Friday, 18 January 2013

Quadraphonic (or quintaphonic ...) Reading

Why do I never read just one book at a time? A lot of my friends say they wouldn't be able to do that, they need to concentrate on one book alone whereas I always read at least three books at once, most of the time more than three, five is a usual number for me.

There are several reasons for this. The most obvious one, I like to stay with them for a while and that way, I don't want finish them too fast (one of the reasons I don't like short stories). I can also dig into a different one according to a different mood. Or I can take a small one with me when going out and I know I will have some waiting time where I can read. Although, even I know there will not be waiting time, I still take a book, you never know.

It also makes me go through books I don't like that much, especially when it's a book club book that I do want to read but really don't enjoy. I start with that one, read about ten pages and then I can reward myself with another one that I enjoy. No book gets boring that way. It's also easier to get through a long book because you are not just reading one story for weeks.

I never read two books on the same topic, I usually have a classic and a modern book, one from far away and one from home, a non-fiction and a fiction, a funny and a sad story. I wouldn't read two autobiographies at the same time. Or two books about China.

I enjoy the contrast, the variety. It's almost like real life. And people watch more than one television series at the same time without getting confused. So why not do the same with books? This way, I have the right book for every situation. Sometimes, when I come to a particularly interesting part or close to the end, I read longer in one book than in the others but usually I tend to read about the same amount in every book every day.

With this "technique", I find I get to read more books than if I would read one after the other. I think it's also a good brain trainer.

But - whatever you prefer, whether you like to read one book at a time or juggle between ten books, the main thing is that you enjoy them. And I always do that.


  1. I understand :-D

    Some people start several books and get fragmented in their reading and end up finishing NONE of them. It's nice to see there are still people in the world who still understand the art of delayed gratification :-)

  2. Thanks, Marianne, I'm not surprised you understand, I think we have a very similar opinion when it comes to reading. I like the "delayed gratification", it's like eating a good dinner slowly so you can enjoy it longer. :-D