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Reading three books at the same time

Updated on April 18, 2015

I used to think this is crazy, but apparently a lot of people do it, read more than one novel at the same time. I used to think such would criss-cross ideas, plots and characters, but the human mind can be a jungle of thought.

I used to think that it must be one novel, a book, or treatise at anyone it. It must be read, completed and fathomed before you begin to start thinking about opening the pages of the next story book.

This was actually my dictum, providing that I finished what I am reading. I have to tell you as well, sometimes I don't get through the first 50 pages before throwing the novel out of the window to use an expression. Sometimes, I don't get past page 10 and call it a day. "The book is simply too boring, rambles on, or there is no punch to it."

As of late however, my reading habits have started to change. For some unexplainable reason, I would be in the middle of a good book, like what I am holding now, a War Without Ends by the ever-enigmatic Ken Follett, and just take a breather, and start a new book.

It's not the fact that War Without End is too long, for that has nothing to do with it, but it's something innate within me. Luckily this time I picked up what I think is very humorous and poignant novel by Sue Monk Kidd, titled the Secret Life of Bees that traces the life of an about-to-turn-teenager in the American south in the 1960s who simply gives us a wonderful insight into her life and race relations at that time.

Since I am still reading, I can't say anymore but the book is funny, mirthful and has the kind of simple humor to keep readers turning the pages, while having the odd snigger here and there.

After I complete this book, I will detour back to Ken Follett and continue with that story set in Middle Ages England. I have yet to start reading three books at the same time, that would be the ultimate weirdness.

But one of my friends is already doing that, not only three novels, but four books at the same time. I wonder to myself how does he keep up with the place of the narrative. But I think again maybe its interesting as plots meander and slip into the different books he is reading, crazy yes, but he enjoys it.


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    • justmesuzanne profile image


      6 years ago from Texas

      I used to read several books at once and never had any problem with confusing them. I don't these days - for no particular reason. The only time I have ever gotten plots confused was not in books but in two movies. I always confuse Catwoman with Halle Berry and The Tuxedo with Jackie Chan because, if you think about, it's essentially the same movie, just different stars, so in my mind's eye, I always have them together in one movie about a big corporation creating a product that actually makes the user of the product worse instead of better and creates an addiction to the product that eventually kills the user. That'd be pretty good movie! ;D

    • edmob1 profile image


      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      I think its great you have such openess in your reading. I use to be able to read a couple of novels and a reference book,but like you would ditch a novel if I was not engaged within the first 2 chapters.The reference books I am still reading now along with the Illiad and Aenid.

    • KeithTax profile image

      Keith Schroeder 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin

      In my younger days I would read a large number of books at the same time. Now, as age has seasoned me, I read one book at a time from beginning to end. Call it an addiction.

    • marwan asmar profile imageAUTHOR

      Marwan Asmar 

      6 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      That's very good, like a friend of mine who reads many at the same time. Was woundering do you keep up with the stories?

    • dianacharles profile image


      6 years ago from India

      I read too many books at one time and sometimes back to front :P

    • marwan asmar profile imageAUTHOR

      Marwan Asmar 

      6 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      That's exactly how I feel now, I am reading two books presently, but you are right, my mind keeps going to want to finish the first one.

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      6 years ago

      I've tried reading more than one book at a time but I find my mind keeps going back to the unfinished book - till I just have to go back and finish it!

    • marwan asmar profile imageAUTHOR

      Marwan Asmar 

      6 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      That's true. There might be a tendency to confuse but I have been surprised by the number of people who read more that one novel at the same time.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      6 years ago from France

      I do. At the moment I am reading a novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and a book on Witchcraft in France(I only read those over the weekend) The rest of the week I am reading Paulo Coelho's latest novel, a book on starting your own business and another one on parenting. Then I wonder why I don't have time for anything else!!!

    • Pamela N Red profile image

      Pamela N Red 

      6 years ago from Oklahoma

      I only read one novel at a time but will read a novel while also reading a non-fiction or two. If I try to read more than one work of fiction at a time I get characters confused but non-fiction isn't a problem.

    • marwan asmar profile imageAUTHOR

      Marwan Asmar 

      6 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      Great comment, thanks Larry, books are a wonder, and the lucky person reaveals in their stories.

    • maven101 profile image


      6 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Books, books, everywhere !!...Every room I go into there sits a book, or stack of books...I'm one of those strange folks that likes to make notes in the margins ( I know, it ruins it for anyone else reading that book ), but I can't help it...It's usually in the form of a question or criticism...I also collect page markers, so I have all these weird markers sticking out from them...

      I thought about getting a Kindle but there is something intimate about a book, like old friends sitting there waiting for your return...and each has a story to tell...

      Voted up and interesting...Thank you, Larry

    • marwan asmar profile imageAUTHOR

      Marwan Asmar 

      6 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      I am surprised because it appears now many people are reading many books at the same time, so my friend is not so unusual after all.

    • lcbenefield profile image


      6 years ago from Georgia

      Beautiful hub. I ususally am reading more than one book at a time. I get bored easily. I do that with craft projects also. I usually have several of those going at the same time also. Voted up.

    • marwan asmar profile imageAUTHOR

      Marwan Asmar 

      6 years ago from Amman, Jordan

      Thanks Dee and Earth Angel. I really appreciate your comments. So kind

    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 

      6 years ago

      "Doesn't everyone??" GREAT Hub marwan asmar!

      Wonderful question! I have at least six going at any given time. I just checked my nightstand and I have nine going right now.

      Alas, I must confess my reading rarely includes novels. When it does it's usually because I have been hired as the editor.

      I think the human brain can keep dozens of reading sources separate just as people do television shows. Or musical groups.

      I won't give it away but the Secret Life of Bees is a real keeper!

      Blessings to you for this delightful Hub! Earth Angel!

    • Dee aka Nonna profile image

      Dee aka Nonna 

      6 years ago

      Wow! I love this. It really made me think about my reading habits...I've had a love of reading and books every since I can remember and I often read several books at once, going back and forth among them all. On occasion I find a book so captivating that I read it from start to finish very quickly and during that time it is the only one I am reading. So, for me, I guess it depends on both the book and my mood. Voted up and interesting.


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