Thursday, March 11, 2010

Book Bigamy ??

I just read a really interesting post over at Floor to Ceiling Books about people who *gasp* read more than one book at a time.  
She posts: But I have heard *whispers* of people who read more than one book at a time...
             My questions are:
- Do you read one or many?
- If many, do you have a particular technique? Locations for certain books? Reading different genres to keep everything fresh?
- How on earth do you keep all the stories straight?
- Why do you read more than once at a time? To get through more? Or to keep your interest?

I plan to post a short comment on her blog, but this posting really gave me some food for thought......

I tend to describe myself as a book addict, but perhaps it would be more accurate to say I am a reading addict.  A glutton.   Ever since I was a child, I have read just about anything I can get my hands on.  Books.  Magazines (even ones I don't really like).  The backs of cereal boxes.   You get the idea -- I see words and I just can't help myself.      As a result, I suppose it was only natural that I became one of these strange creatures who can't help but have more than one book going at a time.   You see, I just can't help myself.   Despite the fact that this addiction sometimes means that I stay up way too late just because I need to know what's going to happen next, it really doesn't hurt anyone else (and unlike my addiction to certain foods, doesn't cause weight gain or sugar highs).

To put a few answers out there ---   I tend to read, on average, two books at the same time (plus the magazines that make their way into the house).  I usually have one that I read before bed (usually a lighter read) and another one I read whenever -- morning, afternoon, etc.  I facilitate two book groups at my library, so I also have 2 books per month that I read and take notes on (those are separate from my other reading).     Genres don't seem to come into play much, although I find if I am reading a lot of nonfiction, I then want some light fiction.  Or some fantasy.  I read a lot of YA books, so this makes it easy for me to keep things balanced.     I don't seem to have a hard time keeping the stories straight because I don't read two similar books at the same time --- if I'm reading a YA book about vampires, I don't simultaneously read something by Laurell K. Hamilton.   If I'm reading a steampunk book, I might balance it out with nonfiction.    However, I usually don't put that much thought into balancing my reading --- it just seems to work itself out.   

And why, why, why????   Really, it's because I simply can't help myself.   I have always been a "fast" reader -- able to read and digest in a single evening!   As a Librarian who manages several parts of our collection, I am constantly reading reviews, book blogs, etc -- this only feeds my addiction, as I see books that are going to be published that sound good -- and I add them to my list.   But then, new books arrive on the shelves, so of course, I have to grab those, too.   And, just because I am an addict with a capital A, I also re-read books (it's like visiting with a friend I haven't seen in ages).    Seriously, it's a little out of control.   I think the one saving grace is the library: I rarely buy books anymore unless I really WANT them, because I can get things from our library, or interlibrary loan things that we don't have.   I like the whole "try before you buy" deal, as this lets me indulge my love for books, and also stay within the limits of my budget (I keep a list of my "want" books and then go on sprees once in a while on used-book sites).      I come from a family of readers, and while they used to think I was a little strange, they seem to have accepted that I have this addiction -- we just don't talk about it.   The way I see it, as far as addictions go, it's not really so bad;  it's not as awful as drugs (or as expensive), and I don't hurt anyone else because of it (getting a little pushy in line to see an author in person doesn't count!).

One person commented on the blog that "I can't stop. I don't know if I want to."   Yes.   I can't stop either --- and no, I don't want to stop.   Reading has taken me to places I couldn't imagine, introduced me to people I never knew could exist, and has enriched my life and fed my dreams.  

Anyone have thoughts they'd like to share?


Mel u said...

I normally read from 3 to 6 books at a time-I have been doing this for many years-some times the books you read kind of bleed into each other but that is part of the reading life-I liked your blog a lot-I came here via the blog hop and am now a follower

Jenny said...

Hi, I followed you over here from Jennifer's blog hop.

I usually read more than 1 at a time, but they're usually different kind of books (fiction and non-fiction, etc.) Or if they are both fiction there is usually one I am focusing on mainly. I prefer to read one at a time but sometimes I'll get bored with one and start another, or I just can't wait to start the other one, lol!

Morgan said...

Two books at a time? And "mel u"-3 to 6 books at a time? Wow, how can you even do that. This was a great post!

I found your blog on Blog Hop and am glad to be your 15th follower!

tweezle said...

I usually have 2 books going at once - one fiction and one nonfiction. I find that if I read 2 fiction books at once, I tend to combine them and I seem to lose the "magic" that I get when I read just one.

I found you via the Blog Hop and I'm so glad I did. I love your blog and am now a follower.

tweezle from Just One More Paragraph

Lisa said...

I always read more than one book at a time. Keeping the stories straight is not a problem, it's like watching TV!

Usually what ends up happening is while I am reading more than one book, one book usually takes over my interest and then I just read that one until it's over.

I am also hoppin' on by from Blog Hop and am now a new follower!

Jen said...

Blog hop is awesome! Thanks everyone for your comments! I plan on checking everyone out this week.... :)

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