Tips to Being a Successful Book Polygamist

19 Mar

It’s been a while since I did a free form post, but this is something that’s been close to my heart for a while. Every WWW Wednesday, at least one person will comment on how many books I read at one time. To me, there’s no other way to do it! I had this on my brain when I saw a post from Sheila at Book Journey on Reading Styles and I figured it was time to share my tips and some tools that I love.

My ability to read multiple books at once had one secret: diversity! To me, there are two types of diversity in books that make it easier to read a few at a time. The first is the plot. Diversity in genre and setting helps me keep plots from confusing themselves in my head. For example, right now I’m listening to two audiobooks. One takes place in 2000 BC England and the other takes place in North Dakota 1988. (Comment below if you think you know what they might be!) When two books are set in different places or times, it’s harder to get them confused. I read two books set in India at the same time once, but one was modern and the other was set in the 1700s. Time helped me keep them separate even if the setting was the same.

Genre is another way to very the plot. A romance novel and a crime novel might have similar settings, but the nature of the story will help the reader keep the plots separate. I’m reading Christian fiction and non-fiction about WWII. No chance of confusing those!

Piece of advice #2: Have books for different times. I have a book I read during breakfast and one before bed. I have an audiobook for the car and one for when I’m cooking. My assigning these books different times of the day helps me remember that in the morning I read about the rapture and before bed I read about the Manhatten project. In my car, I hear about Native Americans and in my kitchen I hear about Pagan gods.

My third piece of advice is to use different formats. I find that I don’t confuse the plot of my audiobook and my ebook. One I hear and the other I read. Absorbing the story in different ways keeps it separate in my mind. At any given time, I’m working on an eBook, audiobook, and physical book. If you’re lucky enough to have a library card, here are some great resources I’ve found at my library. If your library doesn’t have these, ask if they might be interested in getting them!

Physical Books
Inter-library loan- Get books from other libraries and check them out at your home library. The downside is that it takes a long time for them to come in sometimes.
Reciprocal membership- See if your library offers the ability to get a library card from a partner library.
Membership at another library- Look at libraries in the towns where you work or go to school if it’s different from your own. Some libraries offer the option for students, employees, and business owners to have a card in the community even if you don’t live there.
Library used book sales- I buy most of my books used. My library sells trade paperbacks for $1 and that’s a deal no one can beat. When I go to libraries, I always look for their book sale and see if I can snag a winner. The summer is a great time for big sales.
ARCs- If you’re willing to gamble on a new author or new book, ARCs are great. You can be an early reviewer of a novel that might not have been released yet. There are a million different ways to get ARCs. My favorite is Goodreads Giveaways.

3M- I don’t have much experience with 3M but my librarian friends tell me it’s a very user-friendly platform that’s especially great for eReaders.
Overdrive- Probably my favorite reading app! Overdrive allows you to rent eBooks in several different formats. Some you see in a web browser and some are downloaded to the Kindle app. I’m sure there are other formats, but these are the two I’m most familiar with.

Books on CD- Easiest to get from the library. These are perfect for long car rides or commuting.
Audible- I don’t have a subscription, but I’ve used the app. It’s really simple to use and Audible has a copy if you’re willing to shell out the cash. Good for new releases or titles you don’t want to wait for.
Overdrive- Again, one of my favorite apps. Though this one is a bit hit-or-miss for me depending on the format of the file. Some are simple to download to my phone, but some have to be converted and added to iTunes before I can listen to them on the go. I prefer the former, obviously.
Hoopla- This is my newest love for books. Hoopla has super simple downloads of audiobooks and has some titles available I haven’t seen on any of these other sites. It’s still new and I can only see it growing.

I hope these tips and tools can help you! There are some great resources out there if you’re willing to look for them. If you’re like me, you need to fund your reading habit at the lowest possible price, which is why I’ve tried to list many of the resources that are available at a low cost if provided by your library. I’m no expert and don’t pretend to be, but if you want to know more please Google these services and ask your library! As a Friends of the Library Board member, we love knowing what patrons want from their library.

Let me know if you have any advice for book polygamy! It could be fun to read even more.

Until next time, write on.

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14 Responses to “Tips to Being a Successful Book Polygamist”

  1. Book Club Babe March 19, 2015 at 12:38 PM #

    Diversity is key! I’ve got audiobooks for my commute, and print for the evening, and the three books I’m reading right now couldn’t be more different in terms of genre. Using Goodreads also helps me keep track of my reading progress.


    • Sam March 19, 2015 at 12:42 PM #

      I think genre helps me the most. Good luck with all your books!


  2. Haley M March 19, 2015 at 5:16 PM #

    I almost always have 4 going at one time, but they are 4 exact categories: normal, short story, study book, and audio. I go thru them at different paces, usually the normal books are entertaining so they will only take a few days, while they others i only read a bit at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sam March 19, 2015 at 5:18 PM #

      I find this works best for me as well. Having a routine is best! Best of luck continuing your book polygamy!


  3. Sheila (Book Journey) March 19, 2015 at 6:38 PM #

    Awesome, thanks for sharing my post and engaging in a fun topic!


    • Sam March 19, 2015 at 6:43 PM #

      Thank you for starting the conversation!


  4. missdarcy87 March 20, 2015 at 11:37 AM #

    Diversity is how I manage to keep multiple stories straight in my head. Great post!


    • Sam March 20, 2015 at 11:44 AM #

      Thanks! It’s nice to hear others use the same techniques.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. cleopatralovesbooks March 25, 2015 at 11:59 AM #

    I can see how that method works, the only way I’ve ever managed to read more than one book at a time is fiction and non-fiction. I’m not great at listening to audio books although I’m sure I’d improve if I practiced a bit more (my mind tends to wander in a way it doesn’t when I’m reading) I also understand the time of the day part to separate the books. Great tips but I suspect I will continue to be monogamous 😉


    • Sam March 25, 2015 at 2:03 PM #

      Fiction/Nonfiction is a great split. I know not everyone can be or wants to be a polygamist. I might even be more efficient if I were monogamous, but I like the variety too much! Happy reading (no matter how many books at a time)!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. blackmutts June 18, 2015 at 11:22 AM #

    There are some good tips here. Until about a year ago, I was a die-hard, one book at a time person… which makes it hard if you want to indulge in one those monstrous hardcover editions of anything!… I don’t know if it’s having a baby and having to go through about 20 pictures books a day that broke me… but now that I have a few different books going, I notice that it keeps me from accidentally absorbing too much of the other author’s style in my own writing.


    • Sam June 18, 2015 at 11:35 AM #

      That’s a great point. I do tend to absorb styles from authors I like and I hadn’t considered that reading so much at once could help with that. Great point! Happy writing!

      Liked by 1 person

      • blackmutts June 18, 2015 at 11:42 AM #

        It was the worst when I was really into books that were written in the 1800’s… I’d look back and suddenly, my sentences had become whole paragraphs!

        Liked by 1 person


  1. Friday Finds: Week 25 | Avid Reader - March 20, 2015

    […] Tips To Being A Successful Book Polygamist […]


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