August 27, 2009

Reading Multiple Books

I just got a great idea from Mark Forster, the idea man himself. Sometimes I'll read one book at a time, but more often then not I'll have a few going. This can cause unneeded feelings of guilt and confusion but he's got a great way of dealing with it. He reads multiple books at a time and doesn't pretend about it. He's got a little system that he claims keeps him reading books all the way through that he might normally abandon and keeps his reading interest up.

He has a shelf set aide for his current reads. He doesn't put a number on it, but let's say five is a good amount. He keeps them in order with the most recently read on the left. When he's ready to sit down with a book, he looks at the books from left to right which gives the most recently read priority. Whichever one jumps out at him he pulls down, reads for a while, then shelves to the left.

This is a simple and guilt-free way to enjoy multiple books and still keep a focus on your reading. I'd limit the number on the shelf to keep from having 150+ books with bookmarks all on a page less than 20! Somewhere between four and six sounds about right. If a new book pops into your life that is tugging you to read it I guess the thing to do would be to weigh it in your mind against the book on the furthest right of your "currently reading" shelf. That would be the way to decide if you want to abandon that book for the new one now or hold off for a while. This is where that cut off number of books to have on this shelf (or nightstand) would come in handy.

How do you handle the multiple books you're reading?

(image cc flickr)