How Many Books Do You Read At Once?

January 9, 2016 Discussions 39

Before I started blogging, I was strictly a one book at a time girl. I always thought I’d get confused and mix plotlines if I read more than one book at a time, and thought I’d get through a book faster if it was the only one I was reading.

After I started blogging however, I started reading two books at once. And it wasn’t as hard to keep them separate in my head as I used to think.

Part of that is I read two different genres at a time. If my Kindle book is a fantasy or sci-fi, then my at-home book will be a mystery. If my Kindle book is a mystery, then my at-home book will be some other genre.

I’ve also noticed I read the Kindle books a lot faster than the at-home books. Though there’s a reason for that. Since I get to read at work if all my work is done, and it’s the slow season, most of my shift tends to be spent reading!

Splitting books into at-home, and Kindle also helped my TBR pile shrink if only a little bit. I hate damaging physical books, so if they stay as strictly at-home reads, I don’t have to worry about them as much. I still manage to read 2-3 at-home books a week this way, and around 3-5 on my Kindle a week depending on how busy I am any given week.

I also borrow audio books from the library sometimes. So it’s possible for me to have 3 books going at once. Usually I do that when I really want to spend the day crocheting, but don’t want to get too far behind on reviews for the blog. I’ll pick something that was on my TBR pile anyway, and then see if it’s available. If it is, I snag it. If it isn’t, it gets put on hold and then when it comes up to be my turn, I spend a day or two listening to it while I work on gifts and stuff to sell in my Etsy shop.


So how many books do you read at a time? Do you split them by genre? Physical verses ebook? What about audio books? How do you handle those?

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39 Responses to “How Many Books Do You Read At Once?”

  1. Laura

    I’m afraid I’m a one book at a time person. I always thought I would mix up the plot lines and stuff with more than one, but if you haven’t found that then maybe I should give it a try? The problem is that I seem to be reading pretty slowly at the moment, so if it’s taking me so long to read books and I’m reading several I guess there’s a pretty good chance I would keep loosing track of the plot.
    It’s awesome that you get to read at work though! I work on a delicatessen counter in a supermarket and January is always such a quiet month that I really wish they would let me just stand there with my book, but they won’t 🙁 I would get through so many more that way, instead of just reading in my breaks and when I’m at home.
    Laura recently posted…Photos on Friday #2: BritainMy Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      It was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be to keep plots separate. It helps that I tend to have 2 completely different genres going at once. If the books were too similar (like 2 epic fantasy quest books say,) then it would be harder I think, to remember what thing happened in which book. But so far so good?

      I was worried about slow reading too, but I actually seem to be reading both books faster. Which is odd. But possibly because if I don’t feel like reading one, or the pace or something in the plot makes me want to put it aside for an hour or whatever, I can just pick up the other and then be happily immersed again.

      And yes, my work and boss are full of win. I primarily answer phones, and put faxes into the computer when they come in. So there’s a lot of downtime in the off-season, as well as at nights and on weekends. I was told from day one of transferring to the department that I needed to bring something with me to occupy any slow time.

  2. Karen Blue

    Good question! I am usually reading 2 books at a time. Like you, I read one on my kindle, and one physical book at the same time. Sometimes I am in the middle of a book and I start a new one. That usually means I am not liking the book much. I too would never have imagined I would be reading so many books at a time, but I think it comes with Book Blogger territory.
    Karen Blue recently posted…Review: THIS IS WHERE IT ENDS by Marieke NijkampMy Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      Sometimes if one book is bogging down, or I’m having a moment of “I don’t want to read this right now…” switching to the other book makes me a happy reader again. So I’m honestly wondering why I didn’t start the two-books-at-once thing sooner. Silly me! *laughs*

  3. Cait @ Paper Fury

    I’m THE SAME. I used to only ever read one book at a time…but blogging means multitasking, I guess. ;D I usually read books on different, like platforms? SO I’ll have an audio and a physical book and sometimes even an ebook all on the go. MOSTLY it’s just audio/physical though. xD I don’t even ever get them mixed up! Although it was weird reading Carry On and listening to Harry Potter at the same time since Carry On is sort of homage to HP!?? But it wasn’t too bad. 😛
    Cait @ Paper Fury recently posted…2016 YA Genre Trend Predictions ~ Wherein I Kidnap Other Bloggers’ Opinions TooMy Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      I didn’t realize that about Carry On! I mean, I’d heard the name before, but didn’t really look into it. Kept getting distracted. Now that you have said that though, I will have to go look it up.

      On another book, you can feel proud. I read a Maggie Stiefvater book because of you! *laughs* I have it scheduled for early February I believe. You gushed about her so much I had to see what all the fuss was about. I started her Books of Faerie.

  4. SweetMarie83

    I was the same way pre-blogging – I always thought I’d get plots or characters mixed up, so I only ever read one book at a time. Blogging, plus having a Kindle has changed that. I usually have one ebook and one physical book on the go, and like you, they’re usually different genres so I don’t get them confused. I’ve gotten so used to reading two books at once that it feels weird when I only have one on the go!
    SweetMarie83 recently posted…Thoughts and Daydreams #1: Getting Back to BasicsMy Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      I love that if I’m having a moment with a book that’s making me not want to read, or the plot is bogging down, I can just switch to the other book for a while until I’m ready to go back to the first one. It’s also nice that I always know what I need to pull off my TBR, based on which book I’ve finished. If my at-home book is over, then I grab another physical book. If my at-work or on the go book is over, it’s another ebook from my TBR folder on my Kindle. Picking out the next book is less of a chore, since both piles are getting whittled away at, and I’m not freaking out about which pile needs to be dealt with first.

  5. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Usually 2-3…and I split by format. It’s nice having a format to suit every situation. When I’m out and about, I’ll read what’s on my e-reader. When I’m at home, snuggling in bed before sleep, I love to relax with a physical book. And when I’m doing chores or something else that requires my hands and not much brain power, I like listening to an audiobook. I was taking down the Christmas tree today, for example, and got through about a third of an audiobook after all the work was done! It makes me feel even more productive 🙂
    Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum recently posted…YA Weekend Audio: The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemoreMy Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      I’ve tried audio books and chores. It… didn’t work out well? *laughs* I get too focused if I’m cleaning, or organizing something. And suddenly realize I’ve barely heard the narrator for the last x amount of time. I can listen to them while exercising, or crocheting (as long as I don’t have to count stitches!) but nothing that requires me to pay attention otherwise the book gets tuned out without meaning to.

  6. Joséphine @ Word Revel

    I’ve always been an “read all the books!” kind of person. Right now I’m in the midst of 9 or 10 books. That partly stems from all the non-fiction books that I generally take longer to read and read as and when my mind’s in the right mode for a particular topic.

    My minimum is generally 4–5 books: 1 audiobook, 2 ebooks — 1 fiction and/or 1 non-fiction, 2 print books — 1 fiction and/or 1 non-fiction.
    Joséphine @ Word Revel recently posted…Project 52 – Depths of WinterMy Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      My gods! 9-10 books at once? That’s way too many for me! *laughs* I would totally get plotlines confused reading that many at once! I’d also be likely to forget exactly what was happening in all the books if I tried to juggle that many. But it’s awesome that you can keep them all straight!

      I can pretty much do three books at the absolute most. And they all have to have either different genres, or widely different storylines. (So like, if I did 2 fantasy at once, if one had dragons/vampires/shapeshifters the other one can’t have those. So I know what book I’m reading/trying to review!) But part of that is that I can be pretty scatter-brained and the blonde gene definitely came through on me!

  7. Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings

    *hides currently reading stack* Ummmm…. normally I try to stick to three, one kindle, one physical, one audio. But if I do a read along then it goes up to four since I need to read something in whatever format the read along is when I’m caught up on the read along. And then sometimes I just need to switch because I’m really craving something easy or not a review book…. Yeah…. So five? Kind of?

    • SilvaraWilde

      *snickers* Well, as long as you can keep them all straight? I think I could do up to 3, but they’d have to be different enough for me to keep track of. And some weeks that’s easier than others!

      Someone was telling me they’re currently reading nine books at once! That’s some serious talent!

  8. Alexa @ Words Off the Page

    I still try to be a one book at a time kind of reader, just because there’s a possibility of forgetting to finish one book and it’s suddenly in the void of unfinished books. I’ve started taking two books at a time now, however. I’m used to following multiple story lines for shows and plays, so it’s kind of the same with books. Though I don’t think I can take on like five books at once. I would want to read them all at the same time and just take more time switching between them haha.
    Alexa @ Words Off the Page recently posted…Weekly Review #3:My Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      *laughs* I can keep plays and tv shows straight, but for whatever reason, more than 3 books at the most is hard for me to juggle. So it’s a good thing I only usually have one physical, and one ebook going at once. I do audio books as well, but not as often since I usually listen to those while I crochet. And my mood for crocheting has been in spurts lately.

  9. Jess @ Princessica of Books

    I noticed that once I started blogging, I started reading multiple books as once as well. I don’t split them up in any way but usually one book is a required read for school, another for pleasure, and another for review. I used to think it’d be hard to juggle all the books but not anymore! If I’m feeling it, I’ll also throw in a graphic novel :).

    • SilvaraWilde

      I read manga and some graphic novels too, I just don’t tend to review them. I read them as just for fun or “me” books only.

      I had to start splitting genres up because I realized I tended to start reading books with similar plots on accident otherwise. Just because they appealed to me at the time. And then of course I’d get confused. “Did this happen in THIS book or this one??”

  10. Alyn

    I usually read only one at a time. Sometimes I will do two, one ebook and one physical. I don’t like audiobooks. My husband does them and I’ve listened to a few of his books with him. I never developed a liking to them like he did.

    • SilvaraWilde

      I prefer physical or Kindle books to audio books. But I also like to crochet, and I feel like I’m falling behind on reading/reviews if I take a couple of days or a week off reading to crochet. *laughs* Crazy I know. So I started doing audio books when I feel like going on a crochet binge. It’s about the only thing I can do and not accidentally tune out the audio book!

  11. Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight

    I kind of don’t understand how other people are capable of reading more than one book at a time lol. I think literally the only time in my life I’ve ever done this was in December when I started a book, but then received an ARC that needed to be reviewed right away, so I put the first book on pause until I finished the ARC. But I don’t know if I can continuously hop back and forth. I might attempt it soon though with a physical book and ebook only because I have some physical books I need to read but don’t always have them with me.

    The genre thing sounds like a good idea, but I’m a mood reader. So if I’m in the mood for paranormal romance with vampires, I can’t just read something else because I’ll end up disliking it. I’m glad you found a system that works for you though 🙂
    Kristen @ Metaphors and Moonlight recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten 2016 Releases I’m Looking Forward ToMy Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      I’m a mood reader as well. However, what I usually do is pick the book that appeals to me the most (whatever format it is), and then I’ll go through and read synopsis on the other format (say physical books) until I find another one that grabs me.

      I’ve been getting so many mysteries from Berkley-NAL the past few months, that one of them always appeals to me! And since they’re cozies, but have a range of different mysteries (and some of them are fantasy/mystery or paranormal/mystery!) I’ve always been able to find at least one that I want to read each week. Which is good since they’re review copies… *laughs*

  12. Lola

    I always read 2 books at the same time nowadays. I have one evening book which is either on my Kobo or physical copy, that I read before sleeping and one morning book that I read on my ipad during breakfast. I always thught that I would confuse books if I read them at the same time, but doens’t happen, even if I read the same genre. I do need to seperate the books like I do with oen book for a specific time and format as that way it keep me from developing a favourite and only reading that. That method works great for me. I don’t listen to audiobooks, although I do want to give them a try once.
    Lola recently posted…Review: Indestructible by Emma L AdamsMy Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      Even splitting between formats, I always end up with a favorite! Right now I’ve been reading my Kindle book at home as well as at work, because I’m loving it so much. Which is bad because then my at-home book is not getting read. But I’m almost done with the ARC on my Kindle so I can go back to reading the physical book again.

      I almost never have that problem with the physical book, because it’s harder to stop reading a physical copy at work. Mostly because it takes more time to put the bookmark in, and set it down, then answer the phone. With my Kindle I just set it down and answer the phone. Less steps, and I don’t have to worry about messing up the physical book in my bag of work stuff.

  13. Amy @ Pages of Starlight

    Usually I only read one book at a time. Of course, if I’m listening to an audiobook, I’ll also have another book I’m reading. And, if one of them is the sort that I do want to finish but can manage about 20 pages before getting horribly bored – or put out – with I’ll be reading another one. Currently, I am reading three books: one audiobook, one 700+ page physical book that if it wasn’t the series finale I’d quit (my goal is to read one chapter a day), and a novella series on my kindle. I’ve never been worried that I’d get the books mixed up, I just tend to prefer to focus solely on one book. What does happen if I read two books at once is that one will become my favorite and the other will often be…ignored.
    Amy @ Pages of Starlight recently posted…Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Read – But Didn’t!My Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      *laughs* I almost always have the favorite problem. But since I read my Kindle book mostly at work, I still manage to read a fair amount of it even if it turns out that the physical book is my favorite that day/week.

      At the moment it’s my Kindle book that ended up the favorite, and I’m breaking my own “rule” since I’m reading it at home as well as at work. But I only have an hour of it left and then I’ll pick up the physical book again.

  14. Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    We are absolute twinsies here! I felt the exact same way about multiple books before I started blogging- I thought it was blasphemy! But now, I am a two book at a time girl for sure. Same as you, one Kindle book, one physical book, and also like you, different genres. AND I read the Kindle books faster too haha. I even tried NOT reading two at once to see if I would read faster, and I did not- at all! In fact, it halved my reading! Not a good situation! As for audiobooks… I can’t. I mean, I shouldn’t say that I CAN’T because I never tried, but I am bad at listening to stuff, I tend to tune out VERY easily!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight recently posted…January New Release Giveaway Hop!My Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      Another twinsie thing! *laughs* I tune stuff out really easily as well. When I used to work retail and all my coworkers would complain about the music, I’d kind of blink at them because before the music would start annoying me, I’d have already tuned it out!

      So I was worried I wouldn’t be able to focus on an audio book. And depending on what I’m doing, that’s true. Cleaning? Doing laundry? Sorting something? Can’t do it, I suddenly realize I haven’t actually heard the last however-much of the book and have to rewind it.

      But! I’ve found I can crochet or paint ceramics and still listen to audio books. Stuff that I don’t actually have to pay attention to since my fingers are used to doing it without thought. Unless it’s a new pattern I’m coming up with/learning for crochet. Then I tune out again. Or if I have to count stitches. But the patterns I’ve been doing for years that take no thought anymore? I can totally listen to audio books and do both.

  15. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    Like you, before I started blogging, I always only read one book at a time. But now I often have one book going on the Kindle and another physical book that stays at home. And I agree that it’s not as hard to keep it all straight as I thought it would be. You just have to make sure to read books that are sufficiently different. I still do prefer to read one book at a time, though, because I occasionally lose the flow of the story when my reading is too disjointed.
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright – Review & GiveawayMy Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      True. And sometimes bouncing between books more than once a day can be a bit confusing, even if the books are different genres! And if I happen to get to a really good part in one book, even if I’m ‘supposed’ to be switching to the other book because I am home from work, I sometimes just finish my Kindle book instead. *laughs* Or if it’s the physical book that I got to that part in, I’ll bring it to work. But it’s more of a pain doing that since I have to answer the phone within 3 rings or less, and if I’m trying to bookmark a physical book and set it down, that doesn’t always happen!

  16. Stefani

    I’m currently reading five, 6 if we count the coloring book heheh. I juggle different genres and different formats. Like you, I tend to read ebooks so much faster. Happy reading!

    • SilvaraWilde

      I say coloring books don’t count. They’re art distractions not reading ones! *grins* And that way, you are one book farther away from double-digits!

      I think three is my limit, past that I’d either get plots muddled together, or binge on one specific book until it’s finished. Thanks for stopping by!

  17. Wendy

    It kind of depends on how you define “currently reading a book.” My preference is to read any book all in one sitting, but life, you know? So sometimes I get one book started, and then for some reason pick up another book and finish it, then go back to book A.

    But lately it’s gotten out of control. Let’s see. I am:
    1. Reading “Don’t You Dare Read This, Mrs. Dunphrey” out loud to two 7th grade classes.
    2. Reading “Rules” to one 8th grade class.
    3. Reading “The Crossover” to another 8th grade class. (A book that begs to be read aloud, by the way, even if it’s by a middle aged white lady.)
    4. Trying to wrap up “Columbine” after listening to 7/8 of it on audiobooks before winter break, having to return it to the library, and then checking out the physical book.
    5. Reading “Jackaby” as I have time at school.
    6. Reading the illustrated edition of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” chapter by chapter to my daughter.
    7. Reading “The Secret of Midway” chapter by chapter to my son.
    8. Waiting to get back to Gary Soto’s “Facts of Life,” a collection of short stories I read a few from one lunch break.
    9. Ditto for Walter Dean Myers’ “Lockdown.”
    10. Reading “Is That a Fish In Your Ear?” chapter by chapter on mornings I have time to read at breakfast.

    And since I’ve started all of those, I’ve started and completed three other books.

    This is alarming. Thank you for bringing it to my attention!
    Wendy recently posted…Choosing to Read Books In A Digital World: Part 1.My Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      Oops! Didn’t mean to scare anyone! *laughs* But that IS a lot of books to be reading at once! Hmmm…. Maybe only the books you are reading for yourself should count in the list? So the ones you are reading to your kids (yours and the ones you teach) could be removed from your list. That would leave you only reading 5. But if you say that you’ve finished the short story you were on in that collection, and haven’t started the next, you could claim it’s an entirely new book! So really you’re only reading four books! That’s a much more manageable number!

  18. Arya D.@AryaTheFangirl

    I currently only read 1 book at a time but I really would love to try to read multiple books at a time this year. I’m going to start reading with this “schedule” in mind.
    1)physical book – at home book
    2)Ebook- for when I’m out of the house
    3)Audiobook- for when I do chores as well as exercising etc.
    4)classic/large/intimidating read- something to read gradually over a longer period of time

    I’ve been really curious to see how this works for me. Really loved seeing everyone’s methods. I was really inspired to give it a shot after seeing Melbourne on my mind’s video on Youtube on how she reads so much to give it a go.

    • SilvaraWilde

      Good luck! I hope it all works for you!

      I have noticed that if I take too long to read a book, even if I’m reading bits and pieces here and there, I tend to forget what’s going on in the book. So even though I eventually finish it, I can’t review it because I don’t remember enough to make a good review. I hope you don’t have that issue!

  19. SJ Bouquet

    I usually just read by what mood I’m feeling at the time. Sometimes, I get up to 7 books going at once. Other times, I get enamored with a story line and read one engrossing book at a time. Not sure what my method is… I keep them all separated fairly well. But this is a great discussion post! I need to get into crocheting and knitting so I have something to do while listening to audio books 🙂
    SJ Bouquet recently posted…Hip Tips and Alternate Uses for Books You HateMy Profile

    • SilvaraWilde

      I know how to knit as well as crochet, but have always liked crochet better. Mostly because you see results faster with crochet. I can sit and knit for an hour, and only end up with a few inches worth of a scarf say, but if I crochet the same scarf, I’ll have half or more done in the same hour. It’s a lot of fun, but buying yarn is as addicting as buying books! (So, that’s your warning… *lol*)

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