2023 - Poly-reader

Do you focus on reading one book at a time from beginning to end or have a stack of books you are reading at the same time? My current reading stack on my nightstand is

Current reading pile including Heaven by Randy Alcorn, The Complete Robot by Isaac Asimov, The Science of Middle Earth by Lehoucq, Grow Up by Owen Marcuc, and Index, A History of the by Duncan.
Please ignore the dust…cameras show so much more than I noticed just looking. I will clean that momentarily.

You will notice the books are a mix of fiction and non-fiction, various genres, and alternating intensity. I find I enjoy jumping from book to book depending on my mood, how awake I am, how much time I have to read, and which one is interesting me the most currently. Love this quote from an author and avid reader.

I am reading six books at once, the only way of reading; since, as you will agree, one book is only a single unaccompanied note, and to get the full sound, one needs ten others at the same time.

Virginia Woolf, The Letters of Virginia Woolf: Volume Three, 1923-1928

I feel the same way! Yeah, there are the questions of “how can you keep track of the various stories or topics?”, “don’t you get confused?”, “how do you ever finish a book?”, and “why not just finish one then start another?”. For me, it just works to be reading more than one book at a time. Yeah, sometimes one book will draw me in and I will finish it quickly but even then I will often take a break for a day or two to read another book before returning to the one I am intensely reading.

So what is this reading of multiple books? The term most often used for this is polyreading or poly-reading.

The act of reading two or more books at once.


Various studies say the benefits of reading more than one book at a time include increased interest in reading, fitting your emotional state rather than forcing yourself to read a book that doesn’t fit your mood, and improving your memory keeping track of all the books.

What about you? Do you read multiple books at a time? Why do you like to do that? If you prefer reading one at a time, why does that work for you better? Also, feel free to share what is on your reading pile at the moment.

Are you a poly-reader?

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