Reading Multiple Books At Once

Prior to this year, if you came to my house, you’d find one book near my bed with a ribbon bookmark in it, keeping my dead Nook company. Then, if you looked to my fiancé’s bedside table, you’d find at least two, maybe more, books with scraps of paper stuck in to keep his place. I always wondered how he could read more than one book at a time, and keep the plot and characters straight, or remember details from a book he might have ignored for a while in favor of another book.

Slowly my habits began to change this year. In the past, I might have interrupted my regular novel to read a graphic novel, because that doesn’t take much time. Now, you’ll often find two books by my bed, each with a bookmark stuck in, or perhaps a book and my revived Nook. I’m not quite sure what caused this change. I still struggle to really absorb a story when I’m reading another at the same time, or I often just find myself setting aside my current read for the one I’ve picked up. Is that even really reading two books at once if you just abandon the first book until you’ve finished the second?

If you read two (or more!) books at once, why do you do it? And how? Do you read a little of each book each day? Sometimes I’ll alternate days, picking up one book and the next day picking up the other. But though it happens more often, I still feel like I’m cheating on both books and not giving either my full attention.

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