Can you focus on more than one book at a time?

Well, not literally. That would be impossible. 

But, you can switch between books. Which is what I do.

At any given time, I’m reading at least three books. Always thought it was weird until I read a recent post. Now I know I’m not the only person who keeps several books in the air.

It’s quite a balancing act.

There is always at least one or two books about writing, a mystery, and a comedy/love story open on my Kindle. Which one I read when depends on my mood. And a really odd thing is, no matter how long it’s been since I started the book, it’s as if I began reading it yesterday. I have no problem picking up the story thread. No matter the genre.

But, from time to time,  there are books I can’t put aside.

So, what will keep me read a book from cover to cover in one sitting?

  • A story that grabs me by the throat and I must find the answers.
  • A book on writing that is filled with real meat on the craft.

Why do I read several books?

  • Mood (sometimes I feel like a nut, sometimes I don’t)
  • Need (help on research or craft)
  • Location (can read on phone app when waiting in line)
  • Time (often no time to sit and read for hours, but can read a snip-it or two)

Here are the books I’m reading now. Click on image to read about the book. 




Tell me,

Do you read several books at once?

Can you pick up the thread in them?

Do you read different genres? Or stick to one?

Or do you prefer to finish one book before starting another?

There are many reasons to read more than one book at a time. Click links below and keep reading

Reading More Than One Book At A Time Actually Has Some Pretty Incredible Benefits By



Why You Should Read More Than One Book at a Time By Macy Griffin


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39 thoughts on “Can you focus on more than one book at a time?

  1. Yes, I have at least three going at all times and have no trouble doing so. I usually do read from different genres as I go, so that I don’t get the wrong hero mixed up with the wrong heroine in an adventure/romance/historical story. LOL
    Usually I have a non-fiction or self-help going; a novel or two, but they cannot be set in the same time or place; and a sci fi or “literature”/classic or both. So far, I haven’t been confused and like you, I am able to pick up without having to backtrack-read to start.
    The comments on this post were interesting as well. Thanks for opening up this discussion.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I currently have three books on the go and have been known to have four. For manuscripts that you have written yourself, what I find works is working on one project after completing it and then putting it aside for a year or so. That way you can come back to it completely afresh.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reading: I keep at least 3 books on my nightstand usually of two different genres. One title usually takes priority and occasionally I find the third book is not to my taste and eventually makes it back to the library shelves.

    Writing: It’s easy for me to shift from blog to memoir writing. One is a sprint, the other a marathon.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Do you read several books at once?
    Yes. At the moment there is “Snowchild”, and a book about a baltic-German family (kind of family biography), a fantasy book, a high-brow literature book about a cruise, Dickens’ Great Expectations, Döblin’s Berlin Alexanderplatz, a reread of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, a Barbara Metzger regency romance and Robin Hobb’s third part of the farseer-trilogy on the go – and I might have left out those of which I only read the first chapter or so … Oh, I forgot two more fantasy books – one is “high fantasy” (completely new world) the other is a horror-fantasy-mixture taking place in this world.

    Can you pick up the thread in them? Mostly. Last year was the first time I had to completely reread a book to get it going again. (Christopher Moore, the second of his vampire-books). Sometimes I can lapse a whole decade and start reading again as if I dropped the book yesterday.

    Do you read different genres? Or stick to one? See answer above. I think that is what keeps me able to remember the plots. If there were too many books of a genre that is usually prone to fulfill a pattern (like regency romances) I would defo mix things up.
    Sorry for the long comment, but you asked.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. Love long answers. But wow! You keep a lot of books in the air. I’m impressed. I agree that different genres make it easier to remember the story thread. Also, I too don’t count the ones I never finish. Time is too precious to spend time reading something I don’t enjoy.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Always; a paperback on the go, because I have so many good ones waiting to be read and I like to read them on the bus or train and beach hut where I daren’t take my precious Kindle. On Kindle mostly Indie authors and the occasional classic downloaded for free when it has come to my attention; a novel, a non fiction and always a short story collection to read in between books.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I thought this article was going to be about writing when I first caught the subject line in my email, lol. I’m horrible, I can never write just one book at a time and they’re never in the same series or even in the same genre, so you’d think my reading habits would be similar, but they’re quite opposite. Typically, I only read one book at a time, and this was a habit I formed through my teen years, because I was generally reading a series, so the books had to be read in order. I’m talking Mercedes Lackey and Anne Rice, so fairly heavy books in lengthy series. Today, I don’t get as much time to read so when I do, I’ll start and abandon a handful of books in search of one that I can’t put down. Surprisingly, I have two books I’m reading at the moment that are holding my interest. I won’t tell you how many WIPS are open on my task bar, though. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can but I don’t like to read more than one book at a time. If I do, it’s normally a how-to non-fiction and a fiction. I definitely can’t write more than one book at a time. As it is, I sometimes get the character names mixed up when I finish writing one and start another right away.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m always reading several books at a time. Literature (those 800-words tomes) can get a bit much if I don’t take a break from time to time. Same goes for my obsession with history books and autobiographies. And then there are those books I promise to review but can’t get into. Oh boy. I may have 5 or 6 of them going right now. Eek! I need help!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Reading or writing? I have tried reading more than one at a time but prefer to stick to one. I tent to lose the polt a bit if I swap around. Writing; I have three on the go but they are all in the same series. I’m mainly focused on the first but add bits to the other two as I think of them.

    Liked by 1 person

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