Jun 5 2014 7:13am

How Many Books Do You Read at a Time?

Over on our Facebook page, we began discussing just how many books people who read more than one at a time actually read. Some of our community members actually read four books at a time, and that got us to wondering—

If you do read more than one book at a time, what's the biggest number of books you've been simultaneously reading?

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1. scarlettleigh
Several years ago, I had agreed to do some reviews of books that I ended up not liking. So I would read a little of one, and then put it down and then start another. I think I ended up having started three books, and then one that I was reading for pleasure. That scenario is not the norm at all for me.

Usually the most I have un-finished are two -- an audio book, and then a written book. I use the audio books for chores and travel, but then half the time I get interested in the audio, and finish listening to it while doing neither.
I guess what I am trying to say the long way around is one or two books
2. wsl0612
I can only handle two at a time, any more and I lose track of the action.
3. willaful
I will usually have an audiobook, a Nook book and often a Kindle book. (That's because the Kindle is my gym ereader.) These often divide into "review book" and "pleasure book." If I have more than that, it's usually a sign that I've been starting stuff and not finishing it, and should just delete it and forget it.

I have less and less concentration for multiple books as I get older. I much prefer to just read what I'm reading, now.
Two...sometimes 3 but one on audio when I go to bed.
Wanda Wolfe
5. wolfewr
Four or five at a time. I keep something light in the bathroom and read a page or two while using the toilet.

I keep my Kindle Fire on the nightstand and have something heavier on it, usually a re-read, so I don't end up reading all night desperate to find out what's going to happen. Recently did a Vorkosigan re-read, and am currently re-reading the Sharing Knife series. Before that, I did a complete re-read of the Eve Dallas series--first time I'd done that.

My older Kindle goes into my purse when I'm going anywhere. Re-reads there again, currently in the middle of a Harry Potter re-read.

New books are on the computer, and I keep one open there, switching over to read for a while when things get boring or aggravating.

Sometimes I load a new book into the old Kindle and go sit out on the porch and read, if the weather is comfortable for it. Last time, I finally got around to reading Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. I've got a new one that ought to last a few days for that: Dark and Deadly: Eight Bad Boys of Paranormal Romance a collection of eight books (probably novellas for the price, but what the heck).

It would get dreadfully boring not to have books in several places and being able to pick up one and read a bit whenever I have time for it. And not to have a variety of reading, from romance to scifi/fantasy to mystery to humor to biographies to whatever strikes my interest.

So many books. Never enough time.
6. Lucy D
I am always listening to an audiobook in the car and reading another either digital or hardcopy. I can't do more than that. Like @scarlettleigh if the story is more intriguing sometimes I find myself sitting and listening to the audiobook in the house when I should be reading.
7. Kareni
I could be reading several. It depends on how gripping the books are and what is due back to the library and ....
Carmen Pinzon
8. bungluna
I can't read more than one book at a time. If I'm reading a book that, for some reason, doesn't hold my attention, I'll put it down and pick something else up and read that.

I'm a champion re-reader, but even then, I have to read a book from beginning to end before I can move on. As for books interrupted, sometimes I can go back when I'm in the right mood and finish them. Other times the just never get finished, something I hate to do but that's been happening more as I grow older and less patient.
9. lauralee1912
I'm like you, Bungluna, I read one book at a time. I will change from my Kindle to paperback, depending on what is on the To Be Read pile and if I feel nostalgic to hold paper. I have to read Eloisa James and Robyn Carr on paper!
10. willaful
I just went to the gym and found I had around 5 unfinished books on my Kindle -- and most of them were unfinished because I'd gotten to a sex scene and was too embarrassed to keep reading in public. ;-)
11. Verlyn
Wow, now I feel like a freak. I think at one point I was reading 14 books at a time. Right now I am reading 10 books: 2 Nora Roberts, 1 J D Robb, 2 Tamora Pierce, 1 Sherrilyn Kenyon, 1 Julie Garwood, 1 Darynda Jones, and 2 Jeanienne Frost. That doesn't count the various stories I'm reading on the internet or books that are mid-read that I haven't picked up for 2+ weeks. If I did, numbers would swell to the 20s or 30s.

Strangely enough, I never lose track of the action or mix up books.
12. Desiree M.
If we're just talking about books for pleasure then the most I've read at the same time was 4 or 5 usually different genres or types so I didn't have too much overlap in my mind.

However lately I try to stick to no more than 2 books at a time. Even though I have about 7 or 8 I want to read right now.

During high school/college days though I'd juggle 6-8 text books plus a few pleasure books.
13. willaful
Wow Verlyn, you even read more than one of the same genre at a time? I usually need to keep them very separate.
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