The Multitasking Reader: Does Reading a Lot of Books at Once Decrease Interest Later On?

A quick note before I write this week’s post:

I apologize for no post last week due to suddenly losing my Internet and a busy schedule. Also, thank you all for your suggestions on what I should talk about in my blog this year. I appreciated your feedback! Keep your ideas coming!

Now back to the blog…

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Image: TomasAdomaitis (freerangestock.com)

This thought may be a given because it’s a struggle us writers and avid readers face every day: reading multiple books at once. I am guilty of this, especially because I find when I focus on one book at a time, I lose interest faster than if I focused on other stories. On the other hand, multiple books at once means you might take longer to go through a single book.

Some of you may have a Goodreads account like I do and use the site to keep track of your to-read list, what you’re currently reading, leave reviews, and so on. My Currently Reading list contains four books right now, including one I decided to reread with Valentine’s Day coming up. Before the end of 2017, I had as many as ten books I was reading at one time!

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Image: GeoffreyWhiteway (freerangestock.com)

That was pretty overwhelming. A few were later abandoned because by the time I resumed reading them, I lost interest and deleted the book from my list. I also wanted to start 2018 off by tackling books I haven’t read yet and any new ones I got for Christmas, so any books that were still on my list had to be read FAST. That extra push to try and complete that goal made the reading experience more difficult, and leaving me wondering why I had left so many books unread or unfinished.

I don’t want to do that again. Books are meant to be enjoyed, not read just to achieve Reading Challenge goals (even though it’s fun to try and beat the goal you set). Books help us escape from life for a while. make us laugh, cry, or feel inspired, and maybe even inspire us with our own writing.

This year, I’m trying to limit how many books I read at one time so all can be enjoyed. Two of the books I’m currently reading, for example, have been on my list since last year: The Pharaoh’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews and Once Upon a Summertime by Melody Carlson. I’ve also decided to make time for rereading books I loved because they shouldn’t be collecting dust after only being read once. Plus, when you read a book a second or third time, you remember things you forgot and pick up on little twists you might have missed the first time. You also remember why you loved a certain book in the first place.

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Image: Merelize (freerangestock.com)

I’m not saying you shouldn’t read multiple books at once. I think reading a couple books at one time keeps your mind busy and you explore different worlds. But, keep the number limited to what you’re comfortable with so you don’t lose sight of books and eventually have to get rid of them because you lost interest. Also, setting reasonable goals, like the number of books to read this year for the Goodreads Reading Challenge, are another good rule of thumb; I keep mine at 15 to 20. Sometimes I raise the number if I feel I can do more.

So whatever your style of reading multiple books at once, what should matter most is what you’re comfortable with and that you get something out of the story you read.

How many books do you usually read at one time? Have you stopped reading a few because of reading so many?

Share your thoughts!

Happy writing!

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2 thoughts on “The Multitasking Reader: Does Reading a Lot of Books at Once Decrease Interest Later On?

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