How I Read Multiple Books at the Same Time

The first few months of 2018 I have been reading an insane amount of books per month, even for me, hitting my reading challenge already in April. As a result I often get the question how I can read so much. Now I have already touched upon this subject before here.

I am now of course also a stay at home mom of a 20 month old boy. That situation is of course different from other people. Even so I think one of the reasons I have been reading so much is that I have been reading so many books at the same time.

Different Kind of Books

One of the reasons I often hear people say that they find it hard to read multiple books at the same time is that they are scared to mix up story lines. A good fix for this is to read various genres.Non-Fiction with Fiction. Fantasy and contemporary. The chances of mixing up story lines is less probably with these kind of combinations.

Personally I read mostly fantasy, even when I read multiple books at the same time. This doesn’t bother me as there are so many different kind of subgenres out there. A high fantasy and a paranormal romance will often not have that much overlapse. I also like to mix up Middle Grade, Classics, Adult and Young Adult. Just a differing writing style with classic fantasy like Tad Williams versus more current fantasy can be enough for me to keep two high fantasies straight from another.

But I also mix up normal classics and sci-fi and bits of contemporary among it all when I feel like it.

Different Kind of Lengths

Another thing that I have noticed that helps is to read books with different amount of lengths. It helps to combine a big 800+ fantasy tome with a fast-paced 300 page young adult book or even a 100 page classic book. Reading two big tomes at the same time just makes it feel like you aren’t making any progress. This tactic has really worked for me. While I have been reading more books below 200 pages I have also been reading more books over 800 pages. Switching them up works great for me.

Different Mediums

Using different kind of mediums is a great way to keep books seperate in your head. This of course touches on the normal two big mediums which are physical books and ebooks. But I have noticed that for me it also works with graphic novels, library books and ebooks that I read on my phone.

Different Places

What also helps is when I asign certain mediums and books to a certain place. I usually read during Merijn’s naps in the afternoon. These are often my own books and ebooks.

Since this year I’ve also started reading more before bed time, in bed. I try to read an hour to and hour and a half before sleeping three to four times a week.  I often read my library books there, and a small selection I have moved to my bedroom from my physical tbr.

Now that the weather is getting better I have also been reading on my phone when Merijn is playing in our backyard. He is still too small to really leave out there too long without supervision. There isn’t that much for me to do outside so I try and read 30 minutes of that time on my phone.


While I usually keep pretty well to my tbr I do often have mood cravings. When I read multiple books at the same time it is easy to give in to these cravings and not feel guilty towards my library books or my own book tbr I set up. I am still working on both of those and also giving my mood space.

Do you like to read multiple books at the same time?


20 thoughts on “How I Read Multiple Books at the Same Time

  1. I always thought I couldn’t read more than 1 book at the same time, but mixing up genres works for me. I’m not always in the mood for a super emotional contemporary novel and it feels nice to being able switch to a YA or thriller.
    Great article!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love reading multiple books at once! I definitely agree with the bit of advice about different mediums. During my time at Oxford I’ve discovered the amazing multi-tasking potential of audio books, and I’ve gotten so much extra reading done by listening to them while walking to lectures and tutorials, doing laundry, cooking, getting ready in the morning, etc. Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m always reading at least two books at the same time. Different genres + formats work best for me! It simply depends on my mood whether I feel like reading fantasy or contemporary – my two main genres – and switching between the two definitely helps how much I read.
    Awesome post! And very recognizable too, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I always like to read one physical book and one audiobook at the same time 🙂
    Since I bike a lot, I can spent that time listening to my book. I do like to read/listen to different genres, in general I like to listen to not too difficult books since I tend to lose my attention sometimes haha

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I do this all the time as well. I rather do multiple books than just one, because I find it harder to concentrate on just one story. Mixing genres is the best I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I used to never read more than one book at the same time, but lately I’ve been trying to go with my moods more and now I find myself reading multiple books at the same time :’D but yeah they’re usually completely different genres/lengths/time periods so it doesn’t get too confusing 🙂 sometimes I just pause a book to read & finish another x)

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I get asked this a lot too, as I’m constantly in the middle of three books at once (at a minimum!). I typically do all the same things you do. For medium, I always include audiobooks. I listen to them when I take my dog on a walk, or when I’m going for a longer run. These help me lose where I am a bit more so I can go further without getting bored. Different kinds of books, or differing genres, really help me a lot too. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I can totally relate! I need more than 1 book at the same time, so I can mix it up, if I want to. I am such a mood reader at the moment., so I don’t even plan a lot in advance anymore.

    I mostly have 1 or 2 books on my Kindle and one physical copy going at the same time. 2 or 3 is a good number for me. Just because I am not reading very fast at the moment and don’t have too much time. If I had, I’d probably even be cool with reading more books at the same time.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I used to read multiple books at once, and then for some reason I just kind of got out of the habit. I did use some of these too! Always different mediums and genres- it was the only way for me, I have no idea why. And I always had to read the Kindle book first for reasons that I cannot figure out. I do wonder if my slower reading lately is because I only read one book at a time!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. When I was a kid I was always reading multiple books at a time! I loved the freedom of being able to change what I was reading if I didn’t feel like a particular book at a particular time. Now, though, I stick to one book (though that can be interspersed with manga and graphic novels but they’re so different I don’t quite see it as reading multiple books at the same time – especially since I read graphic novels and manga in one sitting!). I did have a few times early on in my blogging where I tried to read multiple books at the same time but I didn’t enjoy it much. I just ended up focusing on one book, finishing it, and going back to the other one, haha.

    I think it’s great when you can read multiple books at a time! Especially if it works for you. I like all your tips in this post, I think they would work if someone wanted to give multiple-book-reading a try 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love reading multiple books! However I don’t manage to read loads. I’m jealous! I don’t ever feel like I’m mixing things up, but I’m guessing it’s like people watching multiple TV series at the same time? Which people do all the time because often only one episode comes out per week!!!I do like to keep my genres separate if I can though. At the moment I”m doing Urban Fantasy and Epic Fantasy. 🙂

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes! I tend to read at least one e-book and one physical book at the same time, but sometimes I’m in the middle of a few at once. I think different mediums – and different genres/types of books – really does help keep everything in place. I’m probably not going to read two really similar books at once or it would be a bit confusing. haha The tip I share is to keep going back and forth. Don’t let too much time go between reading one book and not the other; otherwise you’ll start to forget the one you aren’t reading as often.


    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love reading a few books at the same time (I normally keep it at 2 or 3), but I only read print books so I start different genres-and I love getting ARC’s, because they are always different!! However I have 7 books going,and I am not having any trouble with the storylines nor am I having trouble reading, I am enjoying them all!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I wish I could read multiple books at the same time, but I haven’t quite gotten the hang of it. This is one bookish ability that I admire in others, but am not sure if I could pull it off. I’d like to give it a try though and your tips on different mediums, length, and even genres make it seem like a possibility, so thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Thank you for the tips, Annemieke. I never thought I would be able to read multiple books at the same time, but due to uni I had to start doing it – ARC copies, backlist titles, literary criticism & novels for my thesis – and it is easier than I thought. I may take longer to finish a book, but in the end I read a lot more than I did before.

    I too assign different places, to different books.

    Happy readings! 😉
    Tânia @MyLovelySecret

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I usually have more than one book going, too. One of them is usually what I call a slow read, a book I can only read in small spurts. I’ve never had a problem reading multiple books at the same time, but these tips are great, anyway. ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Voor mij is het lezen van meerdere boeken tegelijkertijd nog steeds een uitzondering. Eigenlijk valt het enkel voor wanneer ik ergens naartoe ga en schrik heb dat mijn begonnen boek te snel uitgelezen zal zijn. Dan durf ik er wel eens een nieuw mee te nemen maar verder lees ik het liefst boek per boek.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’m reading multiple books right now. I’m reading: 1) a book in Spanish, 2) a 835 page fantasy book, 3) The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (this one has a 75 hour estimated reading time remaining), 4) a book I really need to get back to and 5) a nonfiction book on biblical geography. I just finished an audiobook or I’d have that too.

    It’s not too difficult to keep them separated. They’re all different.

    Liked by 1 person

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