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
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?