I’m a monogamous reader.
To a fault almost, I am the type of person who dedicates myself to reading one book at a time. I do the same thing with series! That’s how I plowed through at least 8 of Patricia Briggs’ novels over the course of one spring and summer, without bothering to pick up anything else.
I know not everyone reads the way that I do.
Lots of folks out there will find reading two, three, even four books at a time to be stimulating and manageable. I know that y’all are out there! I see it in your goodreads updates! But me? Nope, that’s not how I typically read.
Sure, I’ll buy boatloads of random books all at once.
That seems completely normal to me. Then I’ll pick them up, one at a time, and completely dive in. I get so sucked into a book that I’m completely consumed by it. I live in the world of Hag-seed for a week. Or I become a temporary resident of Holcomb. Getting lost inside those worlds is one of my favorite parts of being a dedicated reader. Nothing feels quite the same as letting the entirety of your life fall away, and being subsumed by a character’s wants and needs and emotions.
That’s why my current reading habits are really throwing me off!
For the first time in a long time, I’m reading a lot of different books at the same time.
I think it started when I picked up Kindred for book club last month. Along with the general stress of the world happening now, Kindred was too emotionally draining for me to read before bed (when I do some of my best binging). Normally, I think I’d just binge read a book like that in the daytime. Like I forced myself to do with The Shining.
This time I picked up a second book.
Instead of sinking completely into Dana’s tribulations in Kindred, I bounced back and forth between two worlds. During the day, I was right there with Dana and Rufus, fearing for her life and worrying about what was going to happen on the next page. But at night? At night I was getting life lessons from Eleanor Roosevelt.
Not that I have a problem with Eleanor Roosevelt, but man, was that a complicated emotional upheaval for a monogamous reader!
I’m not sure I’m in a better position now – bouncing between Middlesex and two other novels (I started The Year of Magical Thinking before I realized it wasn’t a great vacation read, and then picked up Lake Wobegon Days to make myself feel better…). Now that I’m in this mode of switching between books, I don’t know how to get back to monogamy!
Yet all the switching back and forth makes me feel like I’m never 100% committed to one book. I never feel like I’m completely consumed by the characters. I even find myself getting a little lost coming from one world into the other. It’s definitely not my preferred method of reading.