Multiple input streams

How many books do you read at once?

Having a Kindle makes multiple in-progress volumes super simple.  The device keeps track of where I am.  I have an “In Progress” folder.  I can so easily swap between them.  But I wonder if I wouldn’t be better off reading everything sequentially, finishing one book before beginning another, rather than…well, I don’t know what you’d call it.  Simultaneously, I suppose.

If I’m going to make my goal, I have to average 2-3 books a week.  This is a daunting task to be sure.  But if I have four or five books at once, it might take me two to three weeks to finish them, but then I’d finish a whole slew of them at once.

For example.

Right now I’m about halfway through When She Was Good, the third Roth book.  This book is a bit of a get-through, because the fourth book is Portnoy’s Complaint, which a) I have already read once and b) I know is a fast read and c) is awesome.  When She Was Good isn’t long, but so far it isn’t particularly compelling.

I’m also reading How We Know What Isn’t So, which is super informative but rather more dry and academic than I thought it would be.  I’m about halfway through that.  Bonfire of the Vanities is about 1/4 done and is going fairly quickly.  But then this weekend after seeing “127 Hours” (great movie) I would like to read Aron Ralston’s book Between a Rock and a Hard Place (what editor let him use that title, I have to wonder) so I went ahead and started that one.  So that’s four in progress.

Part of my problem is that I want different books for different moods.  I want pop science or skepticism or a nice informative Mary Roach title for my workday lunchtime/coffee breaks.  I want compelling literary fiction for evenings.  I want fast YA titles or contemporary fiction for weekends.

I guess there’s no harm in multiple input streams.  I just wish I could finish off some of these titles faster.  The year seems to be whizzing by.  At this rate I’m never going to make it.

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