What’s your relationship to your reading?

Can you have more than one book at a time on the go?

In other words are you a serial monogamist or a two-timer in your relationship to your reading materials?

I’m always impressed by people who can manage to read several books at a go, swapping between them as the mood takes them and instantly picking up the thread of where they left it. When I try that though, it takes me so much longer to finish any of them that I enjoy them less. I prefer a one-on-one relationship with my books – immersing myself in a volume until it’s finished. Maybe I might miss some little insights that given time for reflection I might pick up later – but rather, I think I tend to forget what I read before and then take a chapter or two to get back into a story if too long is spent apart. I’m the same even with a book of short stories – I generally read the whole volume from start to finish, very rarely reading something else inbetween.

WhicherWhy is this I wonder?  I would wager it’s because I mainly read novels. Although partial to the odd biography, I don’t read that much other non-fiction. A recent non-fiction book I read – the excellent The Suspicions of Mr Whicher by Kate Summerscale, took me just over a week to read and I could have polished off three or four medium length novels in that time. I found was getting impatient to finish the book but still couldn’t put it down and read something else on the side.

I think I’ve worked out why I read in this way though … Obviously my brain is so busy multi-tasking with job, family, house, hobbies and all the trappings of modern life, that it can only cope with one book at a time!

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Source: Own Copy. 
The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: or the Murder at Road Hill House by Kate Summerscale. Bloomsbury paperback.

0 thoughts on “What’s your relationship to your reading?

  1. I am just like you – I can only read one novel at a time, otherwise I get confused and/or inevitably favour one book anyway. Right now I am trying out a new system where I read one short story from a collection each morning, because I tend not to enjoy short story collections when I read them straight through, but that’s about all the diversifying I can do!

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