I’ve mentioned before that when I was younger, I had much more preferable book habits. I would go to the store, pick up a book, go home, read it, finish, then go back to the store for something else. Then, Goodreads came into the picture and though I love it, it is both a blessing and a curse.
I also have this thing I like to call “book jealousy”. When I hear of, or see someone reading a book they are absolutely loving, I immediately want to be reading it too. I start to lust over the idea of the new book and all the potential it holds. Typically, it would lead to me going to the bookstore later, buying that book, starting it and leaving my own half-read book on my night stand with the promise that I will return to it ..but never do. This is how I ended up with so many books in my house and many of them are half read.
With my new perspective on my own book buying habits, I began to analyze other bookish things about myself, mainly the issue of reading multiple books at once. Thanks to my book jealousy, and my tendency to get bored with things very quickly, I tend to have between 2-5 books going at once. I USUALLY have one that takes prominence over the others, but sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. I’m trying to get myself back into focusing on one book at a time, and the last month, buddy reading has helped! I buddy read Dark Places by Gillian Flynn along with my friend Natalie (Browsing Bookshelves) and am now buddy reading The Secret History with my friend Deni (From the Shelf). Since reading these two books, I have hardly touched any other reads. occasionally I slip a graphic novel in between, but not often.
I’ve noticed that when I focus on just one book at a time, my engagement with the book is tenfold. Because I am only thinking of one set of characters, one plot, one setting, I find that I am almost living in that world as I read. I don’t have to worry about keeping track of where I am with each book, or what happened in the last 10 pages when I hadn’t touched the book in a few weeks.
Though I know bad habits are tough to break, I am going to keep trying to focus on one book at a time. I will most likely keep a few small things on the side (graphic novels, short story collections or the gigantic collected works of Nora Ephron that I am loving right now) but as a rule, only one novel at a time!
I would love to hear how you guys read? One at a time? A few at a time? Tons at once? Let me know in the comments!