We’ve all see the debate. “Do you like to read one book at a time, or a whole bunch?” It’s a divisive question. We usually know exactly what our answer is and find people who do otherwise to be completely alien. How do their brains even WORK???
I used to be solidly a one book at a time reader. Honestly before I was a book blogger I didn’t really spend all that much time reading, and I tended to read books that were quite long, or at least in a series. Between those two things I didn’t really have a need or reason to read more than one book at a time.
But somehow in the last two or three years I have turned into a person who literally can’t keep track of them all. And it’s not because I’m reading 7,000 books for pleasure (though I know people DO that…). I’ve just got a lot going on.
So, here’s how I got from there to here.
Book 1: My main read
I feel like this is pretty self explanatory, no?
Book 2: Read-along
About two years ago my podcast started doing a chapter-by-chapter deep-dive. I found that I REALLY enjoyed reading the book along with them, that doing so made their discussions more meaningful and vibrant. (Also I notice when they’re wrong or clueless, which is often, lol.) But it’s slow going, especially since they’ll skip a week to cover something else from time to time. I read usually a chapter a week of that book.
Book 3: Middle-grade book
This started just under a year ago. I was taking a literature for children and young adults class (which was AMAZING, btw), and in addition to assigned reading of a text-book we had to read three middle-grade or YA books every unit. This was enough reading to be work, but not enough that I had to drop everything else, especially since the text reading for that class was minimal. I just did this during my homework time and I rarely had to stay up late or roll it over into my weekend reading.
When I became a librarian this naturally moved into a permanent position, though since I work at an elementary school it’s all middle-grade. During the school year I was having a hard time finding a rhythm, but I think in the last few weeks I’ve fallen into a pretty steady rhythm. I can read 50 pages in a half hour or so, which I think is pretty reasonable to keep up once school picks back up.
Book 4: Reading to my kid
My children both LOVE books. I don’t know why or what I’m doing right, but my youngest in particular would literally sit in my lap and demand to be read to all day. I hope this lasts past second grade!
Anyway, my oldest is five now, so when we were stuck at home due to the pandemic I decided it was time to start reading him chapter books. We read for about fifteen minutes together every day, so these books take time to read. It’s been a really special experience. If you have suggestions for great read-alouds, preferably with illustrations, send em my way.
Book 5: Anti-racist read
Another that I think doesn’t need much explaining? I’m not replacing my “main” read with anti-racist non-fiction because I want to make sure I’m giving these books appropriate time to digest. That means I’m usually reading a chapter a day. This will be the hardest habit to keep up with once the school year starts and I have a lot less free time.
I want to clarify that this DOESN’T mean I might not have some anti-racist fiction or memoirs in my “main” slot, or that this is the only work by POC authors I’m exposing myself to. I just want to make sure these non-fiction books get prioritized and not shoved out of the way in favor of the fiction new release I’m super excited about. I hope that makes sense.
Book 6: (Sometimes) comics
When I read comics (which is, admittedly, not all the time and less often than it was this time last year) I only read an issue a day. I never binge a paperback in one go, I like to savor the story. So this read is usually in addition to everything else.
Book 7: PLEASE NO!!!!
If I find myself wanting to add MORE to this, please for the love of all that is good stop me. I’m barely making this work now on summer vacation, there’s no telling how this mess is going to fall and break in the fall.
So do you like to read one book at a time, or a whole slew of them? Let me know in the comments!