Reading One By One

For the first time in months I’m only reading one book.

And it’s heaven.

I’ve tried to be one of those people that can multi-task their reading. I see and hear about fellow book bloggers juggling two, three, four and five books at any given time and I envy that. I can’t do it. I’ve tried to do it before and found myself doing that for the past several months.

Reading two books at once was bad enough but then I added Persuasion to the mix and I thought I was going to lose my mind. I finally sat down and finished the last 150 pages of The Count of Monte Cristo and the day after that I sat down and finished Persuasion and then I only had one book left and it FELT SO GOOD.

I keep trying to be the kind of person that can read more than one book and keep the characters and narratives straight; the kind of reader that has no problem jumping from post-Revolutionary France to Regency England to modern day Switzerland and back again.

But I can’t do it. I’m not that kind of reader and I will contribute much more to my own happiness if I just accept that and stop trying.

I love that I can focus all my attention on one book now. I feel lighter and freer.

My TBR list stands and I will read them all, one at a time.

17 thoughts on “Reading One By One

  1. I think one book at a time is best, I really do. It gives you more focus and clarity. I personally usually have a “deep” read and light read going at the same time so that if I’m tired I can read something that’s just for entertainment, and if I’m feeling like a challenge I can read something that I can really chew on, mentally speaking. -Tania

  2. First of all – I LOVE your header! I can’t believe I hadn’t noticed it until now. I love that Henrik is in there. Re: your post – I’m the same way. Very rarely am I able to juggle a few books at a time; I just get overwhelmed! I’m also jealous of those who can read multiple books at once…

    • You didn’t miss it! I only added it last week – my mom did it for me! I love the Henrik too!
      I’m glad I’m not the only one – participating in the book blogging world it seems like I’m the only one sometimes! I wish I could do it but I just can’t!

  3. Most of my reading is one at a time, but sometimes I find myself with more than one (for many different reasons – usually to do with library books or review copies that have showed up), and whenever I get back to just one it really does feel so much better. I do often have a bedtime book, though, that I read a chapter of before going to sleep. These days, it has been the Anne books. But, once I get to over half way through, I can’t wait any longer and finish it quickly. One at a time is definitely best.

    • I only recently even started trying the multiple books thing and it’s for many of the reasons you state. I liked the idea of the bed time book and I thought it was working but in the end it was too much. I also hated seeing it hover on my Goodreads for so many months.

  4. I can usually read one fiction and one nonfiction at a time, but not always. Sometimes I find that I get stuck between the two and nothing gets read at all. Kinda where I’m at now with a busy work schedule. If I just sit and read one book straight, it gets read much more quickly and I don’t feel like I’m stalled.

    • I’m not sure that I’ve ever thought about WHAT I’m reading that way. Maybe a non-fiction read going at the same time as fiction would be easier to keep straight? I find that that’s really the biggest issue I have – having to keep characters and motivations and narratives straight from one book to the next.

  5. I love the new heading!! Love! I’m realizing I do best with 2 books maybe 3- and often the 3rd is a reread that I have just to entertain myself while waiting for my husband to come to bed. I don’t want to read something I’m super into while I’m getting sleepy. I definitely need more than 1 book while reading non-fiction. I can’t read nonfic and stay awake after work! That’s terrible but it is what it is. I’m glad you have freed yourself to just one book though!

    • “It is what it is” – So true. Sometimes we just have to accept these things about ourselves as is. I don’t have a problem getting into a book when I’m in bed. I will stay up way too late finishing a chapter or even a book. Non-fiction isn’t an issue either. My husband is like you though – reading has become part of his bedtime ritual so it just makes him sleepy and he can’t get through his bedtime books.

  6. This post made me smile. I occasionally start a second book while I’m in the middle of one, but it never seems to work out very well. (Mostly it just means I’m not enjoying the first book.) I do always have a stack of books waiting that I’m going to be reading next, but I prefer taking them one at a time. 🙂

    • I get so antsy to start a new book when I’m either reading something very long or I’m not enjoying my book. I start dreaming about what I could be reading. But I’ve also found that when I start reading multiple books, it takes me longer to finish any of them!

  7. That’s awesome that you figured out what works for you and it’s making you feel so much better. I’m a two book reader, but I’m very aware of the fact that I can’t do more…nor can I have two books that are too similar. We all read differently and it does us no favors to try and stretch ourselves to the way others read 🙂

  8. Oh I’m the opposite. I’ll try to read one book at a time but another book always calls my attention away. The exception is a book that I can’t bear to put down for long. Recently, that exception was Rachel Hartman’s Shadow Scale.

  9. Pingback: Worth the Wait: The Vacationers | The Paperback Princess

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