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How to read more than a book at the same time

3 min read

It’s inevitable. Good readers rarely feel satisfied with just one book at a time. We have to read a bit of this and a bit of that. I’m currently reading three books and I wanted to share how I do it and how I believe most people do it.

But first, you may ask why would you like to read more than a book at the same time. Because life is short and there are more books in the world than your lifespan? Not exactly.

You want to read more books at a time because you’re an avid reader and you might want to have different experiences on a same day or in a month and also because life is short and reading more books at the same time can actually make you read more and tackle your TBR a lot faster. I’m not gonna lie.

Oh, and just to make it clear. Reading multiple books at the same time doesn’t mean multitasking and literally reading a lot of books in a row on a table changing glances back and forth in the span of an hour.

Here’s how I do it for real:

  1. Choose books that have nothing to do with each other. Or at least with a few differences. I’m reading a band biography, an epic classic, and lyrical prose. They don’t belong, so it’s easy to separate their ideas.
  2. Make time for reading, we talked about this. Schedule a few minutes for each book (and that might be the key for this to work). Read that book and only that book at the time you schedule for it.
  3. Focus on the book you’re reading and try not to think you’re reading other books. This is part of a huge and very beneficial brain exercise. Focus.

So, what’s the takeaway here?

First, if you choose books that are similar to each other in plot, or genre, or style, you most likely will mix them up and you don’t want to do that.

So, we choose different books to create this separation of ideas between them and to be able to absorb the information in all of the books we’re reading at the same time.

Second, making time is crucial. And you want to find the right time for each book. You don’t want to read a brainy book at night, for example, when you had a full day of work. You should find a light read instead. Or, try to be aware of your mood and energy, and cravings, and build your reading schedule wisely based on that.

Third, kind of what you did in the first place, create imaginary spaces in your brain that can only be filled with the content of the book you’re reading at that particular time.

Imagine you’re literally archiving the words of that book of your current reading session in the space you created and that anything else trying to enter that space is immediately deleted. You’ll see that this exercise will help you with a lot of other situations in your life.

So, that’s it. Those are my tips. Now I’m gonna read.

Before you go, between the lines…

Do you read more than a book at the same time? What would be your best advice for doing that?

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