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