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  • Ritika Agrawal

Why You Should Read More Than One Book at a Time

Updated: May 5, 2023

Two books, a cup of green tea and flowers on a table

Most of us have a small attention span. We need things to keep us interested. We need to be entertained. While reading is an extremely immersive active for some people, it is a habit that many others seek to develop.

When you start multiple books together (preferably of different genres), you give yourself the opportunity to choose the book you want to read according to your mood at a specific point of time. As a result, even when you find a book difficult or uninteresting to read, you can switch to another one that you started without losing on your reading goals.

I recommend starting a fiction and a non-fiction book together. This is a great combination because these 2 types of books cater to very different needs of the reader. Another good combination can be a book that you find difficult to read and a book that you can smoothly glide through.

Here are 7 reasons why you should consider reading multiple books at a time.

1. It Removes Boredom.

Have you ever experienced a situation when you picked up a book with tremendous excitement but ended up leaving it halfway through? If you have, you are not alone my friend.

The best part about picking up more than one book at a time is the fact that you can touch upon different genres and hence remove the monotony that might come with reading one book at stretch.

This is a great advantage to consider because boredom is one of the main reasons why people give up on their reading goals.

2. Helps you cover more genres in less time

Consider scenario A: You pick up a book from a particular genre and you love it. You crave for more such books, and you pick another book from the same genre. This continues till some day you realize that you should diversify your reading. However, you can't pick another genre immediately as you have a book already in hand to complete.

Consider scenario B: You pick up a book from a particular genre and you end up disliking it. You immediately change the genre when you pick up your next book. However, you never go back to the previous genre.

In both the above scenarios, you end up limiting the number of genres you cover during a particular period of time. Alternatively, if you pick more than one book at a time, you can achieve a healthy balance between books that you like and books that you find a bit difficult to complete.

3. Helps you read as per your mood

Different people satisfy different needs when they engage in reading. For some, it is a hobby that they absolutely love, for some, it is a habit that they are trying to build. For others, it is a source of information or advice.

For those of us who read for pleasure, picking up more than one book can be a blessing. You can choose across genres while you make a selection of books to read during a particular period and then keep rotating amongst these as per your mood.

For example, you could pick up Atomic habits and The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes during the same period (self development vs mystery) or Pride and Prejudice with Hunger Games (classical romance plus dystopian).

4. Helps you read mindfully

When you read one book at a time, it is easier to retain the flow of the book and the plot structure. This can sometimes make your thought inert.

However, when juggling between books, it becomes necessary to pay complete attention to the book you are reading, as you might forget what connections were drawn earlier.

As a result, reading multiple books together can cultivate a more mindful reading habit.

5. It may lead to unexpected connections.

Sometimes, when you read more than one book at a time, you may find unexpected connections between the two books.

These connections might enhance your understanding and help you go deeper into the meaning of what you are reading.

This could also help build your power of comprehension.

6. You can use different formats.

When you read multiple books at a time, you can read them using different formats (paperback, kindle, tablets etc.).

This becomes really convenient because sometimes, one format is much easier to use in certain situations as compared to others. For instance, a kindle is waterproof and hence can be used when relaxing in a hot tub.

In such situations, you can prioritize the book which is available to you in the convenient format if you are not stuck on reading a single book from cover to cover without picking another book.

7. Build consistency

Since reading multiple books is more engaging, it can encourage you to keep up with the reading habit even when you are not very motivated to complete a particular book.

This implies that you don't give up and keep ticking off your to be read list if you read more than one book at a time.

The resulting consistency further fuels your motivation and sets you on the path to become an avid reader.

The key takeaway here is that you should keep your reading habit flexible and not let yourself stuck on completing one particular book. Reading multiple books at a time will give you a much more diverse reading experience which in turn will keep you interested to read more.

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