Today I want to talk about something that a lot of people have asked me. The question many people ask me is: Do you read multiple books at the same time? Or how many books do you read at the same time?
Experiment to find out what works for you
First of all, I think this is a topic that is different for every individual. There is no correct way to handle this and whatever you do, is probably the best for yourself. All the benefits and disadvantages that I will mention are solely based on my own experiences and opinion. You have to test different reading patterns or systems to test what works best for you. Only by testing, you can find out what you prefer. So make a plan with different patterns or systems, like reading in the morning, right after getting up, or in the evening before going to bed. Reading only one book at a time, or multiple books at the same time. Reading with taking notes and highlighting, and then reading without doing any of that. By doing this you will discover your preferences very quickly!
What is good about it?
One thing that I really like about reading more than one book at the same time, is the fact that everytime you want to read, you have the opportunity to choose what you feel like reading right now. Of course your choice is limited on the amount of books you are reading, but being able to choose from 2 or 3 books sounds better to me, than “having” to read that one book you’re currently into.
This will also bring more variety to your reading, as you can read about many completely different topics within just a few days! That way reading multiple books can make you more excited about reading in general.
Personally, I like to read one hardcover book and one e-book at the same time. I think this is very practical, because whenever I find myself in a situation where I didn’t bring a book but I have some free time to read, I can just pick up my phone and dive into my e-book. Let’s say I’m taking the bus to the city or I’m waiting for my doctor’s appointment but forgot to bring a book… Now instead of just sitting there and waiting, I can read! By doing this I realized that I read more books than usual. Let’s be honest, you can think of so many situations where you had to wait for someone or something and might have wasted your time on social media. Imagine spending all that time reading books that will help you improve yourself. Sounds awesome? Yeah, because it is! Sometimes I read an e-book for only a few minutes, but there might still be some great advice in just that chapter or page you’re currently reading. Well, this doesn’t work for every book you might say… I agree, you probably can’t read a novel like that, because honestly, that would just suck. Which is why I pick my e-books wisely. I’m looking for books that I can pick up at any time and read for only a short amount of time.
Another thing that I realized when reading multiple books at the same time, was that when I read books with a similar topic I sometimes learnt something in one book, that I can then apply to the other book. I think this is really helpful, because you will learn a lot more if you use the things you just learnt and apply them to other concepts or ideas. That way you make new connections and see the information from one book in a new perspective!
What is not so good?
Even though I read multiple books at the same time, and see the benefits of it, I am also aware of some disadvantages. One thing that is bothering me when reading multiple books at the same time, is that I might end up taking long breaks with one book. When I come back to this book after several days or even weeks, I feel like I need to re-read some parts of it to get into the topic again. This would cost me extra time and wouldn’t be very productive!
I have a personal promise to finish what I start, before starting something new. If I read multiple books at the same time, I do exactly the opposite. That’s why sometimes I struggle with starting a new book, if I haven’t finished the one I’m currently reading. In general I’d say that this paradigm is good, but maybe I shouldn’t be too strict with it. In specific cases like this I could just accept that this paradigm doesn’t apply and start a new book without feeling bad.
Mixing up information is something that I could imagine happening as well. Particularly when reading books about similar topics, you might mix up where you got some specific information from. Now this might or might not matter to you. Actually I think this has never happened to me, which is why I wouldn’t weigh this in too much.
To conclude I think that there are more benefits of reading multiple books at the same time than disadvantages. In the end you need to figure out for yourself what works best for you and what you don’t like. I’m pretty sure that every individual has their own way of approaching this.
My ultimate tip is to experiment with different reading patterns to get to know your personal preferences!
Let me know your approach of reading in the comment section! Do you read multiple books at the same time or just one at a time?