Monday, September 16, 2013

Do You Read Like I Read?


For as long as I can remember, I’ve always read several books simultaneously.  Novels, mostly. The highest number was seven, but that included Middlemarch, which I read very slowly, over a period of months. These days I read no more than three books at a time, probably because my reading speed has slowed down. A pity, since I’ve hundreds of books on my Kindle and piled up on my desk and in my bookcases waiting their turn.

Why do I do this? One reason is I have to stop reading when something awful, usually graphic, happens to a character I care about. The following day I’m able to read on.  In the meanwhile, I’ve reached for another book.

I also read more than one book at a time because I like variety. I write mysteries because I love to read them. I read ghost mysteries, cozies, historical mysteries, and mysteries with a canine sleuth. I read mysteries that are considerably grittier than the traditional mysteries I write. I also enjoy reading women’s fiction, literary fiction, and the occasional fantasy. I never confuse the various plot lines or characters of the books I’m reading,--probably because I’ve been doing this for so long.

I used to love to read the classics, but these days I prefer the style and language of more current novels. My level of concentration isn’t what it used to be. In fact, more often than not, I fall asleep when I’m reading late at night. Does that ever happen to you?

Do you read more than one book at a time? Have your tastes changed over the years? Leave a comment and let me know.

23 comments:

Palmaltas said...

To answer your question, no, I have never read more than one book at a time. When I was much younger, I could read a book a day and in those days my reading was very eclectic. I read romances from historical to contemporary, all kinds of mysteries and historical novels without the romance plus an occasional sci-fi. Today I still read mysteries with an occasional romance thrown in. But my reading is much slower, mainly because my eyesight isn't as good as it used to be, not to mention my memory isn't so good either. I could never keep characters straight by reading more than one book at a time.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Pat,

I wish I could read faster and write faster.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Pat,

I wish I could read faster and write faster.

Nancy DeMarco said...

Fiction, no. When I read a novel, my whole life goes on hold while that book gets read. I want to be immersed in the story. I'll generally read all the way through within 48 hours for books of 100,000 words or so.

Non-fiction in the form of how-to books and reference books - books I'm reading in order to increase my knowledge rather than to escape into another world - sure. But not stories. Gotta dive in and be part of the stories.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

I always have two books going at a time with more on my iPad--try to save those for trips.

When I was a kid I read one book at a time, but usually about 10 books a week. I am much slower these days as I'm writing and promoting.

Patricia Winton said...

I rarely read more than one book at a time these days. When I was in the fifth grade, my teacher told my mother that I read too much, and they devised a plan to cut down on my reading! I outfoxed them two ways. First, I had a book at school that I read when there and another at home. BUT, I also changed book covers from book to book so that it appeared that I was reading just one book when I was actually reading six.

Terry Shames said...

I always have more than one book going. I like to read science and don't have a talent for it, so I have to slog through, and take breaks with fiction. But I also like to read more than one fiction book at a time. I read both mainstream and mystery fiction (although the line often blurs between the two). Usually it's because the book I'm reading is upstairs and I'm downstairs, so I pick up a book from my ever-growing stack and start another one. I never have trouble keeping them straight!

cncbooks said...

I'm a multi-tasking reader, sometimes as many as six but always at least four ;-) I have one on my Nook, one audio in the car, one print, one on my laptop (least favorite method), one audio on my laptop, one print in the bathroom. I'm not exactly sure how I manage but I don't get them confused. At the very least, I'm never at a loss for something to read!

Lelia Taylor

Marilyn Levinson said...

Nancy, Marilyn, Patricia, Terry, and Lelia,
Thanks for stopping by.
Lelia, I forgot to include the current audio book I'm listening to in the car. And I'm always reading two mysteries--the one of my choice and the other for my mystery book club. Then there's my other book club...and so it goes.

Evelyn Cullet said...

I used to read two or three books at a time, but that's before I started writing. Now I only read one, because of time constraints. And because I usually do a review afterwards, it's easier for me to focus on the one story that I'll be reviewing.

marja said...

These days I don't have enough time to read more than one book at a time, but I couldn't do it anyway. If it's a good book, I want to savor the whole thing. I guess I'm afraid I'll confuse the story lines, too.
Marja McGraw

Marilyn Levinson said...

Evelyn and Marja, thanks for stopping by. It takes me longer to finish a book because of the way I read.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Evelyn and Marja, thanks for stopping by. It takes me longer to finish a book because of the way I read.

Mary Welk said...

I often read two books at a time, but one is always non-fiction while the other is fiction. I couldn't read two mysteries at the same time -- I'd get the clues mixed up! :)

Marilyn Levinson said...

Mary,
When I read two mysteries at the same time, they're usually of different sub genres.

Nancy J. Cohen said...

I'll often have two or three books going at the same time, usually in different genres. At night, I read romance or scifi/fantasy or a light cozy. Grittier reads are for afternoons.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi, Marilyn,

I too am often reading more than one book at a time, usually mystery and romance. I love genre fiction and that's why I both read and write it.

Marilyn Levinson said...

Nancy and Jacqueline,
I'm glad to hear that you both read more than one book at a time. Do you write more than one book at a time? That's not something I've ever tried, though I will edit one book while working on another.

Susan Union said...

I TRY to read one book at a time just to have a sense of completion, but like you I get bored and can't do it. I have at least one going on my iBooks, a couple on my Kindle and a fiction and non-fiction paperback. Ridiculous! Lol.

cncbooks said...

Susan, a kindred spirit! LOL

Lelia

BKF Price said...

I'm a tad technologically impaired -- somehow this comment got posted to the Road Trip post! So I'm reposting it here where it belongs.

I read several books at a time, too, fiction and non-fiction. My fictional interests run the gamut: Star Trek and other science fiction, fantasy, light romance, political thrillers, and mysteries of all types from cozies to paranormal to noir. Right now I'm reading a romantic mystery, an historical mystery, a Star Trek novel, and a book on theology and philosophy. I just finished your 'Giving up the Ghost' and enjoyed it tremendously.

Marilyn Levinson said...

BFK,
I'm so glad you enjoyed Giving Up the Ghost. I really must write another book about Cam, even though he promised to leave town after his murder was solved:)

Marilyn Levinson said...

Susan and Lelia,
I'm glad to find I have more company. So many people tell me they get confused when they read two books at the same time.