Are You Monogamous or Polygamous (When it Comes to Books)?


Do you like to devote yourself to one book at a time and give it all your book love, only then moving on to the next? Or do you enjoy having a number of books on the go, flirting with each as the mood takes you? To put it another way, do you like to read in sequence or in parallel?

I can see pros and cons to both but I’ll ‘fess up now to being a dyed-in-the wool polygamist…when it comes to books.

In Praise of Book Monogamy

  • You can give your full attention to the book – the story, the characters, the writing – without any distraction
  • You won’t have any problem picking up where you left off because it will be fresh in your mind, not obscured by anything else you’ve read in between
  • You’ll get through the book in a shorter elapsed time
  • If it’s a challenging read – a long book, a complex subject or unusual writing style – you’ll be able to apply your full concentration to it
  • It will be much easier to recall when you come to write that all important review
  • No temptation to switch to another book leaving the current one unfinished
  • Ideal for the self-disciplined

favourite                     BookPile

In Praise of Book Polygamy

  • You can switch between books depending on your mood. For example, perhaps a few chapters from something light-hearted when you’re feeling a bit down and then back to something more thrilling when you crave excitement.   Or something gentler and slower for bedtime reading.
  • If you’re struggling to get into a particular book, you can switch to another for a time and go back to the first book later.
  • Less chance of a DNF because of the above
  • You can take a break from a challenging read but, rather than do something entirely non-book related, you can polish off a few chapters of another quite different book
  • You may pick up similarities or common themes between books that you wouldn’t have noticed if you’d read them separately
  • You’ve got more chance of finding a book with the right chapter length to fit those odd reading opportunities during the day
  • Ideal for the multi-tasker

So, do you practice monogamy or polygamy when it comes to books?

18 thoughts on “Are You Monogamous or Polygamous (When it Comes to Books)?

  1. I used to be very monogamous when it came to books but as I’ve got older I’ve definitely preferred to have a couple on the go at the same time so I’ve always got something to read depending on my mood!

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    1. That’s my approach as well. Sometimes if I’m reading something like a thriller – especially if it’s got lots of short chapters – I feel I just need to take a break and slow down. Read something with a more leisurely pace. And for me there are definitely ‘morning’ and ‘evening’ books.

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  2. In general I favour one book at a time so I can be immersed in it but I usually do have multiple books on the go. There’s usually one book that is my main one and then a couple others that I dip into depending on my mood.

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  3. I used to be monogamous. Then I became a bookblogger!! 😄
    Now I tend to read a paperback and an ebook at the same time. They have to be different genres though or I get them mixed up.

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    1. Great point – I think blogging has influenced my reading habits as well. Definitely agree about the different genres. I’m reading a couple for blog tours at the moment and they are quite similar so I’m going to have to finish one before I start the other…


  4. I practice monogamy both in life and in reading. LOL I can only read one book at a time in order to read them with enough clarity to write a review.

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  5. I’m usually a book polygamist, but if I’m reading something that I especially love or it’s really long and I want to finish it I’ll focus on only that book for that time. Love this topic! 😀

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