New poll - Simultaneous reads

Monday, August 23, 2010


Before getting to the new subject, a little flashback from a couple of months ago... I know, I haven't been much inspired recently with the polls. The last one I did was "What sort of names do you prefer?", which I came up with because of the naming choice of Alex Bledsoe in his Eddie Lacrosse novels. The results look like this :

0% - I don't care
5% - Real world related
82% - Completely original but simple stuff
11% - Exotic names, even hard to pronounce

At least, everyone cares! Ok, it was probably a bit too obvious though you never know... anyway...

This time, my new poll was inspired by a comment made by Sarah at Bookworm Blues. I noticed that she was writing several reviews per week so I asked her how much book she was able to read per week. I already covered that topic (here and here) but she also said that she usually read 2 or 3 books at the same time. This intrigues me and I know that she's not the only one with this tendency, I've read about it from several bloggers.

As for myself, I don't remember ever having read more than one novel at a time. The only "kind of" exception is the audiobooks, not sure if it really counts as being a parallel read... but I always listen to a book when I can't physically read one (I don't how some people read when walking by the way) . Usually, if I don't like a book, I put it down and it will probably never get another chance for a long time, if ever.

I prefer to become absorbed in a limited number of works at one time. I do the same with gaming, not much more that one game at a time. I admit that sometimes I could be tempted to put one book down for a time and go with something different, moreover in case of a door-stopper but I feel it could break my immersion in some way. Although I could say that I almost contradict myself with the switch between physical book and audiobook... maybe I should try it sometime.

Anyway, this is simply my humble way of experiencing reading. Feel free to share yours.

So, my question is : "How many books do you read at the same time?"

- One
- One on paper and one audiobook
- Two or three
- Four or five
- Every last one of them that falls into my hands

8 comments:

Mieneke said...

Well, I picked one on paper and one audio. But at the moment I'm following the Malazan re-read at Tor.com, so technically I'm reading two on paper at the moment. But 50-100 pages a week doesn't count in my book ;) I suck at reading multiple books at once though, unless it's one fiction and one non-fiction. I do that on occasion but, but not often.

whiskey jack said...

At the moment I am reading four books. I usually try to stick to just reading two or three. But I'm also following the Malazan re-read. There's just too many good books out there!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm usually reading two books at once. Sometimes three.

Sarah said...

I've already answered your question and told you three at once, but I should put an amendment. For example, occasionally I get REALLY sucked into a book and read that book to the exclusion of all others. It happened with "Devices and Desires" by K.J. Parker and it's happening again with "The Reality Dysfunction" by Peter F. Hamilton. It's rare, but it does happen :)

If you can believe it, three books is a step down. Used to read around five at the same time but I thought that was too much.... three is much more manageable.

redhead said...

I'm typically reading two fiction books at the same time. sometimes on top of that I'll have something nonfiction, and maybe a manga or graphic novel as well.

Like Sarah, if a book really sucks me me (recently happened with Rothfuss's Name of the Wind), I'll put everything else down until I finish it.

You know how some people can have the tv on, the radio on, and be reading the newspaper at the same time? i guess i'm like that w/books.

Simcha said...

I used to like to read several books at one time but since I've begun reviewing I've found this harder to do.

Phil said...

Glad to hear from you all. Seems that simultaneous reading is more common than I thought... although so far, judging by the poll itself, more readers are reading one book on paper and one audiobook... we'll see.

I think a parallel could be made with the tv-shows I'm following. I usually listen to more than one in one week so it could be compared to reading multiple books at the same time. However, I think I would choose the DVD with all the episodes and listen to them in a rush if I could... maybe that's why I keep to one novel at a time...

I wish I also had the time to follow the Malazan re-read.

Janalyn Voigt said...

I'm like Sarah. I will read between 3 and 5 books at a time but find 3 more manageable. A rare book will persuade me to devote my whole attention to it and ignore the others. I read books for review, to improve as a writer, and to gain a literary background.

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