A polygamist. Do you know what that is? If not, I suggest you look it up. Just kidding, here I’ll tell you what a polygamist is: someone who is married to two or more people at the same time. Pretty horrible, huh? If I asked you right now if you’d ever become a polygamist what would you say? “NO WAY!”?
But guess what? You might very well be a polygamist… A BOOK polygamist. Do YOU juggle multiple books at one time, sharing your attention to a multiple set of books at a given time? Is being a book polygamist a good thing? Or is it just as outrageous as a typical polygamist? Let’s discuss, you know you want to. . .
First off, let me point out that there is no such label as a book polygamist. But for the sake of a catchy title and a shorter name for those who “juggle reading multiple books at once”, I am giving it that title.
I don’t see the point in marrying more than one person at a give time. It’s quite counter-productive, having to divide your attention and love between two or more people. The same goes for books. To all you existing book polygamists out there, how do you manage to get the most out of one book when you’re reading two, or thee or four others at the same time?
Now, I must confess, after many years of reading one book at one time, I’ve had a taste of book polygamy. Currently, I started reading two books at once. And it’s got it’s pros, I’ll admit. But for every pro, there is an equal and opposite con (at least, in my opinion). I see the pros: you can make progress on more than one book in the span of time that it would take you to get through one book, meaning you’re reading more books in one go – killing two birds with one stone, I suppose. But here’s the con that I simply cannot forget: can you ever really fully appreciate the books when you’re reading them at the same time?
I mean, yes, it’s awesome that reading multiple books at once means you can complete more within a year or however long you plan to read a certain amount of books – for Goodreads challenges, book polygamy is very tempting – BUT doesn’t switching that attention back and forth between different books exhausting for your brain? Especially when they are not just different stories, but different genres. Holy macaroni, I don’t think my mind can fully adjust when switching between books.
Can you truly fully accept the beauty of each book you’re reading while you’re switching back and forth, rather than concentrating your heart and mind solely to the one story? I’m a reader that gets really emotionally attached to a story once it hooks me. So this idea of switching between stories is an uneasy deal for me. I mean, I can hardly concentrate doing homework and listening to music at the same time! What almost always ends up happening is me ignoring my homework and starting a full blown music concert in my room. (How embarrassing, especially when your parents walk in).
All that work required in dividing the love you have for each novel you’re in the process of reading must get exhausting. However, there are good things that come from reading multiple books at once and I will not neglect the good things. You can get through much more progress in your reading goals by reading a couple books at one time, and when it comes to completing a certain goal, this is very beneficial. If you’re well skilled in the art of book polygamy, requesting arcs will not be much of a problem because you can get many of them done and dusted quickly. This is the reason why I have recently started reading multiple books at once – but of course, I’m an amateur so I’m not going a very good job at juggling two books at once. (Don’t judge me book polygamists!)
The real question here is: Is reading multiple books at one time beneficial, or is it doing more harm than good? When you’ve got the art of it perfected, I’m sure it’s awesome and you’ll see yourself flying through many books in the span of a week. I know that Analee @ Book Snacks is a skilled book polygamist! But my question here is, for both book polygamists and non-book polygamists reading this post is, does it take away the overall greatness of the books individually? Is it simply a matter of practice of getting used to the act of switching between books, getting the hang of it? I’m not sure. But I see the benefits of it and I’m definitely going to test the theory of it myself this month, and the month after that!