Tips for Reading Multiple Books at a Time

For most of my reading life I’ve been a “one book at a time” reader.  Typically because I get so invested in whatever book I’m reading that I can only think about that one book, so I never bothered to pick up another one.  Most of the time, I end up finishing the book in 3-4 days depending on the length and how much time I actually spend reading a day.  I mean, there have been a few times that I’ve read 3 books in a day… it all depends.

However, lately I’ve been kind of juggling two books at a time on occasion.  And this is something I see a lot with other book bloggers.  I look at their ‘currently reading’ shelves and see that they have three books going at once.  For a while I was like “yikes, I couldn’t do that!”  The times I did read more than one book at once, I had some coworkers question how I handled it.  After a while of juggling books, I’ve gotten the hang of it, and it turns out it’s not too hard at all!

These are some tips I’ve used and have come across to help handle reading more than one book at a time!

7 Tips for Reading Multiple Books at a Time

1. Read fiction and non-fiction

This is my main way of juggling two books at a time, and it’s the easiest.  This allows you to focus on one fictional world while also reading something that’s real.  It’s definitely a good strategy to use to get used to reading more than one at once.

2. Read different genres

This goes along with the first one, but on a strictly fictional side of things.  If you read a contemporary and a fantasy at the same time, you don’t need to worry about mixing up two different fantasy worlds when you pick one of the books back up.  And on that note, you might be reading something that’s really emotional so when  you’re not feeling like being a hot mess,  you can switch to a lighter book to keep your mood up.

3. Different formats

Reading in different formats can help you differentiate between books better than if you’re reading three print books all at once.  This works for me when I have an ARC to read because I only get them as ebooks, so I’m able to read one of those while reading something from my own TBR shelf.  There are also some authors I can read only on my Nook, like Kasie West.  I can’t explain why that is, but that’s just how it works for me.  And of course you can be listening to an audiobook for the times you can’t be holding an actual one, and then have a print book you’re reading before bed at night.

4. Different forms

By different forms, I mean whether you’re reading poetry, short stories, novels, plays, etc.  I find it easy to keep up with multiple books when they’re in different forms, like right now I have a regular novel going along with a manga.  I do this also with fiction novels and a poetry book or an anthology of short stories.

5. Reading at a certain time/in a certain place

Where and when you read can be a great help with juggling multiple books.  I find that when I think back on a book I’ve read in the past, I can sometimes picture where I was when I read it.  I’ll often bring the same book with me to the gym and have one that I like to read before bed.  That actually puts both time and place into play.  But there are some books I’ll read while all comfy on my bed, but at different times.  I have more brain capacity to read in the mornings/afternoon, so I’ll read books that need more brainpower at those times, and then read something lighter at night to help me get a bit sleepy.

6. Reading with friends

If you do a buddy-read or are in a book club, it’s easier to keep track of that particular book because you’re probably thinking of discussion points for when you meet up.  So while you have your buddy/club read, you can have a personal one on the side.

7. Big and small

One thing I try not to do is read large books (like 500+ pages) at the same time.  Having too many long books will make reading seem daunting, even if you’re just reading for fun.  I generally like to keep books at the same moderate size, but if I happen to have a large book going, then I might start a small one for when I just don’t feel in the mood for that big book.

And those, my friends, are my seven tips to help you try to juggle reading multiple books at the same time.  Reading more than one book at a time can actually help your TBR pile go down a bit quicker because you’re always reading something.  I like having more than one book going at once because sometimes I’m just not in the mood for the first book I started, so if I go to the next one, it’s like a little break without having completely stopped reading that first book.

Do any of these work for you when reading multiple books?  Are you a juggler or a one-at-a-time reader?
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