How to Read More Than One Book at a Time + 6 Books I Recommend {January 2020}

No book is for everybody, but every book is for somebody.
– Al Hsu

More Than One Book at a Time

Do you read more than one book at a time? Or do you think that’s crazy?

Here’s how I do it.

I keep a running list of books I’m currently reading, preferably around 5 books. The book that needs to be finished first is always #1. Maybe it’s a library book almost due or a book I need to review soon.

The other books are in order of highest interest and/or need to be finished next. I try to read from a variety of genres at any given time, so no two books are too similar in topic. Most are nonfiction plus one novel.

When I have a minute to read, book #1 is the book I pick up first. If no other books get read during the day, at least this one did. I usually aim for around 10 pages a day in this main book. 

I read the other books sequentially, working my way down the list as time allows. My optimal goal is to read at least 2-3 pages in every book on the list at some point during the day. But I rarely succeed. That’s okay.

I usually read down the list in the same order, although I’m not rigid about it. When I’m low on time, the books lowest on the list don’t get read for a few days. They’ll get their turn more frequently once I finish books higher on the list.

That is how it works for me. It’s rarely as regimented as it sounds. But eventually all books get finished this way, and the wide variety keeps me interested.

How do you like to read?

6 Books I Recommend

Every month I share the best of what I’ve finished reading. Here are books I recommend from January. See all my recommended books here.

Books I Recommend January 2020


1. Introverts in the Church
Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture
by Adam S. McHugh

Introverts in the church

If you’ve ever felt uncomfortable as an introvert in extroverted spaces, this book reminds you that you’re fine as you are, and also shows you ways to contribute as you are. Especially in church.

[click here if you can’t see the 1-minute book review, Introverts in the Church]

2. Transforming Your Thought Life
Christian Meditation in Focus
by Sarah Geringer

Transforming Your Thought Life

It’s hard to control our thoughts. Sarah’s book shows us how to escape our tangled thoughts, transforming them into God-honoring and healthy thoughts through use of scriptures and prayers.

[see my full review of Transforming Your Thought Life]

3. Outer Order, Inner Calm
Declutter & Organize to Make More Room for Happiness
by Gretchen Rubin

Outer Order Inner Calm

Want inner calm? Create outer order; it helps. Gretchen Rubin gives us lots of practical tidbits for getting control of our stuff.

  • “Every item should have a specific home. NEVER LABEL ANYTHING MISCELLANEOUS.” (Oops, I do.)
  • “If three times the thought has occurred to me, ‘I wonder if I should get rid of that,’ I get rid of it.”
  • “If I didn’t already own this possession, would I buy it? If not, why keep it?”
  • “Remind yourself, If and when I need this, I can buy it. Maybe I’ll never need it, so I’ll store it at the store.”

4. 24/6
The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week
by Tiffany Shlain


We know this, but it’s good to hear it again: take an occasional sabbath from technology. Specifically, Shlain suggests turning off screens one day every week for your mental, relational, and emotional health. I’m attempting this in a small way this year with my One Word: Linger, but in a more moderate way than Shlain recommends.

5. Enneagram and the Way of Jesus
Integrating Personality Theory with Spiritual Practices and Biblical Narratives
by A.J. Sherrill

Enneagram and the Way of Jesus

This short but powerful book is packed with spiritual lessons on the Enneagram. I’ve used it in preparing for my new series starting February 1 here: “The Enneagram for Spiritual Growth.” Sherrill connects our types with specific practices of discipleship for becoming more like Christ.


6. Little Fires Everywhere
by Celeste Ng

Little Fires Everywhere

Did Izzy burn the house down? This novel starts off hot with the Richardson family and their individual relationships with Mia and Pearl Warren, drifters who move into town. A lot of topics are built into the storyline along the way, including adoption, abortion, family, and social structures.

Reading Now

  • The Dearly Beloved
    by Cara Wall
  • The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry
    How to Stay Emotionally Healthy and Spiritually Alive in the Chaos of the Modern World
    by John Mark Comer
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow
    by Daniel Kahneman
  • Seven Transforming Gifts of Menopause
    An Unexpected Spiritual Journey
    by Cheryl Bridges Johns
  • Convenience Store Woman
    by Sayaka Murata
  • Upstream
    The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen
    by Dan Heath
  • Stay
    Discovering Grace, Freedom, and Wholeness Where You Never Imagined Looking
    by Anjuli Paschall

* * *

What good book are YOU reading this month? Please share in the comments.

My books on Goodreads
More books I recommend

sharing with Modern Mrs. Darcy

91 thoughts on “How to Read More Than One Book at a Time + 6 Books I Recommend {January 2020}

  1. Laurie

    Lisa, I love your book posts, but they always make my TBR list grow! πŸ™‚ I usually have more than one book going at a time. Right now, I have a Mary Oliver book of prose essays, which I read first, but not too many pages at a time. I want to savor it. I am also reading a (very thick) biography of the Lutheran theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, which I am enjoying very much. I read “Little Fires Everywhere” and liked it and want to read Sarah’s book on thought life too. So many good books out there!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I have put Mary Oliver on my TBR list. I know I will need to go slowly with her words, lingering, which will be good for me. Yes, there are so many good books available these days; it makes it so hard to choose the best!

  2. Mary

    Oh, Lisa, I ALWAYS enjoy reading your book post. I especially enjoyed your video review! And thank you for explaining HOW you read so many books at once. I usually read 2-3 at once time.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Mary. I’m still reluctant to post the videos; I never like them myself. πŸ™‚ But it’s a lesson in humility so I do it. ha. Hope you’re doing well, friend!

  3. Martha J Orlando

    I don’t know how you juggle so many books, Lisa, even with the system you’ve created in order to do so. I’m currently reading an old mystery, “The Nine Tailors,” by Dorothy Sayers. A bit old fashioned, but such great writing and suspense!
    Thanks again for all your reading recommendations!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Sad to say, I don’t think I’ve ever read a Dorothy Sayers book, even though her name has been on my radar for years. I’ve heard nothing but good things about her. I’m glad you mentioned her here, Martha. Maybe one day….

  4. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Always love your take on reading, your videos, and written reviews and recommendations. Okay, so the million-dollar question: Why do you read so many books concurrently? Why not just one book at a time? How do you keep from being fragmented in your reading, and it might follow, in your thoughts about what you are reading? I’m not disagreeing, but simply asking for a window into your thoughts on this. And btw, I loved McHugh’s book on listening. Have you read that, too?

    Happy reading and contemplating and growing!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You come up with the best questions, Lynn! I’ve been thinking about the million-dollar “why” question. I don’t know that I have just one answer why I read so many at the same time, but I think books just started coming to me that way years ago when I would visit the library, and I got in the habit and discovered I loved it.

      Now that I’m older and do it more intentionally, I notice I retain more from a book when I stretch out the reading of it over several weeks. It’s also amazing to see how books overlap in content when you least expect it; I attribute that to God’s weaving things together for me. I also notice that I read more when I have several books to choose from versus just one. It’s sometimes easy to talk myself out of reading a particular book at any given time, but if I have several in my stack, there’s always something of interest for every moment.

      My husband asks me similar questions, so I appreciate your curiosity too. πŸ™‚ As I explain it to him, he can keep several different TV series going in the same season without getting them mixed up, so I do that with books as well.

      And I am currently reading McHugh’s book on listening! It’s one that I’m reading VERY slowly on purpose because I want to linger with it all year if possible. I’m glad to hear you recommend it!

  5. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Another question (likely too deep for a short answer, and maybe the topic of another post??)…. how has Christ transformed you through your reading, and what do you say to Christians who say they don’t need to read books *about* the Bible or *about* the Christian life, when they have all they need: The Bible!? and another question (now that I’m on a roll)! πŸ™‚ What do you tell Christians who refuse to read secular books, for the mere reason that they are *not* Christian in content? Life is short, they say, so why bother . . . or they say it is wrong to do, etc.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, that could be a whole other post (or blog! ha) answering that. But I find that God has sprinkled his image and his truths through everyone in some way or another, so I love being exposed to as many different sides of him as possible. I have learned so much about grace and compassion through reading about others and by others, which I hope has proved fertile ground for Christ to produce more grace and compassion in me in my interactions with others.

      Why read other books beside the Bible? Well, first, I caveat my answer by saying that I still read through a different translation of the Bible every two years so I want to stay based there. Reading the Bible is very important to me. But secondly, I believe God still speaks through people today and I love hearing fresh stories about how God is moving in our world in our lifetimes. And thirdly, I believe truth is truth regardless of its source. If God could speak truth through a donkey to Balaam, I trust he still speaks truth in unconventional ways today too. I don’t want to limit his voice or miss out on his truths just because we’ve attached a “secular” label to its source.

      How would you answer these questions, Lynn? I would love to hear! πŸ™‚

      1. Lynn D. Morrissey

        Lisa, I greatly appreciate your thoughtful response. Thanks! And thanks too for saying here how you would never neglect the Word of God. I too find that paramount. His Word is the believer’s very sustenance, and it mystifies me how some Christians don’t read it, OT & NT, alike. Yikes! I’m so grateful to have been in BSF for a number of years. They got me in the holy habit (dare I say it that way?) of reading God’s Word daily. I start there. And yes, I do read secular books, though admittedly, most are Christian. Like you, I believe all truth is God’s truth. And there are such gifted authors across the centuries who are not Christian. E.g., there can be beauty in poetry by those who are not Christian, but who have insights about life that are very meaningful . . . or maybe, they write about the beauty of nature sans attribution to the Creator. But you and I know Who that is, so we can appreciate it all the more. I also read secular books and articles because I want to understand those who wrote them and their worldviews. How can we ever reach people for Christ if we refuse to associate with them and to know what they think? I took all my journaling courses from a well-respected expert, author, and world pioneer in the field. She is not a Christian admittedly (though has shared w/ me that she was raised in the church). She has a brilliant mind, wonderful journaling ideas, is a gifted author, and also just a lovely, kind, and generous person. I’ve learned so much from her and consider her a mentor. All that said, there are some things she writes with which I disagree. She knows that, and I have never hidden the fact that I am a Christian. I pretty much wear that on my sleeve wherever I am. But the beauty of this is that she gave me a place at her table (during the course in-person or online discussions), and we dialogued w/ respect. So in anything I read of a secular nature, I can take what to me is worth taking for me and my life, and leave the rest behind, or in a discussion situation, respectfully state my point of view or even disagreement. How else would I have the privilege of letting others know about the Savior if I will not talk to them or read what they have to say? So our reading can broaden us and help us to grow if we don’t close ourselves off in fear and/or prejudice. Again, I’m clear in expressing my beliefs. But reading secular authors also challenges me to be even more clear about what and why I believe what I do! And one more point . . . in my journaling studies, we were assigned to read a book by another prominent journaling expert (I recall the author’s name, but not the book). At any rate, she shared a story about a young Christian she met–maybe in one of her own classes, can’t recall the circumstance–and she felt so sad for him, b/c he abso. refused to read anything that was NOT Christian. She cited great literary works to which he had closed himself off, and lamented the loss to him. In this online course led by my mentor, as a student, I had to comment online. and I agreed w/ the secular author as a Christian myself. However, I pointed out great literary works written by Christians like Tolkien, CS Lewis, etc., and just wondered “aloud” if this author had availed herself of their writings, or had cut *herself* off. Somehow in her wording, I got the feeling she had. And my point was this: Had this young man and journaling-expert author bothered to read that in which the other immersed himself/herself, they might have opened a wonderful dialogue to get to know each other, to benefit from the other, and to learn through various writings their worldviews and why they believe as they do (and that would have given the young man a better “platform” for expressing himself to her about Christ).

        So, Lisa, that is my take on your question…. no doubt, FAR MORE than you wanted to read, if you have even made it to the bitter end. Ha. πŸ™‚

        Love all you write and the way you think, and I thank you.

        1. LisaNotes Post author

          You always have such interesting stories and insights, Lynn. Thanks for sharing about even more reasons to read a variety of books. I hadn’t thought about some of those. It is important to be able to dialogue with people through books, and if we won’t read their books, why should we expect them to read ours? Thank you, friend!

  6. Liz Dexter

    I have sent the details of “Introverts in the Church” to a friend of mine who is an introvert and leads children’s church / Messy Church and has to go to meetings etc as well as services, so thank you for that.

    I usually read two to three books at a time – one will be fiction, one non-fiction and the other probably non-fiction too, likely something I’m reading to review for Shiny New Books. I will often have a “nice” book to read in bed and a tatty one for my handbag, or one that’s suitable for reading at meals and one that’s not. Too many on the go gets overwhelming.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I hope your friend gets a lot out of Introverts in the Church. It was really encouraging to me.

      I like your approach of reading a nice book in bed and a tatty one in your purse. πŸ™‚ I relate. I only take paperbacks to the beach and keep nice hardbacks at home.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That sounds like an ideal mix, Natasha. I prefer to only have 3 or 4 at most, but when a book becomes available from the library hold or is due to review, I usually squeeze it in too. πŸ™‚

  7. Barbara Harper

    I enjoyed reading about your system. I often have four books going at a time. I usually keep one in the bathroom (:-)), either fiction or non fiction. I have one audiobook going, usually a classic. I have something ready in my Kindle app, often fiction. This is what I usually read at night before bed or in small snatches of time. And I often have a Christian non-fiction book alongside my devotional books and Bible to read after my quiet time when I can. It would be hard for me to have more than one non-fiction book going at a time unless one is a biography or a story. Non-fiction requires a different level of concentration and energy for me. Plus they all need to be on different topics. I couldn’t read four different WWII books or whatever at the same time, or I’d forget where I read what.

    I have miscellaneous files, too–I don’t know how anybody can do without one. I don’t know about unplugging every screen one day a week–that’s my primary means of keeping in touch with my siblings. I would take a more moderate approach than Shlain, too. I’m interested in your thoughts on Seven Transforming Gifts of Menopause.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I like your approach, Barbara. Having place-specific books is a good plan. I do have certain hardback books that I only keep on my nightstand because they’re too cumbersome to lug around while I’m folding laundry, etc.

      I used to listen to more audiobooks before I became a podcast addict. lol. I have tried to cut back on my podcast listening this year to add back in some actual music AND total silence periodically. πŸ™‚

  8. Kathy Martin

    I read one book at a time unless the one I’m reading isn’t catching my attention but I don’t want to abandon it. Like you, I try to make the books very different so I don’t get plots confused. Come see me week here. Happy reading!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Just read your list too, Kathy. Lots of new books to me. Some might be too scary for me. ha. I love a good mystery novel but I have to be careful that it’s not too graphic with the violence or I have nightmares about it. πŸ™‚

  9. bekahcubed

    Thanks for sharing your system for reading multiple books at a time! It’s fun to see how other people do things.

    I try to have at least one book going in each of five categories: “For Loving [God]”, “For Growing” (self-help/personal growth), “For Knowing” (informational, history or biography or economics or something like that), “For Seeing” (that delves into the human condition, usually literary fiction or classics), and “For Enjoying” (fluffy fiction or memoir). I rotate through the categories, reading a bit from each before moving on to the next.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You have the most awesome system, Bekah! I love your categories. If I were more organized, this is how I would read too. I need to experiment with it and see if I loosely do it anyway, just unconsciously. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing this.

  10. Joanne

    I often have two or three books going at the same time and I do try to concentrate most of the time on whichever one is due first at the library but will often pick up the book I just want to read the most at that moment.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I relate, Joanne. I returned a library book yesterday and was so proud of myself for NOT going inside and checking out more books. ha. But then I got an email in the afternoon that a book I’d placed on hold is ready, so I’ll need to go inside today and get it. Maybe I can only get that one though and not an armful since I already have enough books at home that I’m reading.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I love your list, Amy. I am currently reading a Bob Goff devotional book and it’s just as inspiring as Everybody Always.

      And I also love Goodreads year-in-review feature. So fun to look back over a year’s worth of books.

  11. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    I usually have 1 short story collection and 1 other book going at the same time. Reading too many books at once reminds me of college and being stressed out all the time. I’m hoping to read Little Fires Everywhere soon. It’s sitting on my TBR shelf right now.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      College reading days weren’t fun for me either. I was so thankful when I was finished and I could once again read what I wanted to; so freeing! πŸ™‚ Hope you enjoy Little Fires Everywhere when you get to it. I thought it was really good.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Ten books is the max for me too. I’d rather have half that, but sometimes circumstances fall that way. I definitely couldn’t do fiction that way though, only nonfiction. I can only do two max novels at a time, and I prefer just one at a time for fiction. πŸ™‚

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m guessing you read multiple books at a time too, Michele. I know you read a LOT of books anyway, however you do it! πŸ™‚ I always appreciate your reviews of books you read.

  12. Betsy Cruz

    I love those takeaways from Gretchen Rubin’s book! I read her Happiness Project years ago and loved it. I love reading your book posts, friend. I’ve read several books due to your recommendation although I’m usually only working on 2-4 books at once and maybe don’t progress as quickly as you do. (I am loving Off the Clock, have learned so much that I’m sorry to be almost finished!)

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Gretchen Rubin’s book was filled with just page after page of short little tips like that. So good! And fun to read. But now to actually do it… ha.

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying Off the Clock! I may re-read it again next year just as a refresher. I listen to Laura Vanderkam’s podcast every day “Before Breakfast” and it’s also encouraging about using our time wisely.

  13. Lois Flowers

    Lisa, as usual, I’ve written down a couple of titles from your list to look into for myself. I think I have five books going right now. My favorite among them is “I’ve Seen the End of You” by W. Lee Warren. πŸ™‚

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You’re a girl after my own heart, Lois. πŸ™‚ Five books is about ideal to me. I really don’t like going past that, and can be satisfied with less than that. But definitely more than two at a time.

      I’ve Seen the End of You sounds so intriguing! Let me know what you think of it when you’re finished. (And there I go again…wanting to add yet another book to my already too long list. ha)

      1. Lois Flowers

        So I finished β€œI’ve Seen the End of You” and I loved it. My husband is reading it now and finding it hard to put down also. It’s fascinating and sad and honest … I have a feeling you might enjoy it. Also, I checked out β€œOuter Order, Inner Calm” from the library … so good!

        1. LisaNotes Post author

          Oh, I’m so glad to hear this, Lois! But see what you’re doing to me? You’ve added another book to my stack! lol. Got a copy from NetGalley just now.

          Glad you’re enjoying Outer Order, Inner Calm. It was such a fun book with so many good tips.

  14. Joanne Viola

    Lisa, I love your book posts as they always lengthen my “to read” list. I usually have a few books going at the same time. I am always amazed at how they tend to dove tail together and speak truth into my life.

  15. Lesley

    I always appreciate your recommendations and I especially like the sound of Introverts in the Church. I have just read Get Out Of Your Head by Jennie Allen and I found it really helpful.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Jennie Allen’s book sounds like one I really should read. I spend a lot of time in my head. Part of my reason for choosing “Linger” as my One Word this year is to learn to be more present in my body and not just in my head. Thanks, Lesley!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      If the books are different enough from each other, you could do it. πŸ™‚ One reason I love reading on my Kindle though is because it is searchable for those times when I do get confused and need to backtrack. (Or, I can not be lazy and do that with regular books too by actually flipping through pages. lol. #spoiled)

  16. Linda Stoll

    well, you know how much I love Introverts in the Church … and I really loved hearing your review right out loud, Lisa!

    i find it fascinating to hear how you balance your reading life. i still stick with one book at a time.

    different strokes, ya’ know?

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks to you for giving the book to me, Linda! It really hit home with me in so many ways, church and otherwise.

      One book at a time works too! πŸ™‚ Who knows…maybe one day I’ll return to that myself.

  17. Patsy Burnette

    Thanks, Lisa, for this book list. We had a pastor that used to harp on the fact that we need to be reading more than one book at a time. Like you, he would read several at one time. I just never could bring myself to doing that. I’m so easily distracted. It’s hard enough for me to focus on just one. Maybe I should try again.

    The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week sounds intriguing, and I know Transforming Your Thought Life by Sarah Geringer is a great book!

    Pinned to our Books You Will Love group board.

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Patsy. I think each person should do what works best for them! Just the fact that we’re reading is a win in my book (no pun intended). πŸ™‚

      I’ve been trying to unplug more on Sundays in 2020. It some ways it’s easier than expected and other ways it’s harder. I find myself checking email and Facebook a little extra on Saturday night now, in anticipation of not doing it on Sundays. ha. So I’m not sure that’s really succeeding. πŸ˜‰

  18. Vanessa

    I always keep a number of books on the go as well – gotta choose what I can read based on tiredness and mood! I’m not religious but introverts in the church sounds interesting – I’ve heard that people in evangelical churches who are introverts feel very left out.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Oh yes, Vanessa–choosing based on tiredness and mood! At night is when I’m most likely to pick up a novel or something light. I can’t do heavy reading when I’m tired and trying to go to sleep. The beauty of having multiple books going is you can always find something to match your mood. πŸ™‚

      The church I grew up in was a little easier for introverts because it was very head and information-oriented. But my church of the last 10 years is definitely more suited for extroverts. I have a little extroversion in me so I can still function there, but it can drain me over extended time.

  19. floyd

    My reading hero!

    I’m a “eat the peas first” kinda guy. Which means I can’t read more than one book at a time! Not that I’ve gotten any of that done lately either.

    I did the math… and it looks like I’m never gonna catch you… nor likely anyone else for that matter!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Maybe when you’re old and retired you’ll have more time to read, Floyd. πŸ™‚ It’s kinda depressing when I do the math with how many books are on my to-be-read list and the amount of time I have left alive. ha. It’ll never come out even. But I’m guessing God will give me a direct fill-up of knowledge once I get to heaven so maybe I won’t need books anymore. lol.

  20. Pam Ecrement

    Ah, yes, reading more than one book at a time is something I think I developed in graduate school while teaching full-time back in the mid to late 1980’s. It was an easy decision as a writer who wants and should be reading a good deal to do that now. I tend to have a number of different types of books going at the same time and the different types affects when I read them.

    For example, I am currently reading The First Breakfast by Eric and Kristen Hill that is so rich and nourishing spiritually that I only read one two-page chapter each day and it is a part of my quiet time. (You will see me quoting nuggets from those in my blog posts in the next few weeks and I have already been doing it.) I received an advanced reader copy of an author that is a very different book by Dan Heath that will be released in March entitled Upstream:The Quest to Solve Problems Before They Happen. That book is often an evening read or a book that goes with me to appointments. (I always have one with me.) I am delighting in a book entitled Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon by Ray Rhodes, Jr. and I often enjoy the Spurgeon love story as I read in bed before turning off the lights. I have some of the chapters of Debbie Wilson’s new book, Little Faith, Big God, and waiting on the rest to review for her. Tucked farther back on the stack is What’s So Great About Grace by Philip Yancey that I started and then set aside. One other waiting to read for fun is a fiction book, Fatal Strike by Diann Mills.

    My reading has reached a point where I no longer slog through a book that doesn’t capture my attention or one that is not well written. I had too many of those to do in graduate school, ministry positions, and clinical settings. (One of the places I look to consider new books comes from bloggers like you! I confess I do jump over anything popular thing related to self improvement or “how to” stuff.)

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I love books that are rich enough to only intake in small doses. I’ll look forward to hearing more quotes from The First Breakfast from you.

      I’m reading Upstream right now too! I love everything that Dan Heath has written, so I was so happy to get a review copy of this book. For whatever reason, his work fascinates me.

      I always have a book with me too, even if only on the Kindle app on my phone. Never be without something to read. πŸ™‚

      I am trying to be better about quitting books sooner that aren’t doing it for me, but I have lots of room for improvement in that area. πŸ™ I always think that maybe it will get better if I keep pressing on. ha. But I’ve seen it suggested, and I try to follow it, to give a book about 50 pages only. If it still doesn’t grab me, I’m trying to let it go. Thanks for sharing how you read, Pam. I find it so interesting to hear!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      If you’re a monogamous reader (I haven’t heard that term, but I love it!), I guess I’m a polygamous reader. Yikes. ha. Not reading the same genre back to back is something I attempt too. It’s easy to get books confused otherwise. Or to get bored with them too quickly.

  21. Denyse Whelan

    Oh I like your plan and your sharing of your books.

    I am less into reading actual books these days but am hooked on audio books from Audible. I do a fair bit of road travel solo – to Sydney where family is and to my various post-cancer appointments – so that medium suits me.

    As a younger woman I was right into fiction. Now as I am over 70 I have no interest in contemporary fiction. I do however, like memoirs and books on how we are who we are.

    I am a constant learner!

    Thanks for linking up for #lifethisweek. Next week’s optional prompt is #ShareYourSnaps. I hope you will join in then too. Denyse.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I gave my husband a 3-month subscription to Audible for Christmas and he has enjoyed it. It’s the only way he reads books, but hey it counts! πŸ™‚ I love audiobooks but I’ve let podcasts take over much of my audiobook listening. I may try to balance that out a little better this year.

      How interesting that your genre preference has changed as you’ve aged. I need to look back and see how mine has changed through the years too. I totally get what you’re saying. Thanks for sharing here, Denyse!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’m almost halfway in The Dearly Beloved and am understanding why it has a following. The characters are so interesting and different from each other. I almost want to start at this point since I’m finally understanding more who is who. ha.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I just added another book to my stack today. Ugh. πŸ™‚ But it was a book I had on hold at the library and it became available so what’s a girl to do? I started it tonight and it is so good already: “You’re Not Listening.” I’m sure my friends and family will appreciate me reading it so maybe I’ll become a better listener to them. lol.

  22. Karen Del Tatto

    I love your tips for reading multiple books. Book reading for me is a luxury as my time is limited. I also tend to be one of those people who has to read a whole chapter in a book, but after reading your post, instead of having the joy of reading throughout the year, even when my schedule is busy, by reading maybe ten pages a day, I am not reading any books because of my hangup with having to read a full chapter. lol.

    Thanks for spurring me on to read anyway! I actually have a book that’s staring at me right now that I want to start which will be a good ice breaker for the 10 page realistic goal as it is a practical book about women’s ministry and one that, I’m sure, can be taken in sections and actually maybe better to do so that way.

    Thanks for the great suggestions!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Awesome! I hope the 10-pg rule will help you find little snatches of time to read again. Sometimes I’ll only read 3 or 4 pages if that’s all the time I have. πŸ™‚ And yes, especially if it’s a book that’s doesn’t really have a plotline. It’s easier to read a few pages here and there with nonfiction books than with novels (to me anyway).

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Jean. It’s funny; ever since I wrote that post, I haven’t been reading as much. It jinxed me. ha. But I have been reading a little in several books so I still feel like I’m making progress and getting the pleasure of reading. πŸ™‚

  23. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I can’t manage to read just a couple of pages—unless it’s a non-fiction book or something, then I suppose it’s fine. (I’m also reading through The Book of God, which is the Bible told in story form, and I read a couple of pages of that a night because my goal is to read it in a year.)

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I read The Book of God a few years back myself. It was so interesting to read the Bible in that format!

      Yes, I agree with you; it’s easier for me to read only a few pages in nonfiction as opposed to fiction. With fiction, I need bigger chunks so I can stick with the plot. However, there are many days where I’ll just read 5 pages in a novel if that’s all the time I have. (And then have to backtrack to figure out what’s really going on. ha)

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      My library just sent me an email this book that another book I had on hold was available. Sometimes the timing isn’t good because I am already reading a novel. But I’ve got to take it when they want to give it to me so now I’m reading two novels at once. It’s easier to read multiples when they’re nonfiction; harder for me when they’re fiction. πŸ™‚ Sounds like you keep a great blend going.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Glad you also liked Little Fires Everywhere. I’m currently reading The Dearly Beloved and it’s really got me hooked. It took me awhile to get acclimated to each character’s personality, but I’m loving it now.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Before I got sucked into the world of reviewing books, I didn’t use a list much either. Sometimes I think those were the good ol’ days, so I envy your approach, Joanne. ha. But I do love getting free books to review, so I better not complain. πŸ™‚

      1. Joanne

        I have reviewed books professionally but when I started blogging I wanted to feel the joy of reading (again) without obligation (hence my freewheeling approach) – which is one reason I only blog about the books I want to blog about (like when you’re excited to discuss a book with a friend). So that even when I get asked to review books I give full disclosure (I may not get to it in a timely manner) – some send them through anyway and 9/10 I do end up reading and writing about them. The TBR and active reading pile do build up no matter the approach, I think – so many books, so little time (bibliophiles everywhere lol).

        1. LisaNotes Post author

          That’s a great plan, Joanne. I try to only get books to review that I want to read anyway, but nonetheless it does obligate me to do a review, even if I end up not liking the book. Only once have I really, really regretted getting one because it was SO difficult to read. πŸ™‚

          But in the end, yes you’re right that regardless of how we approach it, there’s still more books than time. Alas.

  24. Anne

    I can’t read more than two books at a time, one fiction, one non fiction…or so I thought. I still read children’s books to my youngest, so does that count?

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, I’d say that counts, Anne! πŸ™‚ One of my greatest reading pleasures has been getting to read children’s books again with my granddaughter. She’s 2 now. I’ve already noticed that we’ve been reading less since she’s more active; I need to bring a fresh stack of books with me the next time I visit her so we can get back into the habit of reading together. I want to keep that habit going.

  25. Louise (Little Hearts, Big Love)

    I often have a few books on the go at any one time, but have no real system for trying to get through them, other than carrying on with whichever book takes my fancy (or is immediately to hand) when I have a few minutes to read. I like the sound of some of these ones that you’ve read this month, especially the one on transforming your thought life. One to add to the list to read at some point! #WotW

  26. Danielle Hammelef

    I enjoy your reading system and always find it interesting to learn reading habits of others. I do read multiple books at the same time. For instance, I’m reading both a weekly devotional and a daily one, and I make those my priority to read first. Then I have a book I promised to review, and lastly have a different genre at hand. This month I’m starting Letters to the Lost and love it from the start.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I don’t like to have more 5 books going at a time either, but unfortunately at the moment I am stretched beyond that. And failing to get to them all very often. I like your choice of three different books. Thanks for sharing, Nicci.

  27. Davida Chazan

    I read two at a time – on Kindle, one print. No problem keeping track that way. But my husband reads at least half a dozen at a time – a habit he picked up from his mother (of blessed memory). I have no idea how he keeps track of them all.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That’s interesting that your husband picked up his multi-book reading habit from his mother. I’m curious what his system is. My system serves me well during “normal” times, but this month has been super busy and it’s not working for me. ha. I’ve resorted to focusing on one to two books only (library books that are due!) before I open another one. Oh well. Flexibility is important too. πŸ™‚

      1. Davida Chazan

        He has NO system at all. Whatever strikes his fancy at any given time. Mind you, if he gets really into a book, he’ll binge read it until he finishes it. On the other hand, sometimes he loves a book so much that he’ll read it slowly, just a few pages at a time.

        1. LisaNotes Post author

          Ha. Well, it sounds delightful to me. He’s obviously a man who really loves to read. ? I’ve been known to slow down too at the end of a book when I don’t want it to end. It never works though.

  28. E.

    Wow, that’s a proper reading method! I used to read wayy more books at the same time than I do now and my method was something around 1 novel + 1 non-fiction + 1 graphic novel + 1 short story + poetry sometimes but now I’m mostly down to 1-2 books at a time + some art books I follow along.
    I am medicated for mental health stuff and my pills affect my attention span so I stay more focused on one thing and thus I finish those books much faster though! And I pick up longer things too, now.
    Great post πŸ™‚

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, just reading one book at a time means that you’ll finish it much quicker! I have to do that sometimes when I have a library book due. All the other books have to just wait until that one book is totally finished. One year I didn’t let myself start a new book until I finished the previous one. It had its advantages! But I found I didn’t read near as much as a result. Thanks for sharing here!

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