Tag Archives: Reading Multiple Books

How to Read Four Books At a Time

21 Apr

Every week during WWW Wednesday, someone will comment on how many books I read at once. Usually, it’s surprise that I’m in the middle of so many or that I’m moving forward with them all. This is something I’ve learned to do because I like reading this way. I realize it’s not for everyone or even for most people but it works for me. Here’s a brief overview of a typical workday (before COVID 19 and since COVID 19).

Pre-COVID 19

  • I wake up early to workout. This often involves a run. During a run, I’ll listen to the audiobook on my phone (Book 1).
  • After showing, I’ll drive to work. If I’m listening to an audiobook on CD, I get some of that while driving to work (Book 2).
  • During lunch, I’ll try to read some from my ebook (Book 3) on my phone and let people think I’m checking Instagram. Sometimes I do both.
  • After work, I get some more time in with my CD audiobook (Book 2).
  • While cooking dinner, I listen to my phone audiobook (Book 1).
  • Before bed, I read some of my physical book (Book 4).

With COVID 19

  • I wake up and workout, usually bodyweight exercises, and listen to the audiobook on my phone (Book 1).
  • I take a short break before starting my day to read and have my tea (Book 2).
  • If I’m having trouble focusing during the day, I read a page in my ebook (Book 3). It takes only a minute and it helps me refocus on the task at hand without getting up to explore the kitchen.
  • After work, I relax with a few more pages of my book (Book 2). I’ve turned my commute into reading.
  • While I cook dinner, I’ll listen to my phone audiobook (Book 3) or we’ll go pick up carry out to support our local restaurants and restaurant workers which allows me to listen to the audiobook in my car (Book 4).

So of course, some things have had to change. I’m getting through physical books faster and CD audiobooks much slower. I’m adjusting to that. I’ll avoid CD audiobooks and enjoy the time to make headway on my TBR shelf. We’ll all get through this and cope as best we can. To everyone else coping by reading, I salute you.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!


Tips to Being a Successful Book Polygamist

19 Mar

It’s been a while since I did a free formĀ 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.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!