Booking Through Thursday: Current Reading


Lost in Literature

This week’s Booking Through Thursday asks readers what they’re currently reading and what they think of it. I posted a reading update just a few days ago, and nothing has really changed since my update. I’m still reading The Heretic’s Daughter, The House of Seven Gables, and Great Expectations. I haven’t started Jamaica Inn on audio yet.

However, I will say that while I find The Heretic’s Daughter interesting in its historical detail, and even a good and fair account of the Salem witch trials (at least the part of the book which I’ve read), it’s not grabbing me, and I am not itching to pick it up. I think it’s suffering unfairly from my just having finished The Hunger Games trilogy. That kind of action and edge-of-your-seat reading is rare—after all, the novels have rightly become a publishing phenomenon for that reason. I think I always knew The House of Seven Gables would be a slower read for me, and it’s not suffering from any discrepancy regarding my expectations.

What I’m more interested in talking about is the fact that I’m reading three or four books at the same time. I didn’t used to be the kind of person who could do that, or I suppose I should say I didn’t *think* I could, so I didn’t attempt it. However, I have discovered the ability to juggle several books at once in the last couple of years. It depends on the way I read. I usually have one book going in DailyLit, which is very slow going with just a five-minute portion of the book each day; however, I have managed to read five books in the last couple of years in this way, and I think at least three of them, I never would have finished had I tried to read them any other way. I usually try to have an audio book going, too. Aside from that, I’ve discovered I can read two other books either in print or on my Kindle. But four seems to be my max, and I can only read four if two are in some format aside from print/e-book.

It turns out NPR’s Talk of the Nation recently ran a story about folks who read more than one book at a time. The story calls them polyreaders. Interestingly, the story mentions that some folks frown on reading more than one book at a time. I found that curious because I have never met anyone who frowned on the practice. Have you? It seems a strange thing to be disdainful about!

What do you do? Do you read one book at a time or several at once? Why?

photo credit: truds09


8 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday: Current Reading

  1. I have always read more than one book at a time. It wasn't until I was an adult that I realized that not only did people not read more than one book, but it was kind of a big deal if you did. What's the big deal, I say? If you can watch & follow the story lines on multiple TV show's, why not in print?

    I do envy you reading the classics. Unless they were assigned to me in school, I never could. Despite that I enjoyed them all (well, except for Moby Dick), I still hesitate to read the one's I hadn't been assigned. Maybe one day….

    1. Ebony, maybe you could give DailyLit a try. Reading the classics that way makes a little easier. It's interesting that you read them if they were assigned. My students don't always do so. Did you do it because you felt responsible to complete your homework or because reading them with a teacher was helpful, which made you more likely to finish?

  2. I am sorry The Heretic's Daughter is moving a little slowly for you. I hope to read it at some point. I hope you enjoy The House of the Seven Gables more than I did–I thought it was a complete bore!

    1. I think it will pick up once the characters themselves become embroiled in the trials instead of hearing about them and thinking themselves removed since they're in Andover. I think Hawthorne is not to everyone's taste. I found The Scarlet Letter to be brilliant, but not a lot of my students agree. My mother detests Hawthorne.

  3. I tend to read only about two at a time, depending on the commitments that I have for my reading schedule. I really, though, prefer to read one at a time because I like to really get swallowed up in one book.

    Too bad you aren't being grabbed by The Heretic's Daughter — I found it really engaging, but I agree that just coming off Hunger Games may not have helped you!! 🙂

    1. I think it will draw me in pretty soon. It's the lead up to the trials which is slow going for me. I know the feeling of wanting to be swallowed up in a book. If I am really taken with one of my books, it becomes my focus.

  4. I frequently read more than one book at a time. There is a danger if I put down a book that's not thrilling me, and pick up a different one, that I'll never return to the original book. Actually that happens fairly frequently – it's nothing as dramatic as abandoning the book, it's just that I never get back around to it.

    1. I know what you mean. I have found that if I say I'm reading it on my blog, I feel more compelled to return to it. But I have put down several books and never picked them up. It wasn't intentional abandon, but they weren't grabbing me at the time, or something more pressing came along.

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