Confession time. I cheated. And, it isn’t the first time nor will it be the last. I started reading a book, got distracted, and started up a second book.
This is pretty typical for me; I will usually have at least three books going at once. There is always a book in my purse that is easy to pick up or put down; one can never be too careful. There could be a very long wait at the doctor’s office, or a zombie apocalypse. Best to be prepared. Next, I have my main book that I am currently reading. That’s the one that is sitting on the kitchen counter, in the passenger seat of the car, or on my nightstand. I grab that book when I head out somewhere as naturally as I take my car keys and phone.
And then, there’s that third book. I call it my cheater book. Sometimes it is a fluff book that requires little to no thought but provides a good laugh. Sometimes it is a book that I am just not quite sure about; am I going to stick with the relationship and give it 50 more pages or is it time to break ties? Sometimes it is a heavy book – tone not weight, although sometimes both – that I just need an emotional break from. Sometimes, it is a book I’ve already read when I am feeling the need to revisit an old friend or feel the warmth of familiarity.
Not to digress too much, but there is something about rereading an old favorite. There is the comfort of knowing what to expect; sometimes, especially with mysteries, there is a point when you don’t know what is going to happen and quite possibly something will happen that I won’t like. I often need to psych myself up for this potential outcome and seek the ease and security of what I know. That’s the time I pick up an old favorite that I know what the outcome will be and I know that I will be happy with it!
Anyway, I am always reading a number of books simultaneously. My daughters are very split on this issue. My younger daughter has at least as many books going on as I do. She bounces back and forth between books and often will randomly pick up an additional one. Every now and again, she becomes overwhelmed with the number of books that she is reading and will buckle down and finish a few before picking up another one.
My older daughter, however, is a one-book-at-a-time kind of girl. Recently we were talking about a book that she was reading that I had also read. It was part of a series that started out really good but kind of fell apart as it went along. She felt that she had to finish it but wasn’t overly enthused about doing so. She said that she had invested time and attention to the series and wanted to see it through; definitely commitment issues! I suggested that she put the book aside and start another one to give herself a break. The horrified look I received!! Obviously she is committed reader!
So I am curious. Do others read multiple books or just one at a time? What constitutes the hierarchy of books to be read? I’d love to hear your thoughts!