characters, the story and the world of the book. It doesn’t feel lonely at all (this is something most readers will agree upon, I think), but it is something you do alone, most of the time.

And then you go online and talk about that book you’ve read with other people all over the world who also love to read. I love it! I’m very lucky to also have friends who love to read and love to talk about reading, but I’ve seen quite a lot of people within the community say how happy they are to finally be able to talk about books with other people who understand. I just think that’s wonderful.

isabel allende reading habits post

Anyway. As I was saying, I really like learning about other people’s reading habits. What combination of genres do they like to read? Do they like to read in silence or with music on or in a busy cafe? How fast do they read and how many books a month? How on earth do they manage to read so many books a month?!

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about my own reading habits. I used to only read one book at a time and I wouldn’t pick up another one until I’d finished that first one. On the rare occasions that I was reading two books at the same time, it just kind of bothered me the entire time. I never knew which book to pick up and when I read one I felt guilty for not reading the other. So, for my own peace of mind I stuck to reading one book at a time.

And then that suddenly changed a few months ago! Right now, I’m reading four books at the same time. A few weeks ago I was reading five books at the same time. I’m picturing some of you shrugging your shoulders right now, thinking “so? I do that all the time”, but for me that’s extremely unusual!

What I’m reading right now

Screenshot currently readingAlthough, when you take a look at the books I’m reading, and how I’m reading them (audiobook vs. physical), it does kind of make sense.

First, there’s Nimona by Noelle Stevenson, which is my ‘main read’, right now. It’s a very witty graphic novel about a villain and his sidekick (Nimona) and I’m absolutely loving it.

Then there’s Ariel by Sylvia Plath, which is a collection of poems – something completely different. I’m reading a couple of poems here and there; it doesn’t really feel like something to binge read. I’m enjoying it, although I’m very confused by it at the same time. I guess that’s poetry for ya?

Third on the list is Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, which doesn’t need a lot of extra explanation. It’s a book of good night stories – all only one page long – about amazing women from history. I read one of those stories every night before bed (although sometimes I forget), so that’ll take me a while to get through. It’s a lovely way to unwind before going to sleep every night; I really enjoy it as my own little ritual!

The last book on the list is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which I’m (re)reading via audiobook. I got a subscription to an audiobook app a few months ago, and I’m really happy with it! I listen to audiobooks while doing chores (like doing the dishes or tidying up) and I also like to listen to them while taking walks. It’s a great way to make doing chores more appealing for myself and to get some more reading in.

So, that’s how I came to change my habit of only reading one book at the time. It happened quite organically, but I’m not entirely used to it yet!

Now, let’s chat!

What’s your take on this? Do you like to finish one book before moving on to the next or do you read multiple books at a time? What makes you decide to pick up a new book? Let me know in the comments!

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Hi! I'm Anne and I love reading, baking and writing about both of those things. Welcome!

13 thoughts on “Reading Habits: How Many Books Do You Read At The Same Time?

  1. I also like learning about other people’s reading habits, especially how they manage to read so much in a month. I sometimes read more than one book at a time, but usually just two…sometimes 3….rarely 4 and above. I don’t think I’ll be able to manage. I’d probably get too engrossed in some and forget about the others I’m reading. I can manage two or 3 coz sometimes I have a book at home, then I have one in my bag which I read when I go out, then there’s either a different book in the office which I’ll read when I’m there or I have something on my kindle which I read at night coz I can’t turn on my tableside lamp to read a ‘real’ book.

    1. Yeah, me too! I really don’t understand how people can read so much so fast. I’ve been trying for years and haven’t managed it yet, haha! That’s a good method as well – a book for every situation. I don’t really have that. I get the thing about getting too engrossed; that’s why I’m usually so bad at reading multiple books at once! It’s been going well for me now, though. Thanks for your comment!

  2. I tend to read a lot of books at the same time, but it’s been getting bad for me. I find it difficult to focus when I keep reading several books at the same time, and I am trying to focus so I can get through them faster. If I read them one at a time, I might be able to get through two or three per day! If I keep reading them all at the same time, that might only be one per day, plus a bunch that I have stopped at 30%.

    1. Two or three a day?! Wow! I can barely get through four a month! I envy you, I do. If I were you, I’d just stick with the method that brings the most enjoyment. 🙂 That’s what I’m doing at the moment! Thanks for commenting!

  3. Like you I was only a one book at a time kind of girl. However, since discovering a free audiobook app I tend to have 2/3 books on the go.a physical copy, ebook and audiobook! Happy reading ox

    1. We seem to be in the same situation, then! I definitely have an audiobook and a physical book at the same time as well. Thanks for commenting, happy reading to you too!

  4. I usually read about 3-4 books at the same time, but that’s because I get bored quickly and have a short attention span. It sounds like you got a lovely spread of books, a nice diverse mix of forms, so it doesn’t surprise me at all you’d combine them 🙂 Poetry and short stories, for example, don’t really work if you read all of them after the other.

    1. Haha, I totally get that! Staying focused can be difficult. My problem with reading multiple books is that if I like one more than the other, I’ll just keep reading that one.
      The combination has been working quite well for me! I agree with you on the poetry and short stories. It’s much nicer to read one and then go back to something else entirely. 🙂

  5. I can only read more than one book at a time if they’re different genres. Otherwise I get confused. I like the way you do it, though. And I think blogs count as reading time, honestly, as well as news and things like that. It’s nice to have shorter things to read every day and also have a longer story drawn out over a few days or weeks.

    1. Me too! I definitely can’t read two fantasy books, or two contemporary YA novels or something like that at the time. It’d be waaay too confusing. Hmm, that’s true! I read a lot more per day than I give myself credit for, I think. Thanks for your comment!

  6. I was the same as you…only one book at a time, but for the past couple years I’ve been in the middle of four or five books at a time! It’s a little overwhelming sometimes, so I’m trying to get back to just one or two, but it’s hard to wait on books that I want to read now!

    1. Wow, four or five does seem overwhelming! I can only manage multiple books if it’s different genres, and that’s been working well for me lately. I do get the difficulty of having to wait on books – you just want to read them straight away! 😀

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