Discussion Post: How many books are too many books to be reading at the same time?

discussion post

That’s right – discussion posts where Mandy rambles on for an absurdly long time and you try to skim as quickly as you can to get to an actual point are back! Well, for, like, a hot second. If you haven’t noticed, I kind of have a weird non-official schedule thing going, where I post reviews like 3 or 4 days of review, one or two days of tags, and then the great Sha takes over the rest. So, my other random thoughts that used to have be taken over by ACTUAL SCHEDULED AND STRUCTURED CONTENT? WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?

Anyway, I was talking with Sha a while back, and she made a comment about how she was looking at my Goodreads box on the front page of the blog and she was like, MANDY. WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING WITH YOUR BOOK LIFE RIGHT NOW? FIVE BOOKS? FOUR BOOKS? HOW ARE YOU EVEN KEEPING TRACK RIGHT NOW?

Okay, she so didn’t say it like that, but I got the thought from it and totally asked myself the same question. What WAS I doing with my life? Currently, I’m reading four books at the same time. FOUR BOOKS. So, I asked myself….

How many books are too many books to be reading at the same time?

So, I didn’t start out this way. Sometimes I would be reading two books at the same time, but I really wasn’t. Like, I would start an e-ARC, and then I would be like, eh, ebooks aren’t my jam, let’s binge read these two other physical books and pretend like you’re reading that e-ARC until you knock it out in a few hours one day. So was I really reading two books at the same time? No. I wasn’t. I was reading one and just pretending to look like a good little book blogger that gets books read in an orderly fashion. XD

And that’s what I assumed everyone else was doing when I saw they were reading five or six books at the same time. Maybe they picked up a book, weren’t feeling it, picked up another one, weren’t feeling it, and rinse, wash, repeat. Maybe some people are doing that, too, but it wasn’t until I accidentally started actively reading multiple books at the same time that I realized this wasn’t just the talk of myths and legends, but it really can happen to your average ole Book Princess.

So, to those are one book true believers, I’m sure you’re wondering how it is even possible that I do this? And, like, WHY? I mean, I really couldn’t be keeping track of everything and going back and forth because that just sounds exhausting, right?

What’s weird is, like, I can. I actually know pretty much where I’ve stopped in every one of the four books that I’m currently reading – WHICH IS TOTALLY WEIRD BECAUSE DON’T I HAVE ANYTHING BETTER TO DO WITH MY LIFE?

no and that’s okay, me. be strong since you are boring and now talking to yourself in the middle of a discussion post.

But somehow, I think this has actually structured my book reading than I’ve done in prior years? Multi-tasking through books actually somehow gets me through a book faster since I have OPTIONS and when I get bored in a book, I don’t hit a reading slump…instead I just move onto one of the other three books I’m reading.

Here’s my formula for accidentally currently reading four books since, you know, I’m at that level now where I have formulas????

  • Okay, you have your Rick Riordan book. I am on a mission to knock out all of his series in one fail swoop without a break. So, I have to be reading that, but sometimes, other obligations get in the way BUT TO QUOTE THAT ONE DUDE, “I AM NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP.”
  • The Audiobook. This is new since I started having my longer drives, so I slowly am making my way through a book every day I drive.
  • The e-ARC aka still the always forgotten (aka the OOPS). It’s for when I forget to bring a book to work or don’t want to awkwardly get my lunch on a physical book or am bored in public and need to do the socially acceptable thing of gazing at my phone (which is somehow less rude than pulling out the mysterious book from your large purse???)
  • The ARC or physical book that has struck my fancy. Lately I’ve gotten some physical ARCs (to quote Kayne West, blessings, blessings, blessings). But I kind of need to get on them since they do have those due dates and I clearly need to crack them open literally the moment I get them because THIS IS THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE THING TO DO WHEN YOU GET AN ARC.

And you have to ask, are you really reading all of them at the same time? And yes, I am. For being a predominantly mood reader, this is actually super helpful. Sometimes you just feel a certain book and if I’m reading four books at the same time, I can easily jump to another one. It’s like getting samples at an ice cream shop – you’re trying them all and one of them you’re going to come back to…I don’t remember what this metaphor was going to say, but I AM READING ALL OF THESE BOOKS AND I KIND OF KNOW EXACTLY WHAT IS GOING ON AND IF YOU’RE SUPER INDECISIVE AND WANT TO MAXIMIZE BOOK POTENTIAL, THIS IS THE SORT OF WAY TO GO? IDK.

Reading so many books at the same time is not for everyone – I didn’t even know it was for me, but this system actually super works for me. And that’s what books need to do – work for you. So, if you’re read one book or ten at the same time, you just what you have to do what makes you happy….even though it may seem like you’re doing something book crazy.

So, what do you think? Is there a point where you’re just reading way too many books? How many books do you read at a time? Can you read multiple books at the same time? Are you jealous or just think it’s kind of unusual to read so many at a time? Let’s discuss in the comments below!

44 thoughts on “Discussion Post: How many books are too many books to be reading at the same time?

  1. I only ever used to read one book at a time. But I then realised that audiobooks are FAB and ebooks aren’t so bad after all. This means that I constantly have at least 1 physical, 1 audiobook and 1 ebook all going at the same time. I love listening to audiobooks on my long drives too but ever since my car decided it was going to die on me my audiobooks have been pushed back a little

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    1. YES. Same exact thing happened to me. It kind of just seems like a brilliant idea to have one going at all times. And oh no! That would definitely put a cramp in things. Hopefully it can get back to life soon? D:

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  2. I’ve caught myself doing the same thing!! Yesterday morning read from my ebook. Later that night I listened to my audiobook. It’s nice to have options, lol.

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  3. I kinda wish I could read multiple books at the same time. Then I could read soooo many more. But I just don’t think I could keep track of it all! Sometimes I read two books at a time, but that’s only when I’m reading a book for school and a book for home. When I read, I throw my entire self into it, and I don’t think I could split myself up into multiple books that I just want to read at all times.

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    1. Ahhhhh that does make sense, Sydney. I totally get what you mean. I super wish I could do the same. It just sounds so much more pleasing, lol. But I totally get it. Wonderful input, Sydney, and totally another perspective! ❤

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  4. I read 1 book at time. Sometimes 2 or 3 but never more. I keep notes and i can remember where I stopped in book and to be honest it’s not that difficult with only 2 books at a time. Even if I decide to read more books simultaneously, I can’t! Because book I’m reading at a time might me so interesting that I won’t even stop reading it until I finished it. At the end it’s binge reading only one book rather than simultaneous reading. I tried all the methods and tracked it and saw that whether I read 1 or more book, my speed is normal/usual, it’s not fast or slow. So I stick to 1 or 2 books at a time.
    I’m not jealous that other readers can manage many books at a time but I’m jealous because how fast they can read. I don’t have that fast reading skill that I so damn need at this time.
    Everyone has different style, as long as they are enjoying book, it’s good. Nice Post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That sounds like such a great way to read – I like that you take notes. I feel like that would be so much more helpful. But I totally see what you mean. I do end doing that a lot when a book get so particularly binge worthy that I just so end up reading the one. But it is an interesting method, and I might have to steal it a bit. 😉 But I totally agree with your last statement. 😉 Thanks so much and thanks for the input!

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  5. Actually, during my school career I found myself reading up to 7, yes 7 books at once. I was a bit of a loner in school so books kept me in my right mind. Now that I’m traveling and doing bouncing here and there I can really only find myself reading 2 books at a time mostly because I’m not reading as much as I used to anyway so reading even 40 pages a day is a pretty big deal for me at this point.
    But I really don’t think there’s some sort of limit on how many books one should me allowed to read at once as it really depends on how in depth the book is and the reader. 🙂

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    1. Wow! Yes, the more I do have going on, I do notice that the amount goes down that you are reading. But yes! You said it perfectly! Everyone is different and there’s definitely no limit. 😉 Thanks for the input and hopefully you can get your 40 pages a day. 😀

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  6. I really like reading 2 books at once. I’ve never listened to an audiobook, so reading 3 books at once means reading an e-ARC and 2 physical books, which I find hard to balance. I read an e-ARC before my classes start, and I read a chapter of physical book at night, and it seems to really work for me (though I’m almost out of e-ARCs).

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    1. yes! I find doing that for sure is so nice. But yeah, 2 physical is definitely kind of an odd one, but that way, you’ve always got a book handy. But oh no! XD Hopefully Netgalley will provide some at that time? 😉

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  7. I can usually have two books going at the same time, especially if one is an audiobook but for the most part I like to knock one book out at a time. I think I just rather be consumed by one story until it’s finished. People who can have 4-5 books going are definitely amazing. I wouldn’t even know how to keep up.

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    1. Totally understand it, Angelica! Being consumed by one story is a super nice way to do it and sometimes you just totally get more out of it since you were so invested. Totally jealous of you for that. XD Thank you for the input! 😉

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  8. I alway have at least five books actively on the go at any one time (sometimes more) and I had no idea that this wasn’t something that everyone did until I casually mentioned it on my blog and everyone recoiled in horror. I’ve always done it, even as a child and I’ve never had a problem. I totally get what you mean about multi tasking and being a mood reader too I often just read a bit of each one in an endless loop. So glad it’s working for you, more people need to come over to the dark side! 😊💜💙💛🖤💚❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES. I guess I didn’t quite realize that it was a thing, but once I started doing it, I didn’t get how I hadn’t always done it. But it yes! It really is the endless loop that keeps you going with it. XD And lol yes! 😉

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  9. I dunno. There are so many books and so less time, I would be grateful as much as I can absorb them in my soul!!!
    Ahem! That might have been too dramatic!
    Anyways, I usually read 2-3 books together. Usually, one or two ebooks which most of the time is an arcs combined with a paperback! And this definitely works for me. In the end, it totally depends on the individual’s reading habit.
    Great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahahaha nooooooooooo, it totally spoke to my book soul, Poulami. 😉

      But yes! That seems like a great pattern. I always have to have a paperback and ebook going. It just works so perfectly. But so right – totally depends on the reader! Thanks so much!! ❤

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  10. But okay, about the actual post. I tend to read multiple books at the same time. I didn’t in the past, but I decided the time that I spend driving to work is wasted if I’m not listening to a book.. so I ended up getting way more into audiobooks that I used to be. Plus I’m always reading a physical book and sometimes two, so I get you.

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  11. I think it really depends on the person! I’ve been toying with reading multiple books at once, like one fiction and one non-fiction book, but if I do that it takes me much longer to get through a book, and I often kind of lose interest when that happens. For me it’s much more enjoyable to just dive into one world until the book is over, but to each their own!

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    1. So very true! And I totally see what you mean. I’ve had that as well – where I thought it was going along great but then you end up getting bored in one and slowing down with it. But yes, you gotta do what you find more enjoyable. 😉

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  12. If you really think about it, isn’t reading multiple books like watching multiple TV series, which everybody does? Those stories stop and pick up the next week, and we remember (more or less) what happened the week before. It’s not my reading style, because I have no patience and must know how my book ends ASAP, but I do have one audiobook and one “reading” book going at all times. That’s my max.

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  13. I used to be able to do this when I was in elementary school, and everyone was always amazed at how I managed to keep track of so many stories at once. But to my disappointment I seem to have lost that skill over time. If I’m not focusing on one book at a time, I tend to forget little details of the stories. The only time I ever read more than one book at a time is when I’m bored with the first one and the second one looks interesting… and in that case I’m probably not gonna go back to the first one anyways. So it’s always just one book at a time for me. But it’s definitely possible to have six or seven going at once! I wish I could still do that!

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  14. I typically read no more than two books at a time. I usually read an audiobook and a physical book. I listen to the audiobook when I’m commuting or walking. I’ve tried to read two physical books at the same time, but found there’s always one that lean towards more.

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  15. For me it all depends if I’m in school or not. Because I’m an English major I’m usually reading at least two books at a time for school, however this semester has been so hectic there was one moment I was reading around 6 books at a time. Some of them were physical copies while others were audio books. I try to read something for fun while I’m in school in case I don’t like the readings and even if I only read a couple of pages every few days lol

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    1. Oh gosh, yes! I totally can see where you would have to be doing it all at one time, and you definitely need some fun reading in between some of the less fun required readings. But you’re totally right – things totally change when you’re in school. D:

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  16. I am always reading multiple books at the same time! I read in 3 different formats {audio, ebook & physical book}, so I usually have at least one of each going at a time. Right now I officially have 1 audio, 2 ebooks and 2 physical books that I’m reading. Since I also read from multiple genres, that helps to keep things straight between storylines.

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    1. Yes! I totally find that you have to get one of each of the genres going and that it’s super easy to just get another one going too. And that must be it, too, about the genres. You’re not going to mix up a contemporary and a fantasy.

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  17. Hmmmm…I think my max is definitely 3, maybe 4. For sure, I am usually reading 2 at a time. A physical book when I’m at home and an ebook on my travels! (I too like to look socially acceptable!) I can’t read too many because I would definitely get lost in story lines and confuse characters and be one big mess. It’s just that when I read many in the same time frame it takes a really long time for me to get through one book…so I guess that is kind of a con. I don’t think there is anything wrong with reading more than one book so long as you are able to steer clear of confusion!

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  18. I’m always reading two books at the same time, always. But they do have to be completely different genres. Most of the time it’s contemporary vs. fantasy or something since I get confused otherwise and.. that’s just.. unacceptable?!
    Whenever there’s a third book in the mix, I can guarantee you that one of the three will be stuck there for MONTHS. [Hi, Days of Blood & Starlight..] So, two is my way to roll the book-ride.

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    1. YES. I super agree. I mean, it seems just far too easy to mix up two contemporary books especially the high school ones. But you’re super right. Important to switch up the genres or else it could all go wrong.

      Ahahahaha. I do find that third book definitely does suffer. Super good point, Kathy. 😉

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  19. I usually have three on the go at any one time. One e-book, one audio and one physical. I try to make them all the quite different so that I can keep them from getting muddled in my head. . . Not sure if I am quite game enough to try reading 4!

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