When I first learned that I could start a new book without finishing one first, it was a revelation. I started reading more often, but also significantly more books a year. Recently a friend asked me how I manage to read so many books at once, and I had to think about my answer for a bit. I think I’ve come up with the general method behind my madness though.
1. I try to only read one book in a genre at a time. This one can get a little hazy because there are so many sub genres out there, and so there are times that I’m reading several books that are technically romance, but I try to never read more than, say, one YA romance, or paranormal romance at a time.
2. I carry around a lot of books. If you look in my bag at any given time, you’ll find that I have 3-4 books in it. On top of that, I often have my kindle with me. I never know what mood I’m going to be in, or who I’m going to be around, and I don’t really want to read “Accidentally Married to a Vampire” around the other people in the college course I’m taking.
3. I’m not afraid to put a book on hold. Even indefinitely. If I’m reading something, and it just really isn’t striking a chord with me, I put it down and walk away. Sometimes I come back to it, sometimes I don’t, but I don’t beat myself up for having books that I shelve as “to be completed at a later date”. When I know I’m putting something down for a long time, I write myself a little synopsis of the story thus far, and use it as a bookmark, then I can pick it up again without too much trouble.
4. I use goodreads to keep myself organized. Sometimes I forget which books I’ve started, but the great thing is that I can go to goodreads, and remind myself what I still need to finish. Setting up an account, and entering your books is a super easy thing to do, and I love the mobile app. When I pick up something new, I just use the barcode scan feature to add it to my different lists. So easy. I also try (but don’t really succeed) to keep page numbers updated on the site so that if my bookmark falls out I don’t have to wonder where I was.
Bonus bit: Just to keep myself reaching toward a goal, I have a “to be read” shelf/list for each different genre, and when I get done with a book in one, I just swap another in. It keeps things fresh, but also keeps me from wondering where to go next, and sometimes it will get me to finish something up that I may be dragging my feet a bit on so that I can get to the next book. (As I said above, if I really don’t want to finish one, I won’t, but I do like to try, and I have a yearly reading goal that I try my best to meet or exceed, so I can’t just put them all on the finish later shelf.)
And that’s basically it! I mean, this isn’t a super complicated system or anything. Mostly, I just read, and I read what I want, and don’t make myself read what I don’t want to.
For the curious, I’m currently (actively) reading:
Sunshine by Robin McKinley
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within by Natalie Goldberg
Now We Are Sick: An Anthology of Nasty Verse edited by Neil Gaiman
Grey by E.L. James (Seriously, I cannot help myself. This is my current Kindle book.)
The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon (This is my commuting audiobook.)
Rick Steves Ireland 2015 by Rick Steves
For those who want to see my book reviews, catch me on goodreads, or follow my tumblr!
I’m reading *Charlotte’s Web* out loud to my kiddos, *American Gods* when I can find an hour to sit, *Lasagna Gardening* when I can only find a few moments to sit, and *Atlas Shrugged* has been my long car trip audio for a while now (maybe I’ll finish it someday).
I don’t remember the first time I started reading multiple books at a time. Late high school? Early college?
Great post, and I love reading your reviews.
Hmmm. The stars did not italicize…oops! ;)