Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Reading quirks, part 1

One book, two books, three books... can several books compete for your attention? Some of us juggle a number of books, reading a bit of this and a bit of that and then some of something else, going back to the first one and then maybe starting yet another... Some of us like to focus on one book at a time and refuse to open (or even think of opening) a new one until they're finished with the one.

One way isn't better than the other, and these habits can change. I used to read only one book at a time, but over the recent years, I've developed a completely different style. I usually have 2-4 books on my currently-reading pile. Sometimes more.

Why? I start a book (or two... or three) and realise it isn't as good as I expected but there's something there and I can't just give up on it. Instead, I keep giving it another chance (or maybe I just persist because I'm stubborn... or hey, I've read nearly half of it, I can't quit now!). But I'm not excited about it – and that's not very satisfying. I need something more engaging. Something to indulge in. Something to pamper myself with. Sometimes I save these treats for the weekends or evenings when my daughter is asleep and I can actually read more than half a line at a time. These are my luxury reads.
A reader pampering herself

I read mostly in English, which is a second language to me, but I don't want to neglect my Finnish, either. That's why I often also have a Finnish novel on the side.

And then there are the non-fiction books. With those I usually, but not always, manage to keep my focus on one at a time.

Sometimes people ask me how I can do this. Don't I get confused? Well, no. Usually the books happen to be different genres or otherwise just different, and it's easy enough to keep them straight. Of course, now and then a book comes along that's so good it forces me to drop everything else. That's a great feeling. With my favourite authors, I always do that: set everything else aside to properly savour the book. I even have designated times, such as holidays, when I consistently do just that... but that's another reading quirk. ;)


  1. It's about the feeling and mood you choose your book how you feel and get into different atmosphere like that! I do that too..sometimes.

    1. Yes, that's right! :) Sometimes you're in the mood for something lighter, sometimes you want a big fat tome that makes you think; sometimes you want a sweeping saga, sometimes just a tiny, cosy tale; sometimes you're in the mood for misty moors, sometimes for sailing sunny seas... :)

  2. I agree with what you said and think that it really is possible to enjoy more than one book at a time. I find it easier to do with non-fiction maybe because one can be interested in more than one topic at a time. Not to mention that there aren't many cliffhangers in non-fiction. ;)


    1. Thanks for your comment! :) Great to hear I'm not the only one who reads more than one book at a time. You're right about non-fiction. No cliffhangers! :D Well, depending on the topic, I suppose you _could_ write a non-fiction book that has them, but whether anyone would take it seriously might be another matter. ;)